The Best Anime Cats of All Time

The anime world is filled with cute, cuddly, and at-times deadly kitties. Here are the 13 best ever.

Kirara from Inuyasha, Meowth from Pokemon, and Fiji from Kiki's Delivery Service
Photo: Sunrise | The Pokémon Company | Studio Ghibli

Whether starring in a meme that breaks the internet, plotting world domination or using your lap as a mattress, cats will never lose their status as some of our favorite companions.

The Japanese often see cats as meowing omens of good luck. They can also be protectors of humans. This is why it should be no surprise that felines are everywhere in anime, with or without magical powers, and often based on creatures of myth and legend. Some are straight out of folklore, like the mischievous bakeneko and shapeshifting nekomata, while others come from space or the netherworld. Then there are those which are just cats without any supernatural powers. Their level of cuteness still has power over us.

Mischievous or magical, clawing or cuddly, these are some of our favorite anime cats that we wish could follow us home.

Luna from Sailor Moon

Imagine a talking black cat with a moon on her head waking you up to tell you that you are some sort of chosen superhero. Luna used to be one of Queen Serenity’s feline companions in the Moon Kingdom, and she laters awakens Usagi Tsukino to the realization that she is Sailor Moon. She also literally has to wake Usagi again and again when she feels like napping instead of saving the world. Luna is watchful and protective—sometimes overprotective, but she has to be with evil galactic forces lurking around. She also has the ability to morph into human form.

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Artemis from Sailor Moon

The male version of Luna, except with white fur, Queen Serenity’s other feline companion from her lost kingdom is slightly clumsier (maybe a little more than slightly), but still just as loyal and courageous in his own way, even if he does get on Luna’s nerves here and there. You can’t blame a cat for being shocked her boyfriend fathered a kitten somewhere else in time and space. Sailor Venus is his human, though like Luna, he watches the Sailor Senshi when he isn’t getting himself into trouble. At least he’s less strict with Minako than Luna is with Usagi. 

Happy from Eden’s Zero

Happy is B-Cuber Rebecca Bluegarden’s deceptively fuzzy robot cat who defies cat physiology by being able to walk on two legs. He becomes a feline android under tragic circumstances, when that was the only option at keeping him alive after he is suddenly hit by a car. He is a mainstay on his human’s B-Cube channel, a futuristic form of social media. The Eden’s Zero crew is happy to have Happy as a weapon with multiple functions. He can turn himself into a pair of ether-firing blasters, which can level up to cannon or assault rifle mode.

Blair from Soul Eater

Blair may sometimes appear human, but don’t be fooled. She is not so much a human witch as she is a witch’s cat (with a witch’s hat). More than just a mischievous creature, Blair is actually a bakeneko, a mythical cat from Japanese folklore that can have many supernatural powers. This one talks, can pull off just about any magic her humans Maka and Soul can, except possibly cooking, and endlessly teases Soul by walking around naked and unbothered in human form. She also literally has nine lives. If one of her multiple souls is destroyed, she takes on another.

Raku from Bleach

Maybe Raku didn’t have nine lives, since he sadly lost his when hit by a car much like Happy, but there are advantages to being a ghost. As a spirit, he can become a lion with a flaming mane when Hollows threaten to devour the soul of his human, Yuzu. They don’t stand a chance against this morphing move, which earns the name Karakura Lion Jet for the unreal speed and strength that rage with its flames, and Raku can easily tackle a Hollow thrice his size when in this form. His intense spiritual power or reiatsu makes this possible.

Koron from Junji Ito: Maniac

This bakenko is much more terrifying than Blair’s burnt fish. Koron is downright demonic. His human Soichi, who takes the annoying little brother stereotype to ridiculous heights, seems to have no problem with a feral cat that gnaws on things from a dead snake to a monstrous centipede to a spider with more eyes than legs, and it only gets worse from there. He can release explosions of lightning strong enough to put out the electricity of the entire house. Maybe the most dangerous thing about Koron is that he can pretend to be a normal cat—until he isn’t.

Meowth from Pokémon 

Team Rocket’s fiendish sidekick never stops running his mouth. In the quest to capture Ash’s rare Pikachu and other Pokémon, he’ll trash talk and battle just about anyone or anything, but it’s more bravado than bravery, since he usually ends up flattened. At least he knows that there are some situations where he is better off using the gargantuan robot version of himself to get his paws on what he wants. That is usually also a bust. Still, you have to admit Meowth’s ability to dream up evil genius schemes is quite impressive, even if they always end up failing. 

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Jiji from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Jiji is the quintessential black cat every witch-in-training should have. He can not only talk but turn up the sass, though it seems no one hears him but Kiki. Whose cat side-eyes other cats and makes snide comments about them? Even though he is often sarcastic, and can seem almost arrogant sometimes, he is still Kiki’s guardian and willing to do almost anything for her. Only the most loyal companion would pretend to be a stuffed cat after his human loses the actual stuffed cat intended to be a present for the boy she is crushing on. 

Kirara from Inuyasha

Another type of yokai, Kirara is a nekomata, a shapeshifting cat with two tails. She doesn’t act like the demon she supposedly is. Rather than terrorize humans, she is a faithful companion who stands by the side of demon slayer Sango and her brother Kohaku as they try to ward off evil beings. Her loyalty is enduring. She almost sacrifices herself to save Kohaku’s life, poisoned by the half-demon she tries to kill in his defense. Don’t underestimate her powers because of her deceptive cuteness. If she needs to, Kirara will turn into a monstrous cat seething with flames.

Korin from Dragon Ball Z

Though Korin only has one life instead of nine, it has lasted him more than 800 years so far. Maybe it has something to do with him being some sort of deity who crossed over to the realm of the living from the afterlife. The fluffy white cat who lives in a tower that pierces the clouds is actually a martial arts master and legendary warrior, and often imagined as much more fearsome than he actually is. Even with so much prestige that sounds human, Korin does have one feline quality he will never get over. He despises dogs.

Kuroneko from Trigun

Kuroneko (literally “black cat”) is just a cat. She might have humongous green eyes that almost glow in the dark, and a toothy jack-o-lantern grin, but no supernatural powers to speak of. She can sense when someone has crooked intentions and gives a paw slap, but that’s about it. There is one other thing that makes her extraordinary. She can somehow stay unnaturally calm through just about anything, whether a heated fight is going on outside or humans throwing punches at each other come hurtling through the window, sending shattered glass flying in every direction. Her response? “Meow.”

The Catbus from My Neighbor Totoro

Need a mode of transportation in the middle of nowhere? The Catbus has got you if you know how to call it. Powered by magic, it runs and leaps to human bus stops with its twelve legs, as high beams from its yellow eyes light the way. Rats whose eyes glow purple are additional headlights and taillights. While whatever this creature is may sound creepy, and nobody knows its mysterious origins, climb inside and find warm, furry seats that definitely beat hard plastic. It will also spirit you away wherever you ask it to go and leave no tracks behind.