The 26 most iconic cats of cinema
Cats have been a cinema staple for more than a century, dating all the way back to the 1901 silent short film The Sick Kitten. Sometimes they’re cute, and sometimes they’re creepy, but a film is almost always more interesting with a feline element.
To celebrate these furry stars, EW is looking back on some of the most famous felines in film. (FYI, we decided to narrow the list to actual housecats. Our apologies to Aslan, Baby from Bringing Up Baby, and the Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro.)
26. Buttercup from The Hunger Games series
Hunger Games fans were outraged when a black-and-white tuxedo cat was cast to play the Everdeens’ yellow-ish tabby in the first movie. The mistake was rectified in Catching Fire, with a new cat actor playing Buttercup in all his ginger glory.
25. The cat from Coraline (2009)
The enigmatic, unnamed cat helps guide Coraline through both her own world and the eerie Other World — with plenty of sarcasm along the way.
24. Oliver from Oliver & Company (1988)
One of Disney's more underrated cats is an orphan who has to learn how to navigate New York City — with help from a streetwise mutt voiced by Billy Joel.
23. Tonto from Harry and Tonto (1974)
Art Carney won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a retiree who makes a cross country trip with his best friend, Tonto.
22. The cats from The Aristocats (1970)
Responsible for one of the catchiest, jazziest tunes about how great it is to be a cat.
21. Kovacs’ cat from The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
The bad news: Jeff Goldblum’s stately Persian meets his end when Willem Dafoe hurls him out the window. The good news: Goldblum gets to deliver the best line in the entire movie: “Did he just throw my cat out the window?”
20. Mr. Bigglesworth from the Austin Powers series
Dr. Evil’s hairless companion is nearly as evil his owner. After all, when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, people die.
19. Blofeld's cat from From Russia With Love (1963)
The fluffy white Persian made his debut in From Russia With Love, reappearing in multiple 007 flicks throughout the decades. And through many of the first Bond films, the only glimpse we get of the nefarious Ernst Stavro Blofeld is a closeup of him stroking his beloved cat.
18. DC from That Darn Cat! (1965)
This Disney flick follows a mischievous Siamese as he roams his neighborhood, clashes with the neighbor’s dog, and helps foil a kidnapping. Good kitty.
17. Thackery Binx from Hocus Pocus (1993)
Don’t you hate it when you stumble upon some evil witches and they transform you into an immortal black cat, doomed to walk the earth for centuries?
16. Zunar-J5/9 Doric 4-7 from The Cat From Outer Space (1978)
This ‘70s campy classic tells the story of an extraterrestrial kitty on the run from Earth’s government.
15. The cat from The Mummy (1999)
Cats! Sometimes they throw up in your shoes, but sometimes they save you from ancient undead monsters!
14. Pyewacket from Bell, Book, and Candle (1958)
Kim Novak’s witchy familiar is one of the most recognizable film cats of all time, with his bright blue eyes and penchant for casting spells.
13. Sassy from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
Sally Field voices the tenacious Sassy in this ‘90s remake, which follows the cat and her two dog companions as they cross the country in search of their family.
12. Keanu from Keanu (2016)
Jordan Peele and Keegan-Michael Key’s screwball comedy follows a kitten who’s so cute, he causes break-ins, shootouts, and all sorts of action movie shenanigans. And it’s not hard to see why — I mean, just look at that face.
11. Vito’s cat from The Godfather (1972)
The grey, striped tabby on Vito Corleone’s lap wasn’t actually in the original script. Director Francis Ford Coppola found the cat as a stray near the Paramount lot and handed him to Marlon Brando as a last-minute addition. The cat underscores Vito’s soft, unassuming exterior — but remember, cats have hidden claws.
10. Jiji from Kiki's Delivery Service (1989)
Hayao Miyazaki’s coming-of-age classic centers on the friendship between a young witch and her black cat (voiced in the English version by Phil Hartman). The loquacious Jiji sounds exactly like what you’d expect from a talking cat — snarky and sarcastic, but fiercely loyal to his friend Kiki.
9. Ulysses from Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)
Sure, Oscar Isaac is charming, but his fuzzy orange costar steals every scene he’s in.
8. Fat Louie from The Princess Diaries (2001)
Anne Hathaway’s Mia Thermopolis may have to deal with romantic entanglements and an unexpected royal title, but at least she’s got her best friend Louie at her side.
7. The cats of Kedi (2017)
This stunning Turkish documentary profiles seven of the thousands of street cats roaming Istanbul. The result is a gorgeous look at the relationship between cats and the humans who love them.
6. Goose from Captain Marvel (2019)
Technically, Carol Danvers' fuzzy orange companion isn't a cat but a flerken, an alien with monstrous tentacles in its stomach. But Goose's general feline exterior and helpfulness in the face of danger earns her a spot on our list.
5. Milo from The Adventures of Milo and Otis (1989)
Dogs and cats living together… Mass hysteria!
4. Mrs. Norris from the Harry Potter series
J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world is filled with plenty of felines (shoutout to Crookshanks), but the most memorable is Filch’s beloved tabby, who skulks around Hogwarts in search of misbehaving students.
3. Church from Pet Sematary (1989 and 2019)
Poor Winston Churchill kicks the bucket — only to return from the dead and terrorize his former family. It's not his fault he was laid to rest in an cursed burial ground!! This undead kitty was creepy in the original 1989 film, but he's even more haunting in the 2019 remake. Talk about the cat who came back...
2. Jonesy from Alien (1979)
The ship cat and unofficial mascot of the USCSS Nostromo is a sci-fi and horror icon — and of the few to survive the deadly xenomorph. Sigourney Weaver may be the lead in Alien, but Jonesy is obviously the star.
1. Cat from Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Poor no-name slob: He belongs to nobody, and nobody belongs to him. Holly Golightly’s unnamed cat is the ultimate film feline, a fluffy orange sweetheart who, like most cats, observes everything around him with a sort of passive disapproval.