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A bestselling book in Japan features surprisingly expressive portraits of cat paws

PIE Books.
Just paws.
  • Anne Quito
By Anne Quito

Design and architecture reporter

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

It’s International Cat Day (Aug. 8), which means the Internet is even more filled with cat photos than usual. A new book, though, is doing cat photos a little bit differently.

PIE Books.
Famous feet.

Cat Paws profiles Japan’s most famous Instagram cats via their adorable feet. Published by the design imprint PIE Books, the volume has already sold 15,000 copies in Japan and is gearing up for its English-language release next month. A Korean publisher has also acquired rights for the book.

An 88-page book on cat paws may seem excessive or even creepy to Western eyes, but the Japanese have a hardcore appreciation for all things related to cats. As ancient guardians of religious shrines, felines are considered noble creatures in Japan. Some cat owners even spoil their beloved pets with designer cat condos and artisan-made cat furniture.

PIE Books.
Famous paws.

The popularity of Cat Paws also reflects the internet’s addiction to adorable pet Instagram accounts. Among the cool cat celebrities featured in the book is Uzura-chan, a cheeky Scottish Fold who has 74,000 followers. He rivals another cute Scottish Fold named Donguri, who has nearly 17,000 Instagram fans.

The success of Cat Paws has inspired a trilogy of cat close-up photo books. If you don’t particularly fancy looking at cat paws, perhaps you could try two books (in Japanese) by the same publisher, one focuses on hind legs and the latest is a compendium on cat whiskers.

PIE Books
Just whiskers.

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