40 Favorite Cat Books for Kids

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I have a cat-crazy daughter who loves everything to do with cats…She owns cat stuffed animals, dresses up as a cat, plays pretend cat, and reads cat books. That’s why we’ve been curators of the best cat books for kids — picture books, chapter books, and middle grade books.

You’ll find many kinds of feline books, including books about pet cats, rescue cats, kittens, a cat ninja book, magical cats, and more.

So for all you cat lovers, I hope you and your feline friends enjoy these cat books as much as we do!

Cat Books

Cat Books: Picture Books

Happy Cats by Catherine Amari and Anouk Han, illustrated by Emi Lenox
Young readers will love this playful book of opposites for cat-loving kids with wonderful illustrations…”fluffed cat / bare cat / round cat / square cat.

Atticus Caticus

Atticus Caticus by Sarah Maizes, illustrated by Kara Kramer
A boy and his adorable cat friend have a fun day in this rhythmic, darling story with hilarious made-up words and a sweet relationship. “Atticus Caticus jumps…/SPLAT-a-tat-taticus!” From waking up to breakfast all the way to bedtime where the cat sleeps on his head, these two best friends always have fun. A perfect read aloud book for the kids on your lap.

Scaredy Cats by Jeff Mack
When a wrapped gift arrives, the kittens imagine what it could be…Maybe a cake? Or a hungry crocodile! Or a cake and a crocodile? They continue to what if– which is hilarious– as are the exuberant illustrations. What do you think is in the box? This is a perfect read aloud for preschoolers who will love to guess along with the kittens.

Glamourpuss by Sarah Weeks, illustrated by David Small
Cat owners know that living the high life is precisely what cats aspire to do. And lucky for Glamourpuss, she’s lavished with everything she needs to be . . . glamorous. That is until Bluebell the dog arrives with a visiting relative. I love the vivid illustrations and true-to-life dreams of a diva cat — who transforms the dog into a glamourous dog!

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean
Preschoolers love to sing along with the Pete the Cat song: “I love my white shoes, I love my white shoes . . .” It will get stuck in your head — and you won’t mind! This story is all about going with the flow …cause it’s all good.

Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats by Alicia Potter, illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Cat lovers will appreciate Miss Hazeltine’s love for cats who are afraid of everything; I know I do! Miss Hazeltine opens her house to all shy cats and gently helps them learn about birds, climbing, noises, new friends, pouncing, and brooms. The illustrations are whimsical and charming; the story is wonderful — the cats face their fears to rescue their beloved Miss Hazeltine.

Maya and the Lost Cat by Caroline Magerl
Rich in figurative language and imagery, Maya rescues a cat but then searches for its owners. Finally, she finds where the cat belongs. As a thank you, the cat gives her a gift — a kitten. Gorgeous word choice and illustrations! “Then, sly and gentle, Cat carried something… a small and cloudy gray bundle…and gave her kitten to Maya.

Bathe the Cat by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by David Roberts
Laugh with this silly story about two dads and their kids trying to do chores to prepare for Grandma’s visit…but when the cat hears that bathing the cat is on the list of chores, the cat slyly rearranges the letters and words into goofy chores such as feeding the floor, sweeping the dishes, and scrubbing the fishes. The LGBTQ+ family does all sorts of weird things until one dad realizes the problem — and captures the cat so they can do the correct chores.

I Don’t Know What to Call My Cat by Simon Philip, illustrated by Ella Bailey
Our cute but clueless heroine will crack you up! She’s trying to find a new temporary pet from the zoo (!) when her cat disappears which goes poorly. Luckily her cat comes back with some new name information. Kids will enjoy the perfect name brainstorm!

Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Lola is one of my kids favorite picture book characters! Now she is getting a cat from a shelter. When the cat picks her, Lola takes her home and help her kitty feel comfortable. Warning: I think that there’s a high probability your kids will want their own cat after reading this book.

