There’s been even more talk of cats than usual in my life, due to Oatmeal the cat in Russian Doll and Chewie the cat in Captain Marvel winning over everyone’s hearts on the small and big screen these last few weeks. As I witnessed everyone’s rightful admiration of these majestic creatures, I realized that I — Autostraddle dot com’s self-appointed Cat Editor — never made an official ranking of fictional cats. And so today I have rectified that. I am eager to hear your agreement and disagreement on the list I have lovingly crafted for you in the comments. #Cats!
40. The Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland
The Cheshire Cat wasn’t actually the invention of Lewis Carroll; historians think Carroll was basically describing this mad-looking cat carving that existed on the wall of Yorkshire’s Church of St Peter, Croft-on-Tees for some reason. In my estimation, this is the genesis of evil fictional cats, and I do not care for the stereotype!
39. M.A.D. Cat, Inspector Gadget
Dr. Claw’s Cheshire Cat lackey! I never met a cat who couldn’t think for herself. M.A.D. cat is damaging representation.
38. Tom, Tom and Jerry
I also never met a cat who would allow himself to be made a fool of this many times. Every cat I know would either catch Jerry on the first try or pretend Jerry didn’t exist.
37. Garfield, Garfield
I can’t think of Garfield without thinking of Garfield Minus Garfield and now he just bums me out. Existential angst, am I right?
36. Sauron, Lord of the Rings
Yeah, that’s right, in the original Lord of the Rings lore, Sauron was conceived as Tevildo, The Prince of Cats. Knowing that, you can look upon the Eye of Sauron as a cat’s eyeball or a flaming vagina. The choice is yours!
35. Streaky The Super-Cat, Supergirl
Streaky was Supergirl’s answer to Superman’s Krypto the Superdog. Supergirl actually created Streaky on accident by leaving out a piece of Kryptonite she was studying and when Streaky started messing with it, he got super-strength, super-vision, super-speed, heat vision, and super-intelligence. He ultimately joined the League of Super-Pets.
34. Azrael, The Smurfs
Azrael is really just another M.A.D. Cat, but I have a special affection for him because my first act of rebellion from the Baptist Church was sneaking around to watch The Smurfs even though my Sunday School teacher forbade it because Azreal was named after the Angel of Destruction.
33. Meowth, Pokémon
Meowth is so bad at being a villain. And why? Why is he always trying to steal Ash’s Pikachu? Just to impress Giovanni? Again, cats would never allow themselves to look so stupid, and repeatedly! Also, they would never call a human “the boss.”
32. Cat Suit Mario, Super Mario 3D World
Cat Suit Mario is like Tanooki Mario, but able to inflict way more damage! Plus you can also be Cat Suit Luigi, Cat Suit Toad, Cat Suit Princess Peach, and Cat Suit Rosalina.
31.Rachel’s Hairless Cat, Friends
Joey’s “It’s not a cat!” meltdown about Rachel’s hairless cat is my all-time favorite Friends gag.
30. Chewie, Captain Marvel (Goose from the Movie Is Below)
I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but, um, it’s not a cat!
29. Sylvia, Star Trek
Sylvia came closer to actually besting Kirk and Spock than Kahn ever did and that’s because Kahn is no cat!
28. Milo, Milo and Otis
Milo is a very good cat, but there are too many shades of The Fox and The Hound in his story for me to fully open up my heart to him.
27. Boo Boo Kitty, Laverne and Shirley
Shirley’s stuffed cat is named Boo Boo Kitty; it’s her constant companion/therapist, further proof this show was gay.
26. Taraji P. Henson Saying “Boo Boo Kitty,” Empire
Did you know Tarai P. Henson made this nickname up on the spot while filming? Danny Strong said he rewrote the line five times and couldn’t get it right and she just purred “Boo Boo Kitty” right out on the first take. Give this woman her damn Emmy already!
25. Oatmeal, Russian Doll
You’ve gotta be some kind of special to survive on the streets of New York City like that and maintain your cuddliness.
24. Cait Sith, Final Fantasy VII
Right, so Cait Sith is actually a robot, but it’s a cat robot riding a Moogle in the best Final Fantasy game. So boss.
