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What Kind of Cat Breed Is Dinah From Alice in Wonderland? Interesting Facts

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on January 5, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

What Kind of Cat Breed Is Dinah From Alice in Wonderland? Interesting Facts

The 1951 Disney classic Alice in Wonderland features Dinah, a small red kitten that belongs to Alice and her sister. This kitten is a character in her own right and has a distinct personality and strong hunting skills. She’s with Alice when a fully dressed white rabbit runs by with a pocket watch, and she’s there again when Alice returns from her Wonderland dream at the end of the movie.

What kind of cat breed is Dinah? Is she a made-up cat? Or does she resemble a real-life breed? The cat known as Dinah that is seen at the beginning and end of Alice in Wonderland is, in fact, a generic cartoon kitten and not modeled after any particular cat breed.


Is Dinah a Real Cat?

The real girl named Alice, whom Lewis Carroll modeled his character after in the original books had a cat named Dinah, which he put into the story. So, yes, Dinah is technically a real cat. But the cat present in the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland has been altered for the movie. It is unlikely that the original Dinah was an all-red kitten.

Is the Cheshire Cat Dinah?

Dinah Alice in Wonderland Disney Animation Studios
Image Credit: Characters by Walt Disney Animation Studios, The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

In the books, Through the Looking Glass and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Dinah and the Cheshire Cat are two separate entities. The same can be said of the Disney movie adaptation. There is a video game adaptation of the books called, “Are You Alice,” in which Dinah and the Cheshire Cat are indeed one and the same.

The video game version of the Cheshire Cat is the Wonderland version of Alice’s pet Dinah. However, this cat is black in the video game, and neither the Cheshire Cat, Dinah, nor Alice has any resemblance to the original characters in the books or the movie.

What Cat Breed Is the Cheshire Cat?

Alice in Wonderland has another famous cat, named the Cheshire Cat. The cat behind the famous grin is a British Shorthair. This highly dignified cat breed dates back to Roman times. If you look closely at the face of the British Shorthair, you will recognize the beady eyes and distinctive “grin” that made the Cheshire Cat so popular.

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What Does Alice Say About Dinah While She’s in Wonderland?

While Dinah doesn’t fall through the rabbit hole into Wonderland with Alice, Alice talks about her frequently while she’s there. Alice specifically mentions what a great hunter Dinah is. She states that she is fantastic at catching mice and is a good bird catcher.

What Do the Cats in Alice in Wonderland Symbolize?

The two cats in Alice in Wonderland can be interpreted as symbolic of the main character, Alice. Dinah is Alice’s “anchor” to the real world. She is present when Alice leaves and returns, and Alice directly refers to her pet cat when she thinks of home.

The Cheshire Cat is often interpreted as a guiding spirit for Alice throughout her time in Wonderland. This cat directs Alice toward the March Hare’s house and sends her to the mad tea party. These events are key in leading her to her final destination in the garden.

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Final Thoughts

Alice’s pet kitten Dinah isn’t based on a real cat breed. She is a generic red kitten that is inspired by the pet kitten kept by the “actual” Alice, the real-life person who inspired Lewis Carroll’s character in the original books. The Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland is based on a British Shorthair cat. Both feline characters play pivotal roles in the story of Alice and the decisions that she makes.

Featured Image Credit by: Characters by  Walt Disney Animation StudiosThe Walt Disney Company.  All rights reserved to the copyright owners.

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