Cat quotes – sayings about cats from the great and good

"One must love a cat on its own terms". A famous cat quote from Paul Gray
“One must love a cat on its own terms”. A famous cat quote from Paul Gray
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Here is complete list of ‘cat quotes’ and some comment too. There are many, which is a testament to our interest in and love of the domestic cat. There are some more articles on ‘cat quotes’ as I have called them at the end of this article 👍. It is pretty comprehensive.

Associated Pages: Animal Rights QuotesFunny Animal Quotes

Mark Twain

Authors who loved cats
Authors who loved cats — Mark Twain

These are probably the most well-known of all. Of course, they come from another age but they retain their charm and accuracy.

Mark Twain's cats

Aboe: Mark Twain’s Cats. Photo by Elmira photographer Elisha M. VanAken, 1887. The cats are all non-purebred as this was a time when the cat fancy in the USA was just beginning or barely begun. I believe the photograph is in the public domain. If not, I claim fair use. The rationale being that this site is for charity (cat rescue) and the image is small and poor in quality. He made several cat quotes and obviously loved cats.

“Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.” – the well-known Mark Twain quote. He obviously loved cats. And this quote refers to the cat’s independence as opposed to the dog’s pack animal behavior.

“By what right has the dog come to be regarded as a “noble” animal? The more brutal and cruel and unjust you are to him the more your fawning and adoring slave he becomes; whereas, if you shamefully misuse a cat once she will always maintain a dignified reserve toward you afterward — you will never get her full confidence again.” – Mark Twain, a Biography. Once again, this quote refers to the difference between cats and dogs, the former an individual and the latter a pack animal suited to people who are inclined towards pack animal existence such as corporate people and team players. Most often men are pack animals and women cat lovers.

“A cat is more intelligent than people believe, and can be taught any crime.” – Notebook, 1895. I haven’t a clue what this is about. Certainly, cats are more intelligent that we believe. This applies pretty much across the board of all animals. But teaching any crime, I am not sure. We can’t and won’t teach them a crime so it must refer to mother cat teaching cats to hunt cruelly (as they must to survive). Cats live by instinct and their actions can look criminal to some but natural to others. See Cat Intelligence.

“A home without a cat–and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat–may be a perfect home, perhaps, but how can it prove title?” – Pudd’nhead Wilson. I like this as I understand it to mean that the existence of a well looked after cat proves that the home is a good one and that is true.

That cat will write her autograph all over your leg if you let her.”Another one of Mark Twain’s cat quotes. This refers I presume to a cat peeing on a person’s leg or scratching a person’s leg. Without being critical of Mark Twain I find this odd. Cats do not pee over human legs; it just would not be natural to do that. But a cat might scratch a human leg in trying to clamber up it. This is simply a kitten (usually) trying to be near her mother (us). Unfortunately, we are giants to a kitten or cat so they may need to do a bit of climbing! Can’t blame the cat.


“The naming of cats is a difficult matter. It isn’t just one of your holiday games. You may think at first I’m mad as a hatter. When I tell you a cat must have three different names”… – T.S. Eliot – Well , I have to agree with TS Elliot and I am surprised to read this. I always give my cats at least three names. I live with one cat and care for two part-time or time share cats. My cat I call Judds, Binnie Do and Binza. The stray boy I call Timmy and Tishta (no third name yet). And the time share girl cat I call Pippa or Pip.


Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill — voted the greatest British person ever. The picture is in the public domain, it is argued. He made one of the best-known cat quotes.

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.” – One of the well known cat quotes, this time by Winston Churchill. It is though incorrect (I am being pedantic). Cats do not look down on us. They are likely to look up at us in two ways. One, physically as we are much taller and secondly as a mother or father figure. Domestic cats treat humans as mother cats. Sorry Winston. What he meant was that cats can give the impression that they look down on you or look indifferent. That, though, is just an impression. Get close emotionally to a cat and you can see it reciprocated. This cat quote does, though, tell us how important democracy was to Winston, the concept of equality.


I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.” – cat quotes — Hippolyte Taine. Well, yes, we (at least me) can learn from cats but I am not sure they are wiser than philosophers. Cats are certainly wiser, judging by their actions, than many people, however. I have learned patience and perseverance from my cat. Each to their own. And to ask (when I want more food).


