One of the most common tropes in all fiction is that cats are evil. Throughout books, television, movies and comics, when they're not just pretending to be the monster, cats are attacking people, serving witches and bringing the scares. Here's our ultimate guide to evil cats, so you can recognize them before they strike.
This cat’s crime is mainly heresy — for not believing in either Aslan (the Chronicles of Narnia’s Christ figure) or Tash (Aslan’s evil counterpart). But he also throws his lot in with the mischievous ape, Shift, in The Last Battle. In fact, it has been argued that a deal of Shift’s behavior in the book is actually orchestrated, in part, by Ginger. He got his, though, while coming face-to-face with the real Tash. The encounter frightened him so much that he lost the power of speech and ran up a tree as a dumb beast. It’s also implied that Ginger didn’t get to go with Aslan to Narnia-Heaven, fading away into nothingness, as the world comes to an end.
Greebo is a pissed off looking cat with a mean streak. His first appearance is in Wyrd Sisters and his human is Nanny Ogg, who totally insists he’s a big softy, of course – except for that one time she mentioned he might actually be a demon. Throughout the Discworld series, he repeatedly shows his evil side by killing at least two vampires (one of which he eats while it's in bat form), slaughtering a she-wolf (he eats half of that, too), and chasing a female bear up a tree. He also is studying the effects of inbreeding, which is at most evil and at least a big taboo. Oh, and if that doesn’t prove his malevolent nature, he has a nice fat scar across one of his eyes: the universal physical sign for evil (and badassery).
Macavity’s first appearance is in T.S. Elliot’s book of poetry Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, in which he is a master criminal who apparently was the feline incarnation of the devilishly brilliant Professor James Moriarty. His offenses range from such atrocities as vandalism, theft, espionage, organized crime, and cheating at cards to the most evil act a cat can commit – stealing the milk. The bastard.
He also makes an appearance as the only real villain in the musical Cats, and is behind a successful kidnapping and another attempt. Apparently he’s capable of hypnosis to some degree.
That’s right! It may have a tragic, romantic past that drove it to a life of stealing its own kind — but it's still a cruel despot. Not only is it always trying to steal Ash’s Pikachu, but its motives are also rather selfish and senseless — as the only thing it desires is to impress “the Boss” Giovanni. But it has yet to replace its leader’s Persian (its evolved form, for the record). Its only saving grace is that its plans, which its cooks up with teammates Jessie and James, are almost always horrible.
The Dilgar (Babylon 5)
The Dilgar are a humanoid species with feline characteristics. Their main defining trait is aggressive expansion of their empire, which results in the Dilgar War. During the war, they kill using traditional means, but also experiment on the Narn colony of Hilak VII. Their biological weapon kills everyone there, and it convinced the Narn to send peace ambassadors (instead of making them angry). The Dilgar don't exactly receive the first two ambassadors very well, though – they use them both in further experiments. But eventually the Earth Alliance joins the fight, driving the Dilgar back to their home planet and soundly defeating them. And then to give these evil kitties the middle finger, their sun just happens to go supernova, killing all but one member of their species. But don’t worry — he gets killed a few decades later by the Vorlons.
Rakshasa and Regular Cats (Dungeons and Dragons)
In the Dungeons and Dragons universe, the Rakshasa are humanoid outsiders that often have the head of a tiger and always have backwards hands (evolution took the day off). They are among the most malevolent creatures in the D&D universe and revel in committing acts of cruelty on the weak. They love to masquerade as nobility, and enjoy taking slaves. And if that isn’t enough to convince you, their official alignment is lawful evil.
Unrelated to the Rakshasa — but still in the realm of D&D — cats were also notorious in the 3.5 edition for being quite adept at killing level-one peasants. Not that they ever sought out the killing, but it was kind of funny how easily NPCs could be killed by a house cat. And it’s highly likely that plenty of dungeon masters utilized that killing talent to rain terror upon the people of many villages.
