Sylvester (Looney Tunes)
Sylvester J. Pussycat, Sr. has had eyes for Tweety Bird since 1945. With a sloppy saliva-spraying lisp, Sylvester was originally voiced by Mel Blanc for years, as was his son, Sylvester Jr.. Old Sylvester has had nine lives and then some: he’s died more times than any Looney Tunes character.
Azrael (The Smurfs)
The pet cat of the evil wizard Gargamel, Azrael delights in helping his owner capture The Smurfs, appearing in both the animated TV series and the big screen movie versions. Much smarter than Gargamel, Azrael sometimes points out the flaws in the evil wizard’s plans and at other times, has turned on his owner for mistreating him, even going as far as to push the wizard in front of a bus.
Felines are known for being fussy, but surely no cat has ever been choosier than Morris, the mascot for 9Lives cat food. Branded as "the world's most finicky cat", this full-bodied orange tabby has appeared in dozens of commercials and print campaigns over the years and has even authored three books including The Morris Approach, The Morris Method and The Morris Prescription. Now in his fifth decade as a spokescat, Morris continues to delight audiences around the world with his sardonic wit and steadfast refusal to dine on inferior brands of cat food. Fun fact: Morris has been played by three different cats since the late 1970s.
Garfield (Garfield and Friends)
Few cats have done more with their nine lives than Garfield. Created by Jim Davis in 1978, this irrepressible fat cat has been featured in one animated series, two live action films, nine video games, 12 primetime specials and 56 books over the past 34 years. His lust for lasagna and casual indifference towards his owner, Jon Arbuckle, can also be seen daily in more than 2,500 newspapers around the world. He is, quite possibly, the most famous feline in the world and his notoriety continues to grow with every passing day.Fun fact: Garfield is the world's most syndicated comic strip.
The Cat (The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!)
One of literature's most famous felines, the Cat in the Hat made his small screen debut in 1971 in an animated special starring Allan Sherman in the title role. The production received rave reviews, but it wasn't until 2010 that the Cat came back in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, a clever PBS series starring Emmy Award winner Martin Short. The show has helped introduce the mischievous character to millions of young viewers while teaching them key educational concepts in a fun and nonintrusive way. Fun fact: The original Cat in the Hat book contains just 223 words.
Scratchy (The Simpsons)
With all due respect to Wile E. Coyote, no animated character has ever suffered more abuse than Scratchy. The yin to Itchy's yang, this beleaguered black cat has been sliced, diced and torn to shreds hundreds of times in his 95 appearances on The Simpsons. The formula is simple, but fans still love it, leading to Scratchy's appearance in a pair of successful video games and a hilarious cameo in The Simpsons Movie in 2007. Fun fact: Scratchy made his small screen debut on The Tracey Ullman Show in 1988.
Salem Saberhagen (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)
Every witch needs a cat and Sabrina was no exception. This teenaged spellcaster found animal companionship in the form of Salem Saberhagen, a 500-year-old warlock who was transformed into a feline as punishment for plotting to take over the world. Played by an animatronic puppet and four different cats, Salem appeared in all 163 episodes of the series and won three consecutive Kids Choice Awards from 1998 to 2000 for Favourite Animal Star. Fun fact: Salem's voice was provided by ESPN sportscaster Nick Bakay.
The MGM Lion has inspired a slew of copycats over the years, but none is more famous than Mimsie. A tiny orange kitty with a tentative meow, Mimsie appeared within the closing logo of The Mary Tyler Moore Show from 1970-77. An actual stray from an animal shelter, Mimsie’s placement was the brainchild of Moore and show producer Allan Burns, who wanted to have fun with the fact that MTM (Mary Tyler Moore) Enterprises, Inc. and MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) shared such similar acronyms. Other shows produced by MTM have used clever variations of the Mimsie logo over the years. Hill Street Blues featured Mimsie in a policeman’s hat, St. Elsewhere put her in a surgical mask and Remington Steele had Mimsie modelling a vintage Sherlock Holmes’ deerstalker hat.Fun fact: The original Mimsie was used by MTM for 18 years.
Toonces The Driving Cat (Saturday Night Live)
Nearly every cat on our list can catch mice and antagonize dogs,but only one of them can drive an automobile. Well... sort of. We're referring of course to Toonces The Driving Cat. A recurring character on Saturday Night Live during the late 1980s and early 90s, this irascible grey tabby would take his owners on leisurely drives before invariably going off a high cliff and crashing hundreds of feet below. The sketches weren't terribly inventive, but they were popular, and Toonces went on to receive his very own half hour special in 1992 before being phased out of the show.Fun fact: Toonces made his small screen debut in a 1989 episode hosted by Steve Martin.
The Meow Mix Cat (Meow Mix)
Anyone who owns a cat knows just how vocal these cuddly creatures can be, especially at mealtime. That’s the entire premise behind the enduring ads for Meow Mix cat food, the product that “tastes so good, cats ask for it by name!” Meow Mix cats have been singing the praises of this popular food in a variety of commercials since the 1970’s by bellowing the catchphrase “Meow, Meow, Meow, Meow…” ad nauseam. Despite their popularity, the now famous ads are actually a product of serendipity. During the filming of one of the spots, a cat accidentally began choking on the food, causing it to open and close its mouth repeatedly until the dry Mix had been dislodged. After seeing the footage, ad executives were inspired to insert a simple song into the ad to give the illusion the cat was singing rather than gagging. Years later, what was almost a fatal accident has now become a beloved piece of pop culture.Fun fact: The first Meow Mix ad aired in 1974.