Books & Articles – Families w/Animals

  1. Bibliographies
  2. Nonfiction
  3. Science
  4. Marvels of Nature
  5. Fiction & Poetry
  6. Memoir & Biography
  7. Children’s Books
  8. Articles


Animal Studies Bibliography, a project of the Animal Studies Program, Michigan State University, managed by Linda Kalof, Seven Mattes, and Amy Fitzgerald. It is organized in categories, including “Animals as Companions.”

Animals, Death, and Grief, a project of the Green Pet-Burial Society, hosted by Family Spirals®.


Ackerman-Lieberman, Phillip and Rakefet Zalashik (eds.), A Jew’s Best Friend?: The Image of the Dog throughout Jewish History. 2013. Sussex Academic Press.

Anderson, Allen, and Linda Anderson. Animals and the Kids Who Love Them: Extraordinary True Stories of Hope, Healing, and Compassion. 2011. New World Library.

Arluke, Arnold. Just a Dog: Understanding Animal Cruelty and Ourselves. 2006. Temple University Press.

Arluke, Arnold and Andrew Rowan. Underdogs: Pets, People, and Poverty. 2020. Athens: University of Georgia Press.

Beck, Alan and Aaron Katcher. Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship. 1996. Purdue University Press (REV SUB edition).

Birke, Lynda and Harry Wels (eds.). Dreaming of Pegasus: Equine Imaginings. 2022. Uttoxeter, Kingston: Victorina Press. Description

Birke, Lynda and Kirrilly Thompson. 2017. (Un)Stable Relations: Horses, Humans and Social Agency. New York: Routledge.

Boisseron, Bénédicte. Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question. 2018. Columbia University Press.

Bourke, Joanna. Loving Animals: On Bestiality, Zoophilia and Post-Human Love. 2020. Reaktion Books. [“That it is far more widespread than commonly believed justifies the need for thorough, contemporary examination.” – Jonathan Balcombe]

Brookshire, Bethany. Pests: How Humans Create Animal Villains. 2022. Ecco. [Several animals are categorized as ‘pests’, even when many people in the world love them as ‘pets’. Essentially, if they are ‘feral’ or seek to create their own lives where humans live or work, they are derided. Read a review Here.]

Campbell, Andrew. Not Without My Pet: Understanding The Relationship Between Victims Of Domestic Violence And Their Pets. 2021.

Danovich, Tove. Under the Henfluence: Inside the World of Backyard Chickens and the People Who Love Them. 2023. Agate Surrey. [part memoir]

Danta, Ron and Danny Robertshaw, Larry Lindner. Forever Home: How We Turned Our House into a Haven for Abandoned, Abused, and Misunderstood Dogs―and Each Other. 2022. HarperOne. 

Donovan, Tristan. Feral Cities: Adventures with Animals in the Urban Jungle. 2015. Chicago Review Press.

Ducommun, Debbie. Rats: Practical Advice from the Expert. 2012. CompanionHouse Books (Second edition). [written for younger readers]

Galaxy, Jackson. Catify to Satisfy: Simple Solutions for Creating a Cat-Friendly Home. 2015. TarcherPerigee.

——-. Total Cat Mojo: The Ultimate Guide to Life with Your Cat. 2017. TarcherPerigee.

Grimm, David. Citizen Canine: Our Evolving Relationship with Cats and Dogs. 2014. New York: Public Affairs Books.

Harriman, Marinell. House Rabbit Handbook: How to Live with an Urban Rabbit. 2017. Drollery Press (Fifth Edition). Purchase here.

Holland, Jennifer S. Unlikely Friendships: 47 Remarkable Stories from the Animal Kingdom. 2011. Workman Publishing Company.

Howell, Philip. At Home and Astray: The Domestic Dog in Victorian Britain. 2015. University of Virginia Press.

Irvine, Leslie. My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People and Their Animals. 2015. Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc. Reprint Edition,

Kean, Hilda. The Great Cat and Dog Massacre: The Real Story of World War Two’s Unknown Tragedy. 2017. University of Chicago Press.

Kreilkamp, Ivan. Minor Creatures: Persons, Animals, and the Victorian Novel. 2018. University of Chicago Press.

Laurent-Simpson, Andrea. Just Like Family: How Companion Animals Joined the Household. 2021. NYU Press (Animals in Context). USA.

Noske, Barbara. Beyond Boundaries: Humans and Animals. 1997. Buffalo: Black Rose Books. [Originally published in 1989]

Pearson, Chris. Dogopolis: How Dogs and Humans Made Modern New York, London, and Paris. 2021. University of Chicago Press (Animal Lives).

Pierce, Jessica and Marc Bekoff. A Dog’s World: Imagining the Lives of Dogs in a World without Humans. 2021. Princeton University Press. [The premise of this book is speculative, yet provides a context in which to explore and consider the most recent scientific information about dogs’ behaviors and needs.]

Riggs, Damien W. Riggs, Shoshana Rosenberg, Heather Fraser, Nik Taylor. Queer Entanglements: Intersections of Gender, Sexuality, and Animal Companionship. 2021. Cambridge University Press.

