How to draw a Cat

Cats can be very hard to draw because of their complex markings and varied poses. Often a thin cat will look very fat when sitting (which is why famous author James Thurber once wrote, "cats sit fat and walk thin"). Sometimes when you try to add the body and legs, it just doesn't look quite right.

But we believe that drawing a cat can be pretty easy if you break it down into some simple steps. If you have a cat of your own, watch it when it's sleeping or sitting and try to think of the body position in shapes such as circles or ovals. Once you can take a hard-to-draw shape and think of it more simply, you're on your way to being a better artist.

If you would like to send us your cat drawing, just put your FIRST name, age and place in the world you live on back, and send it to: Chunky Monkey, P.O. Box 64, Absecon, NJ 08201. Sorry, but we won't be able to return your sketch.

Step 1 -- Yup, just a circle.

Step 2 -- At this point our cat looks something like the way people describe aliens from another planet. Cats can have almond-shaped eyes or round eyes. Note that the eyes are placed about in the middle of our circle.

Step 3 -- We've added a V for the nose. For the mouth we've placed a straight line under the nose, with two lines on each side. The ears are placed on each side of the head; they look a little like leaves.

Step 4 -- We've added some detail such as whiskers, and stripes. We also filled in the ears to make them look more realistic. In this drawing we made the nose V into a triangle, and turned it slightly to the right, but you can keep yours straight if you want to.

Step 5 -- The main thing to remember when doing a cat's body is to be sure to place the head on its body (you almost never see a cat's neck). Now this tip may sound silly, but lots of people don't quite make the connection. Make the front legs with three straight lines. The paws can be indicated with three U-type lines. The best part of drawing a cat is adding unique markings. They can be stripes for a tabby, spots or anything you think would be fun. Most black cats have a spot of white at their necks, and sometimes some white in their ears too.

Here's a tip if you don't feel like doing the whole body. With just a few lines -- one from the head above the eye, and two lines joined with a rounded line -- we've done more than just the head; we've given the feeling of a sleeping cat. (He looks a little grumpy!) You don't always have to draw the whole person or animal to get a good look in your sketch. Often a few well placed lines will do the trick.

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