15 Of The Best Books About Cats For Adults To Read And Enjoy

If you are looking for something interesting and unusual to read, why not try picking up a book about cats?

15 Of The Best Books About Cats For Adults To Read And Enjoy

It could be a book about a particular cat that is based on a true story, it could be a book about cats in general, or even a book with a fantastical theme where the cats play a major role in the story.

There are lots of amazing books about cats and it can be hard to narrow down your choice. This list of the Top 15 books about cats includes both fiction and nonfiction so you will be able to find the perfect book for you.

All of these books are suitable for adults to read and will leave you with a deeper appreciation for cats.

Top 15 Books About Cats

Here are the top 15 books about cats for you to read. Whether you are looking for something thought-provoking, emotive, or funny, there is something for everyone on this list.

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life – James Bowen

A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life

This book became an instant New York Times bestseller and it’s not difficult to see why. It is a true story about James Bowen, a street musician struggling to make ends meet in London.

He was struggling to make enough money to feed himself, but when he finds an injured cat he knows he must do something. The cat was Bob, and as James nursed him back to health the pair formed an unbreakable bond.

Once Bob was back to full health, he decided he wanted to stay with James. This unlikely friendship changed both of their lives for the better.

This book is a classic tale of the connection between a man and his cat, but it also touches on other themes such as homelessness and addiction. It is not just a heart-warming story, but also a social commentary.

This is book 1 of 3 in a series about James and Bob. Make sure you check out the other books in the series – The World According To Bob (The further adventures of one man and his streetwise cat) and A Christmas Gift From Bob.

Books 1 and 3 have been turned into movies starring the real-life Bob the cat.


  • Pace – This is a true story, but it has the pace and entertainment value of a fictional story.
  • Gripping – James and Bob have an incredible story to tell, and you will be hooked from start to finish.
  • Emotive – You will laugh, cry, and develop an even deeper appreciation for cats.


  • Gritty – This book deals with some gritty themes which might not be suitable for everyone.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles – Hiro Arikawa And Philip Gabriel

The Travelling Cat Chronicles

When this book was published it quickly became an international bestseller. It tells the story of Nana the cat and his owner, Satoru. Satoru takes Nana in as a stray, and the pair of them go on a road trip across Japan to visit Satoru’s friends.

Or at least, that’s what Nana thinks the road trip is about. As Nana meets Satoru’s friends he finds out that they all have different attitudes toward cats, and toward life itself.

Yoshimine is a hardworking farmer who sees cats as nothing more than rat catchers. Sugi and Chikako love animals, which is why their B&B is pet friendly. And finally, there is Kosuke, who is dealing with the heartbreak of his cat-loving wife leaving him.

The road trip will teach Nana and Satoru about bravery, love, and loyalty. But when Nana realizes the true reason for the journey, will their friendship survive? Nana’s narrative is quite sarcastic yet very endearing.

Seeing the world through his eyes gives you a new perspective. This book is quirky, wholesome, and moving.


  • Descriptive – It has just the right amount of descriptive detail, so you can feel fully immersed in the scenery of Japan through the changing seasons without losing interest in the story.
  • Emotive – The reading experience is excellent – you feel the emotional impact of the words long after you have read the last page and closed the book.
  • Writing Style – This book was praised for its simple yet poignant prose.


  • Sad – If you are looking for something uplifting then you might find parts of this book too sad.

The Cat Who Saved Books – Sosuke Natsukawa

The Cat Who Saved Books: A Novel

When high school student, Rintaro, inherits a second-hand bookshop from his grandfather, he intends to close it down. His plans change when a talking cat appears and demands Rintaro’s help.

The cat is on a mission to free lonely books from their neglectful owners, he needs help. The pair embark on a strange and exciting journey. In order to free each book, they must navigate a maze.

They meet some unusual characters along the way, all with one thing in common – they mistreat their books. When they reach the last maze, it will take all of their courage to get them through.

This fantastical book is about unlikely friendship, the importance of books, and first love. When the journey becomes difficult, Rintaro finds comfort in remembering the words of wisdom from his grandfather, which adds another layer of emotion to the story.


  • Characters – One of the great things about this book is that Tiger, the cat, is not particularly likable. He is difficult and can be quite mean. This contrasts with Rintaro who is a relatable and likable character.
  • Realistic – It fits in with cats in real life – all cat lovers know that not all cats are nice.
  • Unique – It is an unusual story and one of those books that will leave a lasting impression on you.


  • Frustrating – Some readers found Tiger to be quite frustrating.

