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Millions of Cats

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  17,106 Ratings  ·  600 Reviews
An old couple is lonely - if only they had a pretty white cat! The old man finds a hill covered with cats and brings them home. His wife points out that they cannot possibly keep them all. The cats get in a fight over who gets to stay, and the couple is left with a scrawny little kitten. With love, the kitten becomes the most beautiful cat in the world. This classic is as ...more
Paperback, 112 pages
Published September 24th 1952 by Putnam Juvenile (first published 1928)
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Brian Yahn
Millions of Cats is a short and fun story about the dangers of cat addiction, and how it's seemingly so illogical by showing the destructive side of cats, and how they're generally mean and unfriendly and awful pets.

But then by showing just one good, humble cat everything changes, and we remember why the Internet was invented in the first place: to share lolcats and cat gifs.

For education and historical reasons, it's a must read.
Feb 10, 2010 Manybooks rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who likes picture books about animals, especially vintage picture books about animals
While I enjoyed the story itself, I did not find the illustrations all that appealing. I have never really liked black and white illustrations all that much, and the many, many cats together kind of remind me of masses of lemmings, rodents or locusts, faceless swarms of animals with no personalities or individual features (the only personable cat, in my opinion, is the little kitten left at the end, all the others are just a big mass of "catdom").

After having read some of the reviews from GR fri
Oh, dear... I thought I was going to absolutely adore this story based on the charming illustrations and the idea of a man who sets out to bring home a kitty for his wife, only to find that every cat he sees is just too cute to pass up so he brings home "millions of cats." However...


I thought the end was quite dreadful! Yes, even if this is a tale of the evils of vanity, it was a bit too much for all (but one) of the cats to eat one another up because each wanted to be the most beautiful
Feb 03, 2009 Miriam rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture
Creepy children's story about an old couple who long for a cat. When the old man finds the valley of cats he cannot choose the prettiest so he brings all million of them home. Where they ultimately eat each other. And the old idiots live happily ever after! WTF?
Apr 27, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ronyell by: The Newbery Book Club
“Millions of Cats” is a Newberry Honor book by Wanda Gag about how a very old couple wanted to have a cat for companionship, but they end up getting a million cats as pets and they have to decide which cat to keep for themselves. “Millions of Cats” may have a gruesome solution to the couple’s problem with having so many cats, but this book is still a great book for children to read for many years.

Wanda Gag’s story is cute and creative as it details a very old couple’s desire to have a cat to car
Giulia China
Sep 03, 2016 Giulia China rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Millions of Cats it's a children's classic in American literature, any cat's lover should have it in his bookshelf! It's a funny comical illustrated little story, perfect for any kids. As we know from youtube videos anything with cute fluffy cats will go viral!!


Too cute!!Gosh I love them *:*

4.5/5 STARS
Mauoijenn ~ *Mouthy Jenn* ~
I remember my grandmother sending me this book in a care package when I was young. I enjoyed this so much. I can still see the illustrations in my head. This adorable story about an old man and his cats was one of my most favorites growing up.
Lisa Vegan
I’m shocked. I really liked this book. I read it only because it’s a selection of the Newbery book club for the Children's Books group, and I’m not participating until they get to 1953 or so (mostly because of reading time considerations; I do like the idea of reading every single Newberry and Newberry honor book), but this was an unusual Newbery selection: a short picture book.

I’ve been reading others’ comments and thought that I’d be repulsed by this book; I am not a fan of the macabre.

Things I liked:
-cats, cats, and lots of cats! (duh)
-the fairy tale feel
-the fact that the man and woman are always referred to as "the very old woman" and "the very old man"
-the illustrations that span two pages
-the black and white illustrations are simple but expressive; very clean feeling
-this part: "cats here, cats there, cats and kittens everywhere, hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats"
-the fact that the man just can't choose a cat because they are
David Gallagher
I had a 60 minute break between classes at school, and, to kill time, I decided to go to the library and read a book short and easy enough to be able to finish it fast.

So I picked Millions of Cats. From the Children's section.

I could tell this was a vintage/classic children's book, but I wasn't sure exactly how much vintage/classic it was.


I started reading thinking, "oh, what a cute story! Such cute kittens! I wouldn't be able to pick one either!"

And a few pages later....

Oct 17, 2016 Dianna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Hundreds of cats. Thousands of cats. Millions and billions and trillions of cats."

This was a childhood favorite for me, so I couldn't be more thrilled that my own children love it now.

P.S. The cats do eventually (view spoiler) so if that's not your cup of tea, best to skip this book.
May 10, 2010 Karol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've got mixed feelings about this book. It was engaging and drew me in, but at another level it was repulsive. It does show the disastrous impact of letting greed and vanity take over - and I think children can easily see that the old man collecting all those cats had no common sense. I liked the rhythmic style of the writing, and the overall "craziness" of the story.
Laura Harrison
May 14, 2016 Laura Harrison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorite picture books. Wanda Gag was so cool. Love everything she has ever done.
Phil Jensen
Mar 11, 2017 Phil Jensen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Neat! A simple story about an elderly couple picking out a pet cat turns into a comment about the subjectivity of beauty and value of humility. True affection comes from building relationships, and not from appearances.

Some readers object to the "violence" implied by the story. This complaint is ludicrous.


