It’s difficult to decide on the cutest cats in anime, but these contenders have won the hearts of anime fans everywhere.
Animal companions in anime are not an uncommon sight and the popularity of felines in international society likely plays a huge role in why there are an abundance of adorable cat characters in anime. More often than not, these kitty confidants are seen at the protagonist’s side throughout their adventures or even act as one of the main characters themselves.
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When it comes to the cutest cats in anime, It’s difficult to pick when there are so many precious feline companions as a whole. However, here are some of the cutest in the business, in no particular order, with personalities as vibrant as their human counterparts.
11 Jiji, Lily, and Kittens – Kiki’s Delivery Service
Fans of Studio Ghibli will recognize this guy in an instant. Jiji is a charming sassy black cat and Kiki’s trusty companion in Kiki’s Delivery Service by Hayao Miyazaki. Jiji is almost always at Kiki’s side on her journey of self-discovery. He may frequently have something sassy to say, but there’s no denying that he shows his support through thick and thin. While it isn’t uncommon to see a black cat familiar at a witch’s side, Miyazaki himself states that Jiji is meant to be representative of Kiki’s more immature and childish side. Lily is a fluffy white cat from one of the neighboring homes that Jiji eventually spends time with. When they first meet, Lily seems to turn her nose up at him; however, they spend more time together and eventually have several adorable kittens.
10 Kuro – Blue Exorcist
Kuro is a sweet and enthusiastic cat sidhe demon and Rin Okumura’s stalwart ally throughout Blue Exorcist. In the world of Blue Exorcist, cat sidhe are demons that posses cats. If they possess a cat long enough, their appearance begins to change: their tail splits in two and they grow little horns on top of their heads. When Kuro first appears in the series, he’s distraught over the loss of his former companion, and Rin’s adoptive father, Shiro Fujimoto. However, Rin is able to calm him down and since that particular incident, the two of them have formed a strong friendship.
9 Kero and Spinel – Cardcaptor Sakura
Kero and Spinel are both endearing and catlike guardian beasts from the Cardcaptor Sakura series. Where Kero is more boisterous, Spinel conveys a calmer personality. Although the two of them spend a lot of time arguing throughout the series, they have also developed a friendship. The both of them have powerful true forms which resemble a larger lion (Kero) and a panther (Spinel). Kero is often seen eating sweets; however, Spinel claims to dislike them. Viewers find out that when Spinel consumes sweets, he becomes super energetic and causes a lot of chaos.
8 Muta – The Cat Returns
Muta is a cute but grumpy white cat from The Cat Returns who helps Haru find her way to the Cat Bureau. Despite his crabby nature, he does end up playing a big role in helping Haru navigate the cat realm and eventually praises her for standing up for herself. In the film, it is revealed that there is more to Muta than meets the eye, especially after he divulges his true name – Renaldo Moon, that of a notorious cat realm criminal. He is also said to be living an unusually long life and has a quarrelsome relationship with the crow statue come to life, Toto.
7 Luna, Artemis, and Diana – Sailor Moon
Fans of the iconic anime Sailor Moon will instantly recognize the adorable Luna, a black cat who is often characterized by a moon mark on her forehead. Luna appears as a stern and devoted mentor to Usagi Tsukino and the others Sailor Scouts, who helps awaken their powers and guide them through the events of the Sailor Moon series. In the past, she served as an advisor with her eventual love Artemis to Queen Serenity and was sent away to earth after an attack by the Dark Kingdom. Luna and Artemis eventually get together and have a kitten named Diana, who is the guardian to Sailor Chibi Moon.
6 Karupin – The Prince of Tennis
Perhaps one of the lesser known anime cats, Karupin is a cute and fluffy Himalayan kitty owned by the Echizen family from The Prince of Tennis. The main character of the series, Ryoma Echizen, is quite attached to Karupin, as he also is to Ryoma. Most of the time, viewers see Karupin roaming around the Echizen household or dozing in off in Ryoma’s bed. In the anime, there’s an episode dedicated called “Karupin’s Adventures” in which Karupin follows Ryoma to school due to his favorite toy being accidentally tucked away in one of his bags. There, he explores the school grounds and meets one of the Seigaku regulars, Kaidoh.
5 Madara – Natsume Yujin-cho
Madara, also referred to as Nyanko-sensei, is one of the main protagonists of the series Natsume Yujin-cho. Madara is a high-level white wolf yokai who takes on the form of an adorable calico cat and possesses many supernatural abilities. Although he initially makes a deal with main character Takashi Natsume in order to get his claws on the Book of Friends once Takashi dies, he is shown to grow fond and protective of Takashi over time. Often times, he insists that he isn’t a cat despite the fact that he frequently shows cat-like behavior, such as joyfully playing with toys.
4 Eikichi – Yu Yu Hakusho
Eikichi is Kazuma Kuwabara’s cute cat from Yu Yu Hakusho. Although she doesn’t alot of screen time, it’s clear that Kuwabara is very fond of her. Her first appearance occurs in episode five, where she was kidnapped by delinquents in order to threaten Kuwabara. However, Yusuke shows up and is able to save her and return her to Kuwabara before they take out the delinquents. Later on in the series, viewers see Eikichi grown up and cuddling besides Kuwabara as he sleeps. Kuwabara supposedly has a major weakness for felines—and who can blame him!
3 Daru – She and Her Cat
Daru is the sweet and caring cat of Miyu, the main character of She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-, and the main narrator of the series. Throughout the anime, viewers experience the ups and downs of college student Miyu’s life and learn about how her and Daru came into each other’s lives. Miyu and Daru clearly care very deeply for one another and it’s Daru who helps pick her up after the particularly difficult moments in her life. Before he passes away in Miyu’s arms, Daru enacts a plan to contact Miyu’s mother and get her and Miyu together to help out his depressed owner. The end of the series implies that Daru is reborn as a white cat that Miyu takes in one year after Daru’s passing.
2 Xiao-Hei – The Legend of Hei
Xiao-Hei is an adorable forest spirit from The Legend of Hei who appears to audiences as a small black cat. After his home is destroyed due to deforestation, Xiao-Hei is forced to wander in hopes of finding a new one. Due to this tragedy, he is understandably cautious and upset by humanity. When he’s saved by another spirit, he finds himself in the middle of a conflict regarding the current imbalanced coexistence between humans and spirits. Like most other spirits, Xiao-Hei has the capacity for unique abilities and a human form that he assumes for the majority of the film.
1 Kyuruga – Nights With A Cat
Kyuruga is an endearing grey-and-white cat from the charming animated series and manga Nights With a Cat. Focusing on the events in main character Fuuta’s life after his younger sister moves in with her cat, Kyuruga, this slice-of-life narrative shows viewers the multifaceted behaviors of house cats in their day-to-day life. Audiences who own cats can relate to the amusing interactions between Fuuta and Kyuruga as they spend more time together, which are made all the more delightful by the series’ unique style and animation. Needless to say, like all cats, Kyuruga is a quirky but lovable fellow who makes a distinct impression on Fuuta’s life.
Cat lovers and anime fans alike will rejoice at the presence of these lovable cats across all different genres of anime. Their adorable designs, endearing personalities, and strong bonds to other characters remind viewers of their relationships with their own pets. Noting that around one out of four households globally have a cat, and the presence and love for cats on the internet, it’s understandable that anime has its good share of cute and unforgettable cats.