How to Write With a Cat

How to Write With a Cat

Everyone, this little psycho is Galahad. I love him dearly.

Why hello, Readers.

I am currently editing a manuscript, rather than writing one, but as I sit here writing this post, my cat is pacing back and forth on the ground before the chair, looking up, judging angles and estimating. I know what’s about the happen. He knows, too.

Things are going to get very difficult in just a moment.

Please forgive any and all typos in this post. Chances are, I’m about to be ambushed by a very demanding ball of fluff with claws.


There we go. He’s up now. I’m typing this with one hand, so it will be going unnecessarily slowly from here on out. If you could slow your reading, I’d greatly appreciate it. If I’m very lucky, he’ll just be looking for pats and warmth while he snoozes, because if he’s looking to play, it’s all over.

Writing is a struggle at the best of times. Writing with a cat is an extra challenge, especially if your cat is a clingy boy who can normally get whatever cuddles he wants from you any time he wants it. This post if for people like me – long suffering writers who work full time and so can only write in the evenings or early mornings around their employment… who also have a very, very, very needy cat. Here are some tips for getting the time and space you need in order to hit your word count goals.

Am I using this post to share pictures of my cat? For sure. The internet is almost entirely cat.

1. Set a Schedule and Stick With It

Cats are creatures of habit. Anyone who has had to deal with shifting mealtimes because of daylight savings knows damned well that cats keep a tight schedule and will brook no deviation whatsoever. It’s important that you create and stick to a routine. Close your office door at the same time every day for the same amount of time each time. That way, your cat will know that for this hour (or two) you are not to be disturbed.

They will also know that now is the time they can make as much noise and create as much chaos as they like. You’re going either ignore them and let them get away with it, or get so frustrated by the maelstrom occurring unsupervised in your living room that you’re going to come storming out and the cat will get the attention it craves.

Either way, the cat wins.

My dude. I am trying to write.

2. Buy a Cat Bed and Place it Near You

So, kicking the cat out of the office didn’t work. It’s time to try something else. Your cat just needs to be with you, right? So, head out to the pet shop and buy one of the many overpriced cat beds available for your fuzzy prince or princess. Make sure it’s super [;aush… Dammit, Galahad!

Make sure it’s super plush and “scientifically created” to be the best possible bed a cat could desire. Bring it into your office and place it by your chair. Be sure to spray it down with some catnip spray to entice your little fanged junkie into the bed.

This should buy you maybe fifteen minutes before the little psychopath decides that your keyboard would be way more comfortable for some reason.

Hey, you let the cat into the office. You’ve no one but yourself to blame.

Cat 2, Writer 0

FFS. Fine. Fine. You win, Galahad. You win. Smug devil child.

3. Give Up

Look, you have a lap and two hands. Your lap and one hand is for the cat. The other hand can be used for typing. So, get thee to your sofa/couch, cuddle the damned cat and write one-handed.

Sure, it’s frustratingly slow, and will be riddled with mistakes that you’ll have to continually delete and re-type, or rely on autocorrect to take care of it for you.

(For the sake of your sanity, do not let autocorrect take care of it for you. Your future editing self will thank you.)

This will placate your satanic love-muffin for maybe ten or so minutes, before they decide that actually, you better use both your hands or else there will be blood.

Better at that point to give up entirely and just let the purring murderer love you exactly how and when they want. They always get what they want.

The cat always wins.

When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favorite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cat. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and a cuddling furry murderer. Her most recent titles include Daughters of Britain, Skylark and Human.

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William H. Stoddard

Three apartments ago, we had two cats. One day the younger one came up to me when I was at my desk, and jumped up into my lap. And I said, Okay, and went on working. And then the older one jumped up and sat on top of the younger one . . .

S.M. Carrière

lol. That’s hilarious.

K. Jespersen

Who knew writing with cats and writing with parrots had so many challenges in common? But, now that you mention it, it does make sense. They probably only differ in that one will shred your manuscript, where the other will shred your printer cable so you can’t create more.

Bravo! Fun post. More cat pictures, please!

S.M. Carrière

Thank you! I’m terribly biased, but I do think my boy is a very handsome boi. I’ll try and post more pics.

Charlie Dooley

This brings to mind the old poem ‘Messe ocus Pangur Ban’ .

S.M. Carrière

I’ve not read it. I should! It sounds adorable.


“ Either way, the cat wins.”. That is true about everything.

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