Claws for thought
For animals that sleep for most of their life and spend the rest of the time eating or tormenting any other living creature in their vicinity (by, say, killing them, ruining their curtains or digging their claws into your thighs) cats have had a long and venerable career in the movies. Supervillain cats, animated cats, talking cats, alien cats, jazz-loving cats, big cats, small cats, bald cats, fluffy cats, cats that think theyre Jesus and, of course, cute cats (auditioning for YouTube, no doubt) youll find them all here in our list of the Top 50 feline film stars.
50. Blofeld's Cat
The Cat: A vaguely malevolent looking Turkish Angora that spends its days being petted by baldy supervillain Ernst Stavro Blofeld.
If It Was A Dog: Blofelds bunker would absolutely reek
49. The Cat In The Hat
The Cat: A giant, talking cat that delights bored kiddies Sally and Conrad. Wed probably be terrified if we were them, but it takes all sorts
If It Was A Dog: The dog with the log no, it wouldnt work.
48. Fritz The Cat
As Seen In: Fritz The Cat (1972)
The Cat: A foul-mouthed, drug-taking serial shagger, Fritz is one cool cat. Not that the censors took kindly to his hedonistic ways, slapping the film with the first X certificate ever given to an animated film.
If It Was A Dog: He might not have been such a rabble-rouser. Dogs are too happy chasing their tails to offend anyone.
The Cat: Arguably the sexiest cat on the list, given that shes played by Natassja Kinsky, Irena is technically a werecat, but this is an equal opportunities list, so shes in!
If It Was A Dog: Dog people wouldnt seem nearly so slinky and erotic. Sorry.
46. Scat Cat
The Cat: The trumpet-playing jazzman (voiced by the legendary Scatman Crothers) is leader of a gang of musical alley cats. The best kind of alley cats, if you ask us.
If It Was A Dog: Scat Cat plays the trumpet. Show us a dog claiming to be able to do the same, and well show you a liar.
The Cat: The cutesy moggy that is designed to engineer a union between lovesick Georgia and a lad she fancies. Oh Angus, youre better than this. Dont let them use you so!
If It Was A Dog: Angus would have cocked his leg on the spotty oiks leg, thus extinguishing any prospect of romance
44. Sangha & Kumal
The Cats: A pair of tiger cubs, separated at birth and then inadvertently forced to fight each other later in life by Guy Pearces unscrupulous explorer. Hes a bit of a shit, in case you hadnt guessed
If They Were Dogs: The film would be relocated to East London, with Danny Dyer replacing Pearce as a cheeky cockney chancer trying to make his fortune in the underground dog-fighting scene.
43. Kitty Galore
The Cat: A hairless cat, posing as a puppy in her role as an undercover spy for the cats. Voiced by Bette Midler, shes a nasty piece of work
If It Was A Dog: She could pose as a hairless cat, and spy for the other team. Simple.
The Cat: Family moggy Snowbell is none to thrilled when Geena Davies and Hugh Laurie bring a mouse into the family and start treating him like a son, dressing him in human clothes and generally acting like a pair of fully paid-up nutters. Youre better off without them, Snowbell
If It Was A Dog: He and Stuart probably would have got on OK, but cats are a jealous breed
41. Blomkvist's Cat
The Cat: The friendly little critter who helps keep Blomkvist company when he moves into his new lodgings in Uppsala. Sadly, it falls foul of a sadistic killer and ends up in bits. Bummer.
If It Was A Dog: It might have been able to defend itself. Cats arent much for fighting off knife-wielding maniacs.
40. Frank's Cat
The Cat: A malnourished neighbourhood cat, scooped up by Ryan Goslings affable junkie despite Franks (Anthony Mackie) insistence that he not bring that shit inside my house. The scene was an improvised addition from Gosling, proving the man really can do no wrong.
If It Was A Dog: It wouldnt look quite so quirkily enigmatic had Gosling slung a retriever under one arm.
