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With all this extra time on our hands these days, what’s a cat lover to do to keep busy at home?
First the obvious: grab a cat and get comfy. Then, settle in with one of these cat-filled reads.
Rover writers and editors put their heads together to arrive at this carefully-vetted list of some of the best new and old classics for cat-loving readers of all ages.
So, here’s to our unfailing felines who always keep us entertained, and who make good book characters in the process. Happy reading!
Cat Books for Adult Readers
This well-curated compilation of cat-themed stories published across the decades in New Yorker magazine collects the voices of some of its most celebrated writers such as James Thurber, Margaret Atwood, Roald Dahl, and many others.
The companion volume, The New Yorker Book of All-New Cat Cartoons, is great for those who enjoy the magazine’s doodles and comics.Shop on Amazon
A touching true story, this tale is a love letter to cats and to libraries. When Dewey, a ginger kitten, is abandoned in Spencer, Iowa’s Public Library book return, he changes the life of librarian Vicki Myron, and soon, the town itself.Shop on Amazon
Beautifully written, this story focuses on a young couple in Tokyo who grow closer and begin to take pleasure in the small joys of life when one day a cat invites itself into their home. Be prepared for some tears though!Shop on Amazon
Definitely darker than the Audrey Hepburn film, Truman Capote’s novella tells the story of Holly Golightly and her fear of falling in love. Her constant companion is a cat she refuses to name, because they don’t belong to each other—but is she right?Shop at Target
This humorous re-imaging of Garfield removes the cat himself from each frame of the comic strip, revealing Jon Arbuckle’s strange and quirky existential journey (and maybe even our own).Shop on Amazon
Needing a heartwarming true story? James Bowen recounts his days as a street musician and recovering addict and how his friendship with a scarf-wearing stray cat changed both their lives.Shop on Amazon
This one’s for the history buffs! This fascinating read explores how cats and their ancestors influenced human society and may have even played a role in human evolution.Shop on Amazon
Told from the perspective of a cat on his journey from a stray to a “Fur Person” (that’s a cat, the author writes, “who had decided to stay with people as long as he lives. This can only happen if a human being has imagined a part of himself into a cat just as the cat has imagined part of himself into a human being”), this book is full of dry humor as the author’s cat searches for, and eventually finds, a suitable human caretaker.Shop on Amazon
Author William S. Burroughs reveals his softer side in this collection of essays and observations on cats—an animal he clearly admires.Shop on Amazon
10. Cat Stories
The legendary veterinarian-turned-author is beloved for a reason. James Herriot is known for his humorous and deeply felt stories recounting his experiences with animals—and this delightful book spotlights ten cats, complete with illustrations.Shop on Amazon
The ultimate anthology when it comes to cat poetry, find everything from works by Japanese haiku masters to poems by William Wordsworth. The through-line? Cats are loved across cultures and throughout time.Shop on Amazon
From horror master Shirley Jackson, her last book is also one of her best. The protagonist is a young girl named Merricat, who holds a dark secret surrounding a family tragedy. Resistant to the outside world, she finds comfort in the companionship of her faithful cat, Jonas.Shop on Amazon
Mikhail Bulgakov’s biting satire features a cat character that’s larger than life: Behemoth. Portrayed as a demonic black cat of substantial size, Behemoth has a penchant for constant jokes, vodka, chess, and sarcasm—you know, as cats do.Shop on Amazon
A charming collection of essays from well-known authors, such as Edward Gorey and Sue Grafton, about how their cats impact the writing process.Shop on Amazon
15. Homer’s Odyssey
No one thought Homer, an abandoned eyeless kitten, would make it. But not only did Homer survive, he thrived! Gwen Cooper’s uplifting memoir shows that love and courage come in all kinds of packages.Shop on Amazon
Comical and deeply moving in equal measures, this novel chronicles the highs and lows of Satoru and the cat who adopts him, Nana. Together they embark on a poignant road trip around Japan.Shop on Amazon
