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The Diary of a Killer Cat is a comedy book for younger children, written by Anne Fine. It was published in 1994. The book is a fictional diary from the point of view of a pet cat, named Tuffy. The book was a success, spawning four sequels, The Return of the Killer Cat, The Killer Cat Strikes Back, The Killer Cat's Birthday Bash and The Killer Cat's Christmas.

"Okay, okay. So hang me. I killed the bird. For pity's sake, I'm a cat. It's practically my job to go creeping round the garden after sweet little eensy-weensy birdy-pies that can hardly fly from one hedge to another. So what am I supposed to do when one of the poor feathery little flutterballs just about throws itself into my mouth? I mean, it practically landed on my paws. It could have hurt me."

Poor Ellie is horrified when her pet cat, Tuffy, drags a dead bird into the house. But Tuffy can't understand what the fuss is about. Who will be the next victim of Tuffy, the killer cat?

Reader's Reviews


Absolutely hilarious, perfect as a family read-aloud. The characters are expertly drawn, and Tuffy's protestations about how it wasn't his fault are just brilliant. Highly recommended.


This book is brilliantly written and had me laughing throughout. Anne Fine manages to give Tuffy a brilliantly cheeky personality, which children and adults alike will fall in love with. It is the first story in a series of four, all of which are as good as this debut. Highly recommended for children, parents and teachers.


This short story is a humorous diary account, written from the point of view of a very naughty and sarcastic ginger cat. The story depicts a casual, child friendly approach to life and death and shows the circle of life from a cats perspective. Throughout the week, Tuffy manages to horrify his owners on a daily basis, by causing chaos in and out of the house. From ruining flower beds, killing birds and even dragging a dead rabbit through the cat flap, Tuffy’s family are beside themselves and cannot understand why he insists on killing things. Tuffy repeatedly justifies his behaviour to the reader, by stating he is a cat and killing is what cats do! Tuffy also seems to try and convince the reader to be on his side, by claiming that ‘it’s practically his job’ and he believes he deserves credit for managing to get the rabbit through the cat flap at all. The twist in the story reveals that Tuffy may not be quite so mischievous after all, which leads to his owners apologising to him and treating him a little more kindly. However, the reader is lead to believe that Tuffy is about to embark on another adventure, as shown by the big cheeky grin on his face in the last illustration of the book. The diary of a killer cat would be suitable to read with children from a 6-9 age range, depending on their reading ability, as I believe they would find it the most comical. It would also be perfect to use with children who have pets (especially cats) as it could spark the conversation of where they go at night when they are able to sneak around the garden and through the streets. Although slightly macabre with its undertones of death throughout, it may be more suitable to use with boys, as they may appreciate the language and humor which seems to be aimed in their direction. I would consider reading this story first before sharing with children, as the content may be less enjoyable depending on your child’s personal experiences. 

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 7+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 6+

Clean, although Tuffy's actions are not always right.

If you like this you might like

  • The sequels to the book, The Return of the Killer Cat, The Killer Cat Strikes Back, The Killer Cat's Birthday Bash and The Killer Cat's Christmas.
  • Other books written by Anne Fine.

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