Best Cat Movies Of All Time

From Stephen King horrors to animated classics, our furry felines have quite the illustrious catalogue to choose from on the big screen. There’s been some great (and not so great) titles over the years but which ones are the best?

Out the sea of mediocrity, we’ve compiled our list of favourite movies featuring cats as the central character – or a central component to the main plot line. As always, if you feel like we’ve missed off one of your favourites, do drop us a comment below!

Without further ado (and in no particular order) TheReviewGeek team present our picks for the Best Cat Movies Of All Time!


A Whisker Away

Genre: Animation (Anime)

When it comes to animes featuring cats as the central protagonist, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as heart-warming as A Whisker Away.

The main plot revolves around an eager girl called Miyo who, in order to win the attention and affection of her classmate Kento, transforms into a cat and begins spending more and more time with her love interest.

As the line between human and cat begins to blur, the second half of this movie really comes into its own and shows some fantastical Ghibli magic (although this is not a Ghibli title, of course.) With some nice themes at its core and a cute cat fronting the title, A Whisker Away is definitely a decent cat movie.


Homeward Bound

Genre: Family, Adventure, Drama

A remake of the 1963 film The Incredible Journey, Homeward Bound is a tale of two dogs and a cat who find themselves separated from their owners. Desperate to get back home, they embark on an epic quest across the Sierra Nevada mountains to find their owner.

In truth, the film’s narrative is pretty simple but the evolving bond between this trio over time is partly why the movies works as well as it does. It’s one of those classic family pictures that stands the test of time and it’s helped by some great voice acting that brings the animals to life.


Pet Sematary (1989)

Genre: Horror

Well it certainly wouldn’t be a “Best Of” list without some grizzly Stephen King horror, would it? The basic premise here revolves around a grieving Father who discovers a burial ground behind his house which has the power to raise the dead.

Much like other King films, the premise is incredibly simple but the real power comes from taking that simplicity and spinning it into a terrifying concept. The movie throws in some seriously creepy visual effects for good measure but despite the recent remake’s efforts to usurp it, this original movie is the one that really captures the imagination.


Oliver and Company

Genre: Animation

A charming little animation, Oliver and Company is essentially the cat and dog version of Oliver’s Twist. The characters are unique and interesting while the little lost kitten Oliver stands out next to this dog-centric tale of petty crime in New York City. Released in 1989 (what a year for animation!), the film combines its tried and tested tale with some colourful musical numbers and beautifully drawn animation.

It’s one of those movies where everyone goes “Oh I remember that!” when they hear the title and yet somehow it remains an underrated gem in the animation category. It’s a picture that perfectly captures the essence of what animated films do so well and weaves that into a contemporary take of an age-old classic.


Cats (1998)

Genre: Musical

Not to be mistaken for that nightmarish remake released in 2019, Cats is a celebratory musical that doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is – a stage musical about the “Jellicle” cats joining for a special ball. It’s a joyous musical drama that takes all the conventional tropes seen in films of its kind but stands out by filming exclusively up on stage rather than on different sets.

The result is something that captures the joy and entertainment of watching a real musical but with the added comfort of watching from your living room.


Kedi

Genre: Documentary

In Istanbul, over 100,000 cats roam the street. In an effort to capture that fascinating fact in its rawest form, fly-on-the-wall documentary Kedi follows 7 of these lovable felines as they go about their lives.

It’s a wonderfully heartwarming documentary that features some pretty good camera work and a lovely tone at its core. At a little under 80 minutes, the movie is a bit on the short side but certainly makes the most of that run-time with its fascinating story.


Coraline

Genre: Animation (CGI)

 On the surface, this nightmarish, Tim-Burton-esque animation has all the ingredients to fuel a child’s nightmare. From a talking cat to the button-eyed Mother, Coraline certainly has its fair share of oddities. However, the movie packs a pretty important thematic punch that makes these surrealistic elements feel engaging and important to the narrative.

While the story has been told before in many different formats, Coraline is one of those artistic and cleverly written titles that stick with you over time.


A Cat in Paris

Genre: Animation

A Cat In Paris is a really enjoyable and well written movie. On the surface, it feels like a comedic spoof of the thriller genre – following a cat living a double life as a cat burglar’s aide – but as the movie starts to settle into a more consistent groove, it opens up in the best possible way.

