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Home > Cats > 18 Famous Animated & Cartoon Cats: Iconic Characters (With Pictures)

18 Famous Animated & Cartoon Cats: Iconic Characters (With Pictures)

Group of cats_Eric Isselee_Shutterstock

Cats have been loved and adored by humans for millennia, so it’s no surprise that they’ve made their way into mainstream cartoons, movies, and TV shows. Whether they’re the main character or a pet in the background, many animated and cartoon cats have caught their viewers’ eyes and have grown to become timeless icons.

It’s impossible to name all the cartoon cats that exist in the world, and since there are so many, we’ve kept our list to pet cats and didn’t include large wild cats. So, take a look and see how many of your favorites made it to our list.

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The 18 Most Famous Animated & Cartoon Cats

1. Garfield

Garfield the Cat Lying Down Jim Davis, Paws Inc. Paramount Global.
Image Credit: Characters by  Jim Davis, Paws Inc., property of Paramount Global.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Garfield, Garfield & Friends
Possible Cat Breeds: Exotic Shorthair, Persian

It’s hard to find someone completely unaware of this large orange tabby known for his love of lasagna and disdain of Mondays. He was created at a time when there were very few cat characters in comic strips and was drawn to appeal to cat fans and owners. His popularity grew to the point where Garfield comic strips became the most widely syndicated comic strip in the world.

Garfield was created over 40 years ago, and he remains one of the most famous cartoon cats. He’s in comic strips, animated cartoons, and feature-length films.


2. Tom Cat

Tom (Still from Tom and Jerry Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 2017) - Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
Image Credit: Characters by Hanna-Barbera, property of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Tom and Jerry
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair

Tom Cat is another iconic cat that doesn’t really need an introduction. His full name is Thomas Jasper Cat Sr., and he’s most known for being the antagonist in the famous Tom and Jerry series. However, there are a few storylines where he’s the protagonist.

Despite being an antagonist, many people love Tom. Since his debut in 1940, he’s gone through several appearance changes, but he’s always been drawn as a gray tuxedo cat.


3. Felix

Felix the Cat
Image Credit: Character by Pat Sullivan & Otto Messmer property of Oriolo from Dreamworks Animation. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: Felix the Cat
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair

Felix is another famous tuxedo cat. This black and white cat was originally inspired by a short story in Just So Stories for Little Children by Rudyard Kipling. He was created in 1919 and starred in animated shorts and comic strips.

Though his popularity temporarily faded with the introduction of sound cartoons, his resurgence in the 1950s helped him become a timeless character. He has become a symbol of vintage nostalgia, and his merchandise is still being sold today.


4. Sylvester

Sylvester The Cat Logo - Warner Bros Entertainment Inc
Image Credit: Characters by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Looney Tunes
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Longhair, Maine Coon, Turkish Angora

Sylvester is an anthropomorphic tuxedo cat with a bright red nose. He first appeared in Friz Freleng’s Life with Feathers in 1945. He was later paired with Tweety Bird in 1947. Most of his storylines revolve around trying to catch Tweety, and he has died the greatest number of times out of all Looney Tunes characters.

In later Looney Tunes episodes, it’s revealed that Sylvester has a mother in Florida and a brother named Alan.


5. Stimpy

Ren and Stimpy
Image Credit: Characters by John Kricfalusi property of MTV. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: The Ren & Stimpy Show
Possible Cat Breeds: Manx

Stimpson J. Cat is a red and white Manx cat that is one of the main characters of The Ren & Stimpy Show. In the show, Stimpy is 3 years old and is a good-natured, yet unintelligent cat with a brain that’s the size of a peanut. He has a childlike personality and enjoys reading comics. His counterpart, Ren, is more emotionally expressive and short-tempered.

The Ren & Stimpy Show became a beloved series because of its humor and drawing styles. While the series ended in 1995, it still has a loyal fanbase.