She And Her Cat – Makoto Shinkai

She and Her Cat: Stories

‘She And Her Cat’ begins with Chobi, a street cat. He is alone and afraid until he is rescued by Miyu. Miyu takes Chobi home with her and they begin to form a close bond. Miyu is a young woman learning how to live independently.

She is experiencing the highs of freedom and the lows of loneliness, but through it all, she has her faithful cat by her side. This is a collection of four short stories about women and their cats, rather than one novel.

However, there are parallels between the different women and cats in the stories – some of them obvious and some of them less so.


  • Themes – This book explores the theme of connection – how, even in our darkest and loneliest moments, we are still connected to each other and to the world around us.
  • Perspective – The narration is split between the cats and their owners, offering the reader different perspectives on the world and the events of each story. This makes the reading experience more enriching.
  • Moving – The characters and their stories will stay with you long after you have finished the book, and you will find yourself thinking about them for months to come.


  • Simple – Some people might find the plotlines too simple.

Seven Lives And One Great Love: The Memoirs Of A Cat – Lena Divani

Seven Lives and One Great Love: The Memoirs of a Cat

This is the story of one cat and her goal to win the heart of a reluctant human. Sugar is a cat. He is cunning and clever, yet tender and sweet.

Sugar is in his seventh life when he meets Madamigella – she is the perfect human for him, but there is one problem. She doesn’t like cats.

Sugar tries all of his usual tricks and charms, but he cannot seem to domesticate this human as he did with the others. As he spends more time with her and persistently tries to win her over, he recounts tales from his previous lives with wit and hilarity.

The result is a funny yet emotive novel that is different from anything you have ever read before. What makes this book so special is the premise of how the cats spend their lives.

Sugar has had six previous lives – he can be a female or a male cat, and in each life, he chooses his owner. He retains the memories from each previous life, which means he gets wiser and more experienced each time.

His sixth life was spent as a library cat, which means he is quite the scholar by the time he begins his comical yet insightful narrative for this story.


  • Funny – this book will have you chuckling.
  • Unique – the concept is very unique.
  • Moving – This book is unexpectedly poignant.


  • Characters – Some readers might find that there are too many characters to keep up with.

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards – Lilian Jackson Braun

The Cat Who Could Read Backwards (Cat Who... Book 1)

‘The Cat Who Could Read Backwards’ is book 1 of 29 in ‘The Cat Who’ series by Lilian Jackson Braun. The whole series has been incredibly popular – if you love books about cats then you will definitely enjoy getting stuck into this series.

This book follows Jim Qwilleran, an award-winning reporter who has had a run of bad luck with work. Things are looking up when he is offered a job as a feature writer at the Daily Fluxion.

The paper’s art critic, George, offers Jim a small apartment to rent in his large house. Jim is immediately interested in George’s cat, Koko, who seems very wise, and is happy to help out with cat-sitting duties.

A scandal in the art world has people talking, and when the owner of a local gallery is found dead. He was stabbed to death.

The plot thickens when, a few days later, Koko leads Jim outside into the garden where he discovers that George has also met the same, grim fate. Jim and Koko make an excellent team, and they work together to try and solve the murders.


  • Well written – This is a very well-written mystery story.
  • Characters – This book has the added benefit of an intelligent and unusual cat character. This adds an element of the bizarre to the book.
  • Funny – The comic relief contrasts with the heavy parts of the storyline.


  • Pace – Some readers found that it took the plot too long to pick up the pace.

The Dalai Lama’s Cat – David Michie

The Dalai Lama's Cat

This book is told from the perspective of the Dalai Lama’s cat. She begins life in the slums of New Delhi, starving and dirty.

She is rescued and taken to Dharamsala, a peaceful sanctuary overlooking the Himalayas, where she becomes a lapcat to one of the world’s greatest spiritual leaders.

She is privy to the conversations he has with his many visitors – celebrities, athletes, academics, and spiritualists – and learns more and more about the world and life through each encounter.

The cat, who goes by many different names, offers readers a unique perspective on the wisdom of the Dalai Lama, with her own opinions thrown into the mix.

Her casual and often dismissive attitude is refreshing and comical, and her lovable personality makes this book irresistibly charming.


  • Series – This is book 1 of 5 in ‘The Dalai Lama’s Cat’ series, so if you enjoy it then there are plenty more to read. Each book takes you further on the cat’s journey of self-discovery and knowledge, and you will learn a thing or two along the way as well!
  • Different – There is something quite refreshing about a book with the cat as the main character, pondering some of life’s biggest questions but also thinking intensely about her next meal.


  • Simple – some readers might find the narrative too simple.