Rogers, Katharine M. The Cat and the Human Imagination: Feline Images from Bast to Garfield. 1998. U of Michigan Press.

Tague, Ingrid H. Animal Companions: Pets and Social Change in Eighteenth-Century Britain. 2017. Penn State University Press.

Taylor, Nik and Heather Fraser. Companion Animals and Domestic Violence: Rescuing Me, Rescuing You. 2019. London: Palgrave.

Tedeschi, Philip and Molly Anne Jenkins. Transforming Trauma: Resilience and Healing Through Our Connections With Animals. 2019. Purdue University Press (New Directions in the Human-Animal Bond).

Walker-Meikle, Kathleen. Medieval Pets. 2012. Boydell Press.

Woolfson, Esther. Between Light and Storm: How We Live With Other Species. 2020. Granta Books.

——-. Field Notes from a Hidden City: An Urban Nature Diary. 2014. Granta Books.


Braitman, Laurel. Animal Madness: Inside Their Minds. 2015. Simon & Schuster (Reprint).

Burghardt, Gordon M. The Genesis of Animal Play: Testing the Limits. 2006. Bradford Books.

Cooke, Lucy. Bitch: On the Female of the Species. 2022. Basic Books.

Horowitz, Alexandra. Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. 2010. Scribner.

Pilley Jr., John W., and Hilary Hinzmann. Chaser: Unlocking the Genius of the Dog Who Knows a Thousand Words. 2014 (Reprint edition). Harvest.

Todd, Zazie. Purr: The Science of Making Your Cat Happy. 2022. Greystone Books.

Wynne, Clive D. L. Dog Is Love: Why and How Your Dog Loves You. 2019. Mariner Books.

Yong, Ed. An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us. 2022. Random House.

Marvels of Nature

[Family members can learn about and experience the marvels of Nature, together, and this growing list of books can help.]

Haskell, David George. Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction. 2022. Viking. [Art, Music]

Fiction & Poetry

Arikawa, Hiro, and Philip Gabriel (translator). The Travelling Cat Chronicles. 2018. Berkley; Illustrated edition. Japan.

Fowler, Karen Joy. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves: A Novel. 2013. USA. [One cannot adequately review the book without a spoiler. It was, however, shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.]

Froid, Daniel David. The Story of ‘The Story of the Two Sisters.’ Post Road, no. 40, Feb. 2023. [Surreal short story.]

Hiraide, Takashi and Eric Selland (translator). The Guest Cat. 2014. New Directions. Japan.

Kawamura, Genki, and Eric Selland (translator). If Cats Disappeared from the World: A Novel. 2019. Flatiron Books. Japan. [Also made into a 2016 Japanese film directed by Akira Nagai.]

David Means, David Means. Clementine, Carmelita, Dog. Granta 152. 30 July 2020. [Also in the author’s book, Two Nurses, Smoking: Stories. 2022.]

Natsume, Sōseki, Aiko Ito (translator) and Graeme Wilson (translator). I Am a Cat. 2001. Tuttle Classics. Japan. [A classic of Japanese literature originally published in ten installments in the literary journal Hototogisu, from 1905-1906. As with much literature, the animal provides an opportunity for social criticism, although Sōseki also paid attention to real cats. This edition is translated in British English, using expression that may be unfamiliar to US audiences. There is also a shorter, illustrated 2021 Manga edition.]

Nunez, Sigrid. The Friend: A Novel. 2018. Riverhead Books.

Oliver, Mary. Dog Songs: Poems. 2013. Penguin Press. USA.

Pastan, Linda. A Dog Runs Through It: Poems. 2018. W. W. Norton & Company. USA.

Szabó, Magda (Author). The Door [Hungarian: Az ajtó]. 1987 (orig.). East European Monographs/Harvill Secker. Hungary.

Memoir & Biography

Ackerley, J.R. We Think the World of You. 1960. Great Britain: The Bodley Head (rereleased in NYRB Classics). Review.

Blazina, Chris. One Unwavering Friend: Heartwarming Tales of Men and Dogs. 2021. London: Filament Press. Description

Buczkowski, Pete. Dog: An Immigrant Story. 2016. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. “Pedrito’s parents survived Hitler’s forced labor camps in Poland. They moved to Venezuela and waited ten years for visas that would take them to America. Dog is their pet–a fierce South American rooster…[whose] courage helps the family bridge that gap between the jungle and 1950’s America.”]

Cosslett, Rhiannon Lucy. The Year of the Cat: A Love Story. 2023. Tinder Press.

Fentiman, CJ. The Cat with Three Passports: What a Japanese cat taught me about an old culture and new beginnings. 2020. Silver Vine Press. Japan.

Goldhammer, Catherine. Still Life with Chickens: Starting Over in a House by the Sea. 2007. Plume (Reprint edition).

Grogan, John. Marley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog. 2005. HarperCollins. [The book was made into a popular film in 2008, directed by David Frankel.]

Kalman, Maira (also illustrator). Beloved Dog. 2015. Penguin Press. [Read this review from The Marginalian.]

Montgomery, Sy and Rebecca Green (Illustrator). How To Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals. Mariner Books.

