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!
I do not remember the cat from Narnia and thus feel QUITE INDIGNANT that Catra didn’t come in second :-D
Nevertheless this is exactly the content I come here for, TYSM Heather <3
Re:29 I will have you know that Khan is, indeed, a cat, and a very, very cattish cat! He is pushy, self-assured, and insidiously adorable; whereas Jones (where the eff is Jones, sci-fi’s most beloved tough, alien-outwitting survivor on this list?) will roll off a table mid-yawn several times a day. And always surprised to find herself in free-fall.
Ahh, Jonesy, you stupid cat.
Oooh good one!
wait… what happened to Miss Kitty Fantastico
A for sure lesser known but absolutely fab (kind of) cat is Mogget from Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom novels – If I ever get a white cat that seems like it might be up to more than meets the eye, that’ll be the name.
(I totally recommend those books btw.)
(I did not mean to reply here! Sorry, on mobile, I typed in the reply box rather than the comment box 😨)
The Old KIngdom books are great!
I love them 💕 my copies are absolutely knackered from rereading
From what I recall, I think a crossbow happened to Miss Kitty 🙁
Dawn accidentally shot her with a crossbow, offscreen. She mentioned this in season 7.
I think Salem should be much higher on this list but regardless, I still approve. Because cats!
Calamity Jane from Wynonna Earp??
Oh man I forgot about that adorable giant cat!
What about Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman??
I love Anne Hathaway but I stand by my Catwoman rankings.
“Was Mary Fucking Poppins not available?”
Hmm. Listing Mufasa instead of Nala makes me think someone else is writing under the Heather Hogan name.
Some bruises aren’t ready to be pushed on. ❤️
Aw, sorry. She was #1 on every list.
Always and forever!
Sassy – Homeward Bound. Sally Field is extra sassy. It’s been too long since I watched that movie. The porcupine quills!
Oh hell yes!!
THANK YOU YES i was coming here to also talk about sassy. She is truly peak cat character and SURVIVED A FUCKING WATERFALL. She is not only sassy af, she’s a goddamn miracle.
Dex-Starr, Red Lantern, is good kitty: https://imgur.com/gallery/oh7xR
I cry every time I read his origin story. Such a good kitty. ;____;
HEATHER HOGAN! You have forgotten the most awesome cat in all of fiction.
PS – You are forgiven for rightly knowing that “Final Fantasy VII” was the best Final Fantasy.
JAKE!!!! Omg HOW many times did I check out this video from the library 😅
IS THIS REAL?!
funny story: in college I was at a bar that had a separate dancing area that was trying to be more “clubby” with like imitation velvet couches and curtains, lo & behold they were playing scenes from The Cat From Outer Space on big flatscreen TVs in the club area. I flipped out I was so excited 🤣
Sylvia from TOS but not Spot from TNG? Spot is very important. Data even wrote an ode to him, “Ode to Spot”. And remember in Generations when Data and Spot are reunited? It’s pretty much the best scene in any ST movie.
Aside from that, excellent list! I completely agree with the parts I bothered to read. :)
Thank you for bring up Spot. I’m sure he would appreciate it.
Heather/anyone: are you familiar with the 1964 Disney “classic” Thomasina? (It’s a classic in my cat obsessed heart! ❤️🐱)
Well I sure will find a way to watch this!
I didn’t know about this movie at all, can’t wait to watch it! My aunt had a cat named Thomasina when she was little, hearing stories about her I just thought she came up with the name
Awwww!! That’s so sweet 😍
All this list needs is Binx from Hocus Pocus! I cry at his ending scene every time! ;___;
BINX! Great addition!
Awwww Binx, my very favorite fictional kitty
1. This is the most important list ever published
2. A flaming vagina and “Tevildo” sounds like a version of LOTR that is NOT for kids
3. DOBBY WOULD TAKE CARE OF YOU, HE SO WOULD
He really would! 😻
This is Thackery Binx erasure and I will not stand for it.
Eye of Sauron it totally a flaming vagina
Justice for Mr. Piddles!
Great catwoman ranking cause Ertha Kitt is the best!
Jonesy from Alien?
Oooh good one!