Dear Stray written by Kirsten Hubbard, illustrated by Susan Gal
Written in letters to her newly adopted kitten, a little girl explains that she can relate to the prickly, stretchy stray kitten full of fury. She admits that she imagined more purring and less scratching. As the little girl goes through the ups and downs of emotions, she knows that she and her fierce little tiger need each other…and love each other. More than a simple book about a cat, this is a tenderhearted story about understanding yourself and your big feelings. Absolutely lovely.

Flat Cat written by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Flat Cat likes being flat. So when Flat Cat accidentally becomes big and fluffy, he hates that everyone wants to hug and grab and squeeze him. Luckily, Aunt Harriet smooshed him back to his old flat self. Except, now he’s not as happy –and he kind of misses being smooshed and smooched and snuggled. Maybe Flat Cat does want to be a cuddly cat? This darling book will appeal to the Flat Cats in all of us! Pete Oswald’s illustrations add pizazz and charm.

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read by Curtis Manley and Katie Berube
Nick, our main character, does everything with his cats — except read books. That’s why Nick decides to teach his cats to read. Verne, the cat, is interested, but Stevenson, the cat, is not. Until . . . Nick discovers Stevenson’s drawing. All Stevenson the cat needs are words, and he’ll write his own story to read!

Stretchy McHandsome by Judy Schachner
If you like sweet stories with happy endings, you’ll love this story of a cat who finds his person and whose brother and sister cats find their people, too. Stretchy sets off on an adventure and discovers a girl who loves him at first sight. Their bond is made even better when her 8 brothers and sisters adopt Stretchy’s brothers and sisters.

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABCs (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell
Look carefully as the cartoon cat in red runs through the pages and finds unexpected silliness with an alligator trying to eat him, a bear up a tree, a chicken squawking out of her coop, and so on, with each page representing one letter of the alphabet. A uniquely imagined story in alphabetical order.

There Are Cats in This Book by Viviane Schwarz
You’ll love searching for cats in this laugh-out-loud book — it’s one of our favorites.

Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Repetition and rhyme with short, punchy words and phrases depict Inside Cat’s observation and expertise on Outside as he observes it through the windows. Inside “Wanders. Wonders. Naps. Knows what’s hiding in the gaps.” Outside is full of color while inside, only the cat is full of color. Cat thinks he might know it all — until. Oh. The last page shows him walking outside into a beautiful, amazing world that is ready for exploration. 

The Catawampus Cat by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by Gus Gordon
A small gray cat walks into town, slightly tilted to one side. At first, the townspeople try to straighten him out, but that didn’t work. What did work was for the people to tilt and notice life differently? Which created all sorts of wonderful, happy results for everyone. You’ll walk (and see life) a little differently after reading this super special slanty picture story!

Poor Puppy and Bad Kitty by Nick Bruel
You’ll be laughing through this silly alphabetical story about Puppy and Kitty and their playful adventures.

Frank and Laverne by Dave Whamod and Jennifer Stokes, illustrations by Dave Whamod
This book perfectly captures the differences between cats and dogs. It’s two different stories (flip the book to start the second story)– one told from the irritated cat’s perspective and the other from the loving dog’s. These classic opposites will have very distinct perspectives on life.

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Use this beautiful book to talk about perspective. The cat walks through the world. And is seen by different creatures, each who sees the cat differently depending on their background knowledge. It’s SUCH a cool book on point of view, especially for classrooms. LOVE.

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News that Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn
These are hilarious, tongue-in-cheek cartoons of cats reporting the latest news from their oh, so news-worthy lives. As you can imagine, they report breaking news about empty food bowls, the best sunspots, and the vacuum cleaner’s return as well as life’s many mysteries. Good stuff, right?! What would the humans think about these same events?

Strange Planet The Sneaking, Hiding, Vibrating Creature by Nathan W. Pyle
A HILARIOUS story of aliens investigating a strange creature prowling around their house. First, they notice and record the creature’s behaviors. Next, the aliens try to imitate the behaviors but,, unfortunately, can’t quite do any of them very well — which is funny. As they narrate their day, make inferences about the words that the aliens use for everyday objects; words like “starblock fabrics” and “ink cylinder.” Highly recommended!

