How To Draw A Cat That Looks Realistic

Greetings, feline lovers! So you want to draw a cat, huh? Luckily for you, I’m a professional illustrator and I’ve outlined this step by step guide to creating a perfect cat drawing. So the next time the urge to draw a realistic cat strikes, just follow this process.

If you want to draw a picture of your cat, start by gathering your supplies. You’re going to need drawing paper, a pencil, and an eraser. You don’t want to use a pen because you’re going to need to erase some lines toward the end of your drawing. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to draw a cat:

1. First step: Draw a circle. How To Draw A Cat

If you want to draw a cat, step one is to draw a circle.

Remember, it’s important to learn how to draw basic shapes if you want to be an artist, especially circles. This one will later become your cat’s head.

2. To help with face placement, draw a grid on the circle.

How To Draw A Cat

Without a grid, you might have trouble placing your cat’s eyes and whiskers in the correct place. So make sure you don’t skip this step! Draw two curving lines toward the middle part of your head.

3. Draw two eyes.

How To Draw A Cat

Your eyeballs should rest on the horizontal plane (equally separated by the vertical grid line). This is the first step in your cat face!

4. Next, draw your nose!

How To Draw A Cat

On cats, this is more of a triangle—or if you’re a musician, a guitar pick. Make sure you place this on the vertical line running down your cat’s head.

5. Draw two circles on either side of your nose.

How To Draw A Cat

This will later become your cat’s mouth/snout. Think Wilford Brimley.

Remember, you don’t want the left side and right side to be completely identical. You want it to look like your cat is facing slightly to the side.

6. Let’s form the bottom of that mouth.

How To Draw A CatDraw a small curve underneath your snout. This will become the mouth of your cat.

7. Next up, get those ears on your kitty.

How To Draw A CatTo do this, draw triangular shapes on both sides of the head. You can add extra lines in order to give the cat’s ears some depth. That way, it will look more realistic.

8. Now, we work on the cat’s body.

How To Draw A CatStart off with a neck circle. I have chosen a British Shorthair as my breed so there will be a lot more circles ahead. Hey, did you know that they’re one of the most ancient cat breeds that we know of? Interesting stuff!

9. Next, let’s get that big chest circle in there.

How To Draw A CatThis circle should overlap with your cat’s neck. Although your cat drawing will come together soon, right now it might look more like a snowman than an animal.

10. After that, let’s draw that nice lil’ feline booty. How To Draw A Cat

Draw one more circle lower on the page. This will become the bottom of your cat drawing, where the tail will eventually go.

11. Draw two circles where the front legs start (about halfway down their chest).

How To Draw A CatAre you familiar with action figures? You know how some of them have balls where their “joints” are to help with their limb movability? This is exactly what we’re doing with this cat.

12. Now draw a couple of thigh “balls” for their hind legs.

How To Draw A Cat

This is why it’s important to learn how to draw circles! You need a lot of them to complete your cat drawing. But don’t worry, you’re almost done!

13. I’m drawing yet another hind leg “ball.” My cat is sitting down.

How To Draw A CatIf you want your cat to be sitting down, make sure you don’t forget this step. Of course, there are plenty of other breeds of cats you can draw and positions you can draw them in. Once you master this drawing, you can move on to another!

14. Time for those paws!

How To Draw A CatDraw four circles where you think they should be. These are going to be your cat’s paws.

15. Draw toes.

How To Draw A CatIt’s complete circle madness on these footsies! A cat’s gotta have toes, right? Make sure you draw the right amount of them.

16. Draw a skeleton line for your tail.

How To Draw A CatSoon, you’re going to make this tail thicker so it looks realistic. But for now, all you need is a squiggly line. Simple, right?

17. Connect all those dots and outline your cat.

How To Draw A CatOh, this part’s fun! This is when your drawing is going to start to come together.

18. Now it’s time to draw on your precious cat’s face.

How To Draw A CatIt’s all about the curves. You don’t want to make your cat too square. It’s better to use curved lines. Remember, feel free to look at a picture of your own cat for guidance.

19. Add some whiskers!

How To Draw A CatDon’t forget the whiskers. You can draw them extending from your cat’s face or make them look more like stubble.

20. Ok, let’s clean up those “skeleton balls.”

How To Draw A CatRemember, you need an eraser to complete this drawing. Most of the lines that you used aren’t going to exist in the final product. You need to get rid of them and only leave the lines that make sense!

Hey, this is actually looking like a cat now! For a second there, I was a little nervous.

21. Add fur.

How To Draw A CatCompletely optional, but I like to add in some texture by drawing in some fur lines everywhere. Just wherever the heck you want. This will help your cat look fuzzy enough to pet.

22. Some more clean up and now we’re cooking.

How To Draw A CatMake sure you erase any other lines that you don’t want in your finished drawing because we’re almost done. There’s only one big step remaining!

23. The final step is upon us…Coloring it in!!!

How To Draw A Cat

Feel free to use any shades you want for your cat. However, it’s always a great idea to scroll through images online to see what real cat breeds look like. You could even model your drawing after your own furry friend.

Once you’re finished coloring in your cat, take a minute to admire all your hard work. After all, drawing a cat isn’t easy. You should be proud of yourself for what you accomplished.

Give yourself a pat on the back!

23. Practice!

If you don’t love the finished product, that’s okay. Practice makes perfect, so make sure you draw another kitty.

Once you feel like you’ve mastered this drawing, you can move on to other animals. Maybe you should try a dog next?

About the author

Illustrator, designer, and all-around creative rover for Thought Catalog

Follow Daniella on Instagram or read more articles from Daniella on Thought Catalog. Learn more about Thought Catalog and our writers on our about page.