The British Museum Book of Cats

Ancient and Modern

Juliet Clutton-Brock

This beautifully illustrated book looks at the different roles cats have played in human life and also describes the various modern pedigree breeds – from short-haired tabby to long-haired Persian – which have evolved from the original wild cat.

978 0 71411 758 4
January 1995
215 x 215 mm
96 pp
Colour throughout
British Museum Press in association with the Natural History Museum


Sometimes a friendly fireside companion, more often elusive and independent, the cat possesses an enigmatic appeal and unfathomable mystery, which have inspired writers, poets, artists and craftsmen alike from the illuminations of the Lindisfarne Gospels to Rudyard Kipling. 

The illustrations in this survey of the development of the cat and its special relationship with people over 7,000 years are drawn mainly from the collections of the British Museum and Natural History Museum, both rich in cat imagery from many cultures and civilizations.

The British Museum Book of Cats is available to order from our co-publisher British Museum Press. For details of how to contact them, please visit Publishing partners.


Juliet Clutton-Brock was a senior research worker in the Mammal Section at the Natural History Museum in London from 1969 until her retirement in 1993, and maintains a position there as a research associate. 

She has published numerous scientific reports, papers, books and popular articles on archaeozoology and the history of domesticated mammals including A Natural History of Domesticated Mammals published by the Natural History Museum.

Buy animal books online

Bats - Natural History Museum book

Visit the online shop to find all our animal titles. Explore the animal kingdom with our books on bats, big cats, birds and much more.

You can also buy other books, DVDs and lots of gifts inspired by the natural world.

Go shopping

Share this