Looking for cat fiction
November 16, 2016 11:40 AM   Subscribe

Any good cat fiction out there?

So I'm trying to find comfort fiction that will balance out all my grad school reading and a friend said she loved a cat detective series, but she can't exactly remember which one it was (I guess it was a very quick read).

Since I love cats, and I love mystery novels, that sounded fantastic! But looking around, there is a ton of cat literature (I had no idea), and I don't know where to start. I'm looking for plots that are overall upbeat and funny, not too complicated, featuring cats. Pretty much a night stand book that won't give me nightmares. Mystery, fantasy, etc. Like my dream of dreams would be something like Discworld but featuring more cats. It doesn't have to be fantasy, though.

Any recommendations?
posted by Tarumba to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (25 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Lillian Jackson Braun wrote "The Cat Who" mystery series and they're a lot of fun. Very light reading.

Features Koko and Yum Yum - siamese
posted by Dressed to Kill at 11:43 AM on November 16, 2016 [8 favorites]

It's very much dated now, and it's only a short story, but The Haunted Space Suit, by Arthur C. Clarke, is kind of fun.
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on November 16, 2016

Tailchaser's Song by Tad Williams comes to mind.
posted by TrinsicWS at 12:38 PM on November 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

I like the Mrs Murphy series by Rita Mae Brown, which are set in rural Virginia. The two main characters are postmistress Mary Minor "Harry" Harristeen and her cat Mrs Murphy. The books are quick reads, and I love coming back to the same characters and the same small town whenever a new one is published.
posted by amf at 12:39 PM on November 16, 2016 [7 favorites]

Fudoki by Kij Johnson is sort of two different stories interwoven. One features the musings of an dying noblewoman in historical Japan, and the other is the dreamy fantastical journey of a small cat. It's not especially light or funny, but it is lovely and well-suited to slow bedtime reading. I think it's technically a sequel, but an entirely standalone one that doesn't need the first for any understanding.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman also prominently features a cat, and it's frequently funny, but it also has definite creepy nightmare potential.
posted by Diagonalize at 12:39 PM on November 16, 2016

Erin Hunter has an epic series, Warriors (young adult, in my library, but the grownups read then avidly) featuring cats.
posted by LaBellaStella at 12:56 PM on November 16, 2016

Tom Cox is a humor writer who loves his cats. I haven't actually read his books, but his twitter accounts (from the perspective of his cats, of course) are delightful.
posted by backwards compatible at 1:12 PM on November 16, 2016 [4 favorites]

Stop, You're Killing Me index of mysteries involving cats. I can personally vouch for the Lillian Jackson Braun series being cozy and non-traumatizing.
posted by Daily Alice at 1:38 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Heinlein's short story Ordeal in Space
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:48 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Aeronaut's Windlass by Jim Butcher

Don't be fooled by the lack of mention of a cat in the book description... there is a prominent and increasingly delightful cat presence.

(Proof: From Butcher's website: Chapter 3 text with Rowl's introduction)
posted by slipthought at 2:32 PM on November 16, 2016

The Midnight Louie series is definitely pretty good for the first several books (and might stay that way for all I know. I quit when it looked like she was making them one of those series with a book for every letter of the alphabet.)

Also if you like fantasy, Diane Duane's Young Wizards series takes a cat related detour at some point.
posted by MsMolly at 2:51 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seconding Tailchaser's Song; young crazy cat lady me (I got better) loved that book an embarrassing amount. And though I honestly don't remember enough about it to really vouch for it, I remember reading at least one book by Andre Norton that featured, eh, evolved cat people - Breed to Come is the one I read, though I believe she had others.
posted by DingoMutt at 3:29 PM on November 16, 2016

The Diane Duane cat wizards books start with The Book of Night with Moon, which I liked although I haven't read the second one.
posted by therewithal at 3:48 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

I love the cats in Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats cozy mystery series. The mystery plots themselves aren't my thing (but they're far, far from nightmare-inducing), but the descriptions of everyday life with cats are wonderful and I could read those forever. The cat characters themselves are awesome and funny (and as the series title suggests, a little bit magical).
posted by mixedmetaphors at 4:16 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

Robert Westall's The Cats of Seroster is a relatively-obscure-outside-the-UK YA fantasy novel with wall-to-wall cats. However, whilst it's (IMO) a terrific book with plenty of dry humour, it might not completely tick your "upbeat and funny" requirements, and does get rather dark in places.

(Sidenote: Westall loooooved cats, and featured them heavily throughout his work.)
posted by Morfil Ffyrnig at 4:21 PM on November 16, 2016

I read Sofie Kelly/Ryan's (she writes then under two names) two cozy mystery series about cats, and also Laurie Cass's. The mysteries are all pretty run of the mill but nicely written and all about cats who are not killed.
posted by jeather at 5:29 PM on November 16, 2016

Rita Mae Brown rules the cat detective genre.

B&N: The 25 Best Cats in Sci-Fi & Fantasy.

('The Game of Rat and Dragon' by Cordwainer Smith is what comes to my mind, but note it's a bit strange. 'C'Mell' is a human-cat who appears in his other works.)
posted by ovvl at 6:08 PM on November 16, 2016

nth-ing Rita Mae Brown, but don't ever get her books as audiobooks. The writing just does NOT translate well to spoken word.

Anne McCaffery wrote two books specifically on the origin of the Barque Cats in her other books (cats in space, yay!), but I thought they were awful. YMMV. I adored her stuff as a teen, not sure who changed, me or her.
posted by WowLookStars at 6:19 PM on November 16, 2016

Tanya Huff's Keeper Chronicles features a talking cat called Austin.

Also, Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog, despite the title, does feature a cat.
posted by gudrun at 6:33 PM on November 16, 2016

Tailchaser's Song has some seriously dark parts. It feels like a cat version of Watership Down to me. All that creepy underground snake-thing stuff is quite evil.

Anne McCaffrey has some pleasant sci-fi cat books. Barque cats patrol human spaceships looking for vermin and other trouble in the conduits. Good times. Protect the kittens!
posted by irisclara at 8:56 PM on November 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

If you like your felines in near-human form, try C.J. Cherryh's five-part series, The Chanur novels.
posted by TrishaU at 9:33 PM on November 16, 2016

Ursula K. Le Guin's Catwings series
posted by Confess, Fletch at 9:33 PM on November 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

Seconding Tom Cox's books about his cats. They are not fiction, but they are delightful.

Also non-fiction and wonderful is the Norton trilogy by Peter Gethers, about his Scottish Fold cat.
posted by merejane at 10:31 PM on November 16, 2016

I enjoyed Felidae by Akif Pirincci, a crime story told from the point of view of a cat. The sequel Felidae on the Road is a bit over-similar to the first, but still decent.
posted by Jabberwocky at 3:28 AM on November 17, 2016

Children's books any good? If so, Carbonel.

Tom Cox's website is here.

Seconding Huff.
posted by paduasoy at 3:29 PM on November 17, 2016

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