–Guest blog by Rebecca Holland

As animal lovers, we love our pets. Our pets are not just adorable, fluffy cuddle buddies. Instead, they are cherished members of our family. We love our pets regardless of how much mud they bring in from the garden or how many chairs they use as their personal scratching posts! Even when they get on our last nerve, we love them uncontrollably.

Pets also make great reading companions. Having a purring cat on your lap or a napping dog on the sofa next to you is so relaxing and creates the perfect atmosphere to pick up a book. And for us animal lovers, what could be better to read than stories that include animal sidekicks! Harry Potter had his owl Hedwig, and Dorothy had her dog Toto, and let’s be honest, they are a delight and make us feel like we have met new animal friends.

Here are 5 reasons why we love animal companions in fiction (almost) as much as we love our own pets…

  1. They remind us of our own pets

Whether you’re a cat or dog lover (or both!) there are animals in stories that we read that make us go, “aha! That’s exactly like my darling furbaby!” Fictional animals remind us of our own pets with their specific characteristics and behaviours. Whether they’re well-behaved or mischievous, we are reminded of all the things we love about our own furry friends and the things that our mischievous pets do that make us laugh… or cry. It’s almost a nostalgic feeling, like watching a movie set in the decade you were born, so we keep going back to these fictional animals that remind us of our pets.

  1. We just love animals

Even if we have animal companions at home, reading about animals in fiction makes us feel happy. It is the literary equivalent of all those cat videos we watch on YouTube. We just love animals and want to hear, see and read about them… fictional or not! When it comes to fiction, we can meet all kinds of new animal companions and experience the things we wish our pets could do, like grow wings or talk, which leads us to the fact that…

  1. Fictional animals fascinate us

We know what having a real animal companion is like — we can all relate to having pets or knowing someone with pets — but what about animals that simply don’t exist? As animal lovers, any book with an unusual pet companion simply fascinates us. These made-up animals intrigue us. They stir our curiosity. From talking animals to the mythical, reading about animals that are completely new to us allows us to escape for a short time into a whole other world, to go on an adventure with our new pet companions by our side. It’s that escapism that brings us back to reading about fictional animals time and time again.

If talking or magical black cats fascinate you, check out our 9 Iconic Black Cats in Fiction.

  1. We wish they were our own companions

Have you ever read a book with an entirely fictional animal companion and wished they were real? Books like Northern Lights introduced us to entirely fictional animals called daemons that many animal lovers absolutely fawn over. I love the idea of having a pet daeman or even befriending a dragon! Although it’s never going to happen (and neither is my letter to Hogwarts), I can dream. And fiction lets me do that. It lets us dream about these fictional animal companions we wish were our own. Or at least existed in our world.

They’re perfect when we’re missing our pets

Fictional animal companions can’t replace our real-life pets, and we wouldn’t want them to! But for those of us who are missing our pets — whether they’ve passed across the rainbow bridge or we’re on vacation — animal companions in fiction can fill that empty space for a short time. We can become emotionally attached to that street cat or stray dog without physically replacing the pets that we miss. Since moving into a new apartment, I’ve been unable to foster abandoned cats anymore, but I can still pick up a book and read about animal companions — until I can spend time with someone else’s pets, that is.


Rebecca Holland is a writer from the UK. She’s an animal lover with a soft spot for purring cats, especially when she’s reading, and loves nothing more than a good book with animal companions. Check out some of Rebecca’s other work at and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.

Published On: November 10, 2021|Categories: Guest Bloggers, New and Stories|