Judging from publishers' submissions for this article (and those of previous years), cat books are not published in the same numbers as dog books are—despite cats outnumbering dogs as pets—but the right cat memoir can be just as successful as any canine tale. Last February, Hyperion published David Dosa's Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat, about a kitten adopted by the staff of a Rhode Island nursing home. The title spent eight weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and one week on PW's list. In April 2011, Hyperion will publish 100,000 copies of the trade paper edition.
Training guides for cats are—understandably, by any cat owner—more rare than dog guides, but they do exist. "We all know the adage about teaching dogs tricks," says BBD senior editor Caitlin Alexander. She insists that The Cat Whisperer (Jan.) by Mieshelle Nagelschneider shows that, "contrary to popular belief," cats can be trained. Sterling is distributing companion guides from Expert Books, The Cat Expert: The Only Cat Book You Will Ever Need by Rebecca Watson and The Dog Expert: The Only Dog Book You Will Ever Need by Karen Bush, both published in June.
Gotham has found success with its LOLcat books. LOLcats are photos with witty, grammatically incorrect and misspelled captions superimposed on them, as seen on the Web site Icanhascheezburger.com and its affiliated sites, which attract more than 16 million visitors per month. A new paperback featuring kittens, Teh Itteh Bitteh Book of Kittehs by Professor Happycat and ICanhascheezburger.com, is due in October. Says Gotham senior editor Patrick Mulligan, "These books sell because they're both quirky and cute. With the kitten book, we've taken the cuteness up to 11." (Puppies get similar treatment in Hipster Puppies by Christopher R. Weingarten, also based on a popular Web site, due from NAL in July 2011.)
Also high on the cuteness factor is the September photograph collection Shelter Cats by Michael Kloth (Merrell). Not only are the portraits adorable, but the book concludes with several statistics about cats, shelters, and charitable organizations that take donations, and in a marriage of form and function, for each $22.95 hardcover sold, 25 cents will go to the ASPCA.