An old man brings a horde of cats (millions, to be more precise) home to his wife. They can't choose the most beautiful one, so they go inside and leave the horde outside to sort it
Marissa Ramirez
I found this book overall interesting. The illustrations reminded me of the illustration style used in the middle age, maybe because of lack of color and the design of the characters and landscape. The story of a "very old man and a very old woman" and the way how they found their new kitten left me with a misgiving feeling. However, I enjoyed the use of some key phrases such as “the very old lady”, “the very old man”, “and hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions of cats”, or “"Ca ...more
A cautionary tale about the danger of relocating wildlife.

An old man removes an entire population of cats from their native ecosystem, only to discover he lacks the knowledge and resources to care for them on his own. When the cats grow hungry he offers them each a mouthful of grass, unaware that these obligate carnivores cannot subsist on such a diet. "What are you doing?" the old woman he lives with cries when she sees the cats, aware, as he is not, of how unsuited the creatures are for their
Crystal Marcos
Apr 26, 2010 Crystal Marcos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would give it a 3.5 if that were available. I just read the book. I have to say the cover didn't really appeal to me with the orange, yellow, and black. When I started to read the story I have to say that a song popped in my head when the old man set out to get his wife a cat. I will walk 500 miles and I will walk 500 more. What length a person would go through for their loved one. I thought the story was good. But, it did not have that "I have to share this factor." The illustrations were bla ...more
Sep 09, 2010 Brixton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: masking-tape
Because my son was born in Wanda Gag's hometown, New Ulm, MN, and we had then a family of 15 all-indoor cats, Millions of Cats was an appropriate favourite. I had to read that dang thing regularly for about eight years before he finally tired of it. "Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats" etc gets in my head like an insistent pop song, but somehow it's still fun to say. ...more
John Velo
3.5 stars

Short yet entertaining. Absurdly funny at times.

Being a cat person, it's somehow relatable how I sometimes just wanna grab and take home a random pretty kitty I happen to spot on the streets.
Jun 18, 2008 Kecia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Please don't tell my cat about this book, she thinks she IS the most beautiful of all!
Colby Sharp
Did all those millions of cats really eat each other??
Jun 06, 2017 Gina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good points about the company that a cat provides, how hard it can be to choose, and how love and attention is good for pets, but the solution for the surplus of cats is disturbing.
Christopher Newton
Jan 13, 2017 Christopher Newton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-lit
Wanda is for the ages. Book suitable for grown-ups.
My son, who very well may become a "Crazy Cat Lady" one day, wanted me to read him just one more book yesterday. I was proud that he wanted me to read him so many so I rewarded him with just one more cat book. I picked this one because it is part of the 1001 books challenge.

Millions of Cats tells the story of a lonely little old man and little old lady. The decide a cat is just the thing they need so the little old man sets off to find a cat. He comes upon a hill where there are million, and bil
Feb 15, 2015 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book to be very charming. This book in some way represents a goodhearted man who does not find a single cat to be more beautiful than the rest so he decides to take them all. And in response, his wife and him must make a decision on which one they will keep by asking them which is the most beautiful. Then they all say they are causing them all to fight. This to me represents the concept of being vain and thinking that you are better than everyone else. It causes a fight between all ...more
Holly Reed
While "Millions of Cats" is a humorous story that plays with rhyme, rhythm, and repetition and contains some fairly advanced vocabulary to teach readers about language, it certainly has its downsides. First of all, the design of the book is a bit scattered and complicated in that the writing is in very large chunks with an advanced layout, such as words that are separated into two lines with a hyphen; this is confusing for children just learning the nature of written language and how to follow w ...more
Vivek Tejuja
Nov 13, 2016 Vivek Tejuja rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A lot of cat books are being read this month. This one is the second one and there is also a third one waiting to be reviewed. “Millions of Cats” by Wanda Gág is an adorable and yet kinda scary book on cats. This is again a book I read for my reading project of 40 Cat Books. I love this project. One of my favourite reading projects. So what is this book about?

It is actually a picture book (no wonder it took me less than fifteen minutes to finish reading it) of an old man and his wife who are lo
First sentence: Once upon a time there was a very old man and a very old woman. They lived in a nice clean house which had flowers all around it, except where the door was. But they couldn't be happy because they were so very lonely.

Premise/plot: A very old man seeking to please his wife (who thought one cat might be nice) 'accidentally' brings home millions of cats.

My thoughts: In some ways, I can relate to the old man's weakness. He has a weakness for pretty cats; I have a weakness for stuffe
Apr 02, 2014 Maryruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Millions of Cats was written and illustrated by Wanda Gag. The book has minimal colors on the front cover instantly making me believe that the pictures in the book would be in some sort of color. But instead the book was just hand drawn black and white. The story is about a little old woman and a little old man who was very lonely. So the wife asked her husband if they could have a cat. The husband goes over the hills and through the trees and finds himself stumbling upon a field of cats, he end ...more
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Wanda Hazel Gág (March 11, 1893–June 27, 1946) was an American author and illustrator. She was born on March 11, 1893, in New Ulm, Minnesota. Her mother (Elisabeth Biebl) and father (Anton) were of Bohemian descent. Both parents were artists who had met in Germany. They had seven children, who all acquired some level of artistic talent. Wanda grew up the eldest of these, and despite their economic ...more
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