The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank by David Lee Miller and Steven Jay Rubin, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
The story of Anne Frank is familiar to adults but pretty heavy to introduce to children. However, this picture book is a kid-appropriate introduction to Anne Frank’s story from a cat’s perspective.

Cat Books: Chapter Books

The Cosmic Adventures of Astrid and Stella by Sabrina Moyle, illustrated by Eunice Moyle
Astrid and Stella (and their robot) are ready to rocket into outer space. When they get a distress call from Caturn about Kittywonkus taking over the planet, they decide to save the planet –but how will they get Kittywompus to break the spell? When they succeed, they head to the planet Bloop for a beach vacation. Filled with puns, hilarity, adventure, and cuteness — this is sure to be a new favorite story for your 6- to 9-year-olds.

Misty the Abandoned Kitten (Pet Rescue Adventures) by Holly Webb
In this charming easy chapter book, Amy finds and secretly cares for a kitten. We learn that the kitten does belong to someone, an older person with a bossy bigger cat so the kitty didn’t get enough to eat or any attention and ran away. Luckily, all’s well that ends well, Amy gets to keep the kitty! This book is a good choice for cat lovers.

Emmet and Jez Adventures in Fosterland by Hannah Shaw, illustrated by Bev Johnson (ages 6 – 9)
Jez, a kitten with three legs, assumes that Emmett is a kitten. Emmett notices that he’s not a very good kitten — and learns that it’s because he’s a pig. They wonder what Foreverland will be like. Emmett’s Foreverland is exactly what he always dreamed of — a friendly farm with other pigs and cows and many new friends. A funny and sweet book about kindness and learning to be yourself.

Bad Kitty Supercat by Nick Bruel 
Bad Kitty’s owner tells Bad Kitty to get off screens and play with some other cats. But Bad Kitty isn’t happy about having playdates. Eventually, Playdate Candidate #4 (Strange Kitty) brings imagination and comic books and Strange Kitty helps Bad Kitty find his superhero persona –just in time to meet the supervillain! Playful, imaginative, and hilarious–this is my new favorite Bad Kitty book and his first graphic novel.

Kitty and Dragon by Meika Hashimoto, illustrated by Gillian Reid
In three sweet friendship stories, meet Kitty and her new friend, Dragon, who live together in a cave. Buy the book and/or read the darling stories on the popular Epic website.

Cat Ninja by Matthew Cody, illustrated by Yehudi Mercado
By day Claude is Leon’s pet, but by night, he’s Cat Ninja, Metro City’s protector! His nemesis is Leon’s sister’s evil hamster, Master Hamster. Learn the Cat Ninja’s origin story, then follow his perilous, exciting, and humorous adventures!

Frank and the Bad Surprise by Martha Brockenbrough, illustrated by Jon Lau
The humans forget all about Frank the cat when they add a new puppy to the family. It takes running away and (writing many angry letters) for Frank to appreciate his home and the new puppy. In fact, back at home, Frank gives the puppy a name — which he writes in a letter to his humans.

Kitty and the Moonlight Rescue by Paula Harrison, illustrated by Jenny Lovlie
Kittie’s mom is a superhero with cat powers, but Kitty isn’t ready to do what her mom does. However, when her mom is gone, a cat named Figaro comes to her that needs help. Kitty wants to help so she decides to be brave. Wearing her cat costume, she travels through the night to help her new cat friends– and discovers she can do more than she thought possible.

Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties by Tom Watson
Stick Cat and his neighbor kitty, Edith, want to save their neighboring piano man whose arms are stuck inside the piano. but HOW? Well, their rescue involves a laundry line 23 floors above the ground and the pockets of an apron. Even though the neighbor cat, Edith, isn’t the smartest, she helps Stick Cat and unknowingly saves the day.

Jenny and the Cat Club: A Collection of Favorite Stories about Jenny Linsky
We adore the fearless Jenny, who lives with an old sea captain and has her own cat club of cat friends. Good news, the Jenny cat books have their own series!

