In my twenties (in the 90's,) I bought a lot of books at a used book store and would frequently donate them to local libraries or sell them back.

There was one paperback that has come to mind recently when the wife started volunteering at the local humane society.

It features a kind of dumb human and a sentient cat. It's set in modern day USA. Some sort of crisis comes up and the cat reveals himself to be an alien. I don't think all the cats on earth are sentient, but some are and they are here studying us. Little things I can remember is that the cat is pretty snarky, the human isn't too bright, and the "villain" is also a cat, i think. It's pretty light hearted as I recall.

It's driving me a little nuts, because I remember bits and pieces but I can't even recall the title or even cover art. It may have been one of the many 'stripped' paperbacks that get thrown away without the front covers.

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    sentient cats and my mind immediately goes to something in the Niven-verse?: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kzin
    – NKCampbell
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:51
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    Hi Paul. You say you can "remember bits and pieces". Any bits and pieces you remember should go into the question as it's often apparently trivial details that will jog someone's memory. Sep 10, 2021 at 17:57
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    "Sentient alien cat" makes me think of Zelazny's Doorways in the Sand but the alien cat is an agent provocateur and not studying humanity. It is also only superficially in a contemporary society, Earth is actually part of an interstellar confederation.
    – DavidW
    Sep 10, 2021 at 17:58
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    Nitpick - the word you want is sapient. All cats are sentient.
    – Pete
    Sep 10, 2021 at 19:27
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    @NKCampbell Naw dawg, The Cat From Outer Space is straight up housecats. :)
    – Lexible
    Sep 10, 2021 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


Since you mention it's light-hearted and the villain is a cat, I wonder if this might be Cat-A-Lyst (1991) by Alan Dean Foster. The date is reasonable, and it was generally a more humorous book.

The story is about an actor who finds a disc with instructions that are supposed to lead to a treasure, and heads to South America with a make-up artist to look for it. Along the way he picks up a guide and a cat (who is really an alien), and they get dumped into another world where the Inca hid when the Spanish invaded.

The Inca now want to invade Earth and take revenge on the Spanish, and behind this all is another cat (who is also an alien).

It's been a long time since I read this, so I'll need to try to dig up my copy to add more details.

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    ding ding ding! That sounds like it. A minute of google on the title and I spotted a picture I recognized, and it sounds like the plot of a Foster novel. Even if it isn't, it might be worth a read. Thanks!
    – Paul TIKI
    Sep 10, 2021 at 18:22
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    Before reading the whole question, only the title, I thought of Breed to Come by Andre Norton, which is an interesting book. And, incidentally, the first scifi book I ever read. I might have to read it again...
    – lsd
    Sep 10, 2021 at 21:52

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