I read this as a very young teen and don't remember much about it. What I do remember is

  1. The setting was probably post-apocalyptic Earth but may have been a desolate extrasolar world
  2. Human settlements were very sparse
  3. A boy often went out and hunted by himself with his "cat" (in my mind's eye it is panther sized or larger)
  4. He could communicate telepathically with the "cat"
  5. The "cat" was intelligent
  6. (this may or may not be a real memory) the large telepathic cats were descendents of domesticated cats
  7. (this may or may not be a real memory) domestic dogs also survived but weren't nearly as smart and were not telepathic
  8. Not sure whether it was the cat or the human who had telepathy or whether it was a bonding
  9. I think it was a novel
  • I want to suggest Telempath by Spider Robinson, but the big cat may just be on the cover. On a side note, this didn't involve the big cats being functionally invisible when they chose to be, does it?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:07
  • I'm not sure. I'll look that up and let you know.
    – Jim2B
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:12
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    @SeanDuggan, I think I found the answer and posted it below. I have to do a little more reading about it though to be sure.
    – Jim2B
    Mar 4, 2015 at 21:27
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    I think I am looking for the same book. If I remember right, the cats/panthers were black and silver (possibly blueish). If remember right, there was a cool cover where the panther was crouched down on the side behind a rock outcropping. Then on the other side was the young boy who just came across the panther. I am dying to find out what this book is called. If I find anything on my research I will make another post. Good Luck.
    – user51132
    Aug 24, 2015 at 19:57
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    I have Read the same book as an adolescent and want to find the answer. My recollection is that he actually finds the cat that he was communicating with telepathically. Would love to know the title. Was trying to tell my son about the book today. I have looked up the suggestions above and sure it is not daybreak or telempath..
    – user53537
    Sep 25, 2015 at 13:10

2 Answers 2


I think this is the answer:

Published in 1952, Andre Norton’s Star Man’s Son (also known as Daybreak 2250), is an early post-nuclear-war novel that follows a young man, Fors, in search of lost knowledge. Fors begins his Arthurian quest through a radiation-ravaged landscape with the aid of a telepathic mutant cat. He encounters mutated creatures called "the beast things," which are possibly a degenerate form of humans.


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    Fors is the son of Langdon,a Star Man, an explorer who would search the wilderness for the benefit of the clan. He can communicate telepathically with Lura a giant hunting cat. It's a post-apocalyptic earth in which small tribes of humans survive. He leaves the tribe to search for the lost city of the Old Ones.
    – KenM
    Mar 5, 2015 at 5:42

Are you sure it was a big cat? Other than that, it sounds very similar premise to 'A boy and his dog' - 1969 novel by Harlan Ellison with a 1975 film adaptation. (later books act as prequel and sequel)

15 year old boy (Vic) and his 'well-read' dog (Blood) who share a telepathic bond in a post-apocalyptic world, scavenging for food and women.

  • I know I have not read A Boy and his Dog, I remember telling my brother about this book and him telling me about that one. I still do intend to read it someday :)
    – Jim2B
    Mar 5, 2015 at 4:33

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