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1-Page Summary of The Cat In the Hat

Overall Summary

The Cat in the Hat is a children’s book written by Dr. Seuss, an American cartoonist and author. The story takes place on a rainy day when two siblings are home alone with their pet fish while their parents are out of town. A tall cat wearing a hat appears and creates havoc in the house, leaving it destroyed when his friends show up to help him clean everything up before their mother gets back from her trip.

The book begins with the narrator and Sally being bored in their house during a storm. The Cat comes into the scene, followed by his umbrella. He suggests that he entertain them with tricks, but the fish tells him not to do anything because it will cause trouble. The Cat then takes away the fish from its bowl and starts balancing it on top of his umbrella. They keep playing this game until it escalates to an elaborate performance where they balance themselves on various objects around their house while teetering atop a ball. Eventually, everything collapses and they start arguing again about who’s fault it is for causing all this mess.

The cat suggests that he and the children play another game. He drags in a large box with two creatures inside it; they look like people but have blue hair and red jumpsuits. The fish captures one of them, while the other escapes to do more destruction around the house. The Cat is embarrassed by this behavior and leaves through the front door.

The children’s mother is about to arrive home, and the house is a mess. Just before she arrives, the Cat returns on an enormous machine that cleans up the house in just moments. The fish and children are overjoyed to see their home restored to its original condition. Before their mother enters, the Cat bids them farewell and leaves through a mouse hole in the wall. Their mother asks what they did while she was away; they don’t answer her question but instead ask if she had fun at work. The narrator then turns to readers of this book and asks what you would do if your mom asked you what you did while she was gone for work all day long?

The Cat In the Hat Book Summary, by Dr. Seuss