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Best Cat Books for Kids, as Recommended by Teachers


Is your kid curious about cats or begging for a kitten of their own? Do they just love tales about kittens and feline friends? This list of cat books for kids includes cat stories as well as kid-focused cat reference books for young readers trying to up their cat IQ.

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

Picture Books About Cats for Early Readers

1. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Book cover of They All Saw the Cat by Brendan Wenzel with an illustration of a black cat walking, as an example of cat books for kids

This 2017 Caldecott Honor book offers a lesson on the perspectives of others as a cat is viewed on each page spread from the viewpoint of a different creature or human.

Buy it: They All Saw a Cat on Amazon

2. Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Book cover of Inside Cat by Brendan Wenzel with illustration of cat's head with big eyes and ears, as an example of cat books for kids

The inside cat in this book offers a lesson on how to avoid the common refrain “I’m bored” by following a cat as it wanders and observes the many details of the place it calls home.

Buy it: Inside Cat on Amazon

3. Cat Dog by Mem Fox, illustrated by Mark Teague

Book cover of Cat Dog by Mem Fox, illustrated by Mark Teague with illustration of dog laying on sofa looking at cat on floor, as an example of cat books for kids

This call-and-response book about a cat-and-dog pair who are joined by an intruding mouse offers up questions that appear to be answered one way, until situations are revealed to be not exactly as they appear.

Buy it: Cat Dog on Amazon

4. Hi, Cat! by Ezra Jack Keats

Book cover of Hi, Cat! by Jack Ezra Keats, with illustration of a young boy looking at a black cat

When a stray cat intrudes on his street show with neighborhood kids, Archie’s not pleased with the mischievous feline. But like many of Keats’ books, this day-in-the-life story of a kid (and a cat) ultimately leaves you feeling brighter.

Buy it: Hi, Cat! on Amazon

5. The White House Cat by Cylin Busby, illustrated by Neely Daggett

Book cover of White House Cat by Cylin Busby, illustrated by Neely Daggett with illustration of tabby cat sitting in front of the White House, as an example of cat books for kids

Willow Biden isn’t just the White House cat, she’s the first-ever White House cat—and in this book, she gives her own tour of the People’s House.

Buy it: The White House Cat on Amazon

6. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond

Book cover of If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff, illustrated by Felicia Bond with illustration of a black cat looking up at the air at falling cupcakes, as an example of cat books for kids

Numeroff and Bond famously collaborated on If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and are back, considering the fun and silly chain of events that occur if you give a cat a cupcake.

Buy it: If You Give a Cat a Cupcake on Amazon

7. Hero Cat by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen

Book cover of Hero Cat by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Jo Ellen McAllister Stammen with illustration of close up of cat's face

This book honors the tenth anniversary of the real-life drama of a homeless cat that ran into a burning building to save her kittens.

Buy it: Hero Cat on Amazon

8. Pete the Cat and the Treasure Map by James Dean

Book cover of Pete the Cat and the Treasure Map by James Dean with illustration of Pete the Cat wearing a pirate outfit and steering a boat with a parrot on the wheel, as an example of cat books for kids

The well-known and best-selling Pete the Cat is off on another adventure as he sets sail to find gold and jewels.

Buy it: Pete the Cat and the Treasure Map on Amazon

Chapter and Reference Books for Independent Readers

9. Magic Kitten: A Summer Spell by Sue Bentley, illustrated by Angela Swan

Book cover of Magic Kitten: A Summer Spell by Sue Bentley, illustrated by Angela Swan with illustration of orange kitten with blue sparkly background

Newly independent readers with a fondness for felines will love this first in a series about a girl lamenting her summer in the country until she meets a very cute and special kitten.

Buy it: Magic Kitten: A Summer Spell on Amazon

10. National Geographic Kids: Adventure Cat! by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld

Book cover of Adventure Cats! by Kathleen Zoehfeld with photo of cat on a kayak

The cool thing about this early reader is that all the stories are true. Readers meet three real cats in photo stories detailing their adventures.

Buy it: Adventure Cat! on Amazon

11. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Book cover of Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate with illustration of boy and giant sitting on park bench at night

Crenshaw the cat is imaginary in this very real middle-grade novel from Applegate. Jackson’s family falls on very hard times and he relies on his not-real but very important friend Crenshaw to help him through it.

Buy it: Crenshaw on Amazon

12. Socks by Beverly Cleary

Book cover of Socks by Beverly Cleary with gray and white illustrated cat on yellow background

Famed children’s author Beverly Cleary turns her uncanny ability to understand human nature into understanding pet nature in this story of a doted-on cat that gets jealous when a new baby arrives.

Buy it: Socks on Amazon

13. National Geographic Kids: Cat Breed Guide by Gary Weitzman and Stephanie Drimmer

Book cover of Cat Breed Guide by Gary Weitzman and Stephanie Brimmer with photos of various breeds of cats

Whether you’re in the market for a pet cat or just fond of felines, this full-color guide reviews 71 breeds, with fun facts included for each, as well as spreads dedicated to pop culture cats, prehistoric felines, and more.

Buy it: Cat Breed Guide on Amazon

14. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cats by Angela Rixon

Book cover of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cats by Angela Rixon with photographs of various types of cats

A comprehensive look at every size, shape, and stripe of domestic cat, this 256-page volume affords would-be cat owners and cat enthusiasts alike plenty of material to enjoy and consider.

Buy it: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Cats on Amazon

15. Brain Fun Picture Puzzles: All Cats! by Michele Filon

Book cover of Brain Fun Picture Puzzles: All Cats! by Michele Filon with photos of two identical cats wearing bow ties with the difference circled in red

Kitty-centric picture puzzles are more than cute. These visual challenges will keep young cat lovers entertained on rainy days or long car rides, and they’re good for mental acuity, too!

Buy it: Brain Fun Picture Puzzles: All Cats! on Amazon

16. The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids by Joanne Mattern

Book cover of The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids by Joanne Mattern with photograph of gray and white cat

Compiling a 12-book series of cat books into one 208-page volume, this all-things-cat reference book covers everything from breed origins and traits to care instructions for both common and rare house-cat types.

Buy it: The Cat Encyclopedia for Kids on Amazon

If you like these cat books for kids and want other animal book recommendations, check out our list of the Best Dog Books for Kids.

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