With a BA in Visual Arts, Cat Sparks initially pursued a career as a graphic artist and photographer. After winning a Bulletin magazine photography competition (the prize being a trip to Paris), she was later appointed official photographer for two New South Wales premiers and engaged as photographer on three archaeological expeditions to Jordan. Sparks also won an Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards for her artwork for the robot collage Cyberchick.
In the mid-late 1990s, Sparks began to develop an interest in writing, particularly in the speculative fiction genres. By the early 2000s, she had moved to Wollongong, where she and her partner, writer Robert Hood, set up the independent publishing company Agog! Press. The pair oversaw the release of ten anthologies between 2002 and 2008, at which time they closed Agog! down in order to concentrate on their individual writing projects.
A graduate of the inaugural Clarion South Writers' Workshop (Queensland) in 2004, Sparks has gone on to publish more than forty-five stories since 2000. Her first major award was the 2002 Ditmar Award (formerly the Australian Science Fiction Achievement Awards) for Best New Talent . After being nominated in 2002 for the Aurealis Peter MacNamara Conveners Award for services to the Australian science-fiction publishing industry, Sparks won the award in 2004. That same year, she also won third prize in the first quarter of the Writers of the Future competition. In all, Sparks has won more than ten awards for her stories since 2002, making her one of Australia's leading writers of speculative fiction.
Sparks has travelled widely throughout her life, including such destinations as Europe, the Middle East, Indonesia, the South Pacific, Mexico, and the lower states of North America.