Columns > Published on March 26th, 2021

The Purr-fect Tail: 7 Books to Celebrate Respect Your Cat Day

They say dogs are man’s best friend, but ask any cat lover and they’ll tell you of the deep bond that exists between cats and their human servants companions. Sure, it may not look as friendly as what dogs have to offer — a cat won’t exactly leap up and cover your face with slobbery licks — but don’t let a cat’s calm exterior fool you. Deep down, these beautiful creatures are every bit as capable of love, affection, and yes, outright silliness, as their canine counterparts. You just need to know how to read them.

That’s where these books come in! From humor collections that perfectly capture what it’s like to share your lives with cats, to inspirational stories of real-life adventures, to novels that show the heart and soul of cat lives, these seven books will demonstrate just how rich, varied, and admirable cats can be. It may seem like an obscure reading niche, but after reading these books, every day will feel like Respect Your Cat Day.

1. "What Cats Want: An Illustrated Guide for Truly Understanding Your Cat" by Dr. Yuki Hattori

The first step toward respecting your cat is making sure you understand them. Too often, people think that cats are an entirely low-maintenance, hands-off pet, and this simply isn’t true. In order for your cat to be healthy and live its best nine lives, it needs attention, mental stimulation, a healthy diet, and more. In What Cats Want, Japan’s top veterinary doctor has compiled all his wisdom on caring for cats in a friendly, approachable volume. In less than 200 pages, you can learn everything you need to know to keep your kitty in tip-top shape and spirits, so that both of you can enjoy each other’s company for many years to come.

Get What Do Cats Want? at Bookshop or Amazon 


2. "Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats" by Georgia Dunn

Speaking of understanding your cat, sometimes you’ve just got to sit back and let them do the talking. Which is exactly what artist Georgia Dunn does in her comic, Breaking Cat News. Covering such important, hard-hitting headlines as "It’s 7:31am on a Saturday and the Food Bowl is Still Empty", and "The Vacuum Cleaner is Back", this trio of intrepid reporters will stop at nothing (except perhaps maybe a sunbeam) to bring you the household news that matters most. This delightful comic collection will entertain cat lovers of all ages with its charming watercolor illustrations, adorable humor, and perfectly captured cattitudes.

Get Breaking Cat News at Bookshop or Amazon 


3. "Felines of New York: A Glimpse into the Lives of New York's Feline Inhabitants" by Jim Tews

If you still haven’t had enough of the inner lives of cats, enter Felines of New York. Like the human counterpart, this coffee table book steps inside the homes of many cats living in The Big Apple, revealing their innermost hopes, dreams, and ambitions. Mostly, though, you’ll find that what they really want is a good meal and a long nap. Full of adorable photographs and “interviews” that will resonate with any cat owner, this is a must-read for anyone wanting to fawn over these delightful creatures — and a good reminder to the rest of us to take it easy for once. After all, it may not exactly be a self-help book, but the lessons cats teach us are often the next best thing.

Get Felines of New York at Bookshop or Amazon 


4. "Murder Past Due" by Miranda James

When it comes to comfort books, it’s hard to get better than a cozy mystery. And the best subgenre of cozy mystery? Ones starring an adorable feline companion, of course! Luckily for us, there’s a plethora of such books available for cat lovers, but for this list I’ll suggest you start with Murder Past Due. The first book in the Cat in the Stacks mystery series, this story introduces us to Charlie Harris, a lovable librarian in a small Mississippi town, and his Maine Coon companion, Diesel. When the town’s own celebrity novelist dies under suspicious circumstances, it’s up to Charlie and Diesel to sift through the suspects and find a killer.

Get Murder Past Due at Bookshop or Amazon


5. "The Travelling Cat Chronicles" by Hiro Arikawa

If solving murders isn’t your cup of tea, there’s always The Travelling Cat Chronicles. Think something like The Witcher books, but minus all of the blood and gore and plus a lot of wholesome cuteness. This international bestseller is told from the point of view of the titular cat, a former stray who’s taken in by a kindly human after being hit by a car. What starts as a somewhat tepid acquaintanceship on the streets soon becomes a tight-knit bond when the cat and his owner set off on a road trip across Japan. This sweet, tender story about unconditional love will break and then neatly mend your heart. Just be sure not to get your tears in your cat’s fur while reading!

Get ​The Travelling Cat Chronicles at Bookshop or Amazon 


6. "Nala’s World: One Man, His Rescue Cat, and Bike Ride Around the Globe" by Dean Nicholson

As we’ve clearly established by now, cats are incredible creatures. But some of them live even bigger lives than others, and when that happens, it’s up to us humans to document their amazing exploits. (After all, they can’t exactly type it up themselves!) Nala’s World is the purrfectly delightful memoir of a man on a quest to bicycle around the world, only to end up gaining a kitten companion early on. You may have seen his viral video, but in case you haven’t: Dean discovered Nala when she was starving on the side of the road, and as he nursed her back to health, the two of them developed such a deep connection that there was no way he was leaving her behind when he continued on his journey. It’s a heartwarming story of the ways cats bring joy and meaning to our lives, and the many adventures and lessons Dean and Nala learn along the way.

Get Nala's World at Bookshop or Amazon 


7. "Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself" by Carin Oliver

Now that you fully understand the importance of respecting your feline companion, it’s time to put that into practice and make your house their temple. And what better way to show your cat your love than by building their own, tailor-made castle? Cat Castles: 20 Cardboard Habitats You Can Build Yourself will show you how to do just that. From airplanes to rocket ships to nap tubes, the designs in this book are all easy to learn, inexpensive to build, and perfectly suited to pampering your prince or princess.

Get Cat Castles at Bookshop or Amazon 

So what are you waiting for? Time to get out there and show the cats in your lives exactly how much you love and respect them — scratches and all!

About the author

Emmanuel Nataf is a Founder at Reedsy, a marketplace and set of tools that allows authors and publishers to find top editorial, design and marketing talent. Over 3,000 books have been published using Reedsy's services.

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