100 books like Pets in America

By Katherine C. Grier,

Here are 100 books that Pets in America fans have personally recommended if you like Pets in America. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of When Species Meet

Gísli Pálsson Author Of The Last of Its Kind: The Search for the Great Auk and the Discovery of Extinction

From my list on books that capture life on the edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated by “nature” since childhood, growing up on an island south of Iceland and spending summers on a farm. As a teenager, I would explore my island in the company of friends, often with a binocular and a camera at hand. There was much to explore: a towering volcano above the local community, ancient lava flows, stormy seas – and an amazing variety of seabirds. I witnessed an island being born nearby during a stunning volcanic eruption. My life and career have been heavily informed by this experience, as an anthropologist and a writer I have always somehow engaged with connections between people and their environments.

Gísli's book list on books that capture life on the edge

Gísli Pálsson Why did Gísli love this book?

Haraway’s book struck me like lightning. Here was a book that seemed to address relations between species in terms usually restricted to humans.

Many people, including social historians, have meaningfully described social formations in terms of various kinds of dependency and collaboration, for instance, slavery, feudalism, and companionship. After all, human-animal relations deserve a similar perspective. Human relations with dogs, cats, and birds, for instance, could be described in terms of a diversity of ranks and hierarchies. For other contexts involving domestic animals (including cows, reindeer, and horses), the language of slavery and servitude might be more relevant.

Haraway’s approach not only helps to illuminate complex nuances of modern biotechnology, to me it also seems vital at a time of escalating extinctions caused by humans. 

By Donna J. Haraway,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked When Species Meet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"When Species Meet is a breathtaking meditation on the intersection between humankind and dog, philosophy and science, and macro and micro cultures." -Cameron Woo, Publisher of Bark magazine

In 2006, about 69 million U.S. households had pets, giving homes to around 73.9 million dogs, 90.5 million cats, and 16.6 million birds, and spending over $38 billion dollars on companion animals. As never before in history, our pets are truly members of the family. But the notion of "companion species"-knotted from human beings, animals and other organisms, landscapes, and technologies-includes much more than "companion animals."

In When Species Meet, Donna J.…


Book cover of Song for the Horse Nation: Horses in Native American Cultures

Jean O'Malley Halley Author Of Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses

From my list on human relationships with other animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jean Halley is a professor of sociology at the Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York (CUNY). She earned her doctorate in sociology at the Graduate Center of CUNY, and her master’s degree in theology at Harvard University. Halley's book with the University of Georgia Press about girls who love horses, Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses, came out in 2019. She and her horse grew up in the Rocky Mountains. Today she lives in New York City.

Jean's book list on human relationships with other animals

Jean O'Malley Halley Why did Jean love this book?

A Song for the Horse Nation investigates the role and importance of horses in many Native American cultures historical and today. Most people believe that contemporary horses are not indigenous to the Americas but came with the Spanish literally carrying in the colonizers. In A Song for the Horse Nation, Herman J. Viola writes, “America’s Native peoples have little for which to thank Christopher Columbus except the horse.”

In the beginning, Native Americans were scared of the horses that came carrying white men on their backs. Viola explains, “They had never seen an animal that could carry a person. They called the horses, ‘sky dogs,’ believing that they were monsters or messengers from the heavens." The desire to have horses quickly replaced Native people’s fear. The colonizers, on horseback, stole land and life from the Native Americans whom they encountered. Native Americans stole horses from the colonizers to make…

By National Museum of the American Indian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Song for the Horse Nation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The tradition of horses in Native American culture, depicted through images, essays, and quotes. For many Native Americans, each animal and bird that surrounded them was part of a nation of its own, and none was more vital to both survival and culture than the horse.


Book cover of Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond

Jean O'Malley Halley Author Of Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses

From my list on human relationships with other animals.

Why am I passionate about this?

Jean Halley is a professor of sociology at the Graduate Center and the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York (CUNY). She earned her doctorate in sociology at the Graduate Center of CUNY, and her master’s degree in theology at Harvard University. Halley's book with the University of Georgia Press about girls who love horses, Horse Crazy: Girls and the Lives of Horses, came out in 2019. She and her horse grew up in the Rocky Mountains. Today she lives in New York City.

Jean's book list on human relationships with other animals

Jean O'Malley Halley Why did Jean love this book?

In this fascinating book, Meg Daley Olmert explores the biological element of human relationships with other animals, and in particular the role of the hormone, oxytocin. Oxytocin helps humans and other animals feel calmer, allowing us to be more curious and friendly. Oxytocin lowers one’s heart rate and reduces stress hormones. Humans who live with or regularly spend time with nonhuman animals live longer and stay healthier. Further, contact with animals can elicit oxytocin in both of those involved, human and nonhuman.

