There are many animal characters throughout the Harry Potter series. Crookshanks, Hermione Granger’s pet cat, may not have played a huge role—especially compared to other animal characters (we’re still not entirely over Hedwig yet)—but you still may find yourself wondering more about him. One thing we were curious about was the breed of cat Crookshanks was meant to be.
Although the book never explicitly specifies a breed, in the movie, Crookshanks is played by two Persians. But what does the book say about this beloved character and its breed? The author’s descriptions give us a pretty good idea. Read on to learn more about Crookshanks, his personality, and what Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling had to say about his possible breed.
What Kind of Cat Was Crookshanks in the Harry Potter Movies?
Crookshanks was played by two red Persian cats named Crackerjack and Pumpkin.
What Does the Book Say About Crookshanks’ Breed?
There is no mention of what breed of cat Crookshanks is in the book. However, there are many physical identifiers used by the author.
J.K. Rowling described Crookshanks as a big, bandy-legged ginger cat with a “grumpy and oddly squashed” face. Harry Potter says it looks like the cat had “run headlong into a brick wall”. His other most recognizable physical traits were his yellow eyes and “bottlebrush” tail.
Given this description, it appears that the casting director did a great job choosing the cat they did to play Crookshanks in the live-action films.
Is Crookshanks Magical?
Not all animals in the Harry Potter universe are magical, though many of the animal characters we meet in the books are. However, Crookshanks appears to be magical in some capacity as he is a half-Kneazle.
A Kneazle is a magical beast that looks like a cat. They can be interbred with normal cats and have an extremely high level of intelligence. Kneazles are great problem solvers skilled at recognizing untrustworthy people, even if they are masqueraded as animals.
Crookshanks’s half-Kneazle side comes out when he identifies Scabbers, Ron’s “rat”, as an unsavory character soon after meeting him.
Was Crookshanks a Good Pet?
Crookshanks was a fantastic pet for Hermione, though it may have taken the entire Prisoner of Azkaban book for the reader to see how great he truly was.
If you remember, he used his intelligence to help Sirius Black expose Peter Pettigrew, who had been posing as Ron’s pet rat Scabbers for years. Crookshanks tried many times to attack Scabbers, sensing he wasn’t who he was pretending to be.
At some point during Harry’s third year at Hogwarts, Crookshanks ran into a stray dog who we’d eventually learn was Harry’s uncle Sirius Black in his Animagus form. Crookshanks immediately trusted Sirius and even went as far as stealing the passwords for the Gryffindor Tower to gain access to Harry.
Crookshanks was a minor character throughout the Harry Potter series, though he served an important purpose throughout the third novel. He was portrayed by two Persian cats in the live-action Harry Potter movies. Though his breed is never explicitly mentioned in the books, Rowling’s description of a cat with a bushy tail and squished-in face leads us to believe that he was meant to be a Persian in the books too.
Featured Image Credit: Jose Manuel, Pixabay