39. Mr. Bigglesworth
The Cat: A horrible, fleshy sphinx cat favoured by Dr. Evil. Once a long-haired Persian cat a la Blofelds, the cryogenic freezing process has left him utterly hairless. Poor little bugger.
If It Was A Dog: Hed run the risk of mistaking Mini-Me for a fire hydrant. The results would be disastrous.
38. The Ghost & The Darkness
As Seen In: The Ghost And The Darkness (1996)
The Cats: A pair of man-eating lions, legendary for their blood-spilling prowess. It takes the combined efforts of Michael Douglas and Val Kilmer to bring them down, and even their skeletons are enough to get the flesh crawling. As the films narrator puts it, if you dare lock eyes with them, you will be afraid.
If They Were Dogs: The problem could quickly have been solved with a can of Winalot and a rifle.
The Cat: Tonto is the feline companion of Art Carneys elderly widower who decides to embark upon a cross-country road trip after being evicted from his flat. Poor Tonto ends up on a lead, being walked to within an inch of his life. Cheers Harry.
If It Was A Dog: It would probably be glad of the exercise. Theres just something wrong about putting a cat on a leash
36. Snowball II
As Seen In: The Simpsons Movie (2007)
The Cat: The long-suffering and perennially downtrodden cat belonging to the Simpsons. Not as well-loved as Santas Little Helper, which might explain her baleful expression
If It Was A Dog: Theres only room for one pooch in the Simpson household. Even Laddie the wonderdog wasnt allowed to stay for long
The Cat: A cat-like alien who is forced to befriend some real-life, no-fooling cats in order to help him get back to his home planet. Every bit as daft as it sounds
If It Was A Dog: A loveable pooch could have recruited some helpful humans to get him back home in a jiffy. People are naturally mistrustful of cats, which made the whole process more arduous
The Cat: Binx is actually a young man from Massachusetts who has been turned into a cat and doomed to live for ever by a trio of cackling witches. Many hilarious would-be-deaths ensue
If It Was A Dog: The symbolism of the unlucky black cat would have been somewhat lost in translation.
33. Mr. Tinkles
The Cat: The sneeringly sinister villain of this CGI caper, Mr Tinkles has a devious plan to overthrow the canine population, by making all humans allergic to dogs. The cunning devil
If It Was A Dog: When did you ever hear of a dog trying to conquer the world? Hed be happy with a bone and a blanket, like the rest of them.
The Cat: Gargamels pet kitty is a nasty piece of work, accompanying the dastardly wizard in his attempts to destroy the little blue folk. Were not ones for booing cats, but in this case well make an exception. Booooo!
If It Was A Dog: Villains never seem to keep dogs as pets. Were sure Gargamel might have been a friendlier sort had somebody bought him a puppy to play with as a child.
The Cat: Okay, so the movies might be pants, but theres no denying the bizarre appeal of having Bill Murray voice a self-serving layabout moggy. Pity this one didnt get the script it deserved. Or the CGI. Or the human actors
If It Was A Dog: Recasting Garfield as a dog would have been one way of making this even less enjoyable
The Cat: The all-powerful lion who goes head to head with Tilda Swintons wicked White Witch. Bit of a messiah complex, but we wont hold that against him.
If He Was A Dog: As loveable as mans best friend undoubtedly is, it would be difficult to turn him into a figurehead behind which to rally the forces of good.
29. Tyson's Tiger
The Cat: One of Mike Tysons beloved pet tigers, who inexplicably makes his way into the bathroom of the boys Vegas hotel room.
If It Was A Dog: Returning it to the former heavyweight champ wouldnt have been such an effort if they could have bunged it in the boot of a car
The Cat: An extremely proud lion (one voiced by Sylvester Stallone, no less), Joe is dead against speaking to Kevin James in this godawful comedy. And to be honest, who can blame him?
If It Was A Dog: Hed be yapping away to James like nobodys business. Not very discerning, those dogs
The Cat: The imaginatively named Cat is probably the most spoiled kitty on this list, if only for the fact that hes allowed to share a bed with Audrey Hepburn. Clever boy
If It Was A Dog: Society girls dont allow dogs to muck up their lovely silk sheets. End of.
