If you are looking to learn how to draw a cat step by step, then this tutorial is for you. First I’ll show you how to draw a “cat skeleton” to define the pose, then you’ll learn how to draw a cat’s body, how to draw a cat’s face with all the details, and finally, how to add the final details to your cat drawing to make it look realistic.
What You Will Learn In This guide
This cat drawing guide is suitable for people of different levels and abilities. Use this table of contents to quickly get to the different sections of this guide.
- A Quick Preview of All Steps
- How to Sketch a Cat
- How to Draw a Cat’s Body
- How to Draw a Cat’s Face
- Add Finishing Touches to Your Cat Drawing
Feel free to use any tools you wish for this tutorial. I recommend a hard pencil for the sketching phase, and a soft pencil or an ink liner for the final lines.
The red lines are the ones that you’re supposed to draw, and the green ones are guide lines that you only need to imagine—they will help you get the proportions right.
A Quick Preview of All Steps
I would like to start with giving you a quick overview of all the steps we will follow to draw our cat. At this stage don’t worry about all the details yet, because we will go in all the details for each step in the next sections of this guide.
How to Sketch a Cat
At this stage we’re going to create a “cat skeleton” drawing, a simple sketch that helps define the pose and proportions before going into details. Make sure to draw these lines lightly, to be able to erase them later, or to make them less visible once you add the final lines.
Step 1 – Draw a circle
Make sure your circle is a little bit to the left of the middle of your paper. This will become the middle part of the body of the cat, so please make sure to leave enough space on the top and the bottom of your paper.
Step 2 – Draw a bigger circle next to it
The upper edges of both circles should be in line.
Step 3 – Add a circle of a similar size to the first one
You can keep this circle in line, or put it slightly higher than the circle in the middle.
Step 4 – Draw a horizontal line under the cat’s body
This line represents the ground level. To make sure you use the right proportions, please measure the hight of the inner circle and apply the same distance under that circle to find the perfect location for your horizontal line, as shown in the picture below.
Step 5 – Draw a curved line for the cat’s front legs
Here as well it’s important to get the proportions roughly right. To do this, please have a look at the picture below and see how the green imaginary line indicates how to draw the curved line.
Step 6 – Draw a straight line on the right side of this curved line.
This line ends in the middle circle at the same hight of where your curve line started on the left circle as illustrated below.
Step 7 – Draw a curved line to create the basic outline of the cat’s back legs
Step 8 – Add the outline of the second back leg
Step 9 – Start to Draw the cat’s thighs
To do this draw curved lines from the legs towards the body of the cat as illustrated in the picture below.
Step 10 – Draw a line between the 2 lines of the front legs.
To do this follow the illustration below where you can see that we want this new line to end at the crossing of the inner circle and the left circle.
Step 11 – Draw a curved line for the tail
Step 12 – Draw the left side of the cat’s neck
It’s the most tricky part, so be very careful to keep the proportions exactly right.
Step 13 – Draw the right side of the neck
Imagine that the outline of the inner circle is the shoulder if you want to visualize what we’re doing here.
Step 14 – Draw the cat’s head
Start with drawing a rectangle with strongly rounded corners between the curved lines of the neck.
How to Draw a Cat’s Body
Now we’re going to sketch the details of the body, defining its proportions and shapes. I’ll show you how to draw the legs and how to sketch the start of the cat’s face. Keep sketching lightly!
Step 1 – Draw the rounded outlines of the paws
Step 2 – Draw the joints above the paws
Step 3 – Add more details to the joints
Step 4 – Cut the face in half, both horizontally and vertically
Step 5 – Divide the lower half into thirds
Step 6 – Add a curved line to outline the face
When sketching this outline please try to make it bended in a similar way than illustrated below as this is important for the structure of the cat’s face.
Step 7 – Connect the upper third with the borders of it’s surrounding cirle
When doing this please make sure to use bended lines that touch the circle at the same place where your outline of the face from the previous step touched the circle. It’s easy to understand this step by watching the picture below.
Step 8 – Divide the horizontal line into thirds
To get the right proportions, when measuring your thirds we want to ignore the piece outside the curved lines of the outline of the face.
Step 9 – Connect these marks with the lower third to create the outline of the cat’s nose
Step 10 – Draw a line through the middle third
Step 11 – Cut each of the outer third in half
Step 12 – Imagine a line connecting these two marks and draw a line right next to it, towards the outside
Step 13 – Sketch the cat’s eyes
We create the basic structure of the eyes by drawing ovals inside the area created in the previous step.
Step 14 – Draw the lips and the basic outline of the nose
Step 15 – Draw 2 rounded lines to outline the cat’s ears
Step 16 – Divide the forehead into halves, then cut the upper half in halves again
Step 17 – Draw a curved line across the upper mark
Step 18 – Draw curves from the inner part of the eyes towards the forehead and beyond
This is to further shape the ears.
Step 19 – Add two more curved lines to finish the outline of the ears
How to Draw a Cat’s Face
Now we’re going to add details to our cat’s face to make it more realistic. Keep your lines light – at this stage it’s still more of a cat sketch rather than a cat drawing.
Step 1 – Add a flat oval to create the nose
Step 2 – Draw the nose holes
Step 3 – Draw lines for the whiskers
Step 4 – Draw curved lines around the eyes
Step 5 – Draw the pupils inside the eyes
Step 6 – Draw the eyebrows
Step 7 – Draw the inside of the eyebrows
Step 8 – Draw the nose bridge
Step 9 – Make the outline of the area around the nose more accurate
Step 10 – Divide each paw into four parts
Make the lower half of each toe straight rather than round as illustrated below.
Step 11 – Add a few more details to the toes and joints
12. Add a few more details across the body
We add a few more lines around the body to finish our sketch of the body and the tail. These are easy steps and can be drawn by following the steps shown on each of the 3 pictures below.
Add Finishing Touches to Your Cat Drawing
We’re almost done with our cat drawing! Now take a softer, darker pencil, or even an ink liner, and use it to cover your sketch with the final details. In this section we will not use a red color for the new lines, but we will show them in black straight away to make sure the details and the darkness are very clear.
Step 1 – Draw the details of the nose and the area around it
Step 2 – Add more details to the eyes
Make sure to make the pupils as dark as possible, in a similar way as shown below.
Step 3 – Add more details to the area of the ears
Step 4 – Darken the borders of the face
Step 5 – Darken the paws
We use the lines of our sketch as base for this darkening, as illustrated below.
Step 6 – Darken the rest of the body
Try to make it look fluffy by adding little lines accross the body as illustrated below.
Step 7 – Add the whiskers and more fur
Step 8 – Make the outline of the body even darker
We can reach this extra darkening to accentuate the outline of the body in 3 ways: we press harder, we draw an extra time over the lines, or we take an even darker tool.
Step 9 – Remove your guidelines and add a few shades
Our cat drawing is almost finished so it’s a good time to carefully remove the guidlines and add a few shaded. You can choose how you add shades, but the most easy way to do it is to imagine a light source shining from a certain direction on our cat. Assuming the light source is above, we get the result below.
You’ve just learned how to draw a cat step by step! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Don’t forget to come back for more easy drawing tutorials in the future.