Top Five Movies Featuring Cats

Autostraddle 5th B'day_Cats plus changes_Rory Midhani_640px (1)
We’re celebrating Autostraddle’s Fifth Birthday all month long by publishing a bunch of Top Fives. This is one of them!

Two of my favorite things in the world are cats and movies, so when you combine the two, it often makes for a magical experience. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many movies about cats are also female-led movies. I didn’t even try to look for cat movies that also feature a female main character, and still, four out of five movies fit that description. And the one that doesn’t fit still has the cat-related scenes all centered around a woman. It just seems like ladies, cats and movies go perfectly together. So here are my Top Five Movies About Cats in no particular order.


1. Alien

Not just one of the best cat movies of all-time and not just one of the best female-led of all-time, this is flat out one of the best movies of all-time. Alien, otherwise known as How Far is Ellen Ripley Willing to go to Save her Pet? is a thrilling and chilling haunted house movie in outer space. This is a perfect movie for anyone who wants to have a good time, eat some popcorn and feel like a scaredy cat for a couple of hours.

2. Batman Returns

Some may say that this is really a movie about bats, but Michele Pfeiffer as Catwoman absolutely steals the movie from under Batman’s cape. Seriously, all you have to do is take one look at her in her S&M-inspired catsuit and you’ll forget that she wasn’t top billed. Some people may prefer Anne Hathaway’s portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises, but for me, nothing can beat Pfeiffer’s over the top cat puns and sexy slinking walk. Her dangerous and strange sexiness definitely helped to inspire a generation to try things out and be a little kinkier.

via Blastr

via Blastr

3. Ghost Cat

This is a Canadian TV movie from 2004 that’s also known as Mrs. Ashboro’s Cat. I don’t really know if this movie actually qualifies as good, but it isn’t terrible. It deserves its spot on this list simply because it features an adorable little 16 year old Ellen Page (a full three years before she played a sixteen year old in Juno) in a Gemini Award winning role. So if you want to see one of our top two favorite famous gay Ellens before she was super famous, you can check this one out on Netflix Streaming.

4. Josie and the Pussycats

Easily one of the best movies of the early 2000s. it has such a perfect cast of ladies, with everyone from Rosario Dawson, Tara Reid and Rachel Leigh Cook as the titular band to Missi Pyle and the incomparable Parker Posey in amazing supporting roles. In my opinion, this one of the best movies ever about female friendship and when I was younger this was exactly what I wished my early twenties would be like. Josie and the Pussycats is also a brilliant takedown of pop culture and the music industry that was way, way ahead of it’s time. Plus, it has a killer soundtrack featuring Kay Hanley from Letters to Cleo.

via Amazon

via Amazon

5. A Cat in Paris

This lovely French film from a couple years ago was actually nominated for an Oscar for best animated feature (in the same year another cat movie, Puss in Boots, was also nominated), and like the rest of the films on this list (and unsurprisingly a lot of other movie about cats) is actually about a girl and her relationship with her cat. This movie has it all, simple, yet beautiful animation, a hard-working and courageous single mother, a suave cat burglar, a truly despicable villain and an array of tense chase scenes.

I have to give a special mention to The Aristocats, The Cat Returns, The Lion King and Cats Don’t Dance (which gave my cat Sawyer her name) four other animated cat movies that were all on this list at one point or another before I realized that I wanted to include some live-action films too. Really, though, you can’t go wrong with any of these cat-themed movies, or plenty of others. I’m sure that there are dozens of others that I left off and even more that I haven’t seen yet and still have the chance to enjoy.

Header by Rory Midhani

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Mey Rude is a fat, trans, Latina lesbian living in LA. She's a writer, journalist, and a trans consultant and sensitivity reader. You can follow her on twitter, or go to her website if you want to hire her.

Mey has written 572 articles for us.


  1. This. Is. Amazing.

    Thank you, seriously!

    Also, for the “next top 5 movies featuring cats,” I’d like to nominate “That Darned Cat (1965),” “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The Cat Returns,” “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” and “Hocus Pocus.”

    • the cat returns/whisper of the heart/kiki’s delivery service are some heartwarming cat movies. also not a movie but i have to mention the anime chi’s sweet home as well. i would recommend it to anyone who loves kittens, even if they’re not an anime fan.

      breakfast at tiffany’s is obviously a classic but not really feline-focused. love audrey hepburn though.

    • That Darned Cat! It was as much fun when I grew up as it was when it came out (I’m OLD).

  2. I can’t put into words how much I love Josie and the Pussycats, I feel like it’s such a cult classic…also the soundtrack is amazing, Kay Hanley is amazing, and I apologize for nothing. NOTHING.

    • I hope all you young uns know that Ripley was originally written as a man. Ridley Scott changed him to her and a legend was born.

  3. No mention of Miranda July’s “The Future?” Not only is it centered on a kitty, but it’s a talking kitty.

    • “The Future” is a great addition! I can’t believe I totally forgot about it when I was making this list, thanks for reminding me of a weird, but wonderful movie.

  4. cats don’t dance is my childhood. so glad someone else appreciates how great it is (even if it didn’t make the top 5)!

  5. YES! I was hoping Ghost Cat and A Cat In Paris would both be on the list. I love them both a lot. A Cat in Paris is so beautifully done!!!

  6. This is highly relevant to my interests.

    I think my top five would probably be your honorable mention list +Kiki’s Delivery Service.

  7. ‘Alien’ has been on my list of films to watch for what feels like forever (I like sci fi and badass women, I have no idea why I still haven’t managed to watch it) – but now I know there is a significant cat in the film, it has skyrocketed up the list.

    Also, major love for the Aristocats.

  8. I always considered My Neighbor Totoro a cat movie, although that may only be because of the awesome cat bus. Also, Sassy in Homeward Bound, and Winkie in Escape to Witch Mountain deserve an honorable mention. There are so many good cat-centric movies!

  9. This is like what I’ve been waiting for my whole life.

    And sadly I realise I haven’t seen any of these movies.

    On to it. Now.

  10. I was just going to scroll down and make a scathing comment about how you left off The Aristocats which is probably the best animated movie about cats EVER MADE but then you mentioned it in the honorable mention, so all is well. It should still be number 1 though. Those kitties are so cute.
    Also now I want a cat to cuddle. Just kidding I’ve wanted a cat for a long time.

  11. Is it just me, or does Sigourney Weaver totally look like Katherine Moennig (aka Shane) in that photo?

  12. Homeward Bound and Bolt! I had many feelings about Homeward Bound as a kid. Bolt may technically be about a dog, but the cat, Mittens, was freaking awesome.

  13. I seriously started to question my sexual orientation when Josie and the Pussycats came out.

  14. Weird. My cat walked over and started bugging me right as I opened this post….

    But yes, I would also add “My Neighbor Totoro” because who doesn’t want a cat bus?

    • Ok, weird, I didn’t even notice until I read your comment, but my cat did too.


  15. When I was a kid I used to obsessively watch a cartoon film called Peter no tail, about a cat with no tail who overcomes the perceived negativity of his lack of tail to be a hero that saves his family. He befriends a snake and goes on adventures. It was Scandinavian I think. My cat lost her tail in a car accident so I obviously loved the idea that she was a heroic little thing too. I’d love to see that again.

    • What do you mean? That was the best.

      I’m not even sure if I mean that sarcastically or not.

      I kept hoping for a inter-species hook up between main dog character and main cat character whose names I can’t remember. It never happened.

  16. Felidae. Possibly the best cat movie ever made, and definitely the best animated movie ever to be produced in Germany. It might give you nightmares though (very dark and gory, not a kid’s movie by any means).

Comments are closed.