The best books for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

The Books I Picked & Why

Pets in America: A History

By Katherine C. Grier

Pets in America: A History

Why this book?

This book was one of my primary go-to’s when I was writing my own book, Citizen Canine. It’s an in-depth exploration of the changing status of cats and dogs throughout American history, and it’s fascinating. Chock-full of photos and great anecdotes, it’s a must for anyone who wants to take a deep dive into the American history of pets. 


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The Cat in Ancient Egypt

By Jaromir Malek

The Cat in Ancient Egypt

Why this book?

This is a great coffee table book. Tons of lovely pictures and illustrations. A must for any cat lover who wants to get a better sense of the role—and place—of cats in Ancient Egypt. I still look at it from time to time because I enjoy the pictures so much. 


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Classical Cats: The Rise and Fall of the Sacred Cat

By Donald W. Engels

Classical Cats: The Rise and Fall of the Sacred Cat

Why this book?

This book is full of amazing, surprising, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of how the status of cats changed during the Middle Ages. I learned a ton from this book. Even if you think you know everything about cats, you’re bound to be surprised by many of the stories here. A must-read for cat lovers and history buffs.


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Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster: Life-Changing Stories and Practical Suggestions

By Allen Anderson, Linda Anderson

Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster: Life-Changing Stories and Practical Suggestions

Why this book?

Hurricane Katrina was one of the most transformative events in our relationship with cats and dogs. This book charts some of the incredible rescues that took place in the aftermath of this epic disaster. Heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, it will inspire those who care about animals to care even more—and perhaps even volunteer themselves.


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For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States

By Diane L. Beers

For the Prevention of Cruelty: The History and Legacy of Animal Rights Activism in the United States

Why this book?

For those who want to learn more about the meaning and history of animal rights, this is one of the most informative books I’ve read on the rise of the American animal welfare and animal rights movements. Even if you don’t agree with everything in these pages, you’ll come away with a new appreciation of the struggles to protect dogs, cats, and other animals in our modern society.


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