Second Chance Cats: True Stories Of The Cats We Rescue And The Cats Who Rescue Us – Callie Smith Grant

Second-Chance Cats: True Stories of the Cats We Rescue and the Cats Who Rescue Us

This is a collection of more than stories about rescue cats and their owners. The stories are true and heartwarming, with a running theme of how a rescue cat can end up rescuing their owner in ways they would never have imagined.

The stories are told by different authors, so each one has a unique style and perspective. The stories are short and quick to read, making this the perfect book to pick up and put down as and when you fancy an uplifting tale.

These stories show the different aspects of cat rescue, including both short-term fostering and long-term re-homing. The stories are moving and hopeful, with plenty of happy endings to keep you smiling.

If you love cats, especially if you have a soft spot for rescue cats, then you will really enjoy reading this book.


  • Theme – This book has an important message. These stories all highlight the importance of giving animals a second chance at happiness.
  • Emotive – The rescue cats featured in the stories are trying to find a forever home where they will be loved and accepted, and when they find their perfect human it is very touching to read.
  • Educational – If you are thinking of adopting a rescue cat, this is the perfect book for you to read. It will not only educate you on what it is like to rescue a cat, but it will also show you how important it is to open your home to animals who need to be rescued.


  • Style – The writing style is very simplistic which might not suit all readers.

The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide

The Guest Cat

‘The Guest Cat’ was written by an award-winning Japanese poet and became a bestseller in France. It is beautifully written and has a subtle yet emotive story that is very moving. It is about a couple in their 30s who live in a small cottage in Tokyo.

They both work from home, and it seems that over time a distance has formed between them. They don’t seem to talk to each other much anymore. One day, the couple is visited by a cat.

The cat walks into their kitchen, stays for a while, and then leaves. It becomes apparent that the cat will be a regular visitor, as it returns to their kitchen every day.

The couple finds a new lease on life as they talk about the cat, observe its behavior, and shower it with treats and gifts. Life has more meaning, a spark is rekindled in their relationship.

The couple is filled with hope. But then, something happens to change their new outlook on life.


  • Poetic – This book has a very poetic style that makes it a pleasure to read.
  • Descriptive – The descriptions are detailed, with lots of time spent on each element of the scene to allow the reader to visualize it fully. This makes the reading experience quite unique.
  • Nuanced – The storyline seems simple, but is filled with nuanced observations about human nature and how we live our lives. It is also a commentary on how we are affected by the passage of time – how our relationships with others and with ourselves change.


  • Translation – Some people found that the poignancy of the writing was lost in translation.

The Last House On Needless Street – Catriona Ward

The Last House on Needless Street

This book is a one-of-a-kind story that has been highly reviewed by many readers – including Stephen King! The tension builds consistently throughout, keeping you hooked until the very end.

It has been described as ‘frightening’, ‘nerve-shredding’, ‘unique’, ‘raw’, ‘dark’, and ‘chilling’. It is hard to categorize, but it has a lot of features of a psychological thriller.

On the end of a dead-end street is a boarded-up house with three inhabitants – a teenage girl who isn’t allowed outside, an alcoholic with memory issues, and a cat who likes to read the bible.

They are linked together by one thing – a terrible secret. When new neighbors move in next door, the secret becomes harder to keep.


  • Unexpected – It is impossible to predict the ending of this book. It has twists and turns that you don’t expect, and breaks down the very concept of ‘self’ and ‘identity’.
  • Unique – The storyline is original and the narrative is so intriguing. You won’t be able to stop reading, even when certain paragraphs leave you feeling disturbed and unsettled.
  • Character – Cat lovers will appreciate the sarcastic and strange cat character whose involvement in the story makes the book even more enjoyable.


Tailchaser’s Song – Tad Williams

Tailchaser's Song (Daw Book Collectors)

If you are looking for a classic work of fiction that features cats then you have to read ‘Tailchaser’s Song’. It was first published in 1985 and has continued to capture the imagination and hearts of readers since then.

The main character is Fritti Tailchaser, a ginger tomcat with a brave heart and a curious mind. His quest to rescue his friend, Hushpad, takes him on a perilous journey to cat hell and beyond.

He must face heroes and villains, friends and foes, including Mean – the mysterious erect hairless creatures he has heard so many legends about.

This is a classic adventure story set in the world of cats – think ‘The Hobbit’ meets ‘Watership Down’ with a feline theme. You see the world from the cat’s perspective and learn the words that they have created to navigate the world around them.


  • Characters – Fans of this book love the range of characters – there are good cats, evil cats, funny cats, cute cats, fighting cats, and more.
  • Reflective – The main character spends time reflecting on his time as a kitten and the changes he has gone through to become the cat he is, which makes this an interesting take on a coming-of-age story.


