by Janet Blue on September 4, 2014

The Secret Life of CatsThe Secret Life of Cats is a small, humorous book that any cat fan will enjoy. One caution, however: Do not let your cat(s) get their paws on this book.

Written and illustrated by Rowan Barnes-Murphy, The Secret Life of Cats spills the nip on what your felines are up to when you are not at home to monitor and supervise their activities.

Colour Illustration Illustration from 'The Secret Life of Cats' showing a cat 'magician' starting up a chainsaw with a dog waiting to be sawn in two in the background.

…having some harmless fun with an old buddy…





These are not your adorable, fluffy felines napping the day away in front of the fire. They are raucous, ill-mannered cats getting into all sorts of mischief. This is why I advise keeping this out of the paws of your cats. They might not have thought of all these naughty shenanigans to try themselves. To use a Cat Scout description: These cats are hooligans.

Many of the antics, like that illustrated on the right, include torturing the family dog. It’s also not a good day for mice or the pet bird. Many of the illustrations with their accompanying statements are laugh-out-loud funny. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this little gem of a book.

The illustrator of over 75 books for young readers, Rowan Barnes-Murphy has an international reputation as a freelance illustrator. He has illustrated the Arts page of Punch for several years, and his images are regularly seen on covers of The New York Times and other well-known magazines. He has clients in the UK, USA, France and Australia. His work has been exhibited in Paris, New York and London.

Published by Summersdale Publishers, LTD, this fun and amusing book retails for $10.95 in the US and $12.95 in Canada. It is available for less from both Barnes & Noble and But one lucky reader can win their own copy of The Secret Life of Cats. Leave a Comment on this post prior to 8 p.m. EDT on Monday, September 8, to be included in the drawing. The winner will be selected using

The opinions expressed here are entirely my own. I received no monetary compensation for this review. I received two free copies of the book—one for my review and one to give away to a reader.

Cat4Sunday is just two days away. I hope you kitties and other anipals have been getting your selfies ready for our Sunday Selfies Blog Hop and are planning on joining us. I am really looking forward to seeing more entries this week.

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Canadian Cats September 8, 2014 at 3:32 pm

This book sounds like a winner and definitely a Story Time read for the whole family. I like to know what other cats are doing so I have fresh ideas for when my parents go out. Thanks.

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The Swiss Cats September 7, 2014 at 1:34 am

This book sounds like a good read, and the pictures are hilarious ! Mum would love to read it ! Purrs
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Kitty Cat Chronicles September 6, 2014 at 6:22 pm

This book sounds hilarious! I would love to check it out. Although, I would definitely have to keep it hidden from the kitties – especially Caster. MOL.

P.S. Sampy loved Astrid’s video she sent him. He is sending her this in response: along with 234857209384752345 kisses. We all send love and hugs.
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MyThreeMoggies September 6, 2014 at 2:03 pm

ohh not heard of this book I will have to purchase x
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Ellen Pilch September 6, 2014 at 1:08 pm

What a great giveaway. That book looks like a lot of fun.
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Katnip Lounge September 5, 2014 at 10:57 pm

I’d love to win this book…I suspect that The Baby may have ghost-authored it!
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Marty the Manx September 5, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Ohhhh sign us up for the drawing please!!!
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Cathy Keisha September 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

HAH! They let kids see books like this with violence against dogs??? GASP! I’d like to win a copy. Actully, I think only cats should read it.
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Pawesome Cats September 5, 2014 at 8:38 pm

That looks like a great book – love the illustrations!
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The Florida Furkids September 5, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Ut oh….Hooligans??????? None of us would ever be hooligans….that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

The Florida Furkids with special smoochies to Mau from Allie
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Maxwell, Faraday & Allie September 5, 2014 at 6:06 pm

Maxwell: Nope, if those are hooligans, then Momma needs to keep that far FAR away from Faraday’s paws!!
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Deztinee High September 5, 2014 at 6:03 pm

Oh Me dat doggy looks looks like hims might be in sum big twubble.

Luv ya’

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Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats September 5, 2014 at 4:21 pm

Sounds like a great book! As long as it doesn’t get into the wrong paws.

Purrs (and wags) rom Life with Dogs and Cats.
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Flynn September 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm

That sounds like a very funny book. Mum calls me her little hooligan sometimes.
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BeadedTail September 5, 2014 at 3:32 pm

That looks like a funny book! We don’t do any hooligans so it’d be fun to learn about some!
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meowmeowmans September 5, 2014 at 3:05 pm

That looks like a very fun book. We do suspect that our cats have secret lives … probably much more exciting than we could ever imagine. 🙂
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Angel AbbyGrace September 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm

What a cute book! If they knew what they did when they’re not home oh boy we’d all be in trouble. We’re looking forward to joining you this Sunday.
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The REAL Maple Syrup Mob September 5, 2014 at 11:08 am

I’d love the book…but I’d have to hide it for sure…hubby and I are totally outnumbered!
Jane x (Mummy Janey from The REAL Maple Syrup Mob)
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Miley's Daily Scoop September 5, 2014 at 10:56 am

We always knew our kitty had a secret life! BOL! Looks like a fun book!!
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Brian Frum September 5, 2014 at 10:13 am

Oops, our secrets are out?!?!?! Hey, Sister Precious has the camera today trying to figure out the selfie mode!
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Melissa & Truffles September 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

That book looks just adorable and we would love to win a copy!

The Island Cats September 5, 2014 at 8:24 am

What a great book. The illustrations are pawsome!
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Ellie September 5, 2014 at 8:01 am

That looks like a funny book! 😀
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Sue September 5, 2014 at 7:03 am

This sounds like an awesome book to read! I would love to know what my four are up too!

Sammy September 5, 2014 at 6:20 am

Great book review…….we love love LOVE the artwork……There sure seems to be a wealth of really adorable animal books out there this season – we’re happy about that!

Hugs, Sammy
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Cat Scout Charles September 5, 2014 at 6:17 am

M O L…..Those are great pictures that would give hooligans lots of ideas. Have a great day….Kitties Blue.

Bev Green September 5, 2014 at 6:02 am

Bwahahaah oh dear..looks hilarious..i am sure my girls have no intention of sharing their naughty behaviours with the pups here look a tad concerned too haahah…we look forward to Sunday and are working on selfies 🙂 hugs and loves Fozziemum xx
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Sometimes Cats Herd You September 5, 2014 at 5:50 am

That looks funny! Though we’re with Binga. Is nothing sacred? We like having our time when the peeps are gone to make trouble, and this book is going to spill our secrets.
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Molly The Wally September 5, 2014 at 4:54 am

Torturing the dog wtf????? LOL sounds like a good read except for the dog bit. Have a fabulous Friday.
Best wishes Molly
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Summer September 5, 2014 at 3:15 am

Oh, I don’t think Binga would want my human to know what she does when my human is not home! But then, she does the same things when my human IS home sometimes too!
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