By Meg Daley Olmert,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Made for Each Other as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Nothing turns a baby's head more quickly from nursing or playing than the sight of a dog or any animal. Made for Each Other lays out both sides of this deep mutual connection and the way it has evolved since prehistoric times. Drawing on the fascinating work of scientists in many fields, from neuroscience to zoology and anthropology, as well as her own investigations, Meg Daley Olmert shows the roots of this age-old bond and its great importance to our well being.


Book cover of The Cat in Ancient Egypt

David Grimm Author Of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

From my list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am, first and foremost, a lover of cats and dogs. I have been fascinated by these animals ever since I was a child. Where did they come from? Why are we so strongly bonded to them? What is the future of our relationship? These are questions I have asked myself for decades, and which I finally answer in Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. I bring to this book not only my lifelong love of these animals, but a deep-thinker’s exploration of history, law, and science. 

David's book list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

David Grimm Why did David love 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. 

By Jaromir Malek,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cat in Ancient Egypt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A definitive and richly illustrated account of cats in Egyptian life, religion, and art
True aristocrat of domestic animals, the cat has a distinguished ancestry. Most modern cats are thought to be descended from the cats of ancient Egypt, so these beautiful and engaging creatures represent a living link between ancient Egyptian civilization and our own times.
Wild cats were probably domesticated at least as early as 2000 BC, but they were regularly represented in Egyptian tomb paintings only some 500 years later, in the New Kingdom. The cat became one of the most important and highly esteemed animals in…


Book cover of Classical Cats: The Rise and Fall of the Sacred Cat

David Grimm Author Of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

From my list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am, first and foremost, a lover of cats and dogs. I have been fascinated by these animals ever since I was a child. Where did they come from? Why are we so strongly bonded to them? What is the future of our relationship? These are questions I have asked myself for decades, and which I finally answer in Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. I bring to this book not only my lifelong love of these animals, but a deep-thinker’s exploration of history, law, and science. 

David's book list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

David Grimm Why did David love 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.

By Donald W. Engels,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Classical Cats as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Today when we think of domestic cats, we recall the familiar hearthside companion and the mischievous playmate. It is difficult to comprehend that in the past the animal has played a fundamental role in the development of European and Western civilization. The human relationship to the cat has been important for most of the last four millennia.
In this beautifully illustrated book, Donald Engels charts the history and significance of the cat from ancient Egypt to the middle ages, exploring such phenomena as the worship of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, the infamous cat massacres and witch hunts of the…


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

David Grimm Author Of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

From my list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am, first and foremost, a lover of cats and dogs. I have been fascinated by these animals ever since I was a child. Where did they come from? Why are we so strongly bonded to them? What is the future of our relationship? These are questions I have asked myself for decades, and which I finally answer in Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. I bring to this book not only my lifelong love of these animals, but a deep-thinker’s exploration of history, law, and science. 

David's book list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

David Grimm Why did David love 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.

By Allen Anderson, Linda Anderson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Rescued as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestselling authors Allen and Linda Anderson interviewed hundreds of volunteers, hurricane survivors, animal welfare organizations, and government officials for their national award-winning book Rescued: Saving Animals from Disaster. The result is an uplifting, inspiring, informative book that features the best humanity has to offer when people and animals need our help during a crisis. American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) awarded Rescued with its prestigious Outstanding Book Award.
The catalyst for Rescued was the tragic situation during and after the Hurricane Katrina disaster -- thousands refusing to leave without their pets, and animals being viewed by…


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

David Grimm Author Of Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs

From my list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am, first and foremost, a lover of cats and dogs. I have been fascinated by these animals ever since I was a child. Where did they come from? Why are we so strongly bonded to them? What is the future of our relationship? These are questions I have asked myself for decades, and which I finally answer in Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. I bring to this book not only my lifelong love of these animals, but a deep-thinker’s exploration of history, law, and science. 

David's book list on for serious thinkers about cats and dogs

David Grimm Why did David love 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.

By Diane L. Beers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For the Prevention of Cruelty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Animal rights. Those two words conjure diverse but powerful images and reactions. Some nod in agreement, while others roll their eyes in contempt. Most people fall somewhat uncomfortably in the middle, between endorsement and rejection, as they struggle with the profound moral, philosophical, and legal questions provoked by the debate. Today, thousands of organizations lobby, agitate, and educate the public on issues concerning the rights and treatment of nonhumans. For the Prevention of Cruelty is the first history of organized advocacy on behalf of animals in the United States to appear in nearly a half century. Diane Beers demonstrates how…


Book cover of Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack #6

Lil Chase Author Of The Cat Who Ate Christmas

From my list on frisky fictional felines (for children).