My personal top fictional cats are Mogget from the Old Kingdom series, Jiji from Kiki‘s delivery service, and Artemis from Sailor Moon, I am an absolute sucker for the sardonic talking cat trope.
I kept scrolling thinking, where the heck is Jiji?
Mogget! My absolute favourite as well 💕
Sooo happy to see Sylvia on this list.
Also, I’m only now reading the Harry Potter books for the first time, but I’m reading them in Italian for language practice and… Hermione’s cat is called Crookshanks??
In Italian the cat is called Grattastinchi, which means “scratch shins”, but I kind of love it because it sounds like someone randomly trying to improvise the words to “Smelly Cat” in Italian. That’s probably unintentional on the part of the translator.
I was getting so offended at certain cats being so low on the list but then I realized catwomen were on the table and regretted not trusting you. The comments already covered Thackery Binx and Calamity Jane, but I’d also like to add a shout-out to Orion the Cat from Men in Black.
Last night as I was falling asleep (yep, I was still thinking about this list) I remembered: Fat Louie from The Princess Diaries!
omg fat louie!!!!
I tried to link a pic of his cute fat self, but no luck! 🐱
clearly I don’t know how to embed anything/what about ghost cat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmkFTnipMNA
Also there is Silently, of Silently the Cat and Miss Theodosia. Bless a title with the cat first. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17693524-silently-the-cat-and-miss-theodosia
This post is the greatest, although the comments may be even better? I’m just over here taking notes on what I need to read/watch next.
If we’re opening up books in general I have so many to add!
Koko and Yum-Yum from LJB’s The Cat Who… murder mysteries
Jane from Jane on Her Own [Catwings] by Ursula K. LeGuin
Nimitz* from David Weber’s Honor Harrington books [*if Chewie gets in, so does Nimitz!]
What of Chicken from Hothead Paisan?!?
Oh my God. I love that you weren’t supposed to watch the Smurfs because of Azreal. We weren’t supposed to watch it because of the implication that Smurfette was basically the village bicycle.
I’d much rather be told to not watch a show for satanic reasons than messed-up-gender-ratio-slut-shaming reasons!
I might be showing my age, but shout out to Sassy from Disney’s Homeward Bound, for teaching us that “Cats rule and dogs drool”.
Ok everyone was in to Homeward Bound, but I for some reason was a PURIST who for some reason had the Incredible Journey from 1963 on VHS and was indignant when the new Homeward Bound came out because “in the original, the animals don’t talk, so it’s more realistic” lolol
Did anyone else have this original burned into their eyeballs?
*into, not in to
also idk why i said “some reason” twice, i am having a TIME today.
Did you say it twice so that we would think that it wasn’t…unreasonable?
Lol!! QG I read the book for that reason. 😂 a purist little 12 y/o!
I definitely watched the crap out of both movies. I love your “no talking” purist indignation, though. Best
-Snowbell from Stuart Little, voiced by Nathan Lane in the movies.
-Mr. Tinkles from Cats & Dogs, voiced by Sean Hayes.
-SGT. TIBS!!! from 101 Dalmations. He saved the puppies!
-DC, the cat from ‘That Darn Cat.’
-I know you already have “The Aristocats” covered on here, but Marie was always a favorite of mine.
“Ladies do not start fights…but they can finish them!”
Also, if youtube/other cartoon internet cats count: Simon from the Simon’s Cat youtube series, and Pusheen!
OMG so good! And Erica bless you for remembering DC! I love that movie 😅
Thank you for remembering DC. Was coming here to see if anyone gave that shout out <3
As a child of the 80s, Cheetara is my root.
Smelly Cat, Smelly Cat it’s not your fault (that you were left off this list)
Heather Hogan you are wonderful
Tbh, also Marie and Duchess from Aristocats.
Registered to comment just to say I think the film ‘The Cat Returns’ would be of interest to many here. cheers.
Oh good call!
Ok but you need Salem from Sabrina (newer Netflix version vs the teenage which) and he has actually been walking red carpets! Anyway this is def the kind of content I’m here for!!
Meowth is below Mario in a cat suit? An extremely conflicted, intelligent cat who pushed himself to be better than the other cats for love (See “go west young meowth”) lost to a bad italian accent in a halloween costume?