Authors who loved cats -- Mark Twain

The love of cats is ailurophilia. Many famous people especially authors are and were ailurophiles. Here, then, is a list of authors who love and loved cats:

  • Brian Aldiss (1925-)
  • Kingsley Amis (1922-1995)
  • Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850)
  • Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986)
  • Charlotte Brontë (1818-1848) Her cat played at her feet while she wrote Wuthering Heights. The cat’s name was Tiger.
  • Samuel Butler (1835-1902) “I must have a cat whom I might find homeless…”
  • Lord Byron (1788-1824) He had five cats which traveled with him.
  • Karel Capek (1890-1938)
  • Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
  • Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) He had a black Persian cat (a female). He called her his “feline secretary”. He always read to her the first drafts of his murder mysteries. The cat’s name was Taki.
  • Jean Cocteau (1889-1963) “I love cats because I love my home, and after a while they become its visible soul.”
  • Colette (1873-1854) “There are no ordinary cats…”
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870)
  • Alexandre Dumas (1824-1895) “The cat, aristocrat both in type and origin, which has been so greatly maligned, deserves our respect at least.”
  • Anatole France (1844-1924) “Silent guardians of my city of books”
  • Anne Frank (1929-1945) She had three cats. Boche, Tommy, Mouschi.
  • Paul Gallico (1897-1976)
  • Théophile Gautier (1811-1872) “Pashas love tigers and I love cats because cats are the tigers of us poor devils”.
  • Thomas Hardy (1840-9028) His cat was a blue Persian called Cobby.
  • Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) He is well known for his love of cats and he had 30. A number of them were Maine Coons, today’s most popular purebred cat arguably.
  • Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
  • Aldous Huxley (1894-1963) “If you want to write, keep cats”.
  • Henry James (1843-1916) Sometimes wrote with a cat on his shoulder.
  • Jerome K Jerome (1859-1927)
  • Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) is well known for having a cat named Hodge who he described as “a very fine cat, a very fine cat indeed”. He also kept a cat called Lilly.
  • Michael Joseph (1897-1958) “The surest way to forfeit the esteem of a cat is to treat him as an inferior being”.
  • Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) “He will kill mice and he will be kind to babies… But when the moon gets up and the night comes, he is the Cat that Walks by Himself…”
  • Doris Lessing (1919-) “If a fish is the movement of water embodied, given shape, cat is a diagram and pattern of subtle air.”
  • Bernard Levin (1928-) “I have loved cats from infancy; I am certain that I have been one in an earlier existence, perhaps several times…”
  • Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972) “Nobody who is not prepared to spoil cats will get from them the reward they are able to give…”
  • Guy de Maupassant (1850-1893) He was a founder member of Alexandre Dumas’s Feline Defence League.
  • Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592)
  • Iris Murdoch (1919-)
  • Beverley Nichols (1898-1983)
  • Edgar Allen Poe (1811-1945)
  • Agnes Repplier “The vanity of man revolts from the serene indifference of the cat.”
  • George Sand (1804-1876) George Sand ate breakfast from the same bowl as her cat.
  • Dorothy L Sayers (1893-1958)
  • Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)
  • Edith Sitwell (1887-1964) She said she owned the most beautiful cat in the world.
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe (1881-1896)
  • Sir Roy Strong (1935-) As a photographer I photographed him for a woman’s magazine (Michael Broad).
  • William Makepeace Thackeray (1811-1863)
  • Mark Twain (1835-1910) “If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”
  • Horace Walpole (1717-1797)
  • HG Wells (1866-1946)
  • Sir Agnus Wilson (1913-1991) He kept many cats and his last cat was a stray called Cookie.
  • Emile Zola (1840-1902) In his Paradise of Cats an Angora cat relates the story.
  • Patricia Highsmith (1921-1995) American author who loved Siamese cats.

Patricia Highsmith Photo: Gérard Rondeau—Agence VU/Redux

My deep indebtedness to Dr Desmond Morris who compiled the list in his excellent Cat World A Feline Encyclopedia.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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