Cats and kittens are beloved by so many children. Whether they own one as a pet or see one in the pet store, children are always intrigued by the playful, bouncing nature of cats. We have curated a list of cat books for kids that will delight and inform the cat-loving children in your life. Some are informational books about cats, others are picture books about cats, and many are books with cats as main characters.
Board Books About Cats
Each of these board books about cats would be perfect to read to babies, toddlers, or preschool-aged children to introduce them to cats. Some of these cat books for kids are touch-and-feel books, others have pull outs or flaps to lift, and others are just board books.
By Christiane Gunzi
Ages Babies to 4 years | Touch-and-Feel Board Book
This Feels Real book is perfect for babies and toddlers to explore textures and discover what a cat feels like; its fur, tongue, toys. Plus, it’s sturdy enough to be roughly handled by little fingers and teething gums.
By Kevin Henkes
Ages Babies to 3 years | Board Book
In this sweet story, a kitten sees the full moon for the first time and think it is a bowl of milk, so it goes on a journey trying to find the moon. Its black and white illustrations are captivating and make it great nighttime read to a little one.
Ages Babies to 4 years | Touch-and-Feel Board Book
This simple touch-and-feel book will engage and interest a toddler and teach them about the cat’s soft fur, scratchy tongue, and so on. Plus, there are interactive stickers that allow children to match the stickers with their corresponding shadows. The stickers may be too advanced for babies but would be a fun activity for preschool-aged children.
By Mo Willems
Ages Babies to 3 years| Board Book, Series Book
This one is short and memorable as Cat the Cat introduces you to her animal friends. Although this is a board book targeted towards toddlers, its simple text would be a great book to use for a child learning to read. If you enjoy this book, you may like the other cat books in the Cat the Cat series.
By Judy Schachner
Ages 1 – 3 years | Board Book, Series Book
In this book about opposites, Skippyjon Jones is a spunky cat who learns the difference between things. It’s simple with fun illustrations. See more books in the Skippyjon Jones series.
By Toni Yuly
Ages Babies – 3 years | Board Book
The charming book of a cat who’s ready for a nap and a kitten who’s ready to play. The bold illustrations and simple text teach children about opposites. And all adults can relate to the cat who is tired and ready for a nap!
Written by Matthew Van Fleet, Photography by Brian Stanton
Ages 2 – 4 years | Multiconcept, Touch-and-Feel Book
An interactive, playful book featuring different kinds of cats. It has pulls, flaps, pop-ups, and textures to keep children engaged and watch as the cats move. The descriptions of the cats are fun and unique to introduce new words to your child. If you like this book, we highly recommend all Matthew Van Fleet books for toddlers and preschoolers. (Note: this book is probably too delicate for babies or children who are rough with books since there are a lot of pulls and pop-ups that can easily be torn.)
By Chronicle Books and ImageBooks
Ages Babies – 2 years | Finger Puppet, Board Book
Finger puppet books are beloved by babies and toddlers, and a fun way to interact with your child. This is a rhyming story of a little cat on Halloween night, but really could be ready any time of the year. We find it refreshing to find a black cat in a book that isn’t scary for little readers. All of these finger puppet books are well made and durable for little readers.
Written by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, Illustrated by Laura J. Bryant
Ages 2 – 5 years | Board Book
A cute, rhyming story of a mother who asks her kitten questions as they are about to leave the house, and Kitty Cat’s reply on how she gets distracted. Any parent and child can relate to the struggle!
Picture Books About Cats
Each of these picture books about cats would be perfect to read to preschool-aged children or to give to an elementary school-aged child. Whether you are a cat lover or just love a good story, here are some of the best cat books for kids available.
Written by Eric Litwin, Illustrated James Dean
Ages 3 – 8 years | Picture Book, Series Book
Pete the Cat is a groovy character with a positive attitude as he accidentally gets his white shoes dirty and wet. Kids learn colors and how to roll with the punches and not let unexpected disappointments get you down. This is one of the most popular cat books for kids — plus, if you want to sing along as you read, there’s a song that goes with it, beloved by many families based on the millions of YouTube views it has. View all of the books in the Pete the Cat series.
By Rob Scotton
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book, Series Book
Splat is a lovable, childlike cat. In this story, it’s his first day of school and he’s a little anxious about it but learns that school is actually pretty fun and there’s nothing to be afraid of. The illustrations are fantastic and readers will discover new details each time they read the story. See the other stories in the Splat the Cat series.
By Dr. Seuss
Ages 3 – 7 years | Picture Book
What’s not to love about a classic Dr. Seuss? It’s a rainy day and two children find themselves bored when a cat in a hat shows up and creates adventure and havoc in their home. No cat books for kids book list would be complete without this one… but it does have us wondering: why did the mom leave the children alone at home?
Written by Vicki Myron and Bret Witter, Illustrated by Steve James
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book, True Story
A sweet story about a librarian who finds a cat in the library box and adopts him for the library. All of the playful characteristics of cats are shown in Dewey’s personality. A lovely based-on-a-true story for cat and book-lovers alike.
Written by Leslea Newman, Illustrated by Amy June Bates
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
The sweetest story about cats, music, and the love between an owner and his cat. A young composer finds a cat and together they make music. A delightful read that is based on a true story that both cat lovers and musicians will greatly enjoy.
By Brendan Wenzel
Ages 3 – 6 years | Picture Book
A simple, yet engaging story about different points of view all seeing the same thing: a cat. The words are repetitive and easy for younger children to follow, but concepts are deep enough for older children to think through. Modern classic!