Lynx (Chrono Cross)
He’s the main antagonist of the series. He wasn’t always a cat person, but was manipulated into transforming by the supercomputer FATE. Lynx does have his own free will though, which he uses to indulge in sadistic urges and further his own goal to kill Serge, the hero. Once, Lynx even sets fire to an orphanage, killing almost every child there. His reason: impatience.
Cat Man Do (Powerpuff Girls)
This cat seems innocent enough at first, when the girls rescue him from an apparent villain who was attempting to use some kind of jewel-powered ray. But what the girls don't know is that the true mastermind behind said ray was the cat itself – and when they bring the kitty home, they expose the Professor to his hypnotism. Eventually he steals back the jewel and recompletes his ray, which turns out to make all cats in a 15-mile radius into the heads of their households. They can eat at the table, sleep on beds (do some people not normally allow this?), and scratch the furniture. The poor Mayor even has to give his cat a tongue bath. Of course the plot is foiled, but not before this evil villain ruins dinner — and the state of many couches in Townsville.
The evil witches that prophesize the rise and fall of this play's hero have two familiars, and one happens to be a grey cat named Graymalkin. Familiars, of course, are supernatural beings that often take the form of common animals and are traditionally considered malevolent when in the service of a witch. We don’t get to learn much about Graymalkin, but it seems he’s damned by precedent.
Azrael (The Smurfs)
This bumbling tabby belongs to the equally incompetent wizard Gargamel, and both have a strong desire to capture the Smurfs. His main role involves hunting the little blue people, but he’s never been successful, and often gets in the way of his master’s plans. He may be cursed with permanent ineffectiveness due to being the villain of a children’s cartoon, but he is still plenty mean.
Red (All Dogs Go to Heaven 2)
This movie teaches us the important lesson that Satan is a big red cat. Red‘s ultimate plan is to drag all the dogs in Heaven down to his domain, enlisting the help of Carface (from the first movie). For a while he even seems to pull it off, swelling up to become some kind of apocalypse heralding cat-beast. But Charlie decides to fight back and Red’s scheme is spoiled. His punishment is to getting dragged back to Hell, which seems to be where all cats go.
Winston Churchill, aka Church (Pet Sematary)
Unlike his namesake, who is hailed for his part in stopping the Nazi menace, Church is hailed for being resurrected by Native American magic – and scaring us all in the process. Things that come back from the dead are rarely good, plus Church develops a nasty habit of mutilating mice and birds without actually eating them. In the movie he’s a bit more violent, though, attacking Louis and watching as the resurrected Gage murders Jud.
Teso Dos Bichos (The X-Files)
This episode features strong evidence as to why sewer cats are more fearsome than sewer gators. Not only do they scare rats so much that they retreat upwards through your toilets, but they disembowel those who have disturbed a female shaman by making her burial urn into a museum exhibit. Mulder and Scully eventually have to flee from these vicious monsters and are treated to a nice display of their brutality – an archeologist's mutilated corpse. What’s more, these cats seem to be doing the bidding of a jaguar spirit, who also kills a couple poor souls during the episode.
Mrs. Norris (Harry Potter)
As the groundkeeper’s cat, she’s nothing but trouble for the young Harry Potter during many of his forbidden romps around the castle grounds. The only person she doesn’t treat like garbage is her owner, Filch, and he’s also the only person that likes her. Granted, she does get hers when the Basilisk from the Chamber of Secrets makes her its first victim. She survives the petrification, but she doesn’t pop up much afterwards. Of course she does show up in the Battle of Hogwarts, wasting her time with wrangling escaped owls when she could be using her superior espionage skills to help the good guys win. Typical selfishness, in other words.
Cats (Watership Down)
In real life, when a cat hunts a rabbit, it’s just nature. In Watership Down, it’s pure evil. These clever elil (rabbit language for enemy) terrorize any rabbit they can find without warning, hunting them with maximum cruelty. Tab is the most notorious cat from the series, and he has a murderous fixation with the lead rabbit, Hazel. Not only that, but he keeps taunting the poor rabbit, who's just trying to save his warren. Image by Fiszike/Deviant Art.
