10 of the Biggest Cat Lovers of All Time, Revealed

Even though there are all kinds of pets out there, most people stick to dogs or cats. And while dogs are extremely popular, cats curl up in a special place in our hearts. Cats hold their secrets closely, but even when (or especially when) they’re acting aloof, they’re really saying how much they love you. Certain cats are famous in their own right, but some of the people we’ve read about in the history books were huge cat lovers.

Will you be one of history’s greatest people? Maybe, if you’re like Abraham Lincoln (page 7) and these nine others who were the biggest cat lovers of all time.

1. Charles Baudelaire

French poet Charles Pierre Baudelaire
He preferred feline company to that of humans. | Etienne Carjat/iStock/Getty Images

We start our list of famous cat lovers with the French poet Charles Baudelaire. He was such a lover of cats that it’s rumored he shunned the human hosts at dinner parties and preferred the company of cats instead. Need more proof? He penned a love letter of sorts to felines. Its title? ‘The Cat.’

Next: Three sisters who always had time for their cats.

2. The Bronte sisters

English writers Anne, Emily and Charlotte Bronte. Original Artwork
The Bronte sisters all had cats. | Rischgitz/iStock/Getty Images

You might know the novels “Wuthering Heights” and “Jane Eyre,” the works of Emily Bronte and Charlotte Bronte, respectively. What you probably don’t know is Emily, Charlotte, and sister Anne were three of the biggest cat lovers of all time. All three enjoyed having cats at home. Emily penned an essay lovingly praising cats, writing, “I can say with sincerity that I like cats; also I can give very good reasons why those who despise them are wrong. A cat is an animal who has more human feelings than almost any other being.”

Next: Time to put a President on the list.

3. President Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge portrait
He had cats in the White House. | The White House Historical Association

Calvin Coolidge wasn’t the first president to bring a cat to the White House, but he was one of the biggest cat lovers to hold the office. He had cats growing up and reportedly let four roam the halls of the White House: Smokey, Blackie, Tiger, and Timmy.

Next: Protectors of fine art.

4. Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great
She had hundreds of cats. | Wikimedia Commons

Did cats help save Russian fine art? You can definitely make the argument. It’s now a wing of the Hermitage Museum, but one time the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg was a retreat for Catherine the Great (and other Russian royals). According to legend, she let 300 cats roam the halls, so based on numbers alone she qualifies as one of the biggest cat lovers of all time. There are currently 70 lovable felines protecting the priceless artwork from mice and rats.

Next: Scoring a 10 for unique cats.

5. Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway
He kept six-toed cats, which now are referred to as Hemingway cats. | Keystone/Getty Images

On a scale of 1 to 10, we say Ernest Hemingway’s cats get a 10 for being unique. The author received a six-toed cat (also known as polydactyl) from a ship’s captain, and today somewhere between 40 and 50 polydactyl cats live at the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum in Florida. To this day, polydactyl cats are also called Hemingway cats.

Next: He’s still known for his tunes, but you’ll never look at this musician in the same way.

6. John Lennon

John Lennon
He had around 20 cats throughout his life. | Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Here he is, everyone’s favorite member of the Beatles. (Or is it Paul? Or George? It can’t possibly be Ringo.) In addition to writing some of history’s best songs, John Lennon was also one of history’s biggest cat lovers. He owned close to 20 cats during his life, some with neat combo names like Salt and Pepper, and Major and Minor.

Next: The first President to bring cats to the capital.

7. President Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln portrait
He even played with stray kittens on the battlefield. | The White House Historical Association

Abraham Lincoln’s beloved dog Fido stayed in Springfield, Ill., when he was elected President, but the White House still had pets. It’s rumored he was the first President to have cats in the White House, and he let Tabby and Dixie have the run of the place. He didn’t even let the Civil War get in the way. While visiting Ulysses S. Grant on the battlefield, Lincoln found time to play with some stray kittens

Next: Another rock star with a feline fixation.

8. Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury
At one time, he had 10 cats. | Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Born in present-day Tanzania and raised in India before settling in England, Freddie Mercury never stayed in one place for long, but there was one constant in his life: His love of cats. At one time, 10 cats lived with the Queen singer in London. He didn’t hide his feline fancy, which makes Mercury one of the biggest cat lovers of all time.

Next: This woman nursed a deep love for cats.

9. Florence Nightingale

English nurse, hospital reformer and philanthropist Florence Nightingale
She focused on her career — and her cats. | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The mother of modern nursing never married, preferring to focus on her career and her love of cats. Florence Nightingale has to be one of the biggest cat lovers of all time. She reportedly owned 60 cats during her lifetime and up 17 at one time. Late in her life, she and several cats were sequestered in her bedroom in her house in London.

Next: Let us paint you a picture.

10. Pablo Picasso

Spanish artist Pablo Picasso
Cats are featured in many of his works. | George Stroud/Getty Images

One of the most famous artists of all time was also one biggest cat lovers ever. Picasso put cats in many of his works, and he owned cats throughout his life. He owned a Siamese cat when he was young, and later in life enjoyed the company of a feline friend.

Next: And one honorable mention for good measure.

Honorable mention: Sir Isaac Newton

English physicist and mathematician Sir Isaac Newton
He might have invented the cat door. | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This one is pure speculation, but Sir Isaac Newton might have been one of the biggest cat lovers of all time. The rumor is he had two holes cut out of his office door so a mother cat and her kittens could come and go as they pleased, perhaps making the cat door one of his many inventions and discoveries.

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