- Whether real or animated,cats can play an important, hilarious, or terrifying role in movies.
- From Cat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to Goose in “Captain Marvel,” cats have been on the big screen for decades.
- INSIDER ranked 15 of the best cats in movies, from live-action felines to animated ones.
Whether they’re real or animated, cats have a whole lot of personality. And although there are dozens of famous, onscreen dogs out there, there are likely just as many iconic, movie-star felines.
From Crookshanks in “Harry Potter” to Goose in “Captain Marvel,” here’s a ranking of some of the best movie cats of all time.
15. Jonesy in “Alien” (1979) and “Aliens” (1986) is a survivor.
In the space thriller “Alien,” Jonesy the orange tabby cat is a source of comfort for protagonist Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) as her spaceship and crewmates are viciously attacked by an elusive alien creature called a Xenomorph.
Toward the end of the film, Jonesy and Ripley remain as the lone survivors on the spaceship, which means Jonesy is one tough cat.
Jonesy also made a reappearance in the sequel “Aliens” after he and Ripley travelled in hypersleep for 57 years, officially making him the oldest fictional cat on this list.
14. The orange tabbies in “Inside Llewyn Davis” (2013) complicate the life of a folk singer.
In “Inside Llewyn Davis,” vagabond Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac) is a New-York-City musician who couch surfs from apartment to apartment while trying to jumpstart his career.
While staying the night at a new place, Llewyn accidentally lets the owner’s cat Ulysses out and has to take the cat to another apartment for a few days, only for it to escape again. Llewyn spots an orange tabby on the footpath and takes it to its rightful owner, only to realise he found the wrong cat.
Both the real Ulysses and the stray are constants in the film, riding the subway with Llewyn and perching on his shoulder like a parrot. The two orange tabbies, played by three real-life cats: Tigger, Jerry, and Daryl, soften the exterior of the hardened folk singer and Llewyn is relieved when the real Ulysses finds his way home.
13. The cat in “Rhubarb” (1951) brings luck to a baseball team of underdogs.
In the 1951 screwball comedy “Rhubarb,” the titular cat Rhubarb inherits a baseball team from the estate of his wealthy owner. The baseball team, called the Brooklyn Loons, initially protest being owned by a cat. Then, a lawsuit from the millionaire’s jealous daughter throws another wrench into the plot.
But once the team publicist convinces the baseball players that Rhubarb brings them good luck, the Brooklyn Loons begin winning for the first time in years. In the film, Rhubarb was played by Orangey the cat, who also starred in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” 10 years later.
12. Goose in “Captain Marvel” (2019) is actually an alien disguised as a cat.
As Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) traces her superhero origins to earth in “Captain Marvel” she comes across an orange tabby named Goose (Reggie) who steals the heart of her partner Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson).
Although Goose is technically an alien called a “Flerken” who is masquerading as an earth cat, the tentacled cutie wears the disguise well and helps keep a powerful infinity gem out of dangerous hands.
11. The kittens in “The AristoCats” (1970) have a variety of skills.
The cats in “The AristoCats” can sing and play musical instruments. In the Disney animated classic, a mother cat (voiced by Eva Gabor) and her three jazz-loving kittens become victims to a nefarious scheme that separates them from their owner.
The loveable kittens include creative painter Toulouse (voiced by Gary Dubin), singer Marie (voiced by Liz English), and shy pianist Berlioz (voiced by Dean Clark).
10. Jiji in “Kiki’s Delivery Service” (1989) acts as a loyal friend to a young witch.
A steadfast and loyal friend to the budding witch Kiki, the black cat Jiji in “Kiki’s Delivery Service” plays the role of a familiar and is a notable part of Kiki’s adolescence.
His lively personality lends to some of the best lines in the film and shows the closeness of his connection with Kiki.
By the end, Jiji loses his ability to speak to Kiki and although it’s bittersweet, this signifies the end of Kiki’s childhood and the start of her journey toward adulthood.
9. Sassy’s personality in “Homeward Bound” (1993) fits her namesake well.
In “Homeward Bound,” three pets travel across the country to reunite with their family when they are separated from their owners while far from home.
