The 20 Best Cats in Pop Culture

TV Lists Cats
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10. Garfield, Garfield

The lazy, lasagna-lovin’ feline first made his comic strip appearance in 1978. Grossing over $1 billion to date, Garfield has become the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip. Plus he became the best punchline to the amazing cameo in Zombieland.


9. Lion-O, ThunderCats

The leader of the cat-human aliens from planet Thundera, Lion-O wields the almighty Sword of Omens as he learns what it means to be a true “Lord of the ThunderCats.” Voiced by Larry Kenny in the original series, Lion-O will be voiced by Will Friedle in Cartoon Network’s remake, out this year.


8. Mufasa, The Lion King

The original king of the lions, Mufasa shows his son Simba the difference between bravery and arrogance, the delicate balance of the Circle of Life, and that there’s more to being a king than getting his way all the time. Come to think of it, Mufasa embodies what everyone needs as a parent—patience, understanding, respect, and the voice of James Earl Jones.

7. Thomas O’Malley, The Aristocats

Also known as Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley the Alley Cat, this ginger feline helps the kidnapped aristocats get back to their mistress. Thomas O’Malley has remained one of Disney’s coolest cats.


6. Felix the Cat

One of the most recognized cartoon characters in film history, Felix the Cat emerged during the silent film era. His expressive tail has been cited as one of the best examples of surrealism in filmmaking. Aldous Huxley even wrote that the Felix cartoons showed that “What the cinema can do better than literature is to be fantastic.”


5. Aslan, The Chronicles of Narnia

Dude, he’s Jesus—reincarnate, as a lion, voiced by Liam Neeson. ‘Nuff said.

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4. Hello Kitty

Ever since her debut in 1974, Hello Kitty has become one of the largest franchises in the world, and one of Japan’s biggest pop icons—adored by little girls and eccentric businessmen.

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3. Cheshire Cat, Alice in Wonderland

Only Mona Lisa has a more famous smile than Lewis Carroll’s mischievous cat. This iconic character—and his enormous grin—has been referenced in countless other works in popular culture.

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2. Tom Cat, Tom & Jerry

Anyone who ever watched Saturday morning cartoons will recognize Tom as half of the greatest cat-and-mouse game to ever grace our televisions. One might think that watching repeated failed efforts to catch Jerry Mouse would get boring, but Tom’s creativity and slapstick humor never failed to entertain us.

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1. The Cat in the Hat, The Cat in the Hat

There’s no pussyfooting around it – The Cat in the Hat is indisputably Dr. Seuss’ most famous character, and our favorite cat in pop culture history. With more than 11 million copies printed in over 12 different languages, the story of the tall mischief-maker in the striped hat is a staple in anyone’s childhood library.