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Home > Cats > What Breed of Cat Is Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter? Wizarding Facts

What Breed of Cat Is Professor McGonagall from Harry Potter? Wizarding Facts

tabby british shorthair cat walking

If you’re a huge Harry Potter fan, you might love to learn about every character down to a tee. Being a cat lover, you will naturally be drawn to characters like Professor McGonagall and others like Hermione, who has a cat as a familiar. And let’s not forget the lovely, long-haired Mrs. Norris making her way on set.

If you have paid special attention to the cat representing Professor McGonagall, you might wonder what kind of cat breed this is. After all, it’s very unique—and you’re hoping it’s real and not just CGI. Lucky for you, this cat breed certainly exists in the same color as the movie—Professor McGonagall turns into a gray and black tabby British Shorthair!


Professor McGonagall Is a British Shorthair

Professor Minerva McGonagall has had an affinity for cats since she was a young girl. Unsurprisingly, she has her very own Animagus, a beautiful gray and black tabby British Shorthair.

Here’s a little information about this character. Professor McGonagall is a Scottish half-blood witch. Legend has it, it took the sorting hat 5 1/2 minutes to decide whether she was a Gryffindor or Ravenclaw—making her a Hatstall.

Minerva has roots working for the Ministry of Magic but later returned to Hogwarts to be the character we know and love on screen.

Due to Professor McGonagall’s Animagus being a cat, it probably comes as no surprise that her Patronus is also a cat. In the films, Harry Potter is a stag, just like his father. Snape has a dog Patronus. Dumbledore has his phoenix, of course.

British Shorthair cat
Image By: Laura Fokkema, Shutterstock

What Is an Animagus?

An Animagus is a witch or wizard that can transform into an animal. All Animagus are required to be registered by the Ministry of Magic to ensure that they do not use their power for any illegal purposes.

Other Witches/Wizards with an Animagus

  • Rita Skeeter—Beetle
  • James Potter—Red stag
  • Sirius Black—Black dog
  • Peter Pettigrew—Rat

Is Professor McGonagall Actually Mrs. Norris?

Because Professor McGonagall has a cat Animagus, you might wonder if she transforms into Mrs. Norris. After all, Mrs. Norris is quite an elusive character in the Harry Potter series. However, they are entirely separate.

Mrs. Norris is the domesticated pet of Argus Filch. She and Argus have a very strong bond and connection, and she helps him keep an eye on pesky misbehaving children.

In the Chamber of Secrets, Mrs. Norris sees the Basilisk in the reflection of a puddle of water. She is then petrified and later revived by Professor Pomona Sprout.

Unlike Professor McGonagall’s cat, Mrs. Norris is of a totally different origin. She is closely related to a Maine Coon, having beautifully fluffy, tabby-style fur.


Fun Facts About the British Shorthair

So, you’ve fallen in love with the British Shorthair on film. What exactly could you expect when owning one of these beautiful cats?


Finding a British Shorthair kitten shouldn’t be too challenging. These cats are relatively easy to find. However, some breeders might be far from where you live, depending on your location.


If you’re looking for a kitten, you should know a few things. First of all, right out of the gate, it is good to know how much one of these cats costs. On average, you can expect to spend between $400 and $1,000 on a British Shorthair.

Some show quality British Shorthairs can cost as much as $4,500. Typically, the higher-cost cats are show quality with very established pedigrees.

British Shorthairs aren’t necessarily an uncommon cat breed, but you might not have any local breeders near you. It’s important to research the options in your area to see if travel is at hand.

If you do end up traveling to get a British Shorthair kitten, you will need to factor that into your budget. Also, there might be waiting lists or deposits required upon inquiry of an existing litter.


In addition to buying a British Shorthair kitten, there’s always adoption! You can find British Shorthair mixed cats or even purebreds waiting to find a new home. Folks sometimes surrender their pets due to personal circumstances often beyond their control.

So if you spot this type of cat locally, you can inquire about adoption. Some really fantastic things about adopting versus purchasing from a breeder are that all of the vet care, including spay and neuter surgery and microchipping, has usually already been done or will be done before you bring your cat home.

If you adopt a cat, you can expect to spend between $75 and $300, depending on the facility.

large British Shorthair gray striped cat
Image By: DIP 500, Shutterstock


The Animagus that played Professor McGonagall in the film is one adorable kitty! You’ll be happy to know that their personalities reflect their outer appearance. These affectionate cats are energetic, loving, and loyal cats.

They will impress you with their brains and keep you in stitches with their funny antics. The British Shorthair certainly has its own special style and gets along well with any animal or person.

However, because they are a predator species, you should never trust them around any smaller animals, including rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, and so on.

Physical Characteristics

British Shorthair cats have strong bodies and well-developed muscles. They have sturdy muscle structures with thick legs and dense fur.

British Shorthair coat colors include:
  • Blue
  • Black
  • Gray and white
  • Tabby
  • Pure cream
  • Calico
  • Blue-spotted
  • Black and white
  • Pure white


Grooming your British Shorthair will be relatively easy. They have lush, short coats that are very thick and smooth. You can brush your British Shorthair every few days, if necessary.

While their hair doesn’t mat or tangle, brushing is a very good way to remove any dander, debris, and allergens and their coats. It’s also a good way to collect the shed so it doesn’t end up all over your furniture.


Like most other cats, your British Shorthair requires approximately 15 to 30 minutes of daily exercise to stay happy and healthy. They will love a series of interactive and solo games. Most British Shorthairs absolutely love to play with toys and enjoy scratching surfaces.

Always make sure to give them various forms of entertainment, such as catnip-stuffed cat toys, cat trees, and cat scratching posts.



Hopefully, if you’re a big Professor McGonagall fan, you’ve learned much more about her Animagus. If you’ve seen the movie multiple times and are in love with the type of cat in the movie, know that they are incredibly easy to find, although sometimes it can require travel.

These purebred cats are sometimes on the expensive side, but you should be able to find one closer to your budget. Remember always to check rescues and shelters, as they sometimes have purebreds searching for a new forever home.

Featured Image Credit: PHOTOCREO Michal Bednarek, Shutterstock

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