Best Children's Books About Cats

48 of the Best Books About Cats

Updated Mar. 26, 2019

Whether you're a cat person, a dog person, both or neither, we still think cats make for some great story characters. They're practically oozing personality and their attitudes lend themselves well to some fantastic lessons. If you're looking for a great cat book, you've come to the right place and we hope you'll enjoy some of our favorite cat books as much as we do!

Max the Brave book
#1
Max the Brave
Written and illustrated by Ed Vere
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6
Thoughts from Mr. Stacatto

Max is a kitten that likes to chase mice. Or at least he's pretty sure he does. But, he just has one little problem. He doesn't know what a mouse looks like. Seeing as he's a brave kitten, though, he strikes out on an adventure to find and chase a mouse.

Max the Brave is a brilliant new picture book from Ed Vere. This is Max. Max the Brave, Max the Fearless, Max the Mouse-catcher... But, in order to be a Mouse-catcher, Max needs to know what a mouse is, so off he goes to find out. This hilarious new picture book from the phenomenally-talented Ed Vere introduces a new and lovable character, with Ed's trademark bold illustrations and clever story. Other Ed Vere titles to look out for: Banana; Bedtime for Monsters; Mr. Big; The Getaway Ed Vere studied fine art at Camberwell College of Art and has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1999. He is published in both England and the US. Ed is also a painter, working from his studio in east London and is represented by galleries in London and Los Angeles. After a year and a half living in Barcelona, Ed now lives and works in London.

Cat Nap book
#2
Cat Nap
Written by Toni Yuly
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This hide and seek book is so much fun! It took me a few pages in to realize, but I love that there is a mouse on each page, adding to the "hide and seek" appeal. :) I love how simple and bold the illustrations are, and especially love the personality you see in the cat's expressions!

Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

My first read through this book I was pretty underwhelmed (maybe it was just my mood!) but after my toddler rediscovered it and we read it a few more times, I've become a huge fan! It teaches opposites in a way that flows smoothly in this story of a cat and a kitten playing hide-and-seek, and consequently also teaches about how to play hide-and-seek! My toddler has since started to "read" this one himself, and illustrations give such great visual clues that he's able to match up the story really accurately, which is adorable. Looking for the mouse on each page is also a fun addition.

A kitten doesn't want to take a nap in this book about opposites by the author of Early Bird. It's naptime, and Cat is ready for Kitten to settle down. But Kitten has other ideas!In this book filled with opposites (big and little, black and white, sleepy and awake) Toni Yuly proves once again -as she did with Early Bird and Night Owl - that simple concepts come alive for the youngest readers through bold art and charming language.

Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats book
#3
Miss Hazeltine's Home for Shy and Fearful Cats
Written by Alicia Potter and illustrated by Birgitta Sif
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

An unexpectedly adorable book about bravery, courage, friendship, and passing it on. The little Roald Dahl-esque illustrations are cute and lend the perfect cat character to the story. The way Miss Hazeltine handles the cats' rehabilitation with love and empathy, sharing some of her own fears along the way, is perfectly returned as the cats and Miss Hazeltine learn that the true antidote to fear is love and friendship.

A tale with many tails, perfect for cat lovers everywhere! Miss Hazeltine is opening a very special school for shy and fearful cats. They come from all over, and Miss Hazeltine gives them lessons in everything, from “Bird Basics” to “How Not to Fear the Broom.” The most timid of all is Crumb. He cowers in a corner. Miss Hazeltine doesn’t mind. But when she gets in trouble and only Crumb knows where she is, will he find his inner courage and lead a daring rescue? Filled with adorable illustrations and ideal for fans of Disappearing Desmond and The Invisible Boy, Miss Hazeltine’s Home for Shy and Fearful Cats is a story that’s perfect for shy and fearful children as it both helps them face scary situations and accepts them just as they are.

Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty book
#4
Papillon: The Very Fluffy Kitty
Written and illustrated by Anna Kang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This silly story is so fun! I love the beautiful illustrations and all the ideas the owner has for Papillon. There's a nice message of friendship in this book, but it's mostly a silly, fun read.

Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he's lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly. One particularly sunny day, he floats right out the window! Exploring the wide world is exhilarating, but it's also a little scary. Will his new friend, a bird, be able to help him find his way home? Whimsical art and airy text come together seamlessly in this delightful debut by A. N. Kang.