Cat Books: Middle Grade Books

Gaby, Lost and Found by Angela Cervantes
I picked this book because of the cat pictured on the front cover — and found it more meaningful than I had expected. Gaby loves animals and hopes to one day adopt a cat. But that’s not possible since her mom was deported to Honduras. Now Gaby had to live with her neglectful father but she hopes that when her mom returns, everything will be better and she can adopt her favorite shelter cat.

Warriors by Erin Hunter
Both my kids (and I) loved the Warriors cat books about a unique clan civilization of wild cats. It follows the story of a former house cat who joins ThunderClan. Not everyone accepts this former domestic cat. He’ll have to prove himself in order to help his clan fight the menacing ShadowClan. These are essential books for cat lovers.

The Cat Who Came In off the Roof by Annie M.G. Schmidt
What a charming story! Mr. Tibble meets the strange cat-like Miss Minou as he is about to be fired from his reporter job since he only writes about cats, not news. Miss Minou, who used to be a cat, uses her cat connections to help Mr. Tibble discover news to save his job. He, of course, doesn’t believe Miss Minou used to be a cat. However, it is strange that she wants to sleep in a box with newspaper and climbs trees in terror whenever dogs come around.

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West FANTASY (series)
My daughter introduced me to this awesome book series about a house that seems to be haunted with paintings that lead to other worlds and mysteriously cryptic, talking cats. Olive soon learns that the previous owners trapped many people in the paintings, including a boy Olive befriends who is now a 2D painting. The plot’s twistings kept me wondering what was happening, and I loved the main character’s gumption and her supportive feline friends.

First Cat in Space by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris 
Absurdly hysterical, this is a bizarrely perfect adventure in space with a cat main character and a toenail-clipping robot who journey into space to stop the rats from eating the moon. Silly adventures ensue –like befriending a whale, becoming pirates, and answering a sphynx’s riddle — plus plenty of drama and creative world-building.

Katie the Catsitter by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Stephanie Yue 
Katie desperately wants to join her friends at their summer camp. To earn money, she gets a job for her neighbor Madeline catsitting 217 super smart cats who have destructive behaviors and powerful abilities. Just when she realizes that her neighbor might be the supervillain, Moustress, the Moustress gets captured. Katie decides she and the cats must save their friend.

The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint and Charles Vess
Beautiful illustrations accompany this sweet, adventurous fantasy story of a girl, Lillian, who is saved from a deadly snake bite by the forest cats. Only to save her, the cats turn Lillian into a kitten. She journeys through the forest to find someone who can help her turn back into a girl. Brilliant character development and a very thought-provoking theme of our choices and the possibilities in life.

The Curious Cat Spy Club by Linda Joy Singleton
Three kids from seemingly different social circles band together to rescue kittens that they find in a dumpster. Now their newly formed detective club wants to discover who dumped these innocent kittens. The answer surprises everyone. Each book in this lovely, well-written mystery series is about three kind kids who solve mysteries.

Pounce! National Geographic Kids
You can train cats?! Tips and strategies beyond litter box training will astonish you. Roll over, beg, high-five? Who knew!? This children’s book is chock-full of great information and ideas plus problem solving and enrichment. Full-color photos, beautiful layouts, plus a wealth of information make this an engaging, all-encompassing book that every cat owner needs.


Our Wild Tails: The Adventures of Henry & Baloo by Cynthia Bennett
Bennett’s family adopts Henry, a mountain dog who loves to hike and camp. But, he has severe separation anxiety — hyperventilating and refusing water and food. After three years, the family decides to give Henry a companion, a kitten named Baloo. The two become the best of friends, hiking together, sleeping together, and playing together. Baloo often rides on Henry’s back — which is adorable!

I have a cat-crazy daughter who loves everything to do with cats...She has cat stuffed aninals, dresses up as a cat, and reads cat books. That's why we've been curators of the best cat books for kids -- picture books, chapter books, and middle grade books.

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  1. Can anyone help me find a book about a cat that doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up, an alley cat, a house cat? I used to read it to my daughter in the early 90s

  2. I have been forever looking for a Childress book about a cat that dies t know what he wants be when he grows up, an alley cat, a house cat, can anyone tell me what book that is? I used to read it nightly to my daughter in the early 90s