Recently, we adopted two kittens and my son is currently cat-obsessed! We have been reading lots of cat books and made a list of our favorites. It is a mix of old and new books from some of our favorite authors, as well as a few newly-discovered ones! You’ll recognize some of these characters — Pete the Cat, Lola, and Cat from the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie show. We were able to borrow all of them from our local library, so hopefully your library will carry them too!
Twelve Great Cat Books
1. I Love Cats! by Sue Stainton–
My son loves this book about a kid who wants the world to know that “I love cats!” The rhyming text and bold, energetic illustrations will keep your child engaged with this cat book. This book highlights all different kinds of cats — scaredy cats, prancing cats, and cuddly cats — in all different colors and sizes. Your child will love looking at the pictures and giggle at the silliness!
2. Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan–
In this beautifully illustrated book, a night watchman says goodbye to his family and goes to work at a construction site. The night is full of noises from animals and cars, and suddenly, meows from a stray kitten. The watchman is gentle and empathetic with the little cat. The kitten follows the man through the site and they check to make sure all is well. The construction vehicles make whimsical shadows and the night sounds inspire kids to mimic them. Once the man’s shift is done, the kitten gets in the car and heads home with the watchman to meet its new family. Your child will want to pour over the pages and reread this lovely story over and over again.
3. Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons by Eric Litwin —
Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons is not only one of my favorites to read at the library’s preschool story-time, but it is one of my son’s favorites too. The book is set up in the call-and-response style, which makes it interactive and fun for both me and my son. You and your child will enjoy chanting along with Pete as his buttons pop off. This is one of the original Pete the Cat books written by Eric Litwin and it is much shorter and more sing-songy than the more recent ones written by James and Kimberly Dean.
4. Kitten for a Day by Ezra Jack Keats —
A young puppy stumbles upon a bunch of kittens and wants to play with them. The cats wonder if puppy can be kitten? Sure he can — just watch. Puppy tries his best to copy the kittens, but he is just not as graceful as a cat, or quiet as a cat, or as good at chasing mice. Mama dog comes to fetch her puppy. Will the cats want to play again? Absolutely! And next time they will pretend to be dogs. Your preschooler will giggle at the puppy trying to be a cat. With only a couple words per page, this book encourages children to infer what is happening from the illustrations and tell you the story!
5. Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj–
This is a fun, interactive book that your preschooler will enjoy 🙂 In order to learn the top-secret cat secrets, the reader must prove they are a cat! Meow, purr, nap, and do other cat-like things to earn the cats’ trust so that the secrets can be revealed to you. Keep a lookout for the sneaky mouse!
6. Cat Problems by Jory John–
Get ready to laugh as a pampered house cat lists all of its grievances! The sun doesn’t hold still so Cat cannot always be in the sunlight. Sometimes the food gets low, and not only that, but it is dry food instead of wet food. And the other cat gets all of the best napping spots! Plus, the squirrel is outside and Cat is stuck inside. Sigh. I bet you didn’t know it was so hard to be a cat! Even if you don’t have a cat, you will get a laugh out of this book.
7. If You Give a Cat a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff–
Preschoolers love Laura Numeroff’s “If You Give” series and this cat story will not disappoint. In this book, find out what happens if you give a cat a cupcake! Sprinkles, a mess, a trip to the beach, and a tour of a science museum ensue. Full of silliness, some crazy “ifs,” and a cute cat, preschoolers will enjoy hearing this story over and over again.
8. Skeleton Cat by Kristyn Crow–
Kristyn Crow writes great spooky books for preschoolers! In this rhyming, rocking book, Skeleton Cat comes back to the land of living after his bones are struck by lightning. He goes searching for the perfect band to accompany his drumming. Preschoolers will love the illustrations and the rock-n-roll fun of this book!
9. Cooking with the Cat by Bonnie Worth–
While not written by Dr. Seuss, this book does feature one of his most famous characters, the Cat in the Hat! Featuring rhymes and plenty of silliness, this short book features the Cat in the Hat cooking up some of his favorite cupcakes. The cat arrives, cookbook and egg beater in hand, to cook with the kids. Readers will see the steps involved with making cupcakes, and enjoy the Cat’s antics.
10. Keith the Cat with the Magic Hat by Sue Hendra–
We love the Keith the Cat and His Magic Hat book! An ice cream cone falls on Keith’s head and the other cats make fun of him, so he tells them that it is a magic hat. “Magical” things begin to happen and giggles ensue because as your child will catch on that it really is just a series of coincidences. The story has a great moral to it — treat everyone nicely and don’t make fun of others. The pictures are bright and cheerful too.
11. Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes —
My son loves this book. He was skeptical to try it at first because the illustrations are in black and white, but he found the illustrations to be amusing and enjoyed them. This book is a playful and sweet story about a kitten who thinks the full moon is a bowl of milk in the sky. She makes numerous (often comical) attempts to reach this bowl of milk. With no luck catching the moon, kitten returns home to find a real bowl of milk waiting for her.
12. Lola Gets a Cat by Anna McQuinn–
I am a huge fan of the Lola series! Lola is a sweet, imaginative girl who loves books. In this story, Lola wants a cat, but she has to learn how to take care of one before she can have a real cat. Lola reads a book about cat care and practices on one of her toys. Finally Lola is ready for the big responsibility of being a pet owner! Lola adopts a cat from the shelter 🙂 With lots of love, care, and patience, Lola helps her new cat, Makeda, settle into in its new home.
Check your library for these and other cat books. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for your support! Happy Reading