Just a Duck? book
#5
Just a Duck?
Written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Carin Bramsen's illustrations are stunning and beautiful, and her tale is just as impressive. Clever rhymes share a meaningful story about the unique talents of each person (and duck) and how what may seem simple to us can be very helpful to someone else!

Now that Cat has learned to play games that Duck enjoys, it’s Duck’s turn to try things that Cat likes. However, climbing trees and swatting at leaves prove to be a bit tricky for flat-footed Duck. What’s an unlikely pair of friends to do?

There Are No Bears in This Bakery book
#6
There Are No Bears in This Bakery
Written and illustrated by Julia Sarcone-Roach
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a super cute book with an unexpected turn or two that will keep you on your toes! It's masterfully written to create wonder and suspense, with room for a few giggles as well. This is a great opportunity for introducing the mystery, onomatopoeia, and similies—the description language is absolutely gorgeous!

The creator of the "New York Times"-bestselling "The Bear Ate Your Sandwich" delivers another sly story of a hungry bear and a smooth-talking narrator: a tough gumshoe of a cat named Muffin. Full color.

Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1! book
#7
Animal Inn 3-Books-in-1!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The first three novels in the Animal Inn chapter book series, where the fur—and fun—flies at an animal spa and hotel, are now available together in a fur-tastic paperback edition! The Animal Inn is an all-inclusive pet resort and spa for animals from dogs to rabbits, cats to ducks, parrots to lizards. From doggie and kitty daycare, to grooming, and group play—you name it, and the Animal Inn has it. The Inn is run by the Tyler family along with their pets Leopold, the Macaw; Fuzzy and Furry, the gerbils; dogs Dash and Coco; felines Shadow and Whiskers; and a rollicking horde of animal visitors. In A Furry Fiasco, when the animals hear that a new boarder—a Komodo Dragon—will be coming to the Inn, they panic! Will it gobble them all up and then devour their family? In Treasure Hunt, the animals are convinced a pirate with a glittering treasure is visiting the Animal Inn. Will the animals have to walk the plank in order to survive? Arghhh! And in The Bow-Wow Bus, Cassie Tyler’s first grade class takes a field trip to Animal Inn for a meet and greet. And it’s a furry good time for all—even for the newest kid in class, a goldfish named Blub.

Otis and the Kittens book
#8
Otis and the Kittens
Written and illustrated by Loren Long
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On the farm where Otis the tractor lives, it hasn’t rained in a long time and farmers all over the valley have grown anxious with water in such short supply. One hot afternoon, when Otis and his friends are resting beneath the shade of the apple tree, Otis spots something moving down in the valley—an orange tabby cat headed straight for the old barn. But then Otis sees something else that causes his engine to sputter . . . a swirl of smoke coming from the same barn. A fire! As Otis races toward the fire with his friends in tow, he spots the tabby cat mewing in alarm. Otis rushes inside to discover the source of the cat’s worries–her little kittens are perched up on the hayloft, scared. Otis never hesitates. Yet even after he delivers a tractor full of kittens safely outside, their mama remains upset. Re-entering the burning barn, Otis discovers why: one tiny kitten, still too scared to move. With a friendly chuff, Otis coaxes her down and she scampers out the door. That’s when the floor collapses with a CRASH, trapping the tractor. Now Otis, the friend everyone can count on, must count on his friends. Told with a sense of play and devotion, this is a heartwarming tale that reminds readers that sometimes even those who we count on to help us need a little help themselves. From the creator of Otis, Otis and the Puppy, and the illustrator of The Little Engine That Could and Of Thee I Sing by President Barack Obama.

I Am the Boss of This Chair book
#9
I Am the Boss of This Chair
Written by Carolyn Crimi and illustrated by Marisa Morea
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

Friendship and sharing seem just as linked in books as they are in real life! The illustrations in this book are absolutely gorgeous, and the color combinations are especially lovely and unique. While initially "being the boss" of all the things seems most important, it turns out having a co-boss is actually a lot more fun, and the lesson is just as applicable to siblings and friends as it is cohabitating cats!

Pom-Pom the kitten threatens to unseat Oswald, a top cat who thinks he's top dog--even to the extent of taking over a favorite chair.

