Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: July 10, 2023 by Crystal Uys


What if you had an (almost) unlimited budget to surround yourself with art, furniture, clothing, accessories, household objects, books and pretty much anything else cat related? You would have Caticons!

Caticons: 4,000 Years of Art Imitating Cats chronicles Sandy Lerner’s 30-year-journey through art catalogues, the far corners of the world and the internet for the one “cat thing” she did not already have. Lerner is best known as the founder of Urban Decay and co-founder of tech company Cisco Systems. She is a huge animal lover and promoter of animal welfare, and has established Ayrshire Farm and its retail division, Gentle Harvest, to promote sustainable and humane anti-factory farming. She is getting ready to launch MeatMe, a line of 100% meat based raw pet food sourced and made from humanely raised animals (more information about MeatMe right here on The Conscious Cat very soon!)

Caticons documents Lerner’s personal collection, which began during a catless time caused by living with her new husband, who was highly allergic to anything with fur. Lerner is well aware of her good fortune of being able to afford to indulge in the luxury of collecting so many beautiful pieces. However, her collection is not based on the value of a piece – her only criteria for collecting are “(1) is it a cat, and (2) do I like it?”

Chattes Siamoise on Chaton, Theophile Alexandres Steinlen

This is an absolutely gorgeous book Weighing in at a hefty five pounds, the book features hundreds of beautifully composed full color photos.

Cat Napkin Rings

Even though Lerner provides details about the artist, provenance, context and other details for each piece, this book is not about art. It’s about cats. And what I liked most about this book is that it’s about happy cats. “…there are no images of unhappy cats, unlucky cats, or even unsociable cats” in the book, writes Lerner. “My cats are happy, healthy and loved, in life and in art.” Along with information about the cats featured on the art, Lerner also shares anecdotes and stories (and some photos) about the cats in her life.

Two Playful White Cats and a Butterfly, Gabrielle Rainer-Istvanffy

This book is a celebration of the beauty of cats, and a feast for the senses. I believe that admiring art not only makes you happy, it also has transformative and healing powers. And in this regard, Caticons combines the healing power of cats with the healing power of art – what could be better? And even though most of us won’t be able to afford a collection like Lerner’s, owning this book is (almost) the next best thing to owning all the beautiful pieces featured in it yourself.

Turquoise Temple Cats, Chinese, late 19th/early 20th Century

For more information about the book and to order, please visit

Photos by Nate S.Rhodes, Dan Chung, David Spector, and Tesh Parekh, used with permission

About the author

4 Comments on Review: Caticons: 4,000 Years of Art Imitating Cats

  1. Since I got my first rescued kitten when I was 60, I have not purchased any cat collectibles, but I do have 40 cats in my rescue that would not have survived the animal shelter. My numbers go up and down with adoptions. Since that first tiny kitten that a man talked me into taking, I have fallen madly in love with all cat. But this first kitten was very sick. She was black and white with a solid green face from infection. I took her to the vet and got her some medicine and by the second day with her, I had the perfect name…Stinkerbelle. Yes, she loves her name and she is now 7 years old and the most beautiful long-haired cat you’ve ever seen. Oh, what love I feel for these creatures that are so terrorized by mankind. If I only knew the man’s name who brought Stinkerbelle to me that morning, I would hug his neck and tell him “Thank you for changing my life!”.

  2. I recently added to my cat collection. My ex-mother-in-law recently passed away and my ex gave me some of her cat collection because he knew I would take good care of it. Most are from her days when she lived in Japan. My favorite piece is a carved jade cat.

  3. I have a lot of cat collectables too. My ex-mother-in-law recently passed away and my ex gave me some of her cat collection because he knew I would take good care of it. I got some really old pieces from when she lived in Japan. My favorite is a carved jade cat.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *