The rise of social media means it’s now easier than ever to follow the lives of some of the most famous cats in the world. There’s no denying it; we all love funny cat videos, adorable kitten photos and feel good cat stories.
The popularity and fame of cats may seem like a recent development but did you know humans have been obsessed with our feline friends for a very long time.
Cats have long been featured in films, TV series and within the pages of literature throughout history. This list of the top 40 most famous cats includes celebrated felines from past and present.
Famous Cats in Film & TV
We start our top 40 list with famous cats from film and TV. These names will likely be very familiar to you as these cats are well known and loved thanks to their roles on screen. Some are cartoon, some are animated and some are cat actors.
These classic characters are bound to spark some happy memories.
A much-loved cat character that loved food and hated Mondays.
Garfield was born in an Italian restaurant and had a clear love for eating, he had a particular love for lasagne and he was a well-known character on TV, films and comics. There were also many Garfield toys too.
2. The Cheshire Cat
Everyone knows the Cheshire Cat from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – his pink and purple markings, iconic grin and ability to disappear caught the imagination of people around the world.
The character was even brilliantly brought to life on the big screen, helping the fictitious character (thought to be inspired by British Shorthair cats) become even more famous.
3. Felix the Cat
We are turning the clock back to 1919 for this character. Felix was created during the era of silent films; the funny cartoon character quickly rose in popularity with his big grin and “Righty-O” catchphrase.
Felix was portrayed as good-hearted and mischievous and his debut was in 1919, he was given a voice in 1929 and his cartoons and appearances have continued even into the 2000s. Felix the Cat quickly became one of the most popular cartoon characters of all time.
4. Tom (Tom & Jerry)
You think we’d talk about famous cats without mentioning Tom from Tom & Jerry?! No way.
Tom was a cartoon cat who’d always be trying to capture Jerry (a mouse) leading to comical, slapstick scenes. Jerry would outsmart Tom time and time again much to the delight of the viewers.
5. Orangey (Hollywood Star)
Orangey is one of the most famous feline film stars. Most notably, he appeared in the films Rhubarb and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Impressively, Orangey is the only double winner of the Patsy Award (an award for animal stars).
Over his 15-year career, this orange tabby cat appeared in multiple films including The Incredible Shrinking Man, Gigot and the Village of Giants.
6. Mr Bigglesworth
While on the topic of film stars, remember Mr Bigglesworth? Even uttering the name of Dr. Evil’s furless cat can get a smile out of most people.
The sphynx cat who played Mr Bigglesworth is called Ted NudeGent and was named Cat of the Year in 1999. This fantastically famous cat earns a spot on our top 40 list.
7. Salem (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)
Who could forget Salem, the cat from Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Originally appearing in the comic series, Salem’s character was brought to life in the T.V. sitcom.
The cat was given a voice and is seen as Sabrina’s smart sidekick. The show was also turned into an animated series and T.V. movie.
These fierce kitty’s have made it into the history books. Some are daring explorers, some have achieved world records and some even have political connections. Never underestimate a cat!
8. Mrs Chippy
This cat was a resident of Sir Earnest Shackleton’s Endurance. Mrs Chippy was a tabby cat that belonged to the expedition’s carpenter Harry ‘Chippy’ McNish. The cat accompanied the crew when they set sail in 1914, bound for the Antarctic.
They later found out that Mrs Chippy was actually male. Sadly, the cat was killed shortly after the Endurance was abandoned as Shackleton did not believe she would be able to survive. Today, there is actually a life-size bronze statue of Mrs Chippy on the carpenter’s grave.
9. “Chief Mouser”
In the UK, the Prime Minister has an official resident cat and has done since 1515. Of course, there have been many cats in the role of Chief Mouser throughout the years.
More recently there has been Sybil who began the job in 2007 and sometime before Sybil was Humphrey. As you may know, the current Chief Mouser at 10 Downing Street is Larry.
10. Tabby and Dixie
Abraham Lincoln had two cats named Tabby and Dixie. The 16th president was said to adore the cats that lived with him in the White House residence. It is said that the president once fed Tabby from the table during a formal dinner at the White House.
11. Oscar (Unsinkable Sam)
This lucky kitty certainly had nine lives, he reportedly survived three major shipwrecks. Following each of the shipwrecks, unsinkable Sam was rescued after being found clinging to a floating plank.
After surviving the three wrecks between May and November of 1941, Oscar lived the rest of his life with his paws safely on land in the UK.
In 1996, Scarlett saved her five kittens from a Brooklyn fire. It’s a story you have probably all heard as this mother cat’s heroic and selfless act was not gone unnoticed, her incredible story became very well-known and has been retold time and time again.
