This article researched and compiled by Glenda Moore.
Please do not redistribute this article.

Also see Cats in the White House for Presidential felines

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Cleveland Amory
Cleveland Amory (1917-1998)  Author and animal rights promoter

Amory devoted his life to promoting animal rights.  He was best known for his books about his cat Polar Bear, whom he rescued from New York streets on Christmas Eve, 1977.  Amory co-founded the Humane Society of the United States and founded the Fund for Animals. He was also the president of NEAVS (New England Anti Vivisection Society) from 1987 to 1998.

Ian Anderson
Ian Anderson (1947- ) Musician

Ian, of the classic rock band Jethro Tull, is a cat lover.  A page on the official Jethro Tull webpage is dedicated to his writings about cats.

Marie Antoinette
Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) Archduchess of Austria and the Queen of France and Navarre

King Louis XVI and wife, Marie Antoinette, allowed their Angora cats to roam about the tables during court gatherings. Legend has it that six of her beloved white Angora cats arrived by ship in Maine, USA in the ship she had intended for her escape during the French revolution.

Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI (born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, 1927- ) Reigning head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State

His cat Chico, a black-and-white domestic short hair, continues to live at the pope’s home in Tübingen, Germany (pets are not allowed in the Vatican). Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, who was in Rome for the pope’s inauguration, says “The street talk that the pope loves cats is incorrect. The pope adores cats.”

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Sultan El Daher Beybars (13th century) Ruler of Egypt and Syria

In his will
Sultan El Daher Beybars, who was devoted to cats, bequeathed a garden known as Gheyt-el-Quoltah (the cats' orchard) near his mosque in Cairo for the support of homeless cats. The tradition continues to this day. At the time of afternoon prayer each day, meat is brought into the center of the garden, and cats from all over the city come for their share.

Alexander Borodin
Alexander Borodin (1833-1887)  Russian classical composer and chemist

Borodin had many cats, one of which - Ryborov - learned to fish through holes in the ice in winter.  ('Ryborov' means 'fisherman'.)

Anne, Emily and Charlotte Bronte
Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855); Emily Bronte (1818-1848); Anne Bronte (1820-1849) Authors

The three sisters were well-known as cat lovers.  Their novels and poetry often showed their relationships with their felines. Charlotte and Anne often referred to their cats in their diaries.

George Burns (1896-1996) American comedian, actor, and producer

George Burns called his cat "Willie," reportedly because "when you tell the cat what to do, there's always a question of will he or won't he."

Lord Byron
Lord George Byron (1788-1824) Poet

An lifelong friend, Poet Percy Shelley, once commented that Byron's "eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a crow, ... a falcon, five peacocks, two guinea hens, and an Egyptian crane; and all these, except the horses, walk about the house ..."

Raymond Chandler
Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) Author (Phillip Marlowe private eye novels)

Chandler talked to his black Persian, Taki, as though she was human and called her his secretary because she sat on his manuscripts as he tried to revise them.  He stated, "A cat never behaves as if you were the only bright spot in an otherwise clouded existence...this is another way of saying that a cat is not a sentimentalist, which does not mean that it has no affection."

Sir Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) British politician (notably, UK prime minister during World War II)

Churchill's marmalade
cat Jock slept with his master, shared his dining table, and attended numerous war-time Cabinet meetings. If Jock was late for meals, Churchill would send servants to find him, waiting to eat til the cat was present. Jock was said to have been with his master when he died. Churchill also had a cat, Nelson, named after the famous British admiral.

Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (1889–1963)  French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, boxing manager and filmmaker

Cocteau is best known for his 1929 novel Les enfants terribles, the 1929 play Les parents terribles, and the 1946 film, Beauty and the Beast.  His famous quotes include:  “I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul” and "A meow massages the heart."  He dedicated Drôle de Ménage to his cat Karoun, whom he described as "the king of cats."

Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) Author (works include Oliver Twist, Nicholas Nickelby, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol)

Charles' cat, Willamena, produced a litter of kittens in his study. Dickens was determined not to keep the kittens, but he fell in love with one female kitten who was known as "Master's Cat". She kept him company in his study as he wrote, and when she wanted his attention she was known to snuff out his reading candle.