Cat Wishes book
#10
Cat Wishes
Written by Calista Brill and illustrated by Kenard Pak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

There's no such thing as a wish. Or is there? In this playful fairy tale, ever-skeptical Cat learns that wishes can come true—and not always in the ways we expect. After all, true magic lies in our connections with others, not just in the wishes we make.

Stack the Cats book
#11
Stack the Cats
Written and illustrated by SUSIE GHAHREMANI
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I'm not a cat person (at all), but these cats are pretty darn cute, as is this book. I like the incorporation of a tiny bit of math (you can talk about addition and multiplication if you want to, or 100% ignore it!) and the silliness is front and center. The colors in this book are also amazing.

Stack the Cats is a charming book about counting and organizing cats in various formations. But when the cats decide to go their own way—as cats often will—it’s time to count down until there’s only one proud cat and bird left. Counting forward and backward, understanding when there is more or less of something, and grouping and recognizing items are key early math skills for toddlers, making these books as developmentally sound as they are visually engaging.

Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy? book
#12
Kitty Cones: What Makes Us Happy?
Written and illustrated by Ralph Cosentino
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Discover all the little things that make the Kitty Cones happy in this sweet book of illustrations from Ralph Cosentino. Life is full of happy moments, from playing on the beach to chasing rainbows, and even running outside when it sprinkles! Join best friends Miyu, Yumi, and Koko as they discover what makes them happy. Filled with clever and endearing art from author and illustrator Ralph Cosentino, this Kitty Cones book teaches kids to value friendship, help others, and enjoy the little things in life.

The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read book
#13
The Summer Nick Taught His Cats to Read
Written by Curtis Manley and illustrated by Kate Berube
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story about Nick teaching his cats to read is especially good for cat lovers! It's fun and humorous to read about how Nick teaches his cats to read, ending with a fun twist of Nick wanting to teach the cats how to talk next.

When Nick decides to teach his cats to read, Verne is very much interested, especially in books about mice and fish, but Stevenson wants nothing to do with the project--or does he?

Bits & Pieces book
#14
Bits & Pieces
Written and illustrated by Judy Schachner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

New York Times bestseller and fan favorite Judy Schachner presents a warmly affectionate portrait of a family’s devotion to their beloved cat. Tink has everything he ever wanted – delicious treats, hugs and kisses, and even a kitten to raise. The only thing missing is wild outdoor adventure. So when the opportunity arises, Tink sneaks out – and becomes an outdoor cat for one unforgettable night. Like cozy favorites such as Clare Turlay Newberry’s Marshmallow and Mo Willems’ City Dog, Country Frog, and with soft, meltingly tender illustrations that match the poignant tale, Judy Schachner proves what a superlative storyteller she is with this loving family story.

Kitten's First Full Moon book
#15
Kitten's First Full Moon
Written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Kevin Henkes's acclaimed national bestseller about a kitten, the moon, and a bowl of milk was awarded the Caldecott Medal and was a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. This sturdy board book edition is perfect for little hands! Kitten's First Full Moon is an acclaimed modern classic, from one of the most celebrated and beloved picture book creators working in the field today. This memorable character and her suspenseful adventure are just right for the very youngest child. It is Kitten's first full moon, and when she sees it she thinks it is a bowl of milk in the sky. And she wants it. Does she get it? Well, no . . . and yes. What a night! A concise story, large type, and luminescent pictures play second fiddle to the true star of this book: a brave young kitten who sets out into the world on a quest that leaves her bruised, bewildered, and hungry, but that ultimately leads her back home, where something special is waiting just for her. This perfectly sized board book edition introduces Kitten to a new generation of the youngest readers. Winner of the Caldecott Medal, an ALA Notable Book, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book, and winner of the Charlotte Zolotow Award.

They All Saw a Cat book
#16
They All Saw a Cat
Written and illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

They All Saw A Cat — New York Times bestseller and 2017 Caldecott Medal and Honor Book The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . . In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see? If you and your child liked The Girl Who Drank the Moon, Finding Winnie, and Radiant Child — you'll love They All Saw A Cat "An ingenious idea, gorgeously realized." —Shelf Awareness, starred review "Both simple and ingenious in concept, Wenzel's book feels like a game changer." —The Huffington Post

I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) book
#17
I Hate My Cats (A Love Story)
Written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Anna Pirolli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Ginger is the weird one. She plays with peas, purrs at artichokes, and has a strange fondness for chicken (but only the neighbor's chicken). Then there's Fred. His greatest talent? Sleeping. Oh, and hiding. And when he's not hiding, he's conspiring with Ginger to destroy the house! Such is life with cats. . . can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em—if you love them, that is. And yet the question remains: Why are these captivating creatures so marvelously maddening?! From internationally bestselling author Davide Cali, this humorous picture book about a cat owner and his beguiling felines celebrates quirky cat companions, impurrfections and all.