The Cat: Mittens is a street-savvy alley cat, who bullies the local pigeons out of their food and shows Bolt how to play the cute critter card to garner attention from sappy old humans. Smart cookie.
If It Was A Dog: We wouldnt be treated to the odd-couple dynamic that drives the narrative forward.
The Cat: The Creed family cat has its life cut brutally short when it wanders under the wheels of an oncoming truck. One interment in an Indian burial ground later, and its back on its feet, good as new. Kind of
If It Was A Dog: An undead dog would be marginally less terrifying than an undead cat. Dont ask us why. We dont make the rules.
The Cat: Oliver is a homeless kitten who throws his lot in with a gang of street dogs in this pet-based riff on Charles Dickens Oliver Twist.
If It Was A Dog: Having a human man rely on a pack of dogs to clear his debts would just be ridiculous. A pack of dogs and one cat however
The Cat: Sassy is the feline element in Homeward Bounds two dogs and a cat arrangement. Bizarrely, the trio all seem to get on rather well together. Not how wed been led to believe the dynamic works at all.
If It Was A Dog: Yawn! Who wants to watch a film about three missing dogs? Noone, thats who.
The Cat: Hermiones temperamental moggy might seem a bit of a pain in the backside to Ron and Harry, but it is he who first senses something amiss with Scabbers the rat. Just call it animal intuition
If It Was A Dog: It might have tried to mate with Sirius. Lets move on, shall we?
The Cat: This wise old cat lives at Morningside Orphanage and tips off the rescuers to the plight of the orphan Penny, who has been kidnapped by Madam Medusa. Bloody snitch
If It Was A Dog: They probably wouldnt have taken a dog seriously, but a learned, spectacle-wearing cat is another matter entirely.
20. General Sterling Price
The Cat: Rooster Cogburns feline companion was sadly omitted from the recent remake, denying Jeff Bridges the chance to deliver the classic line: He dont belong to me cats dont belong to nobody. He just rooms with me.
If It Was A Dog: Theres not a dog alive that could keep up with Cogburns hard-living ways. Cats on the other hand, are very partial to the occasional tot of grog.
The Cat: Alex the lion is one of the merry band who escape New Yorks Central Park Zoo and end up shipped back to Africa. He has a wonderful singing voice, as anyone who has listened to his rendition of New York New York will attest to.
If It Was A Dog: Central Park Zoo would have hit upon hard times indeed.
The Cat: If Baloo brings the joie de vivre to the party, Bagheera the panther is the brains of the outfit. Smart, haughty, loyal and loving, as all good cats should be.
If It Was A Dog: You dont get many dogs in the jungle. He might seem a bit out of place.
The Cat: The baby leopard who ends up as a kind of surrogate child to Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in this screwball comedy. Hey, there are worse homes you could end up in
If It Was A Dog: The whole plot would go out of the window. Other than that, it would probably work.
The Cat: A Siamese tomcat who ends up as a secret agent for the FBI, helping them to foil the exploits of a gang of bank robbers. They wouldve gotten away with it too, if it hadnt been for that darn cat
If It Was A Dog: Dogs are a bit too enthusiastic for undercover work. Sorry, Fido.
15. Rufus The Zombie Cat
The Cat: Poor old Rufus. Having mysteriously turned up dead in Jeffrey Combs fridge, he becomes transformed into a hideous zombie cat, only to be killed again. Just the seven lives remaining then
If It Was A Dog: Even a crackpot scientist wouldnt keep a dead dog in their fridge. Yeesh!
14. The Cheshire Cat
The Cat: Stephen Fry voices the psychedelic cat in Tim Burtons lush adaptation, and his lazily undulating form is probably the one part of the film in which the 3D effects really work. The rest of the film might seem oddly flat, but the Cheshire Cat is a tactile treat.
