I'm having a heck of a time researching a science fiction, humanoid cats book(s). I'd like to find again that I beleive was published in the mid to early 1980's. I read this book when I was in junior high school around 1982-1985.

I tried to look up the subjects, "cats" & "science fiction" in the schools online site today and just in case I looked up the subjects in our city library with no luck.

The story (from what little I remember) had something to do with a main male cat character and all the other cats in a sci-fi war. (They all spoke and had cute catlike names.) I keep wanting to say "Catamount" but I can't find anything with that name to looks anywhere close to the story.

Does anyone have any idea how to find this this book (or series of books)? I'd love to read these again.

  • 2
    Some additional details would be helpful. If you provide, odds are excellent someone here will find it. Have you considered the 'Man-Kzin Wars' as a possibility ? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man-Kzin_Wars
    – Stan
    Mar 25, 2013 at 22:05
  • 1
    Was it novel-length or more of a short story? Mar 25, 2013 at 22:11
  • Could it be something by Cordwainer Smith? He did write some stuff about humanoid cats.
    – user14111
    Mar 30, 2014 at 5:14
  • Sounds similar to Norton's Star Ka'at series, from the second book onwards. The Ka'ats all have short names. Aug 13, 2020 at 18:21

6 Answers 6


Could it be Andre Norton's "Breed to Come"? The plot has a male humanoid cat main character who explores ancient ruins and discovers his species originally were pets that mutated, and that the legendary 'demons' returning to earth are actually the humans that created them.

It came out in 1973 originally but was republished at least once.

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Could it be C. J. Cherryh's Chanur series? The series features a species called the Hani who are quite catlike. Most of the Hani in the books are female, but I think there may be a plot line in one of the books where a male Hani, Khym Mahn, is the protagonist. Check out the Wikipedia page for the series and see if it rings a bell.

  • Hmmm. I looked up the "The Chanur" books online and that doesn't appear to be the storyline(s) I recall. (Although this also looks like a cool series of books to start reading.) These books look like they are guaged for adults. The books I recall were more for young teens. Thanks, Matt Mar 26, 2013 at 13:12
  • I ran through this listing anthrozine.com/site/lbry/cat.novels.html with no luck. But i'm going to run through it again to see if I missed something. Mar 26, 2013 at 13:49
  • @Matt Too bad. Thanks for the feedback!
    – Pixel
    Mar 27, 2013 at 23:06
  • I'm still a lookin'. Mar 28, 2013 at 21:29

Could this be Cat-A-Lyst by Alan Dean Foster?

Or if it's more of a kids' book, try Time Cat by Lloyd Alexander.


Have you considered the Man-Kzin war series? Originally this was a couple of short stories by Larry Niven set in his Known Space universe. The first stories may have been written in 1966, but it could have been a reprint that you picked up in high school.


There have been a number of other stories written in the same universe by other writers as can be seen from the Wiki page.

  • Problem is, "The Kzinti (singular Kzin) are a ... very warlike and bloodthirsty race of cat-like aliens ..." --not cutesy at all.
    – MarkHu
    May 7, 2020 at 0:52

Might be a Cordwainer Smith novel. His Instrumentality series often featured "underpeople" created from genetically modified animals. Cat people feature in several of the stories.

  • Welcome to SFF:SE. More detail would be helpful.
    – Politank-Z
    Jun 8, 2018 at 23:15
  • Yes, it would be :-). Unfortunately Cordwainer Smith wrote a lot of books, and had quite a fondness for cats. The story that the questioner remembers could be a reference to the Linebarger Cats, but that's just one example. Also, while I've read some Cordwainer Smith, and seen many references to his work, I've only read a fraction of what he's written. Jun 10, 2018 at 14:13

The series your looking for is "The Sholan Alliance" series. Book 1# is called "Turning Point".

  • 1
    Can you provide some reasoning as to why you feel this is the answer? As it is, it seems that the Sholan books do feature a humanoid catlike race, but there's no "cute" name for the race or the people thereof. sff.net/people/lisanne/books.html
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 17, 2014 at 17:15

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