Why am I passionate about this?

As the author of The Cat Who Ate Christmas, I love a book about a cat who is cunning, quirky, perhaps calamity-prone, but also a cutie. There are plenty of books about loving pets, but their characters all seem to be too earnest, too driven to do the right thing. Not with cats! They will lie, cheat and do what it takes to get what they want… as long as it doesn’t get in the way of nap time. Cats are anti-heroes by nature, aren’t they? That’s why they make the best animals to read about – and an absolute dream to write about. 

Lil's book list on frisky fictional felines (for children)

Lil Chase Why did Lil love this book?

I loved these comic strips as a kid. I had the extended graphic novels too. What’s so appealing about Garfield is that he’s such a realistic cat: he can be loving, he can be selfish, he can be needy, and he can be cruel. Sometimes he just wants to sleep. At other times he’s out all night singing on the fence, keeping the neighbourhood awake. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to his moods.

Sounds like many of the fickle felines I’ve known in real life.

By Jim Davis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Garfield Fat Cat 3-Pack #6 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This rollicking collection includes three books in one: Garfield Rounds Out, Garfield Chews the Fat, and Garfield Goes to Waist.

Get ready for a triple dose of laughs with the world's funniest fat cat.

Garfield's back in all his gut-busting glory: catching his tongue in the electric mixer; revealing his distate for milk (he was once frightened by an udder); pranking Jon for serving him a rubber pizza; and bobbing for croutons.

When it comes to humor, forget the rest, you've found the best—Garfield!

The GARFIELD FAT CAT 3-PACK series collects the GARFIELD comic-strip compilation books in a new, full-color…


Book cover of A Man and His Cat

Abby Denson Author Of Kitty Sweet Tooth

From my list on cat-themed graphic novels and manga.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a cartoonist who often features cat characters in my books, including Cool Japan Guide, Cool Tokyo Guide, Dolltopia, and Kitty Sweet Tooth. As a life-long cat-lover, I enjoy drawing and writing about my beloved feline friends. I’m also an avid reader of manga and frequent visitor to Japan, where I studied in my college days, so I particularly love reading manga featuring cats and collecting Maneki Neko lucky cat figures as well. I hope you enjoy these books and consider adopting a cat!

Abby's book list on cat-themed graphic novels and manga

Abby Denson Why did Abby love this book?

This heart-melting story of an unusual-looking cat and the widower who adopts him will bring happy tears to the eyes of any animal-lover. Fukumaru is a cat who isn’t conventionally cute, and worries he’ll never be adopted. When an older gentleman takes him home, they begin a new life together, introducing love and laughter into their days. An uplifting story, but make sure to have tissues handy when reading this!

By Umi Sakurai,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Man and His Cat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The top manga launch in Japan in the first half of 2018, A Man and His Cat was also voted one of the top ten manga of 2018 by Japanese bookstore employees nationwide. Having won hearts and topped charts in Japan, this hotly anticipated series about an older gentleman and his unique, adorable cat is available in English for the first time!

In the pet shop he calls home, a chubby, homely cat whiles away the hours listening to coos of delight from potential pet parents...but he knows it's not him they're fussing over. Even as his price drops with…


Book cover of The Good Good Pig: The Extraordinary Life of Christopher Hogwood

Tove Danovich Author Of Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them

From my list on animals helping us understand ourselves.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a freelance journalist who started writing about animals after getting and falling in love with a flock of chickens. Animals are fascinating in their own right but the way we talk about them, and our relationships, shine a fascinating light on humans and what we value. My work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Country Living, and many others. 

Tove's book list on animals helping us understand ourselves

Tove Danovich Why did Tove love this book?

Sometimes it takes a pig to introduce us to our fellow humans.

In this delightful book, nature writer Sy Montgomery sticks close to home following the story of Christopher Hogwood, a runty piglet who grows into 750 pounds and a neighborhood favorite. You may not want a pig as a pet after reading but you will fall in love with the pig mind and the way animals can bring us together.

By Sy Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Good Good Pig as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"In loving yet unsentimental prose, Sy Montgomery captures the richness that animals bring to the human experience. Sometimes it takes a too-smart-for-his-own-good pig to open our eyes to what most matters in life.”
—John Grogan, author of Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog

A naturalist who spent months at a time living on her own among wild creatures in remote jungles, Sy Montgomery had always felt more comfortable with animals than with people. So she gladly opened her heart to a sick piglet who had been crowded away from nourishing meals by his stronger siblings.…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in pets, Anthrozoology, and cats?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about pets, Anthrozoology, and cats.

Pets Explore 52 books about pets
Anthrozoology Explore 132 books about Anthrozoology
Cats Explore 192 books about cats