As a new mom to an adorable kitten who is now 9 months old (where did the time go?) we are always on the hunt for interesting ways to celebrate all things feline. Little did we know before our little darling arrived that cats have long been the subject of the photographer’s eye. And why not? Beautiful, graceful, mischievous and mysterious, they’re the perfect subject for compelling portraiture that conveys a wide range of emotions. Here are 9 excellent examples of coffee table books of cat photography from some of the world’s best photographers. They’re perfect books for the coffee table of any pet parent – and your little tiger will look adorable perched on top of one of these, too.
what are the best cat coffee table books right now?
Henri Cartier-Bresson lived an extraordinary life: captured by the Nazis, he escaped from a prisoner of war camp on his third try and went on to become one of the most famous and admired photographers in the world. And founder of Magnum.[white_box]
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So, for a man who could photograph anything – and anyone – he liked, what animal did Cartier-Bresson choose to make the object of his lens? Cats, dear reader.
Why? Because he considered himself an iconoclast and an anarchist. And he viewed cats as his fellow travelers. He famously once wrote: “A cat knows what anarchy is. Ask a cat. A cat understands. They’re against discipline and authority. A dog is trained to obey. Cats can’t be. Cats bring on chaos.”
We are assuming that he meant this as the highest possible compliment.[white_box]
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If you’re similarly inclined, have a look at these 9 handsome coffee table books – volumes filled with gorgeous cat photography and illustrations by some of the world’s best photographers and artists.
Even if you didn’t love cats before, after seeing these, how could you not?
9 of the best coffee table books featuring cats
1. Cats: Photographs 1942–2018 by Walter Chandoha.
Chandoha is considered “the grandfather of feline photography,” and Cats: Photographs 1942-2018, is a portfolio of the photographer’s greatest work. You’ll quickly see why he is considered among the world’s best cat photographers.
For example, Chandoha’s trademark glamorous lighting, which made each cat’s fur stand out in sharp relief, came to define the visual vocabulary of animal portraiture for generations. While the photographer passed away in 2019 at the age of 98, this is a vibrant component of his legacy.
BUY NOW: $34.10.
2. Sasuke by Masahisa Fukase.
There’s a wonderful story behind this marvelous book of cat photography, released in September 2021. Sasuke is a compilation of decades of photos of Fukase’s own cat. In 1977, the photographer turned his lens toward a new companion: his cat, Sasuke. “That year I took a lot of pictures crawling on my stomach to be at eye level with a cat and, in a way, that made me a cat. It was a job full of joy,” he writes.
That pure delight shines through in these images. The book is arranged into four chapters, organized around the chronology of the artist’s life with his cats. While he passed away in 2012, his spirit is fully alive in these charming and beautiful photos.
BUY NOW: $39.99.[white_box]
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3. Girls and Their Cats by BriAnne Wills and Elyse Moody.
In Girls and Their Cats, we quickly come to realize that the dismissive term “cat lady” is long overdue for a reassessment. This gorgeous coffee table book redefines what it means to be a “cat lady” by showcasing 50 strong, independent, and artistic women and their furry companions. Based on the popular Instagram @girlsandtheircats, this is not just fluff: this volume includes practical advice and tips on topics from “How to Catproof Your Home” to “The Chorus of Cat Sounds,” as well as an adoption resource guide.
BUY NOW: $24.95.
4. Behind Every Great Woman is a Great Cat by
What do Florence Nightingale, Georgia O’Keefe and Taylor Swift have in common? Among other things, they all had cats. Behind Every Great Woman Is a Great Cat is a compendium of stories about over 30 women—including Colette, Julia Child, Betty White and Gigi Hadid—who are cat moms. The stories are illustrated with whimsical and charming sketches by Lulu Mayo.
BUY NOW: $14.95.
5. Of Cats and Men by Sam Kalda.
Somehow the world has come to believe that cats are adored by females and that real men prefer dogs. Of course, that’s crazy talk. And if you need proof, have a look at Of Cats and Men: Profiles of History’s Great Cat-Loving Artists, Writers, Thinkers, and Statesmen.
In it, you’ll find profiles of 30 famous men and their feline companions, including Sir Isaac Newton, Winston Churchill, Ernest Hemingway, William S. Burroughs and Andy Warhol. You’ll also glean lots of fun facts about how cats have inspired scientific and creative advances. For example, the legend is that the static charge from a cat’s fur sparked young Nikola Tesla’s interest in electricity. And you know what happened after that. We need to get the cats working on the climate crisis – they can surely add fuel to the quest to save the planet, don’t you think?
BUY NOW: $11.99.[white_box]
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6. The French Cat by Rachael Hale McKenna.
What could be more chic than a beautiful cat who happens to reside in Paris? Or anywhere in France, really. In The French Cat, we’re treated to photos of these refined creatures in their natural habitats. Remarkable French landscapes, both urban and rural, are populated with cats brimming with personality—whether languidly strolling in a quaint village or regally perched on the doorstep of an elegant château. Engaging quotes from famous French cat lovers and literary greats are included. This sounds like a dream read for cat parents and Francophiles – gourmet catnip!
BUY NOW: $19.62.
7. Shop Cats of New York by Tamar Arslanian and Andrew Marttila.
In Shop Cats of New York, we meet 40 felines who inhabit places both famous and infamous in the city. Like the Algonquin Hotel; a whiskey distillery; Bleecker Street Records; and a host of yoga studios, bookstores, and bike shops. Like many denizens of New York, these cats are fierce, funny and photogenic. It’s a wonderful way to see the city from a cat’s eye view.
BUY NOW: $13.99.
8. Bookstore Cats by Brandon Schultz.
Books and cats? Are you kidding? Who among us could turn away from such a delightful combination? In the photo book Bookstore Cats, we’re treated to images that are like catnip to us. Expressive kitties surrounded by piles and piles of books. All we need is a soft blanket and some fuzzy slippers, and we’ll happily stay here for hours.
BUY NOW: $19.99.
9. Wine Cats by Craig McGill & Susan Elliott.
If there’s anything that might trump the combination of cats and books, it’s cats and fine wine. Am I right? In this follow up to Wine Dogs, in Wine Cats, the authors share the stories of over 90 wineries from around the world, paired with over 100 stunning photos of their resident kitties in situ. This is the perfect gift for the oenophile cat parent in your life – and who doesn’t have one of those?
BUY NOW: $30.50.
best cat coffee table books
That’s our take on some of the standout examples of coffee table books of cat photography from some of the world’s best photographers portraying the cats that fascinated them. What do you think, dear reader? Is it time to add something feline to your beautiful book collection?
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