"The Love Cats" is a 1983 single by The Cure. It was the band's first Top 10 hit in the UK, peaking at number seven, and also hit number six in Australia. It later appeared on the compilation albumJapanese Whispers. The original UK-only single appears to list the title as "The Lovecats", as do various compilations.
At the time the song was written, Robert Smith was very interested in the work of Australian author, Patrick White. According to a number of his fans, Smith was inspired to write "The Love Cats" after reading White's novel, The Vivisector (1970), although this claim is difficult to verify.
In the novel, the protagonist, Hurtle, is appalled when his lover's husband drowns a sack of stray cats. White draws a parallel between the way in which the cats are discarded, and the treatment of certain characters in the book; by extension, the cats symbolize the most innocent and vulnerable members of society, and the casual cruelty with which they sometimes meet their fate.
The Futureheads recorded a cover for the NME CD Pictures of You – a tribute to Godlike Geniuses The Cure. "The Cure are one of my favourite bands," remarked guitarist Ross Millard in an accompanying feature (NME, 28 February 2009). "We played with them on a TV show years ago, and I thought Robert hated us. I can't explain how excited I was to hear he liked our cover!"