Myles, Eileen. Afterglow: A Dog Memoir. 2017. Grove Press. Review.

Normile, Jo Anne and Lawrence Lindner. Saving Baby: How One Woman’s Love for a Racehorse Led to Her Redemption. 2013. Powder Point Publishing.

O’Brien, Stacey. Wesley the Owl: The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl. 2008. Simon and Schuster.

Rosenthal, Rachel, and Jacki Apple. Tatti Wattles: A Love Story. 1996. Smart Art Press. [A love story about a woman and her rat, Tatti Wattles. There are two factual errors – rats do have bones but are very flexible, and if a rat doesn’t grind his/her teeth down, it is an indication of a medical problem.]

Sarton, May and Jared Williams (Illustrator). The Fur Person. 2014. W. W. Norton & Company; Gift edition. USA.

Shaw, Chloe. What is a Dog? 2022. Flatiron Books. USA.

Steinbeck, John. Travels with Charley: In Search of America. 1962. Viking. USA.

Toor, Rachel. Misunderstood: Why the Humble Rat May Be Your Best Pet Ever. 2016. Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). [Written with younger readers in mind. Mostly memoir with tips and history about humans and rats. Rats are social creatures and should have other rats to live with.]

Children’s Books

Sendak, Maurice. Where the Wild Things Are. 1963. Harper & Row. USA. [A Caldecott Award Winner]


(see Animal Studies Bibliography for a full list under “Animals as Companions.”)

Ailurophobia [Fear of cats] in Wikipedia.

Barbieri, Annalisa. What the love of cats taught me about myself in The Guardian, The Observer. Jan 8, 2023. [The article addresses the author’s childhood trauma that led to a phobia of cats.]

Chapman L K, Vines L, Petrie J. Fear factors: cross validation of specific phobia domains in a community-based sample of African American adults. J Anxiety Disord 25, no. 4 (2011) : 539-44. [see Video]

Cochrane, Alasdair, ‘Born in Chains?’, in Lori Gruen (ed.), The Ethics of Captivity (New York, 2014; online edn, Oxford Academic, 19 June 2014).

Cooke, S. Duties to Companion AnimalsRes Publica 17, 261 (2011).

Cosslett, Lucy Cosslett. Fabulous felines: why female artists love stroking, painting and spoiling cats in The Guardian. Jan 10, 2023.

Cultural depictions of cats in Wikipedia.

Cynophobia [Fear of dogs] in Wikipedia.

Denizet-Lewis, Benoit. The People who are Scared of Dogs in Pacific Standards. Updated: Jun 14, 2017, Original: Jul 24, 2014.

Doogan, Sharon, and Glyn V. Thomas. Origins of fear of dogs in adults and children: The role of conditioning processes and prior familiarity with dogs, Behaviour Research and Therapy 30, no. 4 (1992) : 387-394.

Hoy-Gerlach, J. et al. ‘Exploring Benefits of Emotional Support Animals (ESAs): A Longitudinal Pilot Study with Adults with Serious Mental Illness (SMI)’, Human-animal interaction bulletin. CABI International. 10 October 2022.

Johnston, Beatrice. The World of Medieval Dogdom in History Today. Oct 3, 2019.

Killacky, Madeleine S. Cats in the middle ages: what medieval manuscripts teach us about our ancestors’ pets in The Conversation. 23 December 2022.

Medieval Pet Names in 2013.

Mershon, Katharine. The Theology of Dog Training in Vicki Hearne’s Adam’s Task in Religions 10, no. 1 (2019) : 25.

Naveed, Sarmad. Pets in Muslim Households? – What the BBC & Richard Dawkins Got Wrong About Animals & Islam in The Review of Religions. 30th July 30, 2022.

Pet Cats Really Bond with Their Owners, Says New Study in Sci.News. Sep 24, 2019.

Sample, Ian. Britons urged not to buy exotic pets ‘on a whim’ amid welfare concerns. The Guardian 16 Feb 2023.

Todd, Zazie. Why Dogs’ Happiness, Not Obedience, Is What Counts. Psychology Today. Posted April 15, 2020.

Vanasco, Jeannie. The Truth abut Cats and Daughters. New York Times Magazine. January 29, 2023. [The author reflects on her mother’s attitudes toward her and her cat.]

Vitale KR, Behnke AC, Udell MAR. Attachment bonds between domestic cats and humans. Curr Biol. 2019 Sep 23;29(18):R864-R865. DOI:

Woolfson, Esther. Love you to death: how we hurt the animals we cherish. The Guardian 11 Aug 2020. [This is an excerpt from her book, Between Light and Storm: How We Live With Other Species, listed above.]

Zevin, Gabrielle. What makes me happy now: my very old dog. The Guardian 14 Mar 2023.

Zimmering, Lynn. I Used to Be Afraid of Dogs: A look into Cynophobia, fear of dogs, and canines in general. Medium Jan 9, 2022. [The author tells of her fear of dogs and cats, and how the fear began to dissipate as she begins to appreciate how they are in the world, and share moments together, as when she plays her flute.]

updated March 22, 2023