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Cat Quotes — 1

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Appreciation of Cats

I don't speak from any position of authority, but it seems to me cats could well be the animals that have been most written about. There must be many thousands of books written about them; and so, too, there are large numbers of quotations. No list could hope to be comprehensive, and I have merely selected some that I've come across over the years which have appealed to me; some are very well known, others less so. We hope you will enjoy browsing through them. It's arranged very roughly in sections, such that quotes about similar aspects of cats appear together.

The photos are our own originals of cats we have either lived with or encountered: some are no longer with us, but others are very much alive. A number of the pictures are from 'chance encounters', and these are referred to as 'anonymous', giving the year. Unless stated otherwise, photos were taken in the UK.

Remember: 'The smallest feline is a masterpiece.' —Leonardo da Vinci


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Micky, 1984 Tweetie-pie, 1978 Midge and Maggie, 2003 anonymous, 1987 Thomas, 2000

It is impossible for a lover of cats to banish these alert, gentle and discriminating little friends, who give us just enough of their regard and complaisance to make us hunger for more.

Agnes Repplier (1858-1950)

. . . with a cat, you stand on much the same footing as you stand with a fine and dignified friend; if you forfeit his respect, the relationship suffers. The cat, it is well to remember, remains the friend of Man because it pleases him to do so, not because he must.

Carl van Vechten (1880-1964)

A house without a cat, and a well-fed, well-petted and properly revered cat, may be a perfect house, perhaps — but how can it prove its title?

Samuel Langhorn Clemens (Mark Twain) (1835-1910)

Only cat lovers know the luxury of fur-coated, musical hot-water bottles that don't go cold.

Suzanne Millen

Nobody who is not prepared to spoil cats will get from them the rewards that they are able to give to those who will spoil them.

Sir Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972)

People that hate cats will come back as mice in the next life.

Faith Resnick

. . . [the stray cat] Oscar added many things to our menage. . . . Each evening I thought afresh that a nice cat washing his face by the hearth gave extra comfort to a room.

James Herriott (1916-1995)

For some people, the pet dog is just a bit too — well, predictable. Once you have come to know your dog and the one or two ways in which she differs from thousands, or perhaps millions, of other dogs, she's unlikely to astonish you; she's the same all the way through, like a banana. The cat is layered, like an artichoke.

Barbara Holland jr (b. 1925)

There are few things in life more heartwarming than to be welcomed by a cat.

Tay Hohoff

A meow massages the heart.

Stuart McMillan

Cats can be funny and have the oddest way of showing they're pleased to see you. Rumiface peed in our shoes.

W. H. Auden

No heaven will ever Heaven be,
Unless my cats are there to welcome me.


It is a matter to gain the affection of a cat. He is a philosophical animal, tenacious of his own habits, fond of order and neatness, and disinclined to extravagant sentiment. He will be your friend, if he finds you worthy of friendship but not your slave.

Théophile Gautier (1811-1972, French writer & critic)

Who hath a better friend than a cat?

William Hardwin

Cats are kindly masters, just so long as you remember your place.

Paul Gray

'Since each of us is blessed with only one life, why not live it with a cat?'

Robert Stearns

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Appreciation of Cats

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Soxy, 1995 Freddie, 1996 anonymous, Switzerland, 1988 Tonic, 2002

I love cats because I love my home, and after a while they become its visible soul.

Jean Cocteau

The cat is a dilettante in fur.

Théophile Gautier

There has never been a cat
Who couldn't calm me down
By walking slowly
Past my chair.

Rod McKuen

It is impossible to keep a straight face in the presence of one or more kittens.

Cynthia E. Varnado

Wherever a cat sits, there shall happiness be first.

Stanley Spencer

For he is an instrument for the children to learn benevolence upon. For every house is incomplete without him and as blessing is lacking in the spirit.

Christopher Smart (from Jubilate Agno, c. 1760)

Cats assume their strangest, most intriguing and beautiful postures only when it is impossible to photograph them. Cat calendars disappoint because they show only the public range of cat positions.

J. R. Coulson

. . . when I returned home at night, he was pretty sure to be waiting for me near the gate and would rise and saunter along the walk, as though his being there was purely accidental.

Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900)

One cat just leads to another.
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)

There are many intelligent creatures in the universe. They are all owned by cats.


There is nothing in the animal world, to my mind, more delightful than grown cats at play. They are so swift and light and graceful, so subtle and designing, and yet so richly comic.

Monica Edwards

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.

Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Wild beasts he created later:
Lions with their paws so furious;
In the image of the lion
Made He kittens, small and curious.

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856)

Time spent with cats is never wasted.

Colette (1873-1954)

He was very fond of these delightful creatures, quiet, mysterious, with their electric shiver, whose favourite attitude is the prone pose of the sphinxes, which seem to have passed their secret on to them. They prowl with velvet paws through the house, like the genius loci, or come and sit down by the writer, keeping his thoughts company and gazing at him out of the depths of their eyes, dusted with gold, with intelligent tenderness and magical penetration. It seems as though cats divine the thought passing from the brain to the pen, and as they stretch out a paw they are trying to seize it on its way.

Théophile Gautier (1811-1872), on Baudelaire and his cats

It was difficult to be vexed by a creature that burst into a chorus of purring as soon as I spoke to him.

Philip Brown

There is, indeed, no single quality of the cat that Man could not emulate to his advantage.

Carl van Vechten (1880-1964, American writer)

Cats are poetry in motion; dogs are gibberish in neutral.


Like a graceful vase, a cat, even when motionless, seems to flow.

George F. Will (b. 1941, US writer & Journalist)

To respect the cat is the beginning of the aesthetic sense.

Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802, English physician)

More quotations about cats...

Quotes 2
Nature of Cats
Cats' Attitude

Quotes 3
Cat Communication
Proverbs & Sayings
Sleeping Cats

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Our featured feline at the head of the page, having quite a lot of fun, is Ragamuffin, or Rags for short: sadly he's no longer with us. A cat of great character who seemed to live by the maxim 'Life is for living', it was devastating for me when that life was cut short by a road accident. A rescue cat, he lived with me in North Wales for less than four years only. You can see a little tribute to him here with a more flattering photo.

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