Fictional Cats, Ranked

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

Shane McMeowtcheon.

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

No photos of Ginger exist, but here is another person who got kicked out of Narnia. Reason: Being a woman.

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!

Heather Hogan is an Autostraddle managing editor who lives in New York City with her partner, Stacy, and their cackle of rescued pets. She's a member of the Television Critics Association, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer critic. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Heather has written 802 articles for us.

86 Comments

    • 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    • 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!]

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. I’ll add:
    -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!”

  9. 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!!

  10. 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?

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