You’ve read of several kinds of Cat,
And my opinion now is that
You should need no interpreter
To understand their character.
You now have learned enough to see
That Cats are much like you and me
And other people whom we find
Possessed of various types of mind.
For some are same and some are mad
And some are good and some are bad
And some are better, some are worse–
But all may be described in verse.
You’ve seen them both at work and games,
And learnt about their proper names,
Their habits and their habitat:
How would you ad-dress a Cat?

So first, your memory I’ll jog,
And say: A CAT IS NOT A DOG.

And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste–
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his NAME.

So this is this, and that is that:
And there’s how you AD-DRESS A CAT.

Analysis, meaning and summary of T.S. Eliot's poem The Ad-Dressing Of Cats


  1. Ghina says:

    The poet discribes the nature and types of cats.He tells us thatwe might have read about different kind of cats. The poet is of the view that we need no interpreter to make us understand that the cats are, by nature, like human being.

  2. Akib says:


    Please can you send me what is the summary of the poem ‘The ad-dressing of cats’ by T.S Eliot.. Plz it’s urgent!

  3. Gunnar Jauch says:

    Just noticed that two entire verses are omitted — what a terrible thing to do!

  4. Gunnar Jauch says:

    a little error:

    “For some are SAME and some are mad
    And some are good and some are bad”

    That, of course, ought to be “sane”

    Greetings from a member of the T.S.Eliot Discussion Forum and a Swiss cat lover

    “A domesticated cat is an oxymoron” (unknown)

    “Cats are independent states with a tail” (Oscar Wilde)

    “The difference between cats and dogs lies in the fact that there are no police cats” (unknown)

  5. Laura says:

    I think this poem is good. I am doing a report in english and was dreading the thought of poetry but this poem kind of makes it fun to read.

  6. kumar says:

    This is nice poem. But I cannot believe that such a great poet as T.S.Eliot could have written so simple and direct as this. Which gives a hopes to us. Nice poem. I have lately began to read eliot poem. I liked his style and thought , would like to read of his work.

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