Worm (Witches of Worm)
This oft-banned young-adult novel by Zilpha Keatley Snyder is about a young girl named Jessica struggling against an evil cat that’s compelling her to do destructive things to her friends and family. Worm also fills Jessica’s dreams with horrible visions and nightmares at the same time. To make matters worse, he does all of this while blind and in poor health. His only saving grace comes from the hints that Worm was possessed by witches the whole time.
Ernest Stavro Blofeld’s Cat (James Bond)
The iconic James Bond villain and SPECTRE head honcho wouldn’t be complete without his iconic feline companion, who has gone on to have arguably more cultural impact than any other evil cat. And while he doesn’t do much in the movie, you can just tell he’s Blofeld’s evil muse.
M.A.D. Cat (Inspector Gadget)
Based on Blofeld’s cat, M.A.D. Cat does a little more scheming with the dastardly Dr. Claw than his inspiration does. He is never far from his owner, grinning with evil intent while watching Inspector Gadget inevitably foil M.A.D.’s plans. He’s pretty much a reflection of the typically faceless Dr. Claw and might as well be the face of the evil organization.
Mr. Bigglesworth (Austin Powers)
Another take on Blofeld’s cat, Mr. Bigglesworth is the loyal pet of the vile Dr. Evil. He shares in all of the Doctor’s plans (except for the third movie, when he doesn't show up at all) with a baleful stare, and after going bald due to cryogenic freezing, he’s even more terrifying. Just look into his pale blue eyes and say you can’t see through to his rotten soul.
Cats (The Corpse Grinders)
Sometimes the cats are born evil, and sometimes the cats have evil brought out of them. In this 1971 movie, the Lotus Cat Food Company is running out of money and needs a new source of cheap meat. Instead of pursuing simpler options, they just go straight for grave robbing, filling their food with human flesh. The only problem is, once cats got a taste for dead people, they need to have it all the time. This leads to an entire town full of throat slashing kitties, all full of evil and flesh. In the sequel, aliens become addicted to Lotus Cat Food and come to Earth seeking a source of that delicious flavor.
Cat People (Cat People)
Finally, some evil cats of the freaky-sex variety. In this fine 1982 film, the main character Irena discovers her family history of being incestuous werecats, who transform into black leopards after having sex with a human (that’s why they have to bone their family members). The only way for these werecats to return to human form is by taking a life, which is a suitably evil requirement for such a peculiar species. Of course, Irena hears this from her brother Paul, making it all sound like a weird plot to get in bed with his sister. She takes the story at face value though, and flees into the arms of a human because Paul creeped her out (shocker). Paul, being the evil werecat that he is, tries to kill Irena’s lover in leopard-mode, but is shot and killed. The weirdest part is that during his autopsy, the coroner finds a disintegrating human body inside the leopard carcass, leaving some questions about this whole process works.
Actually, no, that’s not true – the weirdest part is when Irena has sex with her new boyfriend, only to spare him by running away and killing the caretaker of some secluded house to regain her human form. But when her man finds her, he ties her up and has sex with her again, knowing full well what will happen. It turns out everyone is a little evil in this movie.
Cheetah People (Doctor Who, "Survival")
The very final episode of classic Doctor Who features cuddly cheetah people, who hunt poor humans on horseback — unless you're lucky enough to be transformed into one of them. You could argue they're just following their nature, but the storyline featuring Ace implies that everybody has a choice about whether to turn savage and succumb to the "tooth and claw" thing.
Sylvia (Star Trek: Catspaw)
The only foe of Kirk’s who is greater than Khan is probably the evil black cat, Sylvia, from this episode of the original series. Sylvia is a powerful being from another galaxy, who traveled to the Milky Way for unknown reasons. But armed with the transmuter (which lets her manipulate matter) and partnered with a being named Korob, she zombifies half of the Enterprise’s crew and transforms into three sexy ladies to try and seduce Kirk (typical). She often chides Korob for not wanting to “play” with the humans, and when Korob tries to set Kirk and the crew free, she transforms into an even bigger cat to try and kill everyone. In the end, she turns out to be some kind of stick bug, but she obviously chose a cat as her main form for a reason. Even beings from another galaxy know the inherent evil of cats. It is a universal truth.