“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.” cat quotes — George Mikes. This rings true. The thing is that people and cats entered into an agreement some 9,000 years ago that the wild cat would become domesticated provided we fed and cared for her (i.e. made life easier for the cat). In return we had the comfort and enjoyment of keeping a cat. Which party gained the most?


“One must love a cat on its own terms.”– Paul Gray. There are many cat quotes that refer to or imply this sentiment; that cats are individuals and do exactly as they please forcing us to do as they please rather than (as is the case for dogs) do as we please. This has a basis in truth, of course. But cats can be trained and do people act any differently?

Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly – one of the cat quotes with which I can definitely sympathize. My cat will digest a message and some ten minutes or more later will act upon it (if I am lucky), except when food is concerned!


Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer – published under Wikimedia Commons. The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. More cat quotes.

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” – Albert Schweitzer – another one of the cat quotes than chime with me and many others. Albert Schweitzer was a giant of a man. He was a Alsatian theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician (src: Wikipedia). He was wise and how wise these words are. Lots of people who are unjustifiably frightened of cats and/or who hate cats might like to become acquainted with cats as they will almost certainly find a pleasure that they didn’t know existed.

A quote but not a cat quote (allowed) from the Wikipedia author: “Mankind must choose to create the moral structures of civilization: the world-view must derive from the life-view, not vice-versa.” This was Albert Schweitzer’s philosophical viewpoint. As I understand it, this supports the idea that we must build a world that is founded on a quality of life and not on the creation of money. Cats improve the quality of our lives but do we improve the quality of their lives if we take the lives of all cats together? Think feral cats and think euthanasia of feral cats.


French author Jean Cocteau

Jean Cocteau – published under fair use provisions and I adopt the argument given by the Wikimedia author as to the publication of this image here. More cat quotes.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” – Jean Cocteau. One of the cat quotes that harks back at the quote of Mark Twain above, when he said that a cat presence in a home is evidence of a good home. A good home is an enjoyable place and cats will be content in it and demonstrate this silently. Jean Cocteau was a “French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager, playwright and filmmaker” (src: Wikipedia). He was talented and well known.


“With the qualities of cleanliness, affection, patience, dignity, and courage that cats have, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” – Fernand Mery – Yes, yes and yes again. Agreed. Fernand Mery seems to prefer cats to people.

This is another cat quote for Fernand: “Are cats lazy? Well, more power to them if they are. Which one of us has not entertained the dream of doing just as he likes, when and how he likes, and as much as he likes?” And another: “God made the cat so that man might have the pleasure of caressing the lion.”

He was an author with several similar names it seems: Fernand Mery, Fernand Méry, Ferdinand Mery, Mery Fernand Dr.


“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” – Leo Dworken – he was an author. This is one of the great cat quotes.


Some more cat quotes:

“There are no ordinary cats.”
— Colette

“A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution.” – Hazel Nicholson

“A cat pours his body on the floor like wat er. It is restful just to see him.” – William Lyon Phelps

“As anyone who has ever been around a cat for any length of time well knows, cats have enormous patience with the limitations of the human mind. “ – Cleveland Amory

“As every cat owner knows, nobody owns a cat.” – Ellen Perry Berkeley

“Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.” – Winifred Carriere

“Cats are glorious creatures ~ who must on no accounts be underestimated… Their eyes are fathomless depths of cat-world mysteries.” – Lesley Anne Ivory

“Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.” – Paul Gray

“Thousands of years ago, cats were worshipped as gods. Cats have never forgotten this.” – Anonymous – see Egyptian Cat Art.

“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – May Sarton

“Cats can be cooperative when something feels good, which, to a cat, is the way everything is supposed to feel as much of the time as possible.” – Roger Caras

“Cats can work out mathematically the exact place to sit that will cause most inconvenience.” – Pam Brown

“Cats do care. For example they know instinctively what time we have to be at work in the morning and they wake us up twenty minutes before the alarm goes off.” – Michael Nelson

“A meow massages the heart.” – Stuart McMillan

“After scolding one’s cat one looks into its face and is seized by the ugly suspicion that it understood every word. And has filed it for reference.” – Charlotte Gray

“Cats do not have to be shown how to have a good time,  for they are unfailingly ingenious in that respect.” – James Mason

“Cats know how to obtain food without labor, shelter without confinement, and love without penalties.” – W. L. George

“Cats like doors left open–in case they change their minds.” – Rosemary Nisbet

”Cats’ hearing apparatus is built to allow the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other.” – Stephen Baker

