Disney is often one of the first names that come to mind when we think of cartoon cats.
During its nearly one century of history, Disney has irrefutably created countless amazing stories and characters. There is no shortage of animal characters in that mix!
One such example is the iconic Disney cartoon cat – a common addition to the cast of Disney films that adds a little lighthearted fun and energy to the plot. However, many of these cat characters often get overlooked.
Whether you’re an avid cat lover or just want to learn a little more about Disney and other cartoon cats, this list should help give you a little more to think about.
From the well-known names on the big screen, such as Simba and Mufasa from the Lion King, to the lesser-known cats that many have forgotten about, animation has given us countless unforgettable cat characters through the years.
Each cat character contributes to their individual stories in their own way, whether they’re the titular characters or just sidekicks to the main cast.
Here are 40 of the most iconic Disney and cartoon cats:
40. Rajah (Aladdin)
Rajah may be a tiger, but he acts more like a typical house cat, making him the perfect pet for Princess Jasmine.
He has a determination to protect Jasmine from anyone who may hurt her or upset her, even if that is her own father.
Rajah’s loyalty is endearing. He may bare his fangs to potential threats, but really, he’s just a big pussy cat.
39. Figaro (Pinocchio)
Perhaps one of the more realistic Disney cats, Figaro from Pinocchio, is a typical, playful kitten.
Figaro is a little less personified than the other cats on this list.
But then again, it can be nice to have a more realistic representation of a cat in Disney films, especially when they bring out the more playful side in other characters.
38. Artemis (Sailor Moon)
With fur as white as snow and large, kind eyes, any Sailor Moon fan will remember the adorable Artemis.
He is Luna’s mate (who features later on this list) and is just as lovesick for her as the day they met.
However, this love can sometimes get him into trouble.
37. Simon’s Cat (Simon’s Cat)
Simon’s Cat might not have an actual name, but he’s the titular character from the 2008 original YouTube show, Simon’s Cat.
Despite his inability to speak, Simon’s Cat’s demanding physical antics make him hilarious.
Simon’s Cat is an excellent show if you’re looking for a little lighthearted and easy-to-watch show.
Many cat owners will undeniably relate to the struggles of having a cat that has little respect for their owner’s life when all they want to do is eat.
36. Si and Am (Lady and the Tramp)
Si and Am are a pair of antagonistic Siamese cats introduced at the beginning of Lady and the Tramp.
Both are just as naughty and downright spoiled as each other, overly coddled by Aunt Sarah and trying everything they can to get Lady into trouble.
Their on-screen time may be short-lived, but Si and Am are such wonderfully mischievous, cynical creatures that we can’t help loving them for all the wrong reasons.
35. Oliver (Oliver and Company)
There’s so much to love about Oliver’s excitable optimism in Oliver and Company.
As an animated, pet-centric take of the traditional Oliver Twist tale, Oliver and Company is a classic film that will get you bopping along. Right in the middle of it all is Oliver.
Despite quite obviously being a cat, Oliver’s stubbornness and determination to survive make him the perfect fit for Fagin’s gang comprised entirely of dogs.
34. Sergeant Tibbs (101 Dalmatians)
Sergeant Tibbs, the tabby cat from 101 Dalmations, is a joy to watch because of his boyish charm.
As the direct sidekick of Colonel the Old English Sheepdog, Sergeant Tibbs is a highly likable and amazing character but does not appear in the film as often as most would like.
When he is seen on screen, Sergeant Tibbs adds much-needed energy to the film when it starts to feel like all hope is lost.
Aside from his charm and optimism, there is something quite refreshing about watching cats and dogs depicted as friends rather than opting for the stereotypical hatred.
After all, these characters are all in it together!
33. Benjamin Clawhauser (Zootopia)
Though he is a cheetah, Benjamin Clawhauser could not be more defiant of the typical big-cat, villainous stereotype that Disney tends to focus on with their big-cat characters. He is the representation of everything Zootopia stands for.
Clawhauser has a heart as big as his belly, which he is more than happy with.
Despite accidentally offending Judy hop when they first meet, Clawhauser is one of the few Zootopia PD officers who treat Judy with kindness at the film’s beginning.