6. Snowball II

Snowball II from The Simpson Standing in a white background
Image Credit: Snowball the II, Characters by Matt Groening, owned by FOX, The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: The Simpsons
Possible Cat Breeds: Ragamuffin, Norwegian Forest Cat

Snowball II is Lisa Simpson’s pet cat and has a somewhat complicated history. Her predecessor is Snowball I, and she became Lisa’s cat after Snowball I got hit by a Chrysler. Despite Snowball II’s black fur, Lisa named her after her original cat, which had white hair.

Then, Snowball II was also hit by a car, and a new cat, Snowball V, replaced her. However, this new cat was renamed Snowball II to avoid any confusion and avoid the hassle of buying a new food bowl with a new name on it.

Though Snowball II makes very brief and infrequent appearances in episodes, she’s still a beloved character amongst The Simpsons fans.


7. Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat smiling on a tree branch
Image Credit: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation Studios,  The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Alice in Wonderland
Possible Cat Breeds: British Shorthair

The term, “Cheshire cat” was actually an expression that was used in 18th-century literature. It was later characterized and popularized by Lewis Carroll’s novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The Disney production of the film further solidified the appearance of the cat, and most people now know the purple Cheshire Cat and its iconic mischievous grin.

The Cheshire Cat enjoys toying with Alice and misleading her. However, he can also be an ally and be helpful on a few occasions.


8. Duchess

Duchess from the Aristocats
Image Credit: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation Studios,  The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: The Aristocats
Possible Cat Breeds: Turkish Angora

Many cat lovers love the classic film, The Aristocats. This movie has many fun and iconic characters, including Duchess. She’s the mother of three kittens, and she leads her three children back home after they escape a kidnapping.

After the film’s debut in 1970, Duchess has made sporadic cameo appearances in other Disney projects, including House of Mouse and Miriya & Marie.


9. Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty from Sanrio
Image Credit: Characters by Yuko Shimizu property of Sanrio. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: Sanrio
Possible Cat Breeds: Japanese Bobtail

Hello Kitty is a Japanese cat that’s known all around the world. She was created in 1974 by Yuko Shimizu and was initially marketed toward pre-teenage girls. However, she found commercial success with consumers of all ages and is now branded on a wide variety of products, including high-end designer products, household items, and musical instruments.

While Hello Kitty first started as a character to brand on gifts, her popularity has grown to the point where she has starred in multiple TV shows, comics, and video games.


10. Puss in Boots

Puss in Boots from Dreamworks
Image Credit: Characters by DreamWorks Animation Studios. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: Shrek
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair

Puss in Boots was originally a supporting character, but he eventually got his own titular movie and starred as the main character. This famous cat is always included in Shrek movies and other projects, and he also had his own Netflix TV series after the last Shrek movie premiered.

People fell in love with Puss in Boots for his charismatic and humorous personality, along with his sad kitten eyes. He’s been compared to having similar mannerisms as other famous characters, like Zorro, Jack Sparrow, Don Juan, and Pepe Le Pew.


11. Oliver

Oliver from Oliver & Company
Image Credit: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation Studios,  The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Oliver & Company
Possible Cat Breeds: Maine Coon, Somali

Oliver & Company was loosely inspired by Oliver Twist and was supposed to be a version of the classic story, except with dogs as the main characters. While there are many dogs in this film, it centers around Oliver, a stray orange tabby cat. He has a kind and caring personality, and he can be adventurous and brave.

Oliver’s story ends with him getting adopted by a young girl named Jenny. After his movie debut, he was a recurring character in House of Mouse, and he made appearances in Disney parks. His character eventually retired, and his last appearance was in 2005 at the opening of Hong Kong Disneyland.


12. Figaro

Figaro from Pinnochio
Image Credit: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation Studios,  The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Pinocchio, Disney cartoon shorts
Possible Cat Breeds: Norwegian Forest Cat

Figaro is an adorable tuxedo cat that belonged to Geppetto in Pinocchio. He became a fan favorite and was actually Walt Disney’s favorite character in the movie. He loved Figaro so much that he wanted to continue to use him after Pinocchio debuted.

