- Not to be confused with the TV Special.
Garfield: His 9 Lives is a book released in 1984 featuring illustrated stories of Garfield in various incarnations, which are portrayed as his "past lives" (based on the popular myth that cats have nine lives). In 2015, kaBOOM! produced a four-part comic series. Each version shares several stories, but also has their own exclusive stories.
In each version of the story, Garfield discusses how each of his past lives has shaped his modern-day personality, from his dislike of dogs to his fear of the veterinarian to his destructive tendencies.
- In the Beginning- The cat is created in what appears to be a corporation by demand of an unseen man, who specifically describes how such a creature appears, acts, and speaks. When asked by his staff why a cat is to have nine lives as opposed to the standard one, the man simply says that he likes cats and his feline features are shown.
- Cave Cat - In the Stone Age, the first cat crawls out of the sea and is domesticated. Cave Cat also deals with a giant reptilian dog named Big Bob (who resembles Odie), but ends up going extinct when the giant tree that Big Bob "fetches" flattens him. Garfield explains that this is how he developed his likes and dislikes.
- The Vikings - A group of Vikings from the year 984 frozen in an iceberg for a thousand years thaw out and wake up in 1984. They attempt to 'pillage' St. Paul, Minnesota, but quickly find that 20th Century American society resists their pillaging and makes them conform, or as they think "in all their warring days, never did they encounter such a barbaric society". The Vikings soon adapt by getting themselves jobs and live in a house, but find themselves numbed in such a humdrum life. However, they learn that old habits die hard when Garfield finds their patron god. The Vikings run off north, never to be seen again. The last panel says "it was an especially warm day in spring of 2984" while a partially defrosted iceberg is shown with the same Vikings reviving, thus their story begins again. This story explains why the otherwise lazy Garfield enjoys occasionally engaging in rampaging and destructive behavior.
- Babes and Bullets - In this film-noir story echoing detective fiction, Garfield is Detective Sam Spayed as he investigates the mysterious death of a priest. To Garfield, the most important thing he learned here was to swear off work.
- The Exterminators - Garfield's dislike for chasing and eating mice is explained in this life, in which he is part of a Three Stooges-styled trio of cats who are hired to catch a mouse, with disastrous consequences.
- Lab Animal - At a secret lab, Garfield is a lab specimen cat named 19-GB who gets an unusual injection. Though he escapes, 19-GB discovers that the test has turned him into a dog, which works to his advantage when other dogs arrive to find him. Garfield dislikes going to the vet for these reasons and still throws up at the sight of lab equipment.
- The Garden - In a takeoff the Bible story of the Garden of Eden, vibrant with many neon colors of the 1980s, Chloe and her orange kitten play in a garden built by her Uncle Todd, who leaves them in charge of it on the condition that they never open a chest in the middle of the garden. Chloe and her kitten are heavily tempted to open it, but resist and go back to their eternal play, thinking that opening the box may hurt Uncle Todd. Garfield explains that this was his favorite life, as his body grew old but he never grew up.
- Primal Self - An orange housecat named Tigger meets an ancient, primal, dangerous, possibly evil force, causing him to revert to an entirely feral state. It is unclear what this force does to Tigger exactly, but the story ends with him preparing to attack his elderly owner. Garfield is shown to be terrified of these events, remarking that this life taught him that there are elements in a cat that are not to be toyed with.
- Garfield - Everything Garfield learned up to now culminates in what his currently his eighth life (though he admits that it falls short of his expectations). The story is a retelling of Garfield's origins as he is born, gets his first taste of lasagna, is adopted by his owner Jon, and meets Odie for the first time.
- Space Cat - A "sneak preview" of his ninth life, Garfield is Space Cat, commander of a spaceship in the far future. He is currently being confronted by enemy ships from the Incredibly Huge Galactic War Fleet (IHGWF) and is trying to figure out how to escape this encounter. When it all fails and he is blown up, however, Space Cat reveals that he's just playing a video game and tells some kids in line after him if they would mind waiting a bit longer, as he has another quarter to spend.
In 2015, the concept of Garfield's nine lives returned again in a four-part comic story created by KaBoom! Studios as part of their monthly ongoing title (issues #33 to #36, two per issue). "Cave Cat", "King Cat", "Babes and Bullets", "19-GB" and "Space Cat" have been completely rewritten, and three all-new stories are added. As opposed to the previous versions, there are only eight stories ("Garfield" has been omitted).
- Cave Cat - The first cat has evolved and is domesticated. In addition to his conflicts with Big Bob the first dog, he discovers the invention of Italian food, invents the postal service by mailing the first cute kitten to Abu Dhabi, and deals with something even worse than dogs... the invention of Mondays.
- King Cat - Worshiped as a god in ancient Egypt, Gar-Ho-Tep becomes the new ruler when his master the Pharaoh dies. However, the Pharaoh's royal vizier seeks to steal the throne (as royal viziers are notorious for doing), and Gar-Ho-Tep must defend himself from his schemes.
- Pirate Cat - Orangebeard the Pirate has traveled the high seas to find the Island of Lost Riches, but almost everybody in his crew abandons him and he must trudge through the dangerous journey with only a few remaining friends (Jon, Odie, and Nermal).
- Cowboy Cat - Evil Roy Gato has taken over the town of Galloping Gulch and is forcing the citizens to print T-shirts all day with no pay. Only one hero of the Old West can save them... Garfield the Kid.
- Super Cat - By day, he is Kip Klutzford, mild-mannered copy-boy at the Daily Comet. When danger threatens the world, he turns into Super Cat and saves the day. In this throwback to 1930s superhero comic books, Super Cat must stop his arch enemy Rex Ruthless from destroying the moon.
- Sam Spayed - In the 1940s, Detective Sam Spayed is enjoying a nice meal of lasagna when he receives a mysterious phone call saying that his meal had been poisoned. With his life on the line, Spayed rounds up his usual suspects, but can he crack the case in time?
- Lab Cat - Garfield is test-subject 19-GB, who is forced to endure inhumane scientific experiments that transform him into a terrifying monster.
- Space Cat - In a galaxy far, far away, Garfield is space pirate Ace Nova. He has been hired to locate a powerful object before it falls into the hands of an evil galactic emperor.