  • Pace – Some readers found that the pace was too slow.

Dewey: The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

This is a remarkable true story about Dewey, a kitten who was shoved in a book return slot at a library in a small town in Iowa.

He survived the coldest night of the year and was found the next morning by Vicki, a library worker who was facing troubles of her own. She had lost family members, got through a breast cancer scare, and had been dealing with an alcoholic husband.

Dewey immediately won Vicki’s heart, and he became the library cat. Over the next 19 years, Dewy went on to win the hearts of the entire town. News of his incredible story spread across the state, then across the U.S., and eventually across the world!

The book is written by Vicki herself, and is a first-hand account of her time with Dewey during his inspirational life. This book is not just about Dewey’s life, but also about Vicki.

She talks honestly and openly about the things she went through, and how having Dewey there for her was a big help.


  • Moving – It is a reminder of just how important pets are, and how they can bring so much happiness and comfort to a family. This is more than just a tribute to a much-loved pet, it’s a tribute to cats all over the world and the good that they do for their owners.


  • Story – Some readers found that there was too much of Vicki’s personal life in the book.

If Cats Disappeared From The World – Genki Kawamura

If Cats Disappeared from the World: A Novel

This heartwarming and original story is a big hit and has sold over 2 million copies worldwide. The main character is a young postman who lives alone with his cat, Cabbage, who received a troubling diagnosis from his doctor.

He only has a few months to live. Soon after, he is visited by the devil who promises the postman an extra day of life. In return, one thing in the world will disappear. He accepts the deal, and then again, and again.

As things begin to disappear from his life, he is forced to question which things are most important to him. What makes life worth living? How much does each ‘thing’ matter?

With Cabbage for company, the postman reflects on the life he has lived – his loves and his losses. This book manages to tackle some big questions and some heavy themes in such a simplistic way, making it accessible to lots of different readers.

It is very thought-provoking and achieves a poignancy that many books only strive for.


  • Thought-provoking – One of the great things about this book is that each reader will come away with a slightly different experience or a different lasting impression. This is because the meaning of life and what matters most varies from person to person, and the book encourages you to think about your own interpretation.
  • Theme – One common theme of the book is human connection and how important it is to our lives.


  • Sad – It might be too sad for some people – many readers found themselves brought to tears by this book.

Morte (War With No Name) – Robert Repino

Morte (War with No Name Book 1)

‘Morte’ is book 1 of 3 in the ‘War With No Name’ series by Robert Repino. This series is a dystopian sci-fi fantasy. The world is being taken over by a race of highly intelligent ants called The Colony.

The Colony has developed technology that turns animals into high-functioning creatures that walk on two legs and is using them to wipe out the humans.

The main character is Morte, a housecat who has been turned into a deadly assassin by the ant technology. He is known for his bravery and often takes on the most daring assignments.

But underneath the facade is his true motivation – he is looking for his old friend, a dog named Sheba.

He hasn’t seen Sheba since before the transformation, so when Morte receives a message from the humans that Sheba is still alive, he must investigate.

Morte’s personal mission will take him to places he never imagined, and will uncover secrets he never expected to find.


  • Theme – This is a story about animals, but it is also a story about humans and everything we have done wrong. It highlights how we have failed the planet and failed ourselves.
  • Character – Morte is an interesting character – his brutal point of view is contrasted by his sentimental feelings for his old friend. There are times when you can’t help but love Morte, and other times when you struggle to like him.


  • Abstract – Some readers found the concept quite abstract and difficult to understand.

The Master And Margarita – Mikhal Bulgakov

THE MASTER AND MARGARITA: 50th-Anniversary Edition (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

‘The Master And Margarita’ is considered to be one of the best pieces of modern Russian literature. It is based on the stories of Faust and Pontius Pilate and is set in 1930s Soviet Russia.

It was initially banned, and when it was finally released in the 1960s, three decades later, it was censored. You can now read the full version which is considered to be an eye-opening insight into life in Soviet Russia.

Moscow is a city that struggles to believe in God or Satan, so when the Devil arrives one hot summer, it causes chaos. He is accompanied by a naked witch and a talking black cat that likes to play chess and drink vodka.

While most of the Muscovites are up in arms about their visitors, there are two who find their arrival quite advantageous. The Master, and Margarita.


  • Classic – This book is a modern classic.
  • Interesting – This novel is not just an interesting story, it is also a philosophical study, a social commentary, and a truly unique reading experience.


  • Style – The writing style is unique and might be hard to adjust to for some readers.


There are so many different types of books about cats, so there is one to suit every reader. Whether you want something mysterious, creepy, funny, or moving, there is something on this list that you will enjoy.

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Noah Burton