Drawing a Cartoon Cat

Photoshop edited drawing.
Photoshop edited drawing.


  • Improved cat sketch
  • Revised instructions and images
  • Larger example drawings
  • Simplified numbering of steps
  • Revised introduction

Welcome to the second, recently revised hub on cartoon animal drawing! This drawing guide takes another highly popular domestic animal, the cat, as a drawing subject. As with dogs, cats make excellent subjects for cartooning due to their well-defined character traits. Refined, independent, stubborn, aloof, intelligent, cunning: it's no one wonder why they are the number one household pet! They are the regal kings and queens of their domains while we serve as their lowly subjects. We don't own them. They own us!

Now, as with any drawing, it takes time and practice to get things down. So, don't be discouraged if you're having a difficult time with the drawing. If you're having any trouble with a certain step, stop and take the time to get it down. Once you accomplish that, move forward. There's no need for worry or fuss.

Before we get started, I want to give one word of advice regarding the drawing process: sketch lightly. Keeping your pencil lines light and loose makes it easier to clean up mistakes and the drawing as a whole. Heavy pencil lines may smudge, leaving nasty looking marks on your paper. Be careful to avoid applying to much pressure on the pencil as you draw.

Okay, time to get started!

Step 1

Draw a large circle for the head. Get it as round as possible, but don't worry about getting it totally perfect. Just do the best that you can. Also remember to keep your sketch light. The lines in the examples are heavy only so that you can clearly see what you are to draw.

Step 2

Draw three guidelines on the head. Those are the yellow lines in the example. They will help you to more accurately place certain elements or features such as the nose eyes, mouth, ears, etc.

Step 3

Using the middle guideline as a dividing point, draw two rounded triangles on top of the circle to form the cat's ears. Draw one ear on the left side and another ear on the right side. The order doesn't matter.

Step 4

Leave the rest of the head for later, and move on to the body. Just below the head, draw a large potato-like shape for the cat's body. Leave a small gap between the two shapes.

Draw the body just below the head. The two shapes should not meet or overlap.
Draw the body just below the head. The two shapes should not meet or overlap.

Step 5

The small gap you left between the head and the body was for the neck. Go ahead and draw that now in order to bring the head and body together.

Step 6

Inside of the cats body, at the back of the neck, draw an oval. This oval serves as the cat's shoulder, and will help you place and draw the leg that goes with it.

Step 7

You'll be drawing three legs in this step. Just draw them according to the numbering in these instructions and the example drawing.

  1. Draw a long rectangle on the bottom of the shoulder. Allow these two shapes to overlap some. On the bottom of the long rectangle, draw another shorter rectangle.
  2. For the right front leg, you'll do pretty much the same thing only with a different shape for the upper portion of that leg. Since it's partially hidden from view, you only need to draw part of its shape. Do that by drawing a long, skinny triangle that follows the curve of the bottom. On the bottom of the skinny triangle, draw a short rectangle just like you did for the left leg.
  3. Finally, draw a large oval for the hind leg. Draw it inside the lower portion of body near the back. Since the cat is sitting, you'll only need this one simple shape.

Step 8

On the bottoms of all three legs, draw ovals for the feet. The oval on the hind leg should have a pointed heel and be much longer than the ovals on the front legs.

Step 9

Another major area of the body you need to draw is the tail. Start by drawing the largest shape indicated by the yellow arrow. Also be sure to have the tail follow the direction of the arrow. Next draw the area of the tail indicated by the yellow numbers. This area is the bent section of the tail.

Step 10

Finish up the body by drawing a line for the cat's underside. This line also flows into the unseen hind leg on the opposite side of the bottom. Simple draw a slightly curving line that runs underneath the bottom between the hind leg and the right front leg. The line is indicated by the yellow arrows.

Your Sketch at this point.

Step 11

Go over your sketch and give your cat form using heavier pencil lines. Since cats are usually recognized as being elegant creatures, keep your lines nice and curvy. Clean up all unnecessary lines and shapes, but do not erase the guidelines on the head. You still need those!

Darken your sketch lines, and bring out the cat's form. Erase all other unnecessary lines and shapes.
Darken your sketch lines, and bring out the cat's form. Erase all other unnecessary lines and shapes.

Step 12

The guidelines you left on the head will help you place the cat's facial features. Go ahead and draw in the eyes, nose, mouth, muzzle, etc.

Step 13

Inside each ear, draw a curving line that follows the direction in which each ear is facing. These lines separate the outside of the ear from the inside of the ear.

Step 14

Once the ears are done, you can remove the guidelines from the face. Add the rest of the cat's details like the lines for the fur on the tail and left front leg and toes on the feet. Check your drawing against the example drawing, making sure every thing matches up. Look for any possible errors or missing elements. Once you complete this examination, your sketch will be done!

Finished sketch. Check yours against the example to make sure everything is accurate.
Finished sketch. Check yours against the example to make sure everything is accurate.
Completed pencil rough sketch.
Completed pencil rough sketch.

If you enjoyed this hub and found to be helpful, please visit my page and take a look at some of my other drawing guides. You won't be disappointed!

You can also check out some of my wackier art on Deviantart. Just click on the link in my profile.

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Comments 1 comment

Kate 2 years ago

I could actually draw this!! Eep!!!

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