Bookish Felines, A Few Of Literature’s Favorite Cat Characters

Written by: Kelli Brinegar
For more than five years, Kelli Brinegar has been using her ability to write and her passion for research to tell the tale of what cats are thinking and why. She has provided care to more than 30 cats in her lifetime.Read more
| Published on February 20, 2020

Cat lovers are often bookworms too.

And when these two worlds collide, there’s nothing better than curling up with a kitty and a good book.

Inside our books of wonder, we often find kitty cat characters who quickly become some of our favorite figures in literature. Purruse this collection of literary cats; see what kitties are familiar and which ones you might need to read more about.

Cats of Fantastical Realms

Fantasy novels feature characters of all kinds, from the everyday to the mythical. And while we consider cats part of our everyday world, there’s no denying there’s something magical about them. Which means felines serve as some of the best characters in fantasy literature.

The Cheshire Cat

Probably one of the most famous cats in literature, the Cheshire Cat comes to us from the mind of Lewis Carroll and his tales of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Full of riddles and what seems like nonsense, the ever-grinning Cheshire Cat reminds us “we’re all mad here.”


The Cats of the Harry Potter series

Crookshanks is the cat pal of Hermione Granger and has a standout moment in the series when Hermione accidentally mixes cat hair in a Polyjuice potion. The result left her looking like Crookshanks and gives fans a decidedly real moment of what living with a cat while playing with magic can lead to. While we can’t relate to the magic part, we can definitely understand the troubles of cat hair.

Marge McCown/Pinterest

Mrs. Norris is the right-hand kitty to Argus Filch and, in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter series, she was portrayed by a Maine Coon cat. And, as much else in the fandom, fans suspect more of Mrs. Norris, with theories abound regarding the cat’s true identity, but J.K. Rowling has stated on her website Mrs. Filch is just a highly intelligent and unpleasant cat. Unpleasant or not, she gives us tension at just the right moments, catching Harry, Ron and Hermione in moments where she thinks the trio is up to no good.

Fritti Tailchaser of Tailchaser’s Song

Fritti is the main character of Tad William’s fantasy novel Tailchaser’s Song and the “ginger tom cat of rare courage and curiosity” is faced with a harrowing journey to find a missing friend. Readers can’t help but fall for brave Fritti. Plus, the deep weave of cat folklore created by Williams is magical for cat lovers.

Behemoth of The Master and Margarita

Cats can be bad and readers have found a favorite bad cat in Mikhail Bulgakov’s cat character, Behemoth. A monstrous demon caught in cat form, his atrocious behavior makes him easy to loathe, but his wise-cracking dialogue and love of vodka actually makes him a fan favorite.    

Cats Captured in Rhyme

Dr. Seuss’s Cat in the Hat

Everybody knows the Cat in the Hat and he’s easily a literary favorite for his antics on a boring rainy day!

Dr. Seuss/Facebook

T.S. Eliot’s Practical Cats

First published in 1939, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats is a collection of poems capturing the secret world of cats. The Jellicle Cats of verse inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway smash Cats. The fun of the poems captures the magical world of cats in whimsy cat lovers can’t help but love. From Macavity the Mystery Cat to the Rum Tum Tugger, there’s a favorite poem for all feline fans.

Young Readers Love Cats Too  

From picture books to chapter books, children can find plenty to read about cats. Here are just two famous cats in the young reader genre, but don’t forget Skippyjon Jones, Pete the Cat, or Bad Kitty.

Beverly Cleary’s Socks

Socks is a young readers’ chapter book telling the story of a spoiled tabby cat who must come to terms with his growing family. Socks has been creating fans of tabby cats in young readers since the book was published in 1973.

Chester the cat of Bunnicula

A vampire bunny can’t outsmart a paranoid cat as Chester proves in James Howe’s Bunnicula. He’s sarcastic and intelligent, but a little on edge as he tries to convince dog brother, Howard, a menace lives among them.

Cats are a Mystery, but They Can Solve Them Too

Mystery novel fans love a crime-solving duo, but when one of the sleuths is a cat, the story becomes that much better. And sometimes two crime-solving cats are better than one…

Koko and YumYum of The Cat Who series

This pair of Siamese cat detectives and their human, Jim Qwilleran, have solved mysteries in over thirty novels and story collections since Lilian Jackson Braun debuted The Cat Who Could Read Backwards in 1966.

Diesel of Cat in the Stacks series

Maine Coon Diesel helps librarian Charlie Harris solve mysteries in this 13-book series of cozy mysteries. Fans love Diesel so much, he has his own Facebook page.

Mystery lovers who love cats should check out these series too:

  • A Magical Cats Mystery series by Sofie Kelly
  • A Cats in Trouble Mystery series by Leann Sweeney
  • Black Cat Bookshop Mystery series by Ali Brandon

Nonfiction cats

If real-life tales of overcoming obstacles are your favorite reads, check out these cat tales:

Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Bret Witter and Vicki Myron

A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen

Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned about Love and Life with a Blind Wonder Cat by Gwen Cooper

This list nowhere near covers all the cats featured in books because authors have found inspiration in felines since humans learned how to write. Hunting down all the cats in literature would prove an exhaustive task! This just means cat lovers should keep on reading so we can find every kitty in literature.

Oh darn, more reading!

This cat lover sure doesn’t mind!