Why Paint Cats

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Why Paint Cats
Front cover of Why Paint Cats
Author Burton Silver
Illustrator Heather Busch
Country New Zealand
Language English
Genre Comedy
Publisher Weidenfeld & Nicolson
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 96 pp
ISBN 0-297-83351-0
OCLC 31376281

Why Paint Cats is a comedy book written by New Zealand author Burton Silver and illustrator Heather Busch. It is one of three cat art books, including Why Cats Paint and Dancing with Cats.


Why Paint Cats describes the practice of "cat painting", the decorating of cats with paint.


Critical reception for the book has been mixed to positive, with the SF site calling it "luscious, funny, and really, truly amazing".[1] Publishers Weekly wrote that the book was "amusing as a novelty item" and that it was "so weird that it's sort of irresistible."[2] The Hamilton Spectator stated that the book's contents were "spectacular".[3] The Los Angeles Times wrote that Silver's writing was "tongue-in-cheek scholarly, complete with footnotes and a bibliography".[4]


Why Paint Cats has been met with some controversy since its release from those who considered the concept of the book to be unethical and encourages animal cruelty.[5] Defenders of the book have opined that the text was a spoof and that the cats may not have been painted and the images were instead edited with a photo editing program.[1]


  1. ^ a b Why Paint Cats: The Ethics of Feline Aesthetics SF site
  2. ^ Nonfiction Review: Why Paint Cats Publishers Weekly
  3. ^ Mahoney, Jeff. Book should give paws for thought. The Spectator: Magazine section. Mar 15, 2003, p M.02.
  4. ^ Fake Fur, Real Art? LA Times
  5. ^ Is Paint Toxic to Cats? Dogster

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