Never have the Raindance HQ team been so confused as when I wandered around the office asking “What is your favourite cat appearance in any film?”. But nonetheless I gathered a comprehensive list of feline features and have whittled them down to a top 10 list of the Best Cat Movie Appearances for International Cat Day 2019. I want to get slightly technical with this so I’m going to devise a brief rating system and apply it to each furry friend. So without further ado here are the employees’ of Raindance paw-some picks. (I apologise in advance for the amount of puns in this blog post).
Coraline (2009) – The Black Cat
It would be wrong to start without my personal favourite, wouldn’t it? The Black Cat in Coraline, whose name is widely debated on the internet, is arguably one of the most useful feline friends in this list. His intellectual and witty personality (voiced by Keith David) makes him a captivating presence on screen and he is perhaps the driving force for Coraline to escape the Other Mother.
Cuteness: 6/10- It doesn’t look you can cuddle a clay model but the eyes are amazing.
Usefulness: 10/10- He tears out the eyes of the Other Mother so really he wins?
Screen Time: 8/10- I would personally like a movie of just him but as cat appearances go, he gets a lot more exposure than most.
The Godfather (1972) – Vito’s Cat
Made famous in the opening scene of the film where honestly this kitty gave the performance of his/her life. I challenge anyone to stay attentive to the steely dialogue whilst that little cat rolls around in the lap of Marlon Brando. Supposedly it was also a stray cat from the Paramount lot, which is a sweet fact.
Cuteness: 10/10- Obviously.
Usefulness: 4/10- Unfortunately the cat doesn’t do much but that’s not to say it isn’t appreciated.
Screen Time: 2/10 It seems the cat is only really seen in this scene but is heard throughout the film.
Cinderella (1950) – Lucifer
Harshly named I think? Lucifer belongs to Cinderella’s evil stepmother, and so naturally he only serves to make the heroine’s life harder. He certainly provides comic relief to what is actually quite a gloomy story. The interaction between Lucifer and the mice is entertaining however, and his regal presence makes for a great character.
Cuteness: 8/10- Very fluffy.
Usefulness: 5/10- He is honestly just a nuisance.
Screen Time: 7/10- Better than most! But he is also an antagonist.
My Neighbour Totoro (1988) – Catbus
It has so many legs? And windows? And is also a bus? Catbus plays an integral role in transporting Mei, Satsuki and Totoro out of the forest. I’m not sure what else to say about this cat appearance, aside from the fact that its eyes act as headlights and I find that mesmerising. I think I love it but I’m not sure.
Cuteness: 5/10- Half cute also half terrifying.
Usefulness: 15/10- It’s a cat… that is also a bus, need I say more?
Screen Time: 6/10- He has an actual role so I salute that.
One of the most iconic cats in filmic history. It is argued that most cat villain duos are a homage to Blofeld’s cat such as Mr Bigglesworth in Austin powers and the already mentioned cat in The Godfather. The cat who appears unnamed belongs to antagonist Ernst Blofeld, the head of criminal organisation Spectre, and is actually a recurring feature throughout the Bond franchise.
Cuteness: 20/10- It’s a Persian white cat so.
Usefulness: 6/10- I can’t find anything that says the cat is much of an aid to the villain…
Screen Time: 10/10- Appears in seven Bond films.
Shrek 2 (2004) – Puss in Boots
It wouldn’t be a complete list of cinematic cats without the fur-midible Puss in Boots. There is a rich history behind the feline character as written by Charles Perrault in 1697. But for rating purposes I’m going to refer to the adaptation of the character in Shrek which we all know and love. At this time I also want to note there is perhaps an argument here for animated cats over live action, but that is a debate for another time.
Cuteness: 10/10- The eyes, the boots, the hat, enough said.
Usefulness: 11/10- Wields a sword and is a hired assassin.
Screen Time: 10/10- Arguably one of the best characters in Shrek
Alien (1979) & Aliens (1986) – Jonesy
There’s nothing better than a film in which you wholeheartedly do not expect a cat to be present, and then there is. Alien is a prime example of this because really why is there a cat in a movie about space and face huggers? He seems to provide emotional support and honestly adds value to the films in my opinion.
Cuteness: 10/10- I think there is a theme here for the cuteness rating…
Usefulness: 11/10- Survives the alien invasion of the ship and then enters hypersleep with Ripley.
Screen Time: 5/10- Would like to see him catching rodents on the ship as is stated was his original purpose.
Alice in Wonderland (1951) – Cheshire Cat
Another animated cat, sigh, perhaps I am biased. But I couldn’t leave the Cheshire Cat off the list as he is truly iconic. He supposedly inspired other cat appearances on the list such as the Coraline cat and Catbus. His magical presence and haunting smile perfectly complement his mischievous behaviour which makes him quite unforgettable.
Cuteness: 8/10- Mostly cute and only slightly creepy.
Usefulness: 5/10- Seems to be all knowing but only uses this gift to mess with people.
Screen Time: 7/10- More Cheshire Cat is always required but we see quite a lot of him.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – Orangey
This one kept coming up time and time again, a classic cat appearance that everyone loves in the most romantic setting possible. I’m sure many hearts were broken when Audrey Hepburn throws Orangey out the New York cab and leaves him in the rain, but they make their way back to each other so I suppose that’s all that matters.
Cuteness: 11/10- The name alone is heartwarming.
Usefulness: 6/10- Is once helpful as a kitty alarm clock and I suppose helps set a romantic tone?
Screen Time: 6/10- Would like to see poor Orangey do more that be sandwiched between two people kissing.
Men in Black (1997) – Orion
If I were an undercover alien trying to keep a whole galaxy under wraps then of course I would hide it on my cat, makes sense right? Orion the cat actually has an integral role in the film and remains fiercely loyal to his owner Rosenberg even going so far as to guard his dead body. If that doesn’t make him worthy of this list then I don’t know what does.
Cuteness: 10/10- The ginger and white cat is a theme and honestly I like it.
Usefulness: 100/10- Holds an entire galaxy on his collar.
Screen Time: 5/10- We don’t know what happens to Orion after the galaxy is retrieved and thus his story remains untold.