Who among us doesn’t love cats?! Even I, the person who has historically been most drawn to dog books, know that a good cat story has its place too. I mean, who can resist those furry, mustachioed faces and signature feline stance? A major symbol in Japanese folklore, cats feature prominently in Japanese literature, and manga is no exception! In cat manga, our feline friends can take the form of realistic pets, magical companions, or humanized in some way.
Before we get to the manga footage itself, allow me to tell you a little bit about my childhood cat, Ziggy. He was a stray, found alone in a parking garage by my dad’s co-worker, and somehow found a home with us despite my mom’s longtime fear of cats and my longtime desire for cats a dog for heaven’s sake! And so began our eventful, Yonkoma manga-worthy life with Ziggy. From that point he fell down the toilet, to the point he ripped up and ate an entire unopened box of donuts, to the way he bullied our dogs on a daily basis (yes, my wish did eventually comes true), Ziggy was quite a character. And much like Ziggy, the cats featured here in the manga have unique, compelling personalities, and you’re sure to enjoy reading about each of them. Enjoy!
10+ Cat Tastic Cat Manga
Doraemon by Fujiko F. Fujio
I can’t talk about cats in the manga without starting with the legendary Doraemon. Doraemon is an earless robotic cat sent from the 22nd century to befriend and help Nobita, a nice but lazy boy. Being from the future, Doraemon possesses many incredible gadgets that he uses to help Nobita overcome the various problems he encounters. This manga series that started in 1969 spawned a huge media franchise that remains one of the most popular to this day.
Cat Massage Therapy by Haru Hisakawa
Nekoyama is a regular employee who, tired from another long day at work, decides to stop at a massage parlor on his way home. However, he is shocked to discover that the massage parlor is run by cats! Though he considers himself more of a dog person, Nekoyama can’t deny his feline massage therapist’s skills as his aches and pains fade away. Soon more people will discover the healing touch of these cat massages!
A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai
A big, homely cat has reconciled himself to his fate of spending the rest of his life in the pet store while being repeatedly passed over by little kittens. But one day an elderly man, recently widowed, comes into the store and adopts him! This is a heartwarming slice of life manga about two kind souls who just want to love and be loved.
Cat + Gamer by Wataru Nadatani
Riko is a strong gamer. She works at full efficiency so she never has to work overtime and declines all invitations to meet up after work so she doesn’t lose a single precious minute of gaming time every day. Her life is turned upside down when a stray cat found in the office lot finds her way into her care. Using her knowledge from video games as a guide, Riko gradually learns how to care for and love her new pet.
The masterful cat is depressed again today by Hitsuji Yamada
Saku is an average young woman who lives alone with her cat, Yukichi. Only Yukichi is no ordinary cat. He is human-sized, walks around on two legs and is good at cooking and cleaning. Though Saku may not have figured out her whole life yet, at least she has her capable, if grumpy, companion to look after her.
My roommate is a cat owned by Minatsuki and Asu Futatsuya
Subaru Mikazuki is an introverted crime writer who hates to leave home. One day he accidentally meets a stray cat and takes her in. The story of these unlikely companions who learn to bond alternates between Haru (the cat) and Subaru’s perspectives. This manga has been licensed in English in webcomic form, so get ready for lots of scrolling in your future!
Natsume’s Book of Friends by Yuki Midorikawa
Takashi Natsume is a teenager with the special ability to see ayakashi, or spirits, a power he inherited from his grandmother, Reiko. After her death, Reiko leaves Takashi her Book of Friends, which contains the names of all the ayakashi she has bound under her control. Takashi takes it upon himself to cancel all contracts in the book and set the ayakashi free. The yokai Madara, whom Takashi calls Nyanko-sensei because he appears in the form of a cat, is his companion and “bodyguard”.
Nekogahara: Stray Cat Samurai by Hiroyuki Takei
In an alternate version of feudal Japan, anthropomorphic cats struggle to survive. Norachiyo is a rōnin, and he spends his days wandering Japan, protecting the weak and defeating opponents. With his unparalleled swordsmanship and impressive reputation, Norachiyo has made many enemies, but will he be able to stay one step ahead of his past forever? For great samurai action with a feline twist, Nekogahara is the manga for you!
The Walking Cat by Tomo Kitaoka
Read this unique horror manga to see the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a cat! After a young man named Jin saves a cat from a deadly fate, the two embark on a journey together to survive amidst the ruins of civilization and dodge zombie attacks in an attempt to find a mysterious island and Jin’s wife .
Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata
After being separated from her family and getting lost, mischievous little kitten Chi is taken in by a boy named Yohei and his family. This slice of life manga follows the adventures of Chi as she learns the ways of the world and gradually adjusts to her new home.
Bonus: Next to Chi’s sweet homeKonami Kanata has actually written a number of manga featuring adorable cats and their daily shenanigans, so be sure to check them all out!
For even more excellent manga reading, check out these animal series and of course, our picks for the best manga series around!