“Cats were put into the world to disprove the dogma that all things were created to serve man.” – Paul Gray

“Don’t think that I’m silly for liking it, I just happen to like the simple little things, and I love cats!” – Michelle Gardner

“Even overweight, cats instinctively know the cardinal rule: when fat, arrange yourself in slim poses.” – John Weitz

“Everything I know I learned from my cat: When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re tired, nap in a sunbeam. When you go to the vet’s, pee on your owner.” – Gary Smith

“I found out why cats drink out of the toilet. My mother told me it’s because the water is cold in there. And I’m like: How did my mother know that?” – Wendy Liebman

“I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.” – Hippolyte Taine

”Dogs come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you later.” – Mary Bly

“If a cat did not put a firm paw down now and then, how could his human remain possessed.” – Winifred Carriere

“If a cat does something, we call it instinct; if we do the same thing, for the same reason, we call it intelligence.” – Will Cuppy

”I think one reason we admire cats, those of us who do, is their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing–or pretend to do. Rarely do you see a cat discomfited. They have no conscience, and they never regret. Maybe we secretly envy them.” – Barbara Webster

“If a dog jumps into your lap it is because he is fond of you; but if a cat does the same thing it is because your lap is warmer.” – A. N. Whitehead

“If I tried to tell you how much I love my cats, you wouldn’t believe me – unless your heart is also meow-shaped and covered in stray fur.” – Lexie Saige

“If we treated everyone we meet with the same affection we bestow upon our favorite cat, they, too, would purr.” – Martin Buxbaum

“If you are worthy of its affection, a cat will be your friend, but never your slave.” – Theophile Gautier

“If your cat falls out of a tree, go indoors to laugh.” – Patricia Hitchcock

“It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.” – Cynthia E. Varnado

“If purring could be encapsulated, it’d be the most powerful anti-depressant on the pharmaceutical market.” – Alexis F. Hope

“If there is one spot of sun spilling onto the floor, a cat will find it and soak it up.” – J.A. McIntosh

“It’s really the cat’s house – we just pay the mortgage.” – Author Unknown

“Kittens are born with their eyes shut. They open them in about six days, take a look around, then close them again for the better part of their lives.” – Stephen Baker

“Most cats, when they are Out want to be In, and vice versa, and often simultaneously.” – Louis J. Camuti


“She clawed her way into my heart and wouldn’t let go.” – Missy Altijd

“The cat seldom interferes with other people’s rights. His intelligence keeps him from doing many of the fool things that complicate life.” – Carl Van Vechten

“The ideal of calm exists in a sitting cat.” – Jules Reynard

“You cannot look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.” – Jane Pauley

“No amount of time can erase the memory of a good cat, and no amount of masking tape can ever totally remove his fur from your couch.” – Leo Dworken

“One must love a cat on its own terms.” – Paul Gray

“People who love cats have some of the biggest hearts around.” – Susan Easterly. Cat quotes get to the point.

“The reason cats climb is so that they can look down on almost every other animal…its also the reason they hate birds.” – KC Buffington

“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” – Leonardo da Vinci

“There are few things in life more heart-warming than to be welcomed by a cat.” – Tay Hohoff

“To err is human, to purr is feline.” – Robert Byrne

”When your cat rubs the side of its face along your leg, it’s affectionately marking you with its scent, identifying you as its private property, saying, in effect, ‘You belong to me’.” – Susan McDonough

“We need a word for all the kitty-prints that are all over my windshield because the cats like to lie on my hood when the car is still warm.” – Megan Coughlin

“With their qualities of cleanliness, discretion, affection, patience, dignity, and courage, how many of us, I ask you, would be capable of becoming cats?” – Fernand Mery

“When I play with my cat, how do I know that she is not passing time with me rather than I with her?” – Montaigne

“Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!” – Theophile Gautier

“You can keep a dog; but it is the cat who keeps people, because cats find humans useful domestic animals.” – George Mikes – great cat quotes

Cat Quotes to Cat Facts


4 thoughts on “Cat quotes – sayings about cats from the great and good”

  1. I am working on self publishing a book about my 6 cats. May I use some of your quotes posted in this article/blog? Please do respond Thank you

      • My book is about our 6 beautiful cats. Three of which are now deceased. It’s filled with my best and favorite photos of them from small kittens to grown cats and I describe bits about each of their personalities.I want to include some descriptive famous quotes by some of their photos to finish it off. I looking forward to completing it now.


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