All but one of Scarlett’s kittens survived after her heroic rescue and Scarlett herself suffered burns and sadly experienced ongoing health problems after the rescue mission.
13. Felicette – Space Cat
In 1963, Felicette became the first cat in space. She survived the spaceflight and was sent by French scientists in an effort to understand how reduced gravity impacts animals. It is said she was chosen thanks to her calm disposition.
14. Creme Puff
Creme Puff was the oldest cat ever recorded, she was a domestic cat living in Texas. According to the Guinness World Records, Creme Puff passed away in 2005 at the age of 38 years and 3 days old.
15. The Mayor of Talkeetna, Stubbs
Stubbs is an orange tabby cat that was found in Talkeetna, an Alaskan district. The cat was named Stubbs after its stub tail, Stubbs unexpectedly rose to become mayor of the district in July 1997 when the tabby cat was elected by voters after they felt the human candidates were not good enough.
Amazingly, Stubbs was mayor of Talkeetna for 20 years until his passing in 2017.
16. Tommaso – The Richest Cat in the World
Tommaso was made the Richest Cat in the World after he was left a massive thirteen-million-dollar inheritance by his owner in 2011.
This black cat started off as a stray cat and is now a multi-millionaire!
17. Little Nicky – Cat Clone
Little Nicky was the first cat clone to be commercially produced. He was produced using the DNA of a Maine Coon who died in 2003 and his owner paid to have him cloned.
18. Colonel Meow – Longest cat hair
Colonel Meow was a huge hit on YouTube but not only that, he also got a Guinness World Record for having the longest fur (9 inches)!
Many cats have been made famous thanks to the internet so these kitties are some of the best known and loved individuals from spaces such as Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Many of these cats have photos and memes that have gone viral and they all have a substantial fan following. A few of these felines even have famous owners.
19. Grumpy Cat A.K.A Tardar Sauce
We’ve been seeing photos and memes of Grumpy Cat since 2012. Photos and videos of Tardar Sauce rose to fame thanks to her notoriously grumpy features (a look that has been accredited to feline dwarfism and under-bite). The superstar cat ruled the internet with her permanent scowl but sadly she passed away in 2019.
20. Choupette Lagerfeld
Karl Lagerfeld’s kitty, Choupette, is a stylish and spoiled kitty who’s living a lavish life. Choupette is quite the fashionista, she has inspired a handbag collection and has even featured in photoshoots.
21. Box Master Maru
One of the most famous and popular internet cats has got to be Maru, a Scottish Fold with a love for boxes. This kitty has become a celebrity thanks to his adorable love for jumping into and sleeping in cardboard boxes. He has mastered the art of squeezing into undersized boxes and his videos are watched by millions.
22. Venus the Two-faced Cat
Venus is an internet celebrity, in fact she is one of the most popular cats on the planet with over two million followers on Instagram. So why is Venus so popular? The tortoiseshell cat looks very different from other cats as one half of her face is solid black with a green eye and the other half is the more typical tabby with orange stripes and a blue eye. This unusual look has made her one very famous kitty. The genetic reasons behind Venus’s striking look remain a mystery.
23. Monty the Cat
Instagram star Monty the Cat has over 690 thousand followers. Monty was adopted from an animal shelter in 2013, he has chromosome abnormalities and was born with a sunken nasal bridge leading to him looking different from other cats. His owners use his social media to show others what a character he is and encourage people not to judge on first appearances and adopt animals from rescue shelters.
You can read more about Monty on our article discussing the idea of Cat Downs Syndrome (this doesn’t exist rather cats can have chromosomal deficiencies).
24. Cole and Marmalade
These two rescued cats keep hundreds of thousands of us entertained with their cute and funny videos.
Cole is a black cat and Marmalade is a ginger cat, both were adopted and their owners hope their story raises awareness of cats in need and encourages others to help where they can.
Sam is a pure white cat with a black tail and black eyebrows. His look is very unique and he has been featured in newspapers and magazines across the globe. Sam has over 240 thousand followers on Instagram and we challenge you not to smile when you look at his adorable photos.
26. Lil Bub
Lil Bub had feline dwarfism making her a perma-kitten (she never grew larger than kitten size). Her tongue would always be out and her adorable appearance caught the eyes of millions.
She was the runt of her litter and had several health problems but this didn’t stop her from being adopted and capturing the hearts of people around the world. Sadly, Lil Bub passed away in 2019.
27. Garfi – Angry Cat
Garfi the Persian cat has become known as the World’s Angriest Cat thanks to his furious facial expression. Garfi’s stony glare makes him look like a TV villain and his Instagram page is filled with adorably angry photos. Garfi has over 65 thousand followers.