32. Top Cat (Top Cat)
The original Top Cat cartoon started airing in 1961 and was full of witty humor and hilarious adventures.
For a show that only aired for 1 season (consisting of 30 episodes and lasting less than a year), Top Cat sure made an impression on his audience!
Covering the lives of Top Cat and his fellow alley cats, this excellent cartoon was the perfect show for anyone wanting a little lighthearted humor.
The 2020 cartoon series carries the same humor and lightheadedness as the original show, meaning that a new generation can enjoy Top Cat’s misguided antics!
31. Rufus (The Rescuers)
The Rescuers is one of those childhood films that many of us watched and yet remains an underrated classic.
Those that do remember The Rescuers will surely remember Rufus, the old grandfather-like cat that offers endless support to Penny whenever she needs it most.
Rufus is the oldest cat in The Rescuers, often featured beside much younger kittens that make him seem even older.
He has no interest in chasing mice like his younger companions. He shows kindness to the mice in the film, even if he remains skeptical of their abilities.
30. Alex The Lion (Madagascar)
Alex the Lion is one of the least lion-like characters on this list.
Stolen from his home on an African wildlife reserve, Alex (born Alakay) ended up at New York’s Central Park Zoo, where he was treated like a celebrity.
Alex was happy to give into his status as the king of New York. He would put all of his energy (which was a lot) into his show to hear the crowd cheer his name.
It isn’t until Alex finds himself in the wild again that he realizes how cushy a life he has lived.
29. Penelope Pussycat (Looney Tunes)
Unlike Sylvester, who loves a good chat, Penelope Pussycat has only really had one speaking role since she first appeared in the Looney Tunes universe in 1949. Most of the time, Penelope communicates as a cat would, with purrs and meows.
Penelope’s most consistent role is as the love interest for Pepé Le Pew.
Though Pepé is a skunk, he relentless chases Penelope. But in recent depictions, Penelope seems to be as interested in Pepé as he is in her.
28. Cake The Cat (Adventure Time)
Adventure Time can already be a mind-bending experience to watch. Between inter-dimensional plots and the crazy magical rules within the world of Adventure Time, each character seems just as whacky and imaginative as the next.
Cake the Cat is no different. She only exists in a gender-bent fanfiction world created by the Ice King.
Like the ‘real world’ Jake the Dog, Cake is loyal to her friends and loves to party. She is just as laid back and carefree as Jake, too.
Cake will not hesitate to jump in and fight to keep her friends sage.
27. Mittens (Bolt)
Introduced as a mean girl who rules the back alley streets, Mittens operates as something of a local crime boss. She is undoubtedly hot-headed and intelligent enough to control anything she wishes to.
However, her dry sense of humor is pretty hard not to love. Especially when compared to Bolt’s own beliefs, taught through coddling and TV shows.
Mittens starts the film extremely guarded, with emotional walls built higher than Mount Everest after being abandoned by her owners. As the film progresses, Mittens becomes much more open and sympathetic.
26. Luna (Sailor Moon)
If you grew up in the 80s or 90s, you’d likely remember Luna, the iconic mentor of the Sailor Guardians during the Sailor Moon franchise.
Luna is believed to be an Egyptian Mau cat, but the iconic moon-shaped marking above her eyes proves she’s no ordinary cat.
She has plenty of fantastical abilities, including the ability to talk, shapeshift and create magical items from thin air.
25. Snowball II (The Simpsons)
Snowball II was not the first cat that the Simpsons are known to have had, as her name would suggest. However, she is the cat that any Simpsons fan would recognize.
Ironically, Snowball II’s fur is a deep black, not white. This only makes her intense green eyes seem even creepier.
There have not been as many episodes focusing on Snowball II as Santa’s Little Helper (the Simpsons’ dog). Though her loyalty to the Simpsons and playful friendship with Santa’s Little Helper is clear any time Snowball II appears on the screen.
24. Tigress (Kung Fu Panda)
Tigress proves to be the most furious and terrifying of all of the Furious Five members.