For agoraphobic Dr. Anna Fox, life revolves around online chat rooms, classic films, and the companionship of her cat. Until she thinks she witnesses a crime at the house across the way.Shop at Target
18. I Am A Cat
Witty and satirical, this Japanese classic is narrated by a very opinionated cat, full of observational barbs about people and society.Shop on Amazon
This one’s for cat lovers who also enjoy a paperback mystery. Joe Gray is more than just your average cat. In this tale, he wakes up with the ability to talk and understand human language—which comes in handy after he witnesses a brutal murder.Shop on Amazon
Just for Fun
Full of comical photos and poems, you are sure to get more than a few hearty laughs out of this collection, entirely written by cats, of course!Shop on Amazon
Cat Books for Kids and Young Adult Readers
When a new baby enters the Bricker household, the family tabby cat, Socks, is having none of it and gets up to all kinds of mischief. From beloved children’s author, Beverly Cleary, of the popular Ramona Quimby books.Shop on Amazon
This Newbery Honor winner is a memorable one from many people’s childhoods. An old man goes on a search for a cat to bring back to his wife, and instead, comes home with millions!Shop on Amazon
Read the book that inspired the popular children’s movie, Homeward Bound. This story follows a Siamese cat and her two dog siblings as they brave the dangerous Canadian wilderness to find their way home.Shop on Amazon
A chilling fairytale from best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Coraline is a little girl who discovers the entrance to a seemingly identical world with a perfect version of her family—but appearances can be deceiving. Coraline’s cat is an important character, acting as her otherworldly guide and companion.Shop on Amazon
Based on a sweet true story, when composer Moshe Cotel rescues a tiny kitten, Ketzel, he gains a friend and musical muse for life.Shop on Amazon
A true classic that changed literature for children. If only our own cats could take us on indoor adventures on dull days and clean up after themselves! This is one kiddos will love to return to and is a joy to revisit for adults.Shop at Target
From poet T.S. Eliot, this collection of amusing poems inspired the musical Cats and is sure to delight cat lovers young and old. This book is also illustrated by famed children’s artist Edward Gorey, known for his dark-humored drawings (and love of cats).Shop at Target
The third book in the Harry Potter series, this is where Hermione Granger’s cat familiar, Crookshanks, really shines. Talk about a clever kitty, Crookshanks saves the day on more than one occasion with his intellect and instincts.Shop on Amazon
Few cats are as memorable as the Cheshire Cat, a unique character that Alice encounters on her wild adventures down the rabbit hole. Both philosophical and perplexing, he disappears and reappears at will.Shop on Amazon
Get ready for giggles! These funny cartoons are oh so relatable with scenes depicting our feline friends laying in suitcases while packing, attacking the computer printer, and more.Shop on Amazon
From treasured children’s and young adults author, Ursula K. Le Guin, comes a tale of four kitten siblings born with wings. Follow their thrilling adventures as they navigate their new forest home.Shop on Amazon
I mean, cats can be the worst, right? But they’re also the best! Beautifully illustrated in watercolors, this entertaining book points out the things cats do that drive us nuts—plus the things we do that make them a little crazy, too.Shop on Amazon
A great pick for a kiddo who also loves cats, this sweetly told biography of the artist behind the famous “Le Chat Noir ” painting is all about inspiring creativity and following your dreams.Shop on Amazon
Over the decades, Amelia Bedelia has been the source of many giggles to young readers who love her delightful antics. In this tale, Amelia’s won over by a cat named Tiger who creates all sorts of adorable trouble.Shop at Target
15. My Cat Book
What could be better than a book featuring your own cat? A great activity for kids, fill the pages with pictures, drawings, funny stories and observations of your fave four-legged family member.Shop at Target
For more about cats, dogs, and reading, check out one of the links below.
- The 19 Best Dog Training Books for Every Kind of Dog
- 20 Super Sweet Cat Coloring Books
- The 40 Best Dog Books, From Charley to Marley
- 10 Dog Puzzle Books to Help You Keep It Together During Quarantine
- How to Choose the Perfect Cat Name
- 5 Best Cat Puzzle Toys That Really Work