This post covers the kanji for cat and bird.
Cat – ねこ
Radical: dog 犭
Not sure how much help that radical is going to be, but the kanji does look a bit like a cat. I tried to make up a story about a cat in a rice field, but can’t find the radical that makes up the top right of the kanji. My book suggests that’s a variant of folded hands. So dog, folded hands, rice field. Again, seriously questioning the wisdom of figuring out kanji by their pieces. That said, it’s still easier to memorize 3 pieces than 11 strokes, so I need to suck it up and make something up.
Memorization trick: Head, body, and tail of a cat. Head has two ears and long whiskers. The cat’s name is Rice Patty and there’s a dog chasing it.
Bird – とり
Radical: bird 鳥
Memorization trick: It’s a bird sitting on a nest, rooster or cockatoo, something that has feathers on top of its head. Incomplete kanji for eye because it’s a side view, with a long stroke for the beak. Then the wing folds down and it’s either feathers or the eggs.
I may add some additional animals to this post when I get to them in the app. If you have any other stories or memorization tricks, let me know in the comments.