23. Salem Saberhagen, Sabrina the Teenage Witch
If you were a witch who was punished for trying to take over the world, of course you would assume the form of a cat.
22. Miss Kitty Fantastico, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
No one in Sunnydale should be allowed to own pets, period.
21. Hello Kitty
Sanrio says Hello Kitty is a human girl and not a cat but that is madness and I am putting her on this cat list — where she belongs, due to being a cat — as a protest vote.
20. Rover, Animal Crossing
He helps you define your entire existence; and after you know who you are and are living your best life, he just wants to be your chatty pal.
19. Lord Tubbington, Glee
The co-host of Fondue For Two and an original Brittana shipper. One of the gayest cats in TV history.
18. Crookshanks, Harry Potter
Of course a cat noticed Ron’s rat was actually the shape-shifting form of the man who was responsible for the most evil wizard in history killing the parents of his best friend before Ron did.
17. Mrs. Norris, Harry Potter
Mrs. Norris might seem like a real jerk, but how would you feel if you were a cat whose owner had to chase Fred and George Weasley around Hogwarts for six years? You’d be grumpy as hell, too! If Mrs. Norris had discovered Peter Pettigrew’s secret, she’d never have been given a hero’s prize like Crookshanks.
16. Mr. Piddles, The L Word
Poor sweet thing. Murdered, by Ilene Chaiken, just like his mother.
15. Cake, Adventure Time
Cake is the Jake to Fionna’s Finn — a sister, an adventuring companion, a confidante, a sword fighter, a source of comic relief. Plus, she’s voiced by Roz Ryan, who you know best as Thalia, the Muse of Comedy in Disney’s Hercules. (Gonna shout it from the mountaintops, etc.)
14. Bagheera, The Jungle Book
I love Bagheera because he reminds me of my cat Dobby and I like to think if our roles were reversed, and I were a feral human, Dobby would take care of me the way Bagheera takes care of Mowgli.
13. Halle Berry’s Catwoman
12. Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman
11. Julie Newmar’s Catwoman
10. Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman
I will not argue about this ranking; it is correct.
9. Figaro, Pinocchio
What a star! He was meant to just be Geppetto’s pet, but he was so charismatic that he became Minnie Mouse’s cat and then made three cartoons of his very own and then had a cameo in Alice in Wonderland. He also had his own mini-comic and appeared in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!
8. Cheetara, Thundercats
The only woman Thundercat, she’s always having to do emotional labor on Jaga, Lion-O, and Tygra. Plus, if it weren’t for her super-speed being able to get them out of harm’s way repeatedly, those dude cats would never have made it past episode one.
7. Thomas O’Malley, The Aristocats
6. Cat Man Do, Powerpuff Girls
See, now this is exemplary cat-villain representation. The Powerpuff Girls think this cat is the unwitting experiment subject for a villain, but the cat is actually controlling the villain the whole time! Once they’ve “rescued” him, he hypnotizes the Professor and does some science and creates a laser beam that makes all cats within a 15-mile radius the heads of their households! It’s mayhem! They destroy furniture, they sleep wherever they want, they eat whatever they want! That’s cats!
5. Hobbes, Calvin and Hobbes
Oh you know, just the physical embodiment of the freedom and innocence of childhood. Only a cat could deal with that kind of pressure.
4. Mufasa, The Lion King
We all had to learn about the circle of life some time — who better to teach us? 😭
3. Catra, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
Just a traumatized soft butch dreamboat with trust issues who opened herself up to one person only, and then that person abandoned her to start a new life with a new found family. Bonus points for being the best dressed lesbian TV character of 2018.
2. Ginger, The Chronicles of Narnia
Ginger the atheist cat didn’t get to enjoy Narnia’s post-Final Battle paradise because she reused to acknowledge Aslan as the Messiah because she didn’t care for his whole controlling, patriarchal deal.
1 1/2. Goose, Captain Marvel Movie
He freaks out a Skrull commander just by walking past him. He swallows his enemies whole. Also he — SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER!!! — handles that tesseract way better than Loki.
1. The Black Panther
Black Panther may have been robbed of its Oscar, but it will not be robbed of its deserved top spot on this list of cats! Wakanda forever!