Famous French Cat Fans

Meet the writers, artists and leaders of France who loved cats.

By Kristina Lotz, CPDT-KA | Posted: February 13, 2014, 12 p.m. EST

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Famous French Cat Fans
Chartreux cat, native to France
Famous French Cat Fans
French is the language of love and it seems throughout history nothing makes the French purr more than cats. Some of the biggest French names in history were owned and loved by cats.

Hear great French names for cats >>

Marie Antoinette (1755-1793) 
There are a lot of legends surrounding her beloved cats. One legend is that she allowed angora cats to roam during court gatherings. Another story popular among cat fanciers is that her 6 long-haired cats were shipped to the United States when she was planning her escape from France. These cats then cross-bred with the local shorthairs and their offspring became the Maine Coone.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
The author of the book that the blockbuster Les Miserables musical is based off of, Hugo wrote fondly about his cats in his personal diaries.

"God made the cat so that man might have the pleasure of caressing the tiger.”

Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau (1889–1963) 
This famous French poet, novelist, dramatist, among other things, is known for the film Beauty and the Beast (1946), the novel Les Enfants Terribles (1929), and the play Les Parents Terribles (1929).

Cardinal Richelieu, Armand Jean du Plessis (1585-1642)
While his name may not sound familiar right away, this French clergyman, noble man, and statesman, is depicted at the villain in the Alexander Dumas’s famous novel, The Three Musketeers. While heartless on the page, in real life, the Cardinal had a fondness for cats and many of them in a cattery at Versailles. He even left money in his will to make sure they would be taken care of after his death.

Looking for a cat with a certain je ne sais quoi?  Try the Aristocratic Chartreux. This breed first appeared in the sixteenth century and were referred to as the "blue cats of France.” They were large colonies of these cats in Paris were they were used as ratters, as well as a food and pelt source. They are a quiet, mild manner breed with a double coat. In fact, it is said many Chartreux are completely mute – they will purr but never meow. More information can be found here (http://www.catchannel.com/chartreux-cats-breed-profiles.aspx).
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Reader Comments

Julianne    Detroit, MI

2/18/2014 10:45:38 AM

You forgot Alexander Dumas. I think that Jules Verne was also a cat lover. So was Leonardo de Vinci (though he wasn't French).

Don    Syracuse, NY

2/17/2014 6:47:39 AM

Also, Earnest Hemingway had his many 6 or 7 toed cats in Key West, Florida.

Louise    Redmond, OR

2/15/2014 7:24:53 PM

We have a Chartreux; they are amazing, loving, beautiful companions!

Fitzie    International

2/15/2014 1:18:59 PM

You forgot Charles Baudelaire, the famous poet ...

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