When I was a kid, Saturday morning was the best time of the week because that was when I parked myself in front of the TV with a bowl of cereal and watched my favorite cartoons. I certainly had my favorites, and some of them (surprise!) featured cats.
After I had kids, I was excited to show them some of my favorite “vintage” cat cartoons, and they soon found new ones to share with my husband and me. Over the years we’ve decided which ones are our favorites, and I thought it would be fun to share some of them here. I polled my family, and here are our 10 favorite TV cartoon cats — we don’t all agree on all the choices, but families don’t have to agree 100 percent on everything, right?
1. Spot from Hong Kong Phooey
This is one of my personal favorites. In case you’re not familiar with the glorious ’70s cartoon, it’s about a janitor-dog whose alter ego is a crime-fighting Kung Fu superhero. His sidekick is a cat named Spot, who helps the janitor transform into Hong Kong Phooey by way of a file cabinet. It sounds weird, but it was awesome … and, yes, kind of weird. At one time in the mid-’70s, this was my favorite show ever.
2. Snowball from The Simpsons
Snowball is a favorite of our entire family. He has several incarnations, yet they all look identical. I think one of the reasons I love Snowball is because his expressions remind me of my Cosmo.
3. Felix from Felix the Cat
My husband and I were both Felix fans when we were children. The show’s theme song is one that periodically pops into my head and doesn’t go away. He’s just such a cool cat, and then there’s the bag of tricks. Who doesn’t love a bag of tricks?
4. Stimpy from Ren and Stimpy
When my husband and I shared our first apartment in the early ’90s, we were hooked on Ren and Stimpy. It was so weird and kind of gross — exactly our kind of humor. This is one we introduced our kids to a few years down the line. Of course they loved it. The weird doesn’t fall far from the tree.
5. Garfield from Garfield and Friends
I was a huge fan of the Garfield comic books when I was a child, but never got into the television cartoon. My kids, however, loved it. I still don’t enjoy seeing a main character’s show embellished with an “and friends” title. To me, it means the show’s already jumped the shark before the opening credits have ended. But because my kids loved this show, I am adding it to our list.
6. Penelope from Pepe Le Pew
Pepe Le Pew was one of my favorite characters. He was such a Casanova, and perpetually hot after poor Penelope, the black kitty who’d wandered under falling white paint at a construction site. This, of course, gave her the appearance of a skunk. I’d sometimes get up for more cereal when other cartoons were on TV, but as soon as I heard that telltale French skunk’s voice, I ran right back to my spot.
7. Cat from CatDog
CatDog! My kids found this show and our whole family fell in love. It’s very much an Odd Couple situation, except the cat and dog are connected. The humor is wacky and the theme song is contagious. Don’t watch the video if you don’t want to hum it the rest of the day. I remember my kids dancing to it — I might have danced, too.
8. Snagglepuss from the Hanna-Barbera cartoons
Snagglepuss was a fancy fellow who made appearances in several Hanna-Barbera cartoons in the ’70s. I loved him because he was so dramatic and reminded me of Paul Lynde, who I regularly watched on Hollywood Squares.
Heavens to mergatroid!
9. Sagwa from Sagwa, the Siamese Chinese Cat
When my kids were young, they discovered this adorable show on PBS called Sagwa, the Siamese Chinese Cat. It’s written by the bestselling author Amy Tan, and the animation is really sweet. We were all sucked into the stories of the trouble-making kitten siblings who always seemed to wiggle out of trouble. The cute theme song is one of my favorite parts of this cartoon.
10. Tom from Tom and Jerry
I was never a huge fan of Tom and Jerry, but my husband was and my kids became fans when someone gave them some videos. It’s not that the cartoon violence turns me off — I’d just rather see the exact same scenarios watching the Itchy and Scratchy segments of The Simpsons.
What are your family’s favorite TV cat cartoons? Share in the comments!
Read More by Angie Bailey:
- 5 Tips for Helping Your Kids Start a Pet-Sitting Business
- I’m Raising My Son to Love Cats, No Matter What Society Thinks
- 6 Tips for Planning the Perfect Cat-themed Party for Kids
- 5 Ways Cats Are Great Therapy for Anxiety and Depression in Kids
- 5 DIY Projects You and Your Kids Can Make for Your Cats
Learn more about your cat with Catster:
- Why Your Cat Is Obsessed with You on the Toilet
- Weird Cat Facts: 8 Reasons Your Cat Likes to Lick You
- 10 Sounds That Cats Make — and What They Mean
- 8 Things to Try When Your Cat Won’t Eat
About the Author: Angie Bailey is an eternal optimist with an adoration of all things silly. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, thinking about cats doing people things and The Smiths. Writes Catladyland, a cat humor blog, Texts from Mittens (originated right here on Catster) and authored whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds, a silly book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in a comedy web series that features sketches and mockumentaries. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.