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Players take on the role of cat ladies, part of an elite group of people including Marie Antoinette and Ernest Hemingway.

During the game, you and your fellow cat ladies will draft cards three at a time, collecting toys, food, catnip, costumes, and of course lovable cats. But watch out! Make sure you have enough food for all of your feline friends or your hungry cats will subtract points from your score.

The player with the highest total victory points (VP) wins the game!


Your game of Cat Lady should include the following:

  • 102 Game cards
  • 13 Stray cat cards
  • 6 Victory point tokens
  • 1 Cat token
  • 60 Food cubes (20 red, 20 blue, 15 white, 5 purple)
  • 1 Rulebook


  1. Shuffle the 13 stray cat cards to form a face down stray cat deck.

  2. Game cards form the main deck and will have a different number of cards depending on the number of players:

    • 2-player game: Remove all cards with a number 3+ and 4 in the top right corner and return them to the box. Then remove 2 cards at random and return them to the box without looking at them.
    • 3-player game: Remove all cards with a number 4 in the top right corner and return them to the box. Then remove 2 cards at random and return them to the box without looking at them.
    • 4-player game: No cards are removed.
  3. Shuffle the main deck face down and deal 9 cards face up in the center of the table to form a 3x3 grid.

  4. Deal 3 stray cat cards face up off to the side. Place the cat token and all wooden food cubes off to the side

  5. The player who has the most cats in real life is the starting player and takes the first turn of the game. The player sitting counterclockwise from them takes the cat token and places it next to one of the rows or columns. The starting player is now ready to take the first turn!

Game Play

When a player finishes their turn, the next player clockwise around the table takes a turn. Players continue taking turns until the end of the game.

During your turn, you must take an entire row OR column of three cards from the grid of 3x3 face up game cards (you cannot take a diagonal row). However, you cannot take the row or column that the cat token is next to. Effects of the various card types are explained on the following pages.

Move the cat token next to the row or column that you took cards from. Then refill the row or column with three cards face up, drawn from the main deck.

You may play Lost Cat and Spray Bottle cards anytime during your turn. Your turn then ends and the next player clockwise takes a turn.

Example: On Julie's turn, the cat token is on the bottom row so she cannot take that row (the red arrow).

She decides to take the 3 cards from the leftmost column (the blue arrow).

She collects a toy mouse, which she places into her hand; the cat Sir Cuddleface, which she places in front of her; and a tuna, which she discards and takes a blue cube.

The column of cards is refilled and the cat token is then placed at the top of the leftmost column since that was the row that she took cards from.

End of the Game

The game ends when an empty row or column needs to be refilled and there are no cards remaining in the deck.

The player with the most leftover food after feeding their cats must lose 2 VP. If two or more players tie for the most leftover food, they each lose 2 VP.

Players now add up all of their VP from cats, stray cats, costumes, catnip, toys, and VP tokens including any penalties.

The player with the highest total VP wins the game! If two or more players are tied for the highest total, the player who has the most fed cats is the winner. If there is still a tie, the first player to win the next game of Cat Lady is the winner.

A summary of each scoring item is posted below for reference:

  1. Fed Cats
  2. Food Penalty
  3. Score Costumes
  4. Score Catnip
  5. Score Toys
  6. VP Tokens

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