If It Was A Dog: Dogs arent as enigmatic as cats a canine version wouldnt work half as well.
13. Si & Am
The Cats: A pair of born troublemakers, the Siamese duo Si and Am constantly try to drop Lady in the sticky stuff, eventually gettinge her muzzled over a perceived fight. What a pair of rotters.
If They Were Dogs: They would have welcomed Lady with open paws, which wouldnt have been half as much fun.
12. Alley Cats
The Cats: Theyre the inquisitive moggies who lick the stricken Selina Kyle back to life, allowing her to become perhaps the slinkiest feline of all Catwoman.
If They Were Dogs: Dogwoman no, it doesnt have quite the same ring to it.
As Seen In: The Adventures Of Milo And Otis (1986)
The Cat: Poor old Milo falls into a river, separating him from best friend Otis, a dog. Thankfully, Otis a faithful mutt and sets off on a cross-country trek to find his furry pal.
If It Was A Dog: If the boot was on the other foot, you just know the cat would watch the dog sail off into the distance before sloping back home to the fire.
The Cat: Lucifer belongs to the ugly sisters in this seminal Disney flick, and sets about chucking various spanners in the works by attempting to snaffle Cinderellas rodent helpers. He was never going to turn out well with a name like that, was he?
If It Was A Dog: Cinderella would have spent so long cleaning up after him, shed never have made it to the ball in time.
9. The Black Cat
The Cat: Boris Karloffs Satanist lets his black cat out on the prowl to terrify the cat-phobic Bela Lugosi in this Universal horror classic. A supremely creepy kitty.
If It Was A Dog: Lugosi wouldnt have had anything to be scared about. Apart from all the Satanism, obviously
The Cat: Figaro is Gepettos tuxedo cat, who enjoys a love-hate relationship with fellow pet Cleo, a goldfish, until the two are reconciled at the close of the film. See, even a cat can admit when its wrong.
If It Was A Dog: Hed have gnawed Pinocchios limbs to pieces before hed made it out of the house.
7. The Cowardly Lion
The Cat: A big old wuss of a lion, frightened of his own shadow on account of his lack of courage. His hearts in the right place, he just needs to man up a bit.
If It Was A Dog: A cowardly dog would be more forgiveable. A wimpy lion is a sorry thing indeed
6. Mr. Jinx
The Cat: The beloved pet of Robert De Niros fearsome patriarch, which makes it all the more disastrous when Ben Stiller loses him. Spray-painting a random stray just wont cut the mustard
If It Was A Dog: Would Stiller propose milking a dog? Probably, given the rest of the script
5. Puss In Boots
The Cat: Antonio Banderas voices the eminently flamboyant sword-swinger, with the swashbuckling kitty proving popular enough to carry his own movie last year. Bravo, senor.
If It Was A Dog: Are you familiar with the cartoon, Dogtanion? Itd be something like that
4. Shere Khan
The Cat: Arguably the most fiendish feline on the list, the regal Shere Khan wants to learn mans secret of fire, and will go to any lengths to get it. Know your place, Tibbles!
If It Was A Dog: Mowgli could have thrown a stick one way and made his escape through the other.
The Cat: Lune is the Prince of the Cat Kingdom, who offers his hand in marriage to the young girl who saves him from becoming roadkill. So unfolds another gorgeous fantasy from the Studio Ghibli team
If It Was A Dog: The little girl would have politely declined the offer, and got herself a tetanus jab.
The Cat: The Nostromos pet cat is a key narrative device in Alien, allowing Ripley to express her thoughts out loud, serving up some sudden appearance scares and generally giving the crew members an excuse to go wandering off on their own. Plus, hes extremely cute
If It Was A Dog: Lets be honest, a dog would be Xenomorph food in no time
The Cat: Scar and Mufasa might also have had a claim to the top spot, but weve opted to go with the rest of the jungle and elect Simba as our, er, lion king. Elton? Hit it
If It Was A Dog: Never will you see an elephant kneel to the will of a dog. Wouldnt happen.