By Dahlov Ipcar
Ages 2 – 6 years | Picture Book
Follow along with a cat on his journey at night and discover where he goes and what he’s able to see that humans cannot at night. A child with an outdoor cat will especially enjoy this book as they imagine what their feline friend does while they are sleeping.
Written by Kate Banks, Illustrated by Georg Hallensleben
Ages 4 – 7 years | Picture Book
An orphan cat is taken away from her home in Paris to northern France and begins a journey through the French countryside, busy cities, ancient ruins until she finds her new home by the Mediterranean. It is a sweet, thoughtful story that will captivate children and take them through images of France. The illustrations are lovely and reminiscent of French Impressionist art. Lovely!
Written by Alicia Potter, Illustrated by Birgitta Sif
Ages 5 – 8 years | Picture Book
Like the title suggests, a lady opens her home for shy and fearful cats, and it’s very popular with cat owners. One cat, in particular, Crumbs, is afraid of everything but proves her bravery when she needs to lead a rescue mission and save Miss Hazeltine. The lesson on bravery resonate with readers and children especially will appreciate the cartoonish illustrations.
Written by Curtis Manley, Illustrated by Kate Berube
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book
A boy tries to get his two cats to read so that he can share his love of reading with his feline friends. But that task proves to be more difficult than he originally realized. It is a sweet story that cat lovers and book lovers alike will enjoy. Beautiful illustrations and original story.
Written by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes, Illustrated by Sue Cornelison
Ages 4 – 8 years | Picture Book, True Story
A captivating, heartwarming true story about a family who flees their home in Iraq and to Greece, and refuses to leave behind their cat Kunkush. On the journey, the cat gets lost, and the rest of the story follows the people who work together to reunite him with his family. It is a lovely, sensitive introduction to refugees and the illustrations are true to the geographic landscape of the places where they travel.
Chapter Books About Cats
Chapter books can open up a new world for children, and these are some of the best cat books for kids available for advanced readers. All of the stories featured below are fun, have beloved characters, and, of course, feature a favorite feline friend.
Written by Cynthia Rylant, Illustrated by Arthur Howard
Ages 6 – 9 years | Chapter Book, Series Book
This is the introductory book to a wonderful series about an old man and his cat. Mr. Putter is old and lonely and decides he wants to rescue a cat for companionship. The rest of the series is beautifully written, yet simple, stories accompanied by warm and lovely sketches. If you like this story, check out the rest of the books in Mr. Putter and Tabby series.
Written by Beverly Cleary, Illustrated by Tracy Dockray
Ages 8- 12 years | Chapter Book
Socks is told from the perspective of a cat, who is loved and adored by her owners but starts to get jealous after a new baby is brought home. A funny, cute read with illustrations every few pages. Perfect for established young readers.
Written by Asia Citro, Illustrated by Marion Lindsay
Ages 6 – 10 years | Chapter Book, Series Book
In the first book of this series, Zoey and her cat Sassafras, discover a sick dragon and try to help it feel better. This adventurous series follows a little girl and her sidekick cat discovers magical animals and uses science to solve problems. Well written, cute illustrations and great lessons for children. See all of the books in the Zoey and Sassafras series.
Written by Mo Willems, Illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
Ages 5 – 10 years | Chapter Book
An unlikely friendship between a small dog named Diva and an ally cat named Flea who both live in Paris, but live completely different lifestyles. Together they become friends, learn they have more in common than they originally thought, and have fun adventures together. A sweet book with fun illustrations.
Written by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers, Illustrated by Erik Brooks
Ages 7 – 11 years | Chapter Book
The MEOW Society is a group of cats. At their annual gathering, cats of all kinds gather to share stories. This book accounts the hilarious adventures the cats have gone through, sure to delight cat-loving children.
By Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Ages 6 – 9 years | Chapter Book
Playful tale of a group of mermaid cats who get in trouble, get out and learn a lesson. Perfect for children interested in cats and mermaids. If you enjoy this book, you may be interested in the other books in the Purrmaids series.
By Janet Taylor Lisle
Ages 9 – 12 years | Chapter Book
A moving story of three kittens thrown off the back of a truck who meet a group of highway cats. When their new homes are being threatened, the three kittens work together to help save the town. Recommended for older elementary-school-aged children or middle school, as it can be a little sad for younger audiences. Sweet, touching story!
By David Blaze
Ages 8 – 12 years | Chapter Book
This is a fantasy story about Melissa and her talking cat PJ who has a talent for math. PJ’s sassy comments are just what you would expect a cat to say if they could talk. The story covers themes of bullying, friendship, and loyalty in a cute, humorous way.
By Jane Clarke
Ages 6 – 8 years |Chapter Book, Series Book
Dr. KittyCat and her mouse assistant rush to assist Posy the puppy who hurt her leg. Together they help the puppy get back in a race and qualify. The book has photographs of real cats and dogs combined with hand-drawn sketches for a unique look. See all of the other books in the Dr. KittyCat series.
By Katherine Applegate
Ages 10 – 14 years | Chapter Book
Crenshaw is an imaginary cat to Jackson, a young boy living a tough life. Although the plot deals with some hard subjects such as poverty, Crenshaw provides levity and humor to Jackson’s life. A moving, touching story that will instill compassion in readers.
These are only 30 of hundreds of great cat books for kids. If you or your child have any other favorite cat books, feel free to leave a comment or contact us. We’re always looking for new cat books for kids to feature!
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