Books

Top 5 books with talking cats, chosen by Judith Robinson and Scott Pack

The literary feline experts select five books that feature chatty cats

yawning cat

Image: Omin Armin on Unsplash

Judith Robinson and Scott Pack, authors of Literary Cats, choose their top five books featuring talking cats.

1. The Mahābhārata by Vyāsa

Lomasa is one of the very first speaking cats. He appears in the Sanskrit epic, the Mahābhārata, from the third century BCE. He uses his powers of persuasion to convince a mouse to rescue him from a hunter’s trap. 

2. Puss in Boots by Giovanni Francesco Straparola

Puss in Boots has endured from his origins in a 16th century fairytale right through to being voiced by Antonio Banderas on the cinema screens of the present day.

3. Tobermory by Saki

Those attending Lady Blemley’s dinner party are astounded when one of the guests claims to have taught the family cat, Tobermory, to speak. This wonder soon turns to embarrassment when the cat reveals all the gossip he has overheard around the house.

4. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

A talking cat the size of a pig that walks on its hind legs, drinks vodka and hangs around with Satan causes havoc on the streets of Moscow. Bulgakov’s Behemoth is one of the most deliciously evil cats in fiction.

5. The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss

Not evil, but certainly mischievous, is Dr Seuss’ Cat in the Hat, who has entertained generations with his attempts to distract two small children from an otherwise boring day while their mother is out.

Literary Cats by Judith Robinson and Scott Pack is out on September 30 (Bodleian Library, £16.99). You can buy it from The Big Issue shop on Bookshop.org, which helps to support The Big Issue and independent bookshops.

This article is taken from The Big Issue magazine. If you cannot reach your local vendor, you can still click HERE to subscribe to The Big Issue today or give a gift subscription to a friend or family member.You can also purchase one-off issues from The Big Issue Shop or The Big Issue app, available now from the App Store or Google Play.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing
Books

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi review – electrifying, experimental writing

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss
Books

The Hearing Test by Eliza Barry Callahan review – a droll insight into a year of loss

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw
Books

Top 5 books about the British seaside, chosen by crime writer William Shaw

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age
Books

The Other Valley by Scott Alexander Howard review – the moral conundrums of coming of age

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know