How to Draw a Cat

Learning how to draw a cat can because of their awkward poses and striped and spotty markings. Here’s five simple steps to making a beautiful picture of a grumpy old cat.

As with any drawing, the figure of a cat is easy to form if you break it up into smaller steps. One great way to prepare to draw a cat is to study a live one. Watch how a cat walks, sits, sleeps, stalks, or does anything at all. Think of your cat as a series of shapes, mostly circles and ovals, rather than a complex living being with a “cat shape”.

  1. This is the easy part — just draw a circle. This first circle will become your cat’s head, so make sure and draw it the proper size for a cat’s head.
  2. Add two almond-shaped “eyes”. Recognize that at this point in your drawing, your cat’s basic head shape looks like the classic “alien” figure. You don’t have to use almond-shaped eyes, but most cats’ eyes do take this shape. Remember to place the eyes somewhere in the middle of your circle.
  3. Between the eyes, add a simple lower-case “V” for the beginning of the cat’s nose. Now add a mouth — draw a straight line under the cat’s “nose”, with two lines moving diagonally downward on each side. Yes, this cat you’re drawing is a bit grumpy and is frowning. Cats frown. Get used to it. Once your mouth is in place, draw leaf-shaped “ears” on either side of the head. Your cat is starting to come together.
  4. How to Draw a Cat

    How to Draw a Cat

    Now is the time for more detail — you need to add things like whiskers (sticking out from the sides of the face), stripes, and maybe some shading around the cat’s head. Your original nose “V” should become a sort of triangle turned a bit to the right or the left — this gives the nose some dimension, although you can have the nose pointing straight if you want.

  5. Now for the hardest part — your cat’s body. A trick to drawing a cat is that a cat’s neck is usually not visible, so you can place the head right on top of the body. Your cat’s front legs should start as three simple straight lines. Indicate the presence of a cat’s paws with three U-shaped lines at the bottom of the legs. Your cat needs unique markings and features, otherwise it will look a little too cartoonish. Remember that some cats have spots of white or black around the neck, and that tabby cats have stripes.
  6. What would a cat be without its tail? Form your body lines in a curved shape using an eraser and your pencil — this will “thin out” the shape of your cat and make it appear to be in motion. For the tail, simply draw a thick and varied “S” shape figure to suggest a tail in motion.

Now that you’ve got the basics of drawing a cat, you can add your own flourishes and embellishments. Remember that all drawings are just a series of shapes and you can draw anything you can think of.

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