After years of discipline and practice, it is understandable that Tigress is less than pleased when a random fat panda (Po) accidentally claims the position she has worked so hard to get.
Despite not being named the Dragon Warrior, Tigress is everything the Dragon Warrior should be. She embodies a hero – strong, protective, and brave.
Because of her ambitions, Tigress can appear antisocial or shy. But every so often, Tigress shows how caring she can be.
23. Shere Khan (The Jungle Book)
The Jungle Book’s Shere Khan might seem out of place amongst the various do-gooder cats on this list. However, just because he’s a bad guy doesn’t mean he’s not a surprisingly complex character.
Shere Khan may have come across as the antagonist during The Jungle Book, but he was only trying to save the forest from mankind in the end. An ambition he forged after a human severely injured him.
On second thought, Shere Khan’s motives make him seem much less callous overall. However, it is hard to ignore how manipulative and deadly he can be.
22. The Cat in the Hat (The Cat in the Hat)
The Cat in the Hat (from the Cat in the Hat cartoon) is undeniably a popular favorite among young children, adapted from Dr. Seuss’s stories of the same name.
At 6ft tall, the Cat in the Hat is possibly the tallest cartoon cat on this list. His height is not the only thing that sets the Cat in the Hat apart from other cartoon cats.
The Cat in the Hat is as mysterious as he is eccentric, always looking for a new way to cause chaos in the name of fun.
With his sidekicks (Thing 1 and Thing 2) helping him out, the Cat in the Hat can as easily get into as much trouble as he can then get out of it.
21. Diego (Ice Age)
Unlike most other cats on this list, Diego is not a cat by modern standards. He is a fierce saber-tooth tiger featured in the Ice Age franchise.
Diego starts as a cold-blooded killer, intent on stealing a human child so his pack can kill it. However, the longer he spends with the child, Manny, and Sid, who are the opposite of his murderous pack, the more Diego softens up.
By the end of the first Ice Age film, Diego becomes a vital part of his new herd.
20. Scar (The Lion King)
Scar from the Lion King is the film’s main antagonist, alongside his army of hyena cronies – and boy, does he pull off the villain role well.
Of course, with a name like Scar and a design that sends shivers down your spine, there is no argument that Scar was always set up to be the embodiment of a Disney villain.
In the official The Lion King canon, Scar was born Taka? A name that translates to ‘Trash.’
It’s not really much of a surprise he grew up to be such a vengeful lion, doing everything possible to ruin his older brother’s (Mufasa) reign as the Lion king.
19. Berlioz (The Aristocats)
Berlioz is recognizable amongst his fellow triplets featured in The Aristocats. He is a dark grey pedigree kitten with a contrasting rich red ribbon around his neck.
Compared to his siblings, Berlioz is a little quieter. But his willingness to please his family makes him an undeniably loveable part of The Aristocats’ cast.
Berlioz’s snide sideways glances are humorous exactly when they need to be, made even funnier by how sweet he can be otherwise.
18. Toulouse (The Aristocats)
Toulouse is a ginger pedigree kitten and is the older triplet of Marie and Berlioz. However, it would be hard to tell from how Toulouse acts.
Toulouse has a penchant for getting into trouble and takes great inspiration from Thomas O’Malley and his alley-cat ways. He’s often seen as the troublemaker of the trio.
Whenever he is embarrassed or scared, he will try to act tough by hissing and puffing up his chest. But despite the act, Toulouse’s playful is entirely lovable.
17. Meowth (Pokémon)
Meowth may be a common type of Pokémon, easily caught in the various Pokémon games. But in the anime series, Meowth is most memorable as a member of Team Rocket.
When Team Rocket is first introduced to the world of Pokémon in episode 2 (Pokémon Emergency!) of the original Pokémon series, it is the first time that a Meowth species debuts too.
What sets Meowth apart from others of his species is his ability to talk like the human characters.
All Pokémon have their own personalities, often reflecting that of their trainer. Meowth is just as greedy and cunning as his fellow Team Rocket members.
16. Nala (The Lion King)
Nala is Simba’s childhood friend from The Lion King and the future queen of Pride Lands.
