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Millions of Cats

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  20,614 ratings  ·  844 reviews
Once upon a time there was an old man and an old woman who were very lonely. They decided to get a cat, but when the old man went out searching, he found not one cat, but millions and billions and trillions of cats! Unable to decide which one would be the best pet, he brought them all home. How the old couple came to have just one cat to call their own is a classic tale th ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published October 5th 2006 by Picture Puffin Books (first published 1928)
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Ann White This is a children's story based in a country setting with a little fantasy about an extreme number of cats which is lovely and romantic that the elde…moreThis is a children's story based in a country setting with a little fantasy about an extreme number of cats which is lovely and romantic that the elderly couple could find a special kitty amongst millions of cats.(less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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 ·  20,614 ratings  ·  844 reviews

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Brian Yahn
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
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 educational and historical reasons, it's a must read.
Feb 10, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes picture books about animals, especially vintage picture books about animals
While I did enjoy the story (the narrative) itself, I did not find the accompanying illustrations of Wanda Gág's Millions of Cats all that visually 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 ...more
j e w e l s
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The oldest American Picture Book still in print! Obviously, it is about cats.

Happy birthday, Wanda Gag!

I was a little disturbed by this book as a kid--I mean all the cats end up eating each other, but there is a happy ending for the one little ugly kitty- she only needed some love and milk to become beautiful.

A classic. Read it again and marvel at the simplicity of the story and the unique lithography!
Surprising! I was not expecting this story at all. I like Edward Gorey and this has some dark wicked humor in it. I thought the ending was funny, a joke. I know people don't like jokes at the expense of the lives of animals, but it was still a joke.

This book was published in 1928 - the Roaring 20s. It is a time of prosperity and excess. The whole country is going boom. I don't know if Wanda meant it this way and I don't know if she foresaw the future, but it works as an allegory for the times it
Jun 24, 2009 rated it liked it
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
I really enjoyed this story about a couple who feel the need to share their lovely house with a special someone. When the old man goes off in search of a cat he finds more than he bargained for and as the title suggests he comes home with more than the one kitty.

(view spoiler)
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture, horror
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?
Feb 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For lack of a cat an old man and an old woman were very sad.


The tale of the cat (pun intentional)
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.
“If only we had a cat!” sighed the very old woman.
“A cat?” asked the very old man.
Yes, a sweet little fluffy cat,” said the very old woman.
I will get you a cat, my dear,” said the very
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.

Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"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.
David Gallagher
May 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011, library
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....

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
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.
Apr 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: tearsline, Kris
An entirely unexpected tale with a dark twist, like a traditional fairy tale from the days when children were introduced to terrifying life lessons as well as moral goodness through fantastical animal stories, and social-political messages were hidden in nursery rhymes. Yet it is also a charming story, highly original, with a happy ending.

I picked the book up at the library solely on the basis of the whimsical title (Millions of Cats!? In fact millions, billions and trillions!!!) and stylized co
Giulia China
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
This was a pretty quick read, though I loved staring at the illustrations and I loved the pattern of rhyme. I told my mom she needed to read this before turning it in for me bc I tell you, she is just like the man in this book when trying to keep or pick out a cat. (I like this one, oh but look at the stripes on this one..) Then in the end, she always ends up with a little sweetie that needs TLC.
I’d love to own this one. It’s great for any age in my opinion. It’s not a really short children’s b
Sep 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fairy-Tale Lovers / Newbery Completists
One of only a few picture-books to have been chosen as a Newbery Honor title - Wanda Gág's own The ABC Bunny was another, in 1934 - Millions of Cats is the charming tale of a very old man and a very old woman who, lonely and childless, decide to get a cat. But when the very old man finds himself before a hill covered in cats - "Cats here, cats there, / Cats and kittens everywhere, / Hundreds of cats, / Thousands of cats, / Millions and billions and trillions of cats," he cannot decide which ...more
Feb 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: cats, kidstuff
When I was dating The Guy I Wasted My Twenties On, I had the obligatory meet-the-family at his parents' home. His step-sister E. was cool, and elegant, thin as a rail with her hair in a bun - she looked like Princess Caroline of Monaco. I was swooning; I so wanted to be her. Somehow we got to talking about children's books, and she could NOT BELIEVE I had not been read this book as a child!

Well, if this Goddess wanted me to read Millions of Cats, dammit, I was getting a copy posthaste. And, it
Theresa Marsala
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was written in 1928, won the Newbury Award in 1929 & is recognized as the first modern picture book. This is my first time reading this classic & I was pleasantly surprise. It was not at all what I expected. I guess I can see how some would call it "gruesome" towards the end by today's standards but I've noticed most old folk tales, fairy tales, or fables do have serious consequences to some extreme extent. I don't hold that against it considering when it was written & how well the mor ...more
Can I just say the old man picking out a cat on the hill is pretty much like me tryig to pick a book in a bookstore... ?

This story book is quite quaint, and cute to boot, since it's filled with cats. Great to read out loud to the little ones.
May 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childhood, feline
The violence and death was vaguely disturbing, but Wanda Gag rocks.
Laura Harrison
May 14, 2016 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.
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
May 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Sharon Huether
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cat-story
A story of an old couple that wanted a kitten. The old man traveled miles to find a kitten then finds hundreds, thousands, millions ,billions and trillions of cats. They all follow him home plus the kitten.
A classic story book, beautifully illustrated; winning the Newberry award.
Peter Tillman
Jun 27, 2020 marked it as to-read
On this date( 6/27/2020), in 1946, American artist, author, translator, and illustrator Wanda Gág, best known for writing and illustrating the children's book Millions of Cats, the oldest American picture book still in print, dies. Cute picture of author & cat:
Sample illo: Hard to pick!
Artist at work:
More Gág:
Robert Davis
**** Newbery Honor (1929) ****

On an early December morning in 1999, a sweet little girl named Xiana (zee-ahna) was abducted near her home while waiting for the school bus. A large manhunt was organized in the community, at first concentrating close to the little girls home, but eventually expanding out in a 25 mile diameter. Suspicions turned to close family, friends and acquaintances. Many tips and leads were followed, all resulting in nothing. Fears worsened as time passed. Eight months after
Phil Jensen
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
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
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. 10000 cats [s] 5 37 Sep 17, 2009 05:43PM  

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Wanda Hazel Gág (pronounced GOG) 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. Gág grew up the eldest of these, and despite their economic hardships, the ...more

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