This French animation takes place right in the heart of Paris and despite it’s simplicity boasts some excellent characterisation and vibrant colours in its animation. It’s a great family picture and definitely one of the better cat-centric films out there.


Puss In Boots

Genre: Animation (CGI)

A spin-off to the wildly popular DreamWorks Disney-Satire Shrek 2, Puss In Boots has all the ingredients to be an unmitigated disaster. Thankfully, Puss In Boots is anything but. Instead what we’ve got here is a highly enjoyable title that can be enjoyed whether you’ve watched Shrek or not.

Acting as an origin story for our swashbuckling Zorro-esque feline, Puss In Boots hands the reigns over to Antonio Banderas and lets him go wild with this character. There’s some great laughs, a simple (albeit cliched) story at its core and enjoyment to be had throughout.


The AristoCats

Genre: Animation (Hand-Drawn)

Charming, funny and smartly written, The AristoCats is another fine example of Disney at its best. The music is rocking (Ev’rybody Wants To Be A Cat is a great tune) while the simple but effective story paves way for some memorable characters to come forward.

Released in 1970, The AristoCats is one of those titles seemingly destined to remain in the shadows next to Lady and The Tramp but this cat-centric tale is every bit as enjoyable as that movie.


Alice In Wonderland (1951)

Genre: Animation (Hand-Drawn)

Based on Lewis Carroll’s novel of the same name, Alice In Wonderland acts as a surreal deep-dive into a world where nothing is as it seems and everything is turned upside down. Central to that tale and following Alice every step of her journey is our memorable smiling Cheshire Cat, brought to life by the voice of Sterling Holloway.

There’s an inherent charm to this title missing from the moody remakes and a lot of that is thanks to its central cast of quirky characters. While not as integral to the plot as some of the others on this list, the Cheshire Cat in this film is definitely worth a mention and brings an undeniable charm that’s hard to forget.


Felidae

Genre: Animation (Hand-Drawn)

Playing out as a noir investigative thriller, Felidae is a story about a cat who investigates a series of brutal murders. There’s certainly similarities to Watership Down here but Felidae goes one step further by adding some crude, sexual and violent scenes. None of this is done distastefully though and the beauty here comes from just how well it’s implemented into the main story. 

To reveal much more would be a disservice to this one but suffice to say this German animated film is dark, haunting and unforgettable; certainly worth a watch if you haven’t already.


The Secret Life Of Pets

Genre: Animation (CGI)

In truth, a lot of The Secret Life Of Pets’ best gags are front-lined in the first half hour and subsequently pave way for a much more formulaic and simple second act. Despite this though, the film is still a charming endeavour and a big hit with kids.

The story takes place across multiple floors of a Manhattan apartment building and sees happy canine Max’s life turned upside-down when his owner brings home a second dog named Duke. Despite their initial disdain for one another, the duo are forced to team up to stop a white bunny called Snowball raising an army of lost and forgotten pets against New York.

It’s cute and charming but undeniably not as strong as some of the others on this list.


Kiki’s Delivery Service

Genre: Animation (Anime)

Studio Ghibli films have a way of combining memorable characters and beautifully realized animation to make something truly special. Kiki’s Delivery Service is certainly one of the more memorable Ghibli titles. It’s an absolute visual treat and alongside the great use of colour is a noticeable lack of an antagonistic presence.

While that sounds like a negative, Kiki’s Delivery Service instead paints this movie in a much more uplifting and hopeful light with important themes about self-belief and hope for the future. This results in something very simple but also very enjoyable, backed up by a feline sidekick that’s every bit as memorable.


A Streetcat Named Bob

Genre: Drama, Family

A Streetcat Named Bob is the movie adaptation of the best-selling book with the same name. This true story revolves around a cat transforming the life of a recovering drug addict and it’s every bit as touching and heartwarming as one may expect. It’s a feel-good story first and foremost but it backs that up with a raw undercurrent of emotion that makes this one of the better rags-to-riches tales.

The acting is decent throughout and while it’s unlikely to win any awards, it’s good enough to warrant being named one of the best cat movies ever made and a must-watch for cat lovers everywhere.


So there we have it, our list for the Best Cat Movies Of All Time. Do you agree with our list? Are there any noticeable omissions? Do let us know in the comments below and if we missed one of your favourites, we’ll be sure to add it to the list!


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