Even before she is mated to Simba and made queen, Nala is determined to keep the Pride Lands safe. She even goes as far as to risk her own life escaping Scar’s abusive ruling to restore the ruined Pride Lands.
As a child, Nala can be just as troublesome as Simba, with a strong sassiness that makes their friendship a joy to watch.
As an adult, Nala is much more responsible, holding Simba accountable for his responsibilities.
15. Bagheera (The Jungle Book)
Throughout Disney’s The Jungle Book, Bagheera seems to be the only responsible character.
His short temper comes from a place of love for Mowgli, making audiences adore the black panther.
Bagheera might seem a little overprotective at times, especially compared to Baloo’s carefree ways, but he loves Mowgli the “man-cub” so much and wants to see him have a good, safe life.
As such, audiences can find a lot of respect for this often overlooked big cat.
14. Thomas O’Malley (The Aristocats)
He might have a childlike outlook on life and hasn’t got the same caliber of pedigree as Duchess and the kittens, but Thomas O’Malley makes up for this in all the ways that matter.
O’Malley’s determination to help the family get home makes him a wonderful character to watch, and he adds a unique flair to the film that keeps things fun and upbeat.
For anyone who missed it in the original film, one notable trait of Thomas’s is that he has a much longer and unique name than any cat on this list.
Thomas’s full name is Abraham de Lacy Giusuppe Cacey Thomas O’Malley, which he tells us during his “Thomas O’Malley” song. But you’d be forgiven if you missed it – it’s quite the mouthful.
13. Hello Kitty (Sanrio)
When Japanese company Sanrio invented the iconic Hello Kitty character in 1974, they couldn’t have known how much of an impact she would have worldwide.
Hello Kitty is a humanized Japanese Bobtail cat with a whole backstory of her own.
She lives just outside of London with her twin sister (Mimmy) and her family, where she goes to school. A lover of all things sweet, delicious, and cute, Hello Kitty is an all-around adorable little girl/ cat with a big heart.
12. Duchess (The Aristocats)
Duchess from the Aristocats is wonderfully refined and sophisticated, just like her daughter Marie. But that doesn’t mean that she isn’t afraid to get her paws dirty for the sake of her beloved kittens.
As both a mother and a friend, Duchess is immensely kind and caring – a personality that serves as the perfect pacifist throughout the movie to keep peace in tense situations.
As a Turkish Angora Cat, Duchess is a uniquely beautiful cat, even compared to her kittens. Though she is not vain by any means, quickly making friends with any cat no matter their background.
11. Felix The Cat (Felix The Cat)
Felix The Cat has progressed through many designs and adaptations since he was initially created in 1919, during the silent era of film. But all along, Felix has maintained his upbeat, playful self.
You won’t see Felix go far without his trusted magic bag. With a ‘Righty-O’ and a good pun or two, Felix always helps others in any way he can.
10. Marie (The Aristocats)
Undoubtedly, Marie from the Aristocats has a certain charm and refinement that’s hard not to love.
This personality can be annoying, especially for her fellow triplets, Berlioz and Toulouse.
However, Marie’s tendency to hopelessly daydream and open acceptance of anyone who may not be as regal as her cancels out her annoying traits.
Marie has the right balance of sweet innocence and stuck-up entitlement, making her a wonderfully likable character we all want to take home and cuddle!
9. Simba (The Lion King)
Mufasa may be the original Lion King, but Simba can fill the huge paws that Mufasa left after his death.
Simba is much more complex than his father or uncle (Scar).
As a child, he bursts with excitement at the prospect of becoming king of the Pride Lands.
Then when Scar manipulates Simba into taking the blame for Mufasa’s death, Simba loses that confidence. He would rather run away and turn to grief than face his responsibilities.
But in the end, Simba grows into a lion worthy of leading the Pride Lands. After learning the importance of Hakuna Matata, of course.
8. Pink Panther (The Pink Panther)
As the titular character of his show, Pink Panther is a hit of nostalgia to anyone who grew up in the ’70s.
Pink Panther never fails to get into comedic antics, creating the perfect Saturday morning cartoon skits.