Disney ended up having Figaro become Minnie Mouse’s pet. Figaro also had his own series of cartoon shorts and made some appearances in Pluto’s shorts. He was also seen in House of Mouse.


13. Luna

Image Credit: Characters by Naoko Takeuchi property of Viz Media. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: Sailor Moon
Possible Cat Breeds: Bombay, Turkish Angora

Luna is a wise cat that’s often seen advising Sailor Moon. She’s a magical cat that can speak, and she usually plays a vital role in the different story arcs within the Sailor Moon franchise.

It’s later revealed in the series that Luna comes from a different planet, called Mau, which is a nod to the Egyptian Mau. While Luna doesn’t have the spotted markings of an Egyptian Mau, she does have the agility, athleticism, and loyalty of this cat breed.


14. Mittens

Mittens fro the movie Bolt
Image Credit: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation Studios. The Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Bolt
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair, Cornish Rex

Mittens is introduced as a stray cat with a sad backstory. She was left behind by her owners and had to learn to fend for herself in the streets of New York. She’s very street smart and has a sarcastic sense of humor.

Fortunately, Mittens has a happy ending and ends up getting adopted and living with Bolt. While Bolt was the main character of the movie, many people loved Mittens for her intelligence and sassy wit.


15. Chloe

Chloe from the movie Secret Life of Pets
Image Credit: Characters by  Illumination EntertainmentUniversal Studios.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: The Secret Life of Pets
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair, British Shorthair

Chloe is a gray tabby cat that lives in her New York apartment with her owner. She has a white stomach and striped tail. Her eyes are green, and her nose and ears are pink.

This cat is drawn as overweight and loves to eat and often has a lot of sarcastic remarks. She’s typically indifferent to most things, but she also has moments of showing invaluable loyalty to her friends.


16. Sagwa

Sagwa the Siamese Cat
Image Credit: Characters by Amy Tan property of PBS. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: The Chinese Siamese Cat; Sagwa, the Chinese Siamese Cat
Possible Cat Breeds: Siamese

Sagwa is a Siamese cat that was first introduced in a book by Amy Tan. She used to be a solid white cat, but she got her color point markings after she fell into an inkwell. Sagwa is an adventurous and smart cat that can write calligraphy with her tail. The book is about how she accidentally changes a magistrate’s new rules after falling into the inkwell.

A children’s TV series based on this cat was later developed, and it follows Sagwa’s adventures with her siblings.


17. Nemo

Nemo from Arthur
Image Credit: Characters by Marc Brown property of PBS. All rights reserved to the copyright owners
Featured in: Arthur
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic Shorthair

Nemo is a tuxedo cat that belongs to Francine, a character in the Arthur franchise. He was first introduced as a misunderstood stray and was named Rose Petal. However, Francine eventually adopts him and changes his name to Nemo after Captain Nemo from Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas.

In future episodes, Nemo is depicted as a cunning cat that enjoys teasing and annoying the dogs in the neighborhood. However, he does have some rare moments where he’ll help them out.


18. Kitbull Kitten

Kitbull Kitten
Image Credit: Characters by Pixar Animation Studios property of The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.
Featured in: Kitbull
Possible Cat Breeds: Domestic shorthair, Bombay, Persian

This kitten is featured in a Pixar short and remains nameless throughout the entire length of the short. However, it has a big personality and captures the audience with its animated movements and large, expressive eyes.

The kitten forms an unlikely friendship with a bulldog and helps the bulldog escape its unhappy home. They’re found by a new owner and end up living in a safe and happy home together.

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Conclusion

We love that all kinds of cats have become famous and beloved by many. These animals have brought laughter and entertainment to people for years, so it only makes sense that many cartoon cats have become immortalized and timeless.

We also love that new cat characters pop up every once in a while. So, we’re excited to see how our list might change or expand in the future as we discover and get to know more cartoon cats.

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Featured Image Credit: Eric Isselee, Shutterstock

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