By Julia Williams
Would it surprise you to learn that five of the top 25 bestsellers on Amazon today are adult coloring books? Or that the book credited with jump-starting the adult coloring book craze, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book, has sold more than 2 million copies worldwide? If you read the news or spend any time on social media, those two factoids are probably not a revelation. Perhaps you’re even among the legions who enjoy this fun hobby that’s becoming more popular by the day.
Some say coloring – aka Art Therapy – is a wonderful way to relax and that it can reduce stress and anxiety, and even help with depression. Others say coloring provides an accessible creative outlet, a way to be “artsy” even if you can’t draw. I discovered adult coloring books in April, and coloring quickly became my go-to activity whenever I had a minute to spare. Because I love all things feline, my first adult coloring book was a cat-themed one. I’ve since branched out to other designs, but am also collecting the cat coloring books. I wanted to share a few of my favorites here today. (This is by no means a complete list of all the nice cat-themed adult coloring books out there! That would require a novel-length post).
Creative Haven: Creative Cats
Just about every cat person who colors has this enchanting book by artist Marjorie Sarnat. The images are quite detailed and challenging to color, featuring adorable felines amongst flowers, hearts, butterflies, owls, cityscapes and fantasy scenes. There are over 30 illustrations printed on one side only, which means you can use any medium—even markers – to color them without worrying about bleed through. The pages are also perforated for easy removal.
Cats & Quilts
Jason Hamilton is a software engineer who likes to draw to unwind after a busy workday. His charming adult coloring book contains 24 cozy illustrations of cats and kittens doing what they do best – napping! Aside from the really sweet images, one thing I especially like about this book is that each illustration appears in two sizes: full page and 4″ x 6″ which is perfect for framing or just trying out a different color scheme. The images are printed on one side only.
This book by artist Gina Trowler has 30 eclectic illustrations to color, including cats in sunglasses, a Puss In Boots-style character, cats chasing butterflies, befriending a bird and peeking out from baskets. Some of the images are intricately detailed with tiny spaces that require concentration and a steady hand (as well as fine tip markers!) while others offer a more relaxed approach. The images are printed on one side only.
I am totally in love with the playfully quirky style of this book by Paris illustrators Aurelie Castex and Claire Laude. You’ll find all sorts of detailed scenes featuring cats as Matryoshkas (Russian nesting dolls), cats playing, dancing, dressing up and just generally getting into mischief – just like a feline! The 60 whimsical illustrations are printed on both sides of the page; this creates some really cute double-page spreads, but it’s also a drawback if you like to color with markers, as they will bleed through the paper. The book’s cover is more luxurious than most, something between a hardback and a paperback with a nice feel and look.
Mimi Vang Olsen Cats Coloring Book
Renowned artist Mimi Vang Olsen travels the world meeting cats and creating folksy pet portraits that capture each feline’s unique purrsonality. This delightful coloring book features 22 reproductions of her original cat-themed works of art. On the inside front and back cover are small color photos of the artwork, so you can color the images to match Mimi’s or do them entirely different. The paper is nice and thick, and the images are printed on one side only.
Art Therapie: Chats
This adorable little cat coloring from France is smaller than most at approximately 5 ½” x 8″. But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with 60 wonderful cat-inspired illustrations. It’s the perfect size book to take along to get your cat coloring fix while you wait in the doctor’s office etc.
Originally published in 1990 (long before the adult coloring book trend!), this book by artist Ruth Heller is geared more toward children. However, cat lovers of all ages will enjoy coloring the images which feature housecats as well as jungle cats like a lion and leopard. One downside is that many of the images appear more than once, either magnified into a super close-up shot or reduced to form a quartet on the page. Still, it’s really cute and the images are printed on only one side of the page, so I still give the book two paw’s up.
No list of cat coloring books would be complete without a mention of one of the most famous real-life felines, the surly but loveable Grumpy Cat. This book is also geared towards children, but hey – it’s Grumpy Cat! Which means it’s going to be funny as well as fun to color.
All of the above cat coloring books are available on Amazon, where you can get more detailed information as well as see some sample pages. And if you like to color kitty pics, you might want to join the Cat Colorings group on Facebook to share your colorings with other cat lovers!
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