• Feline Philosophy

  • Cats and the Meaning of Life
  • By: John Gray
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 3 hrs and 23 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (92 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $13.99

Buy for $13.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The history of philosophy has been a predictably tragic or comical succession of palliatives for human disquiet. Thinkers from Spinoza to Berdyaev have pursued the perennial questions of how to be happy, how to be good, how to be loved, and how to live in a world of change and loss. But perhaps we can learn more from cats - the animal that has most captured our imagination - than from the great thinkers of the world. 

In Feline Philosophy, the philosopher John Gray discovers in cats a way of living that is unburdened by anxiety and self-consciousness, showing how they embody answers to the big questions of love and attachment, mortality, morality, and the Self: Montaigne's house cat, whose unexamined life may have been the one worth living; Meo, the Vietnam War survivor with an unshakable capacity for "fearless joy"; and Colette's Saha, the feline heroine of her subversive short story "The Cat", a parable about the pitfalls of human jealousy. 

Exploring the nature of cats, and what we can learn from it, Gray offers a profound, thought-provoking meditation on the follies of human exceptionalism and our fundamentally vulnerable and lonely condition. He charts a path toward a life without illusions and delusions, revealing how we can endure both crisis and transformation, and adapt to a changed scene, as cats have always done.

©2020 John Gray (P)2020 Tantor

Featured Article: Don't Press Paws—The Best Audiobooks for People Who Love Their Pets


This pet-lover-approved selection of audiobooks will give new and veteran pet parents alike a sneak peek into the lives of their favorite (furry) companions. The fostering and adoption of furry friends is surging, and we’re not surprised! What better to do with that extra love and energy than care for an animal and get some snuggles in return? Here are some of our favorite audiobooks with stories that center around the most captivating of comrades: our pets.

More from the same

What listeners say about Feline Philosophy

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    66
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    67
  • 4 Stars
    14
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    56
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • AH
  • 12-08-20

highly philosophical and literary book about cats

i'll say that this is not a book for you if you "just like cats" and want to hear about how great they are in direct ways with touches of philosophy. this is very much a book on philosophy, with literary examples, discussing the topics how with an eye for how cats are. it's a book in praise of cats by a thinking person, although if what we're led to believe about the cat way of living by the author himself, not thinking about cats and just turning around from your book and loving your cat instead has a higher virtue. he says (paraphrasing) that role of philosophy is to undo itself, to revert what we've learned through civilization back to our true nature. so i would say, if you're choosing to get into philosophy through this cat book, you might be better off without the practice in the first place, and cherish a native simplicity and ease as the cat might have. the book touches on various philosophies such as stoicism, epicureanism, buddhism, aristotelianism, daoism, humanism, spinoza, and more. i'll vouch for this mix of ideas by saying i basically independently arrived at most of what this book was saying in my own learning, which took me along a road paved with all these ideas. my one complaint is that there was not a single word on the cynics, who seem like an obvious candidate for a "feline philosopher", despite being called "doglike" themselves. one could have drawn out a similar etymological path as the word cynic and call the catlike philosophy "aeluricism", but i guess that will have to be my coinage

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding ! NOT a "silly cat book" !

this is an outstanding short exploration of philosophy and literature as it relates to cats and their nature, particularly in contrast to humans and their nature, and the lessons that humans can learn for themselves about living a better life from observing and understanding cap nature... as my artist wife says about cats & otger animals in her paintings, "Cats know what they are and do not struggle to be something else or to deny their reality..... humans do little else".

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not for tender hearts.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book up until the graphic depictions of cat torture. I was taken off guard and deeply upset. Be warned.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Cat Story and Many Others

The story of the Vietnamese cat stands out and its brought back near the end of the book. Saving a cat who goes on to be tough, in New York and London. The author's relationship with the cat was awesome. The main thing to get out of this is this: cats lack imagination. Cats live for the moment and don't regret the past or worry about the future. Cats don't commit suicide.Cats don't need drugs or alcohol, or therapists to get by, mainly the basics. Dogs, according to the author, have taken on personalities more like humans than cats, who are often not completely domesticated. The author compares philosophers and their relationships with cats. Schopenhauer is the first philosopher mentioned, Hitler's favorite, though the only things they have in common are basically the admiration of "The Will" and they are both German. The French and Germans seem the worst, torturing cats. Though it was mentioned some in Asian countries might eat the cats. It is well worth the 3 hrs. and 23 minutes, of listening. I listened to most of it with my giant gray and white male cat, Fursey Periwinkle on my lap. I did some DNA study of my cat and he is mainly a Ragdoll, which is the cat on the Discovery Star Trek episodes. He looks like a Russian Blue/Tux cat.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Cattastic! Full of Mewsdome!

Sleep for the joy of it. Yes indeed! What a lovely book. Short too. Become one with your inner cat.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Unexpectedly Good

Surprisingly deep on the history of philosophy and ethics... Everything is presented in a very approachable style and well cited.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Meow!

Oh that I could live like a cat, but I am what I am, an anxious, diversion-seeking human.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Where are the cats?

Gray's title is misleading to a lover of all things feline. Cats provide a jumping-off point, but they are not really what this book is about. This is a review of various philosophical positions on life. Yes, there are cats, sort of, but they are not the focus or even a constant theme in the book. If I had wanted an easy-to-understand philosophical review, the book might have suited me better. As it was, I was looking for feline philosophy (the title, remember?), so the book did not suit.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Meow this is worth listening to thrice....

I had planned to read this from my library but decided to listen to it at work. Well done and insightful. Probably going to buy the book just to have the physical copy as well....

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book on philosophy

This book was very deep in its treatment of philosophy and very charming and entertaining in its stories about cats. It tells of the history of cats, cats in cultures, and stories of real cats.