Not many fans know of Bills since his only appearance is in a recently released movie, but he’s the feline god of destruction in Goku’s universe. When he isn’t sleeping, he’s blowing up planets to “balance” out the universe – but he picks his target on a whim. He beats Goku early on, and then challenges the other Z warriors, eating Bulma's birthday cake and deciding to destroy the Earth. In the end, Goku wins only because the cat runs out of power, and leaves to go destroy some easier planets.
The blue cat (Voltron)
Another familiar – this time of the evil witch Haggar. This cat is often seen spying on the Voltron team, but his evil goes deeper than that. Not only does he likely blind Sven before his (spoilers) death, but his mere presence is enough to terrify the Space Mice despite the fact that they have their own mecha to defend themselves with. Image via FBWash/Deviant Art
Power Girl’s cat (DC Comics)
While it’s just a stray that accidentally ended up living with the Justice League, this cat is so evil that its wiki entry is dripping with venom. Every other cat on this list at least got an unbiased description on the internet, but this “hideous beast” can’t be spoken of without disdain leaking through. To be fair, this cat does manage to terrorize the Justice League with its general presence and sharp claws for no reason.
Cats (A Dream of a Thousand Cats by Neil Gaiman)
This story in Dream Country presents a hypothetical world full of evil cats who are massive and have made humanity their plaything. Of course it’s all a vision by a vengeful Siamese cat whose kittens were thrown into a river by her owners, but she is desperately trying to make it a reality. Most of the cats brush off the story as uninteresting, but the point of view cat takes it to heart. When the white cat returns home, it starts stalking its owners like prey, even though they just think she’s being cute. If only they knew the evil that lurked in their pet’s heart.
Black Cat ("Cat from Hell" by Stephen King)
George A. Romero adapted this Stephen King short story into a segment of the American horror anthology, Tales from the Darkside. In this story, an old man hires an assassin to dispatch a black cat that killed the rest of his family. The hitman doesn’t really believe the story, but gladly takes the $100,000 job. Turns out the killer should have listened, because the black cat ends up murdering him by jumping down his fucking throat. Then, when the old man shows up to see if the job is done, the evil cat jumps out of the assassin’s mouth and the old man suffers a fatal heart attack.
Dex-Starr (Green Lantern)
This cat was abandoned on the streets of Brooklyn before being adopted by a new owner who loved him very much. But one night, a burglar broke into their apartment and ended up killing his owner. Then, when the cops showed up the next morning, they kicked the poor kitty out, because he might contaminate the crime scene. To make matters worse for him, two thugs bagged him and tried to drown him in a river for kicks – but he was saved by a red lantern power ring. This transformed his rage into a tangible force, and allows him to kill the thugs. From that point on, he goes around using his rage to kill whoever gets in his way. He also has a taste for flesh, as seen in The Brightest Day series when he tries to nibble on some dead thieves.
Mott Street Maulers (An American Tail)
While most of the cats in this movie are evil, the Mott Street Maulers are a special breed. They’re a vicious gang that operates out of New York, and they nearly eat Fievel alive early in the film and end up imprisoning him later. Their leader, Warren T. Rat, has also demonstrates the evil of manipulation by disguising himself as a rat and ripping off the immigrant mice. He even sets Chelsea Pier on fire in hopes of ridding New York of the mice once and for all. The Maulers end up being chased off by the mice, but not before proving, once again, that cats can be quite evil.
Dragon (The Secret of NIMH)
This horrifying creature is fear personified to the intelligent rats in The Secret of NIMH. He’s the only animal that displays no signs of human intelligence, and his sole purpose is to kill the rats he finds on the farm. He was personally responsible for killing Jonathan Brisby, too, and almost got Mrs. Brisby herself later in the story. Now, it would be one thing if this cat was just doing its job, but it seems to delight in hunting down the critters in the fields, making it pure evil.
Jólakötturinn (Yule Cat)
The Yule Cat belongs to Icelandic folklore, and makes this list for having the worst reason imaginable for committing its evil