28. Hamilton – Moustache cat
Hamilton is a rescue cat with a perfect moustache and humanlike facial expressions. He has become an internet sensation and is adored by hundreds of thousands of followers. Hamilton’s white moustache is so perfect that it doesn’t look real but it is completely genuine and you will fall in love with photos of this hipster cat.
29. Banye – OMG cat
Photos of this British shorthair went viral as Banye always looks surprised. The dark fur under Banye’s mouth makes it look like he is holding his mouth open shouting “OMG” and his wide eyes make the surprised look even more authentic.
The hilarious and adorable photos of “The OMG Cat” have been shared widely across the internet.
30. Simon’s Cat
Simon’s Cat is an animated series of a white cat and his owner Simon. The mischievous and entertaining cat gets up to all sorts in these short clips and the stories are ones many pet owners can relate to.
This animated cat has over three million YouTube subscribers and has been making people smile since 2007.
This kitty is famous for two things, sleeping and smiling. Arguably, the perfect combination. Cats are known for being lazy but Shironeko takes this to a whole new level with his zen-like napping abilities. This happy cat loves to sleep and his laid-back lifestyle makes for very cute photos. Don’t believe us? Check out his Instagram!
32. Olivia Benson and Meredith Gray
If you know Taylor Swift, there’s a good chance you know of her two Scottish fold cats; Olivia Benson and Meredith Gray.
Named after TV characters, the pampered pair are frequently seen on Taylor Swift’s social media and they have even appeared in commercials.
Niki, a cat from Russia became an internet celebrity after his owner posted photos of him online. He is known for his poses, occasional outfits and humanlike facial expressions and behaviours. Niki has been on TV and has had his photos printed on t-shirts too!
Some cats have such bizarre and unusual stories that it’s difficult to even categorize them. Here’s seven cats with such unique and amazing stories you won’t forget them any time soon.
34. Oscar – Predictor of Death
Oscar seemed to have the ability to predict when someone will die. He lived at a nursing home and became famous after the story of his ability to predict the near-death of patients was published in an online article. It is said that the people Oscar would curl up with would pass away in a matter of hours.
As he was always correct in his predictions, the staff would urge family members to say goodbye to loved ones after Oscar was spotted on the patient’s bed. By 2010, Oscar had predicted more than 50 deaths at the nursing home.
35. All Ball
Remember Koko? The famous gorilla who could speak sign language… Koko adopted a Manx kitten and named the cat All Ball.
Incredibly, Koko and All Ball bonded and Koko took great care of the cat. Unfortunately, All Ball escaped and was sadly hit by a car. There is a viral video of Koko responding to the sad news, the gorilla signed words like “sad”, “bad”, “cry” and “frown”.
36. Bob (A Street Cat Named Bob)
A more recent addition to this list of famous cats is Bob. Bob became a book and film star after he befriended a homeless busker, James Bowen, in London and became his constant companion through his struggles against addiction. The pair became quite well known within London and the story of how ginger tomcat Bob helped James turn his life around was turned into a popular book and film.
37. Room 8
Room 8 was a stray neighbourhood cat who became much loved and well known after he made an elementary school called Elysian Heights in LA his home. Room 8 (named after the classroom the cat was a resident in) became famous for his sweet nature and loyalty. This happened in 1952 and the story is still told today!
Snowball the cat helped solve a murder in Canada. After a woman’s body was found in a shallow grave, the woman’s estranged husband was immediately suspected. The problem was, there wasn’t evidence linking him to the murder.
That was until, 25 white cat hairs were found on a jacket that was covered in the victim’s blood. The cat hairs were tested and were found to belong to Snowball, the cat of the murderer. This discovery led to the murderer being found guilty.
Resident cat of The Globe Theatre (now called Gielgud Theatre) in London, Beerbohm had his heart set on the stage. He was known for spending time in dressing rooms and attacking props. On occasion, Beerbohm also wandered across the stage during performances.
One of Japan’s most beloved cats has got to be Tama The Railway Cat. Tama saved a train station from being closed down and was adopted by the informal station manager.
The cat became the talk of the town and before long, she was attracting tourists from across Japan and was even appointed official station manager. With her new role as station manager, Tama wore a cute hat as part of her uniform and was paid in cat food for her efforts.
Well, there we have it! The 40 Most Famous Cats in the World Ever.
Did we miss any of your favourite famous felines?
It’s clear to see cats have played a huge role in the lives of humans for many years and there’s no doubt we will continue to love our furry friends far into the future. Who knows, maybe your cat will be the next internet sensation…