Cats have influenced writers since the beginning of time. Here are five famous cats from literature that are still padding their way through the pages.

cat and book
Cats have been part of literature since the dawn of time.
Photo by Madalyn Cox on Unsplash.

The Egyptians worshipped them. Ernest Hemingway set up a cat sanctuary for them. Cats are unique animals that show you affection while remaining aloof. Each one has their own personality and quirks. They have padded their way through literature since the days of the Ancient Egyptians, inspiring and head-butting writers to include them in their works. A source of purring inspiration, here are five famous literary cats that we all know and love.

Famous Literary Cat #1: The Cheshire Cat

cheshire cat
Sir John Tenniel’s hand-colored proof of Cheshire Cat in the Tree Above Alice for The Nursery “Alice.”
Photo from Wikimedia Commons

While the term “grinning like a Cheshire cat” was around long before Lewis Carroll created him, the Cheshire Cat is one of the most recognizable cats in fiction. He befriends young Alice when she arrives in Wonderland, speaking in vague statements while making philosophical points. The Cheshire cat is most well known for fading out of sight, leaving only his big toothy smile before that fades as well. This literary cat has padded his way through literature and into the movies, onto clothing and other merchandise Lewis Carroll never expected.

Famous Literary Cat #2: Crookshanks

cat on train
Crookshanks was Hermione’s loyal friend.
Photo: © J.K. Rowling/Pottermore Ltd. TM Warner Bros.

There are only two literary cats in the entire Harry Potter series, and Crookshanks is one. This beloved cat belongs to Hermione Granger. A ginger tomcat, Crookshanks does not like Ron Weasley, or Ron’s pet rat, Scabbers. If you’ve read the series, you know why this literary cat doesn’t like Scabbers. If you haven’t read the series… well, you should. Crookshanks is the perfect example of why you should pay attention to what your pets are trying to tell you.

Famous Literary Cat #3: The Cat In The Hat

The Cat in the Hat blue cover book
The antics of this literary cat makes kids laugh.
Photo from

Did you know that Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, created The Cat In The Hat to combat the boredom children felt when reading the Dick and Jane books? He created the Cat In The Hat to help build a love of reading and learning in children when he was commissioned to write a story that would appeal to first graders. Instead of dealing with the “abnormally courteous, unnaturally clean boys and girls” found in the literature of the time, he created something more exciting and fun with a cat who hangs out with Thing 1 and Thing 2 causing a little bit of havoc.

Famous Literary Cat #4: Puss In Boots

puss in boots literary cat
Puss In Boots has been published in many languages.
Photo is in public domain.

Let’s face it. Puss In Boots is one literary cat who dressed for the job he wanted and not the job he had. This enterprising literary cat who helps his owner get in good with the king, helps his master get the girl, and then bumps off an ogre, knows how to swashbuckle in a pair of boots. He’s a fun fairytale character that goes to show that not all cats need to chase mice to live happily ever after.

Famous Literary Cat #5: Tigger

“The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things. Their tops are made out of rubber, their bottoms are made out of springs. They’re bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun. But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers, is I’m the only one. IIIII’m the only one!” 
― A.A. Milne, The House On Pooh Corner

Tigger literary cat talking with Winnie the Pooh outside of his house.
Original EH Shepard illustration, colored, of Pooh meeting Tigger outside his front door in The House at Pooh Corner.
Image is used under Fair Use to show the original, literary look of Tigger.

This list would not be complete without this literary cat: the bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy exuberant Tigger from the Winnie The Pooh series. This big cat tries his best to spread happiness with his enthusiasm for life and occasionally winds up doing the opposite. But Tigger is a loving literary cat who is confident and loyal to his friends. And remember… he’s the only one!

Have a favorite literary cat that we didn’t mention? Tell us about it in the comments.