Cats are a pure shot of serotonin.
They’re unabashedly cute, whip-smart, and sometimes downright devilish.
Don’t have a cat in your line of sight right now? These 6 Japanese manga will help you embrace your inner cat person.
Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya
Cheerful and warmhearted high schooler Tohru Honda always wears a smile, so nobody realizes a family tragedy has turned her life upside down. When her paternal grandfather renovates his house, Tohru has to temporarily find a new place to stay. Because she doesn’t want to burden her friends, she pitches a tent on private property that belongs to the reclusive Sohma clan. When cousins Yuki and Shigure Sohma discover her secret living arrangement, they take her in. Soon, Tohru learns the Sohmas have a secret of their own. When they’re embraced by the opposite sex, they turn into one of the 13 animals from the Chinese zodiac. Unfazed by the zodiac curse, Tohru forms a close bond with the reviled and outcast cat spirit, Kyo Sohma. Can she change how the Sohmas see themselves, each other, and the outside world?
Chi’s Sweet Home by Konami Kanata
When Chi wanders away from her mom and siblings, she’s thrust into a frightening world full of roaring cars and barking dogs. Overcome with fear, the little gray-and-white tabby cat roams around until she’s so exhausted she collapses in a meadow. Luckily, she’s saved by a preschooler named Yohei and his mother. Because cats aren’t allowed in their apartment building, the Yamadas try to find Chi a new home. As they become more attached to Chi (which means “small” or “urine” in Japanese), they decide they can’t live without her. Will this American shorthair ever settle into her new environment? And can the Yamadas hide their mischievous new kitten from the nosy neighbors and the building superintendent?
Sailor Moon by Naoko Takeuchi
Middle schooler Usagi Tsukino is a little clumsy and kind of a crybaby. Instead of studying, she cracks open the newest shōjo manga or plays Codename: Sailor V at the Game Center Crown. When the 14-year-old rescues a blackish-purple cat with a crescent moon on her forehead, she gets more than she bargains for. Luna is a talking alien cat from the planet Mau. She tells Usagi that she’s actually Sailor Moon. As the pretty guardian of love and justice, Usagi embarks on a quest to find the reincarnated moon princess and the future queen of 30th-Century Crystal Tokyo. With the help of the mysterious Tuxedo Mask and the other inner sailor scouts, Usagi must also protect the legendary silver crystal and save us all from the Dark Kingdom.
A Man & His Cat by Umi Sakurai
Born in a pet shop, a chubby, homely black-and-white kitten listens to coos of delight from potential cat owners, but he knows they’re not for him. As his price drops each day, nobody spares him a second glance unless it’s to make fun of him. When the unloved and unwanted kitten turns one year old, he’ll officially be past his sell-by date. So when music teacher Fuyuki Kanda comes into the pet shop and wants to buy him, he can hardly believe it. Estranged from his adult children and reeling from the death of his beloved wife, the handsome older gentleman names his cat Fukumaru (which means “joy” in Japanese). Can the grieving man and cat who’s given up on life find healing and companionship in each other?
Junji Ito’s Cat Diary: Yon & Mu By Junji Ito
Horror manga artist Junji Ito can’t wait to build a future with his blushing bride-to-be. But their honeymoon phase is about to take a frightening turn. A-ko brings some unexpected company — Mu, a bewitching Norwegian forest cat, and Yon, a ghastly-looking family cat that has a skull pattern on his back. Now Junji has something new fueling his nightmares: the house smells like a litter box, and scratch protection film is stuck on the walls. Despite being a self-proclaimed dog person, Junji bounces between being terrified of the cats and having an uncontrollable urge to smother them with affection. Can this slightly-twisted mangaka win the love of his new feline friends?
Natsume’s Book of Friends by Yuki Midorikawa
When Natsume Takashi moves to his late grandmother’s hometown, he discovers that he has inherited more than her ability to see spirits. When Reiko was his age, she defeated many Yōkai and forced them to write their names in the Book of Friends. Now the troubled sophomore has the magical book, and he’s determined to release the enslaved demons. So Natsume makes a deal with a powerful spirit beast named Madara. He commonly takes the form of a Maneki-Neko or beckoning cat. If Natsume dies, the calico Japanese Bobtail will take control of the Book of Friends and gain power over numerous weak and powerful Yōkai. With demons chomping at the bits to get their names back, can Natsume survive? And will Madara do more than curl into a ball when his master’s life is on the line?