Journeying alongside incorrigible pitbull Chance and wise golden retriever Shadow, Sassy the Himalayan cat (voiced by Sally Field and reportedly played by eight different cats) rounds out the trio with her persnickety persona and determination to reunite with their family and their young daughter, Hope.
8. Fat Louie in “Princess Diaries” comforts his owner as her life is upended
In “Princess Diaries,” Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) is floored when her estranged grandmother (Julie Andrews) visits her to reveal that she is the heir to a throne in the distant country of Genovia.
As the San-Francisco teenager’s life is upended and a new weight falls on her shoulders, Mia relies on the few constants in her life for comfort, like her black-and-white cat Fat Louie.
In “Princess Diaries 2” Fat Louie makes a reappearance and seems well-adjusted to the pampered life of royalty.
7. Cat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) contributes to a romantic finale.
Though Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) doesn’t grace her pet with a name, the cat in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is an iconic feline in film history.
Cat (Orangey) plays a tantamount role in the finale of the movie: as socialite Holly pledges to move to Brazil, she rudely releases her cat out the door of a cab into the rain. This moment pushes her romantic interest Paul to profess his love for her.
They both chase after the cat and when Holly finally finds them, the couple embraces in the pouring rain, squishing poor Cat in the process.
6. Orion “Men in Black” (1997) protects an entire galaxy.
In the sci-fi comedy “Men in Black,” Orion is the cat of Gentle Rosenburg, an alien of Arquilian race who tells Agent Jay (Will Smith) and Agent Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) that his galaxy can be found on “Orion’s belt.”
Though initially ignored, the seemingly irrelevant cat later held an important role when Jay and Kay realised that Rosenburg was not referring to the constellation of stars in space but to the bell around Orion’s collar.
5. Crookshanks in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) reveals a dark secret.
Though some magical students opt to bring owls, toads, and rats to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) decides to bring a flat-faced cat named Crookshanks (Pumpkin).
The orange cat proves to be extremely intelligent and attempts to kill Ron’s rat Scabbers multiple times, only for Harry, Ron, and Hermione to later realise that Scabbers had been a dark wizard named Peter Pettigrew all along.
4. Winston Church in “Pet Sematary” (1989) returns from the dead.
The silver shorthair cat Church plays a huge role in the 1989 adaption of the Stephen King horror novel “Pet Sematary.” When his outdoor cat is found dead, Louis Creed (Dale Midkiff) is advised by his neighbour to take Church beyond the local pet cemetery and bury them in the nearby Indian burial ground.
The next day, Church returns home as a haunting version of his old self. The zombie-like cat is integral to the horror film and acts as a warning to the characters of “Pet Sematary” about what can happen when you don’t let dead things stay dead.
The feline also makes an appearance in the 2019 remake of the film, though it’s played by a different breed of cat.
3. Puss in Boots in “Shrek 2” (2004) is a swashbuckling sidekick.
Though he made his first appearance in “Shrek 2,” the sword-wielding Puss in Boots became invaluable to the Shrek franchise and returned not only for “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After,” but also for his own animated feature “Puss in Boots” in 2011.
Loosely based on an Italian fairy tale, the charming character was voiced by Antonio Banderas and provided comic relief throughout various Shrek films.
2. Oliver in “Oliver and Company” (1988) is based on a classic Charles-Dickens character.
Perhaps one of the less celebrated but underrated Disney animated features, “Oliver and Company” follows stray kitten Oliver (voiced by Joey Lawrence) as he navigates the streets of New York City and finds solace in a family of stray dogs who take him under his wing.
The film, which is loosely based on the Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist” is a fun musical romp grounded by little Oliver’s courage and kind heart.
1. Binx in “Hocus Pocus” (1993) helps vanquish the witches who cursed him.
The cult-classic film “Hocus Pocus” opens with the Sanderson sisters (Winifred, Sarah, and Mary) kidnapping a young girl and turning her brother, Thackery Binx, into a black cat who is cursed with immortality.
When the witches reemerge centuries later, Binx comes to help protect a teenage boy and his little sister from the Sanderson sisters. After the sisters are vanquished, Binx is finally able to pass on to the other side and join his sister in the afterlife.
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