With over 125 appearances to his name since 1969, Pink Panther’s immense popularity makes him deserving of a spot on this list.
It is hard to mistake Pink Panther’s bright pink fur, making him the perfect mascot for several modern charitable events. This only makes his influence even more remarkable.
7. Puss in Boots (Shrek)
Puss in Boots is not a Disney cat. But as far as cartoon cats go, he’s one of the most loved.
His exceptional skills with a sword make him a surprisingly formidable foe. Better yet, his ability to monopolize his cuteness can distract his enemies enough to surprise attack them.
While he enjoys teasing Donkey, Puss in Boots is loyal to his friends, willing to risk his life for the greater good, especially if the risk results in a great adventure.
6. Mufasa (Lion King)
There is no point denying it. At one point or another, we have all had a good cry watching the Lion King when (spoiler) Mufasa dies.
What makes Mufasa’s death so heartbreaking is how great of a father he was to Simba and the majestic nature of his kind-heartedness. Even to those who actively defy or plot against him.
Mufasa is wise, more so than other Disney kings. He is precisely what a king should be. He is loyal to his kingdom and caring in his ruling.
Once he died, Mufasa’s kindness and lessons impacted everyone who knew him. But especially on Simba, who looks to Mufasa to guide him even in death.
Long live the king!
5. Sylvester (Looney Tunes)
Sylvester from Looney Tunes is one of those characters we often all recognize but struggle to put a name to. With over 100 cartoons featuring him, he’s undeniably one of the hottest stars of the American cartoon animation golden age.
He’s often portrayed alongside Tweety; the pair have a very similar dynamic to Tom and Jerry.
Sylvester is not much to look at in terms of character design – he is simply an anthropomorphized tuxedo cat with a bright red nose.
However, his overly-emphasized iconic lisp and antagonistic tendencies are just as humorous to watch as any other Looney Tunes character.
4. Tigger (Winnie the Pooh)
Tigger is one of the few Disney big cats that aren’t evil or have questionable morals.
Instead, he is a lovable and hyperactive stuffed animal belonging to Christopher Robin who comes to life in the Hundred Acre Wood alongside Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, and a whole range of other stuffed animals.
Each member of the Hundred Acre Wood is full of their own unique personalities. But Tigger is the most eccentric, bounding around in his springy tail and cruising on an endless stream of energy.
Tigger usually puts this energy to good use, helping his friends wherever possible. He can often be too over-active, resulting in some reckless results – especially concerning the much more organized and logical Rabbit.
3. The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)
When we think of Disney cats, the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland is likely one that comes to mind pretty quickly.
Of course, he’s far from a typical cat. One might ask if he’s truly a cat at all, considering his unique ability to turn invisible and his spooky color scheme.
Still, we absolutely love him and his cheeky ways, and you never quite know whether he’s really on your side or working against you.
Perhaps, he’s just in it for his own enjoyment without any particular alignment. It seems fitting considering his seeming determination to get poor Alice into more and more trouble while slyly helping her out in his own tricky way.
2. Tom Cat (Tom & Jerry)
Since the first episode of Tom and Jerry aired in 1940, audiences have debated what kind of cat Tom Cat is. He is believed to be either a shorthair cat or a Russian Blue, although it’s unclear which.
In any case, Tom is a beloved character that many of us would have grown up watching, setting a standard for how cats are depicted in modern cartoons.
Though intelligent for a house cat, Tom can’t help but be outwitted by Jerry. Don’t get us wrong,
Jerry is hardly an angel, seemingly going out of his way to wind Tom up and belittle him. But Tom is just dumb and naive enough to fall for Jerry’s cons every time.
1. Garfield (Garfield)
Originally based on a comic strip from the 1970s and later converted into an animated cartoon, Garfield is the iconic orange Persian cat from the cartoon of the same name.
Garfield’s laziness and obsessive love of lasagna might seem like odd, defining character traits. But they definitely work to make him a much-loved character across numerous generations.
Despite his naturally cynical attitude regarding… well, anything, really, Garfield is wholly relatable to anyone who wants nothing more than to kick back and relax.