Hey, Duck! book
#18
Hey, Duck!
Written and illustrated by Carin Bramsen
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Carin Bramsen's Duck and Cat make their board book debut! A small little duckling is trying to befriend another duck, but what if that "duck" . . . is actually a cat? Toddlers will love this quack-tastic story about fun and friendship.

How to Be a Cat book
#19
How to Be a Cat
Written and illustrated by Nikki McClure
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

In this tender board book, a kitten practices the basics of feline behavior over the course of a day. A single word of text per spread teaches readers "how to be a cat"--how to stretch, clean, pounce, feast--while the striking paper cuts illustrate the kitten's attempts to imitate an adult cat's mastery of each skill. At times, the kitten triumphantly succeeds, and at other times the kitten struggles, in vignettes that range from whimsical to profound. A celebration of all things feline, How to Be a Cat also tells a universal story of mastering life skills, and of the loving relationship between parent and child.

Meow! book
#20
Meow!
Written and illustrated by Victoria Ying
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Ying's expressive, anthropomorphic feline family is utterly endearing, and small humans will easily recognize themselves. A charmer."—Kirkus Meow? Meow? MEOW! Meow! is a charming, mostly wordless picture book about a feisty young kitten who gets frustrated when her family is too busy to play. Featuring expressive art and sparse text, this fun read-aloud will allow parents and kids to creatively tell the story by expressing just one word in lots of different ways. This sweet and clever picture book is sure to charm readers through to the final purr. Perfect for fans of the New York Times bestselling They All Saw a Cat, Spot, the Cat, and all cat lovers!

I See Kitty book
#21
I See Kitty
Written and illustrated by Yasmine Surovec
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-4

Love that Kitty! The most adorable picture book of the year invites the very youngest cat lovers to find Kitty in the world around them. Chloe loves kitties. She wants a cat so much that she sees Kitty everywhere she goes: at the bus stop, in her backyard, in the starry night sky, even in her dreams. From debut children's book illustrator Yasmine Surovec comes a story so adorable that if you don't already love cats you will by the time you're done reading it. In the tradition of iconic preschool books like Where's Spot?, I See Kitty uses bright, bold artwork to appeal to very young readers and charm them for generations to come.

There's No Place Like Space book
#22
There's No Place Like Space
Written by Tish Rabe and illustrated by Aristides Ruiz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat introduces Sally and Dick to the planets, stars, and moons in our universe.

Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat book
#23
Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat
Written and illustrated by Paul Linnet, Sue Hendra
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Keith—a very cute cat with a magical hat! When Keith wears the hat, it makes bunnies appear out of nowhere! It even makes a stick move all on its own! But when Keith’s hat falls off, will the magic still work and save the day?

Fuddles book
#24
Fuddles
Written and illustrated by Frans Vischer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Fuddles is a fat, lazy housecat who’s never experienced the Great Outdoors. One day, his family leaves the door open a crack and Fuddles seizes the chance to slip out, but things aren’t quite as he expected. In a series of hilarious mishaps, including a run-in with the neighborhood dog, Fuddles realizes that life indoors was actually pretty good. Told with deadpan humor and charming art, Fuddles is sure to steal readers’ hearts.

Here Comes Santa Cat book
#25
Here Comes Santa Cat
Written by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Claudia Rueda
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Just in time for the holidays—here comes Santa Cat! From the author of The Quiet Book and Here Comes the Easter Cat comes a hilarious holiday adventure! Cat took on a bunny in Here Comes the Easter Cat, but now Christmas is coming, and Cat has a hunch he’s not on Santa’s “nice” list. Which means? No presents for Cat. So he tries to be good, but children, it seems, aren’t wild for his brand of gift-giving. Still, Cat might surprise himself, and best of all, he may just get to meet the man in the red suit himself—and receive a holiday surprise of his own. Fans of Pete the Cat, Splat the Cat, and Bad Kitty will delight in this holiday treat.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.