Alexander Dumas
Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) Author (works include The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo)

Dumas owned a cat called Mysouff. This cat was known for his extrasensory perception of time. Mysouff could predict what time his master would finish work, even when his master was working late.

Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) Physicist

Fond of animals, Einstein kept a tomcat named Tiger who tended to get depressed whenever it rained. One acquaintance recalled him saying to the melancholy cat: "I know what's wrong, dear fellow, but I don't know how to turn it off."  Einstein was also quoted as saying, "A man has to work so hard so that something of his personality stays alive. A tomcat has it so easy, he has only to spray and his presence is there for years on rainy days."

TS Eliot
T.S. Eliot (1888-1965) Nobel Prize-winning British poet and playwright

T.S. Eliot was a cat lover and wrote an entire book of poems about cats. His Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats was set to music by Andrew Lloyd Weber and became the long-running musical, Cats.

Robert Goulet
Robert Goulet (1933- ) Recording artist, star of stage, screen and TV

Goulet has loved cats since childhood.  When he toured the country as King Arthur in Lerner and Loewe's musical Camelot, he took along two of his cats - Vincent and Wart.  Several years ago, the cat-count in Goulet's Las Vegas home was up to seven.

Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) Author (works include For Whom the Bell Tolls, Old Man and the Sea)

Hemingway shared his Key West home with more than 30 cats. The story goes that Hemingway made the acquaintance of a sea captain who owned an unusual six-toed tomcat. Upon his departure from Key West, the captain presented the cat to Hemingway. Today many of the numerous cats that inhabit the grounds still possess the unusual six toes.  Hemingway once said, "A cat has absolute emotional honesty; human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not."

Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) Author

Hugo is considered one of the greatest author in the history of French literature, one notable book being Les Miserables. He wrote fondly in his diary about his cats.

Dr. Samuel Johnson
Dr Samuel Johnson (1709-84) English author

Dr. Johnson is perhaps best known for his great English dictionary, published in 1755.  Johnson had a pet cat named Hodge whom he fed oysters and other luxurious treats.

Edward Lear
Edward Lear [1812-1888] Artist, illustrator and writer

Edward was devoted to Foss, his tabby cat. When he decided to move to San Remo, Italy, he instructed his architect to design a replica of his old home in England so Foss would not be disturbed and suffer a minimum of distress after the move. Lear’s drawings of his striped tabby cat are well known, especially those which accompany his rhyme, The Owl and the Pussycat. When Foss died, he was buried in Lear's italian garden. 

Robert E. Lee
Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) Career army officer (Confederate army General during the American Civil War)

Lee had several cats tha he referred to often in letters to his family: "I am very solitary and my only company is my dog and cats.  Spec [a dog] has become so jealous now that he will hardly let me look at the cats."   He chose cats to share his tent at Camp Cooper partly for mousing, and partly for company.

Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870 – 1924) Founder of the Russian Community party and first head of the Soviet government

Not much is known about Lenin's affection for cats, though he had been filmed and photographed holding and petting various cats.

John Lennon
John Lennon (1940-1980) Singer

The famous Beatle loved cats; as a boy he reportedly cycled to the fishmonger's to buy hake for his cat. He named his first cat Mimi after his cat-loving aunt. He and his first wife Cynthia had up to ten cats.

Pope Leo XII
Pope Leo XII (1760-1829) Head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State

Pope Leo owned a grayish-red cat with black stripes called Micette, who was born in the Vatican and lived with the Pope.  Reportedly,  the pope occasionally gave audiences with the cat hidden on his lap under his robes.  Similarly, an earlier religious figure, St. Gregory the Great (540-604) possessed no worldly goods except a cat, which he held and stroked while meditating.

Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) American aviator

Charles Lindbergh's cat Patsy occasionally accompanied him on flights (though not on the flight that made him famous).  A Spanish stamp commemorating his record-breaking flight from New York to Paris shows Patsy watching as his plane took off.

Louis XV of France
Louis XV  (1710-1774) King of France

The King had a favorite white cat that was allowed to play on the table during Councils of State.

Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse (1869-1954) French artist

Matisse loved the company of cats, and when forced to remain in bed due to poor health, he would be joined there by his favorite black cat. 

Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury (1946-1991) Founder of the rock group Queen

Delilah, released on Queen's album "Innuendo," is a song Mercury penned for his favorite housecat, a female tortoiseshell named Delilah.  When on tour, he would call London to talk to his several cats.  Freddie dedicated his first solo album, "Mr. Bad Guy," to his beloved cats (Tom, Jerry, Oscar, Tiffany, Delilah, Goliath, Miko, Romeo, Lily). He is shown with Oscar and Tiffany.

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Muhammed (570-632) Prophet, Founder of the Muslim faith

Muhammed loved cats. The story is told that one day when he was being called to pray he noticed his cat, Muezza, sleeping on the folds of his sleeve. Rather than disturb the sleeping cat, Muhammed cut off the sleeve of his robe.  They say that in the place where the prophet (peace be with him) was laid to rest, there is a cat or cats around the area.

Sir Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) Scientist and philosopher

Sir Isaac invented the cat-flap, likely so he wouldn't be disturbed by his cats' comings and goings.

Florence Nightingale
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) Humanitarian

One of Florence's cats was a large Persian named "Bismarck". She owned more than 60 cats in her lifetime. 

Nostradamus (1503 - 1566) Seer and Prophet

This French astrologer had a cat named Grimalkin.  The definition of a grimalkin evolved to "A cat, especially an old female cat" or "an old woman considered to be ill-tempered."

Francesco Petrarch
Francesco Petrarch (1304-1374) Italian scholar, poet, and humanist

Petrarch was said to have been even more devoted to his cat than to the memory of his great love, Laura.  When the poet died, his cat was put to death and mummified.

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) Author

Poe used cats as symbols of the sinister in several of his stories, although he himself owned and loved cats. His tortoiseshell cat Catarina was the inspiration for his story The Black Cat. In winter 1846, Catarina, a house cat, would curl up on the bed with Poe's wife, who was dying of tuberculosis, and provide warmth.

Queen Victoria
Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Queen of England

Her favorite cat, a large Angora named
White Heather, outlived her and was inherited by her son and successor King Edward VII.
Maurice Ravel
Maurice Joseph Ravel (1875-1937) French classical composer

Ravel had several beloved Siamese cats. He penned L'enfant et les sortilges ("The Child and the Enchantments") in collaboration with the French writer Colette.  The opera has a bravura cat duet sung by the Tom Cat and the She Cat in an authentic-sounding feline 'language'.

Purrfectly Classical CDOther notable people who loved cats include classical composers: Tchaikovsky wrote "Puss-In-Boots and the White Cat." Frédéric Chopin's cat walked across the keyboard and Chopin liked the melody so much that he created an entire piece called "The Cat Waltz" around it.  Domenico Scarlatti's cat Pulcinella composed a fugue. The cat was fond of prancing about on the harpsichord and wrote Fugue in G Minor, L499; better known as The Cat's Fugue. (Scarlatti may have helped a little, but the first few bars, at least, are convincingly the work of a cat.)  Stravinsky wrote "Lullabies for the Cat."  Many of these compositions were compiled onto a cd titled Purrfectly Classical, available at Amazon.com.  Camille Saint-Saens was a noted cat and animal lover: his Maestoso theme (Symphony No.3 in C- 'Organ') was the theme music in the movie "Babe".

Pierre Auguste Renoir
Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) Artist

This French artist loved cats and depicted them in several paintings.  Some of these paintings are available at AllPosters.com and Art.com (search renoir cats)
Renoir - Julie Manet with Cat
Renoir - Sleeping Girl with Cat
Renoir - Woman with a Cat
Renoir - Girl with Cat

Cardinal Richelieu
Cardinal Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis (1585-1642) French clergyman, noble man, and statesman

Cardinal Richelieu, Louis XIII's chief minister, kept dozens of cats, even building a cattery at Versailles for his wards and leaving money to maintain the cats after his death.

George Sand
George Sand (1804-1876) Author

Sand (real name Amantine Aurore Lucile Dupin Dudevant) reportedly ate her breakfast from the same bowl as her cat Minou.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer
Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) German theologian, musician, philosopher, and physician, Nobel Peace Prize winner

Cats played an important role in Dr. Schweitzer's life. He rescued a kitten
after he heard her plaintive "meow" under the floor of a building under construction.  Named Sizi, she sat on his desk as he wrote, often falling asleep on his left arm. During these times Dr. Schweitzer, who was left-handed, wrote prescriptions with his right hand. This went on reportedly for 23 years. Another cat, Piccolo, slept on papers stacked on Dr. Schweitzer's desk; if someone needed the papers, they were required to wait till the cat awoke. Schweitzer once said: "There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats."

Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter Scott (177 -1832) Poet and author (works include Rob Roy and Ivanhoe)

Absorbed in folklore and the supernatural, Scott was devoted to cats, and a portrait of him by John Watson Gordon shows the author at work at his desk with his tabby, Hinx, lying close by. This tomcat was known to terrorize Scott's dogs.  Scott wrote: “Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.” 

Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield (1939-1999) British pop singer

Dusty (real name Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien) adored cats. She was an advocate for several animal-protection groups. In her will, she made provision for Nicholas to be taken care of by a friend.

Theophile Steinlen
Theophile Steinlen (1859-1923) Swiss artist

Steinlen's Paris home was known as "CatsCorner". In addition to paintings and drawings, he also did sculpture on a limited basis, most notably figures of cats that he had great affection for as seen in many of his paintings.  The paintings below, and more, are available at AllPosters.com and Art.com
Steinlen - Cats and Dogs
Steinlen - Chat Noir
Steinlen - Clinique Cheron
Compagnie Francaise Des Chocolats
Steinlen - Girl and Three Kittens

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart (1941- ) American business magnate, television host, author and magazine publisher

Martha shares her home with
calico Persians Empress Tang and Princess Peony,
blue-point Himalayans Frost and Snow, Bartok, Verdi, Vivaldi, and Mozart.

Harriet Beecher Stowe
Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811-1896) Author

Harriet had a large Maltese cat called Calvin (her husband's name was Calvin also). He arrived on Harriet's doorstep one day, moved in and took over the household. Harriet enjoyed his company; Calvin, she wrote, was assertive, domineering, and prone to sit on her shoulders while she wrote her manuscripts, overseeing everything she wrote.

Nikola Tesla
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) Eastern European inventor, physicist, mechanical engineer and electrical engineer

Sparks generated when stroking his pet cat Macak led him to investigate electricity.  PBS provides an interesting article about the affection between Tesla and Macak.

Mark Twain
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835-1910)  American humorist, novelist, writer and lecturer

Twain kept eleven cats at his farm in Connecticut. Twain wrote, "I simply can't resist a cat, particularly a purring one. They are the cleanest, cunningest, and most intelligent things I know, outside of the girl you love, of course."  He also quipped, "If you hold a cat by the tail you learn things you cannot learn any other way"; and "The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won't sit upon a cold stove lid, either.”  Some of the cats' names:  Sour Mash, Apollinaris, Zoroaster, Blatherskite, Beelzebub
Louis Wain
Louis Wain (1860-1939) English artist

Black-and-white cat Peter was the loved companion of Wain's wife Emily, and he taught Peter tricks to amuse her. He began to draw extensive sketches of the large black and white cat. He later wrote of Peter, "To him properly belongs the foundation of my career, the developments of my initial efforts, and the establishing of my work." Peter appeared in many of Wain's early drawings.

Charles Dudley Warner
Charles Dudley Warner (1829-1900) Essayist and novelist

Calvin, a cat originally belonging to Harriet Beecher Stowe, went to live with Warner when Stowe moved. Warner became devoted to him and wrote about him in
My Summer in a Garden.

Andrew Lloyd Webber Andrew Lloyd Webber (1948- ) English composer of musical theatre (works include Cats, Phantom of the Opera)

In 2007, Webber's
6-month-old Turkish Vant Otto wiped out the score to his sequel to Phantom of the Opera by stepping on the keyboard. "I was trying to write some new music, he got into the grand piano, jumped onto the computer and destroyed the entire score for the new `Phantom' in one fell swoop."  [Otto was run over by a car outside Webber's estate later that year.]

HG Wells
H.G. Wells (1866-1946) English author

His cat, Mr. Peter Wells, had the habit, if a guest talked too long or too loudly, of getting up from its chair, protesting loudly and stalking out of the room.

Vanna White
Vanna White (1957- ) TV celebrity

The world-famous letter turner frequently mentioned the two cats she owned
(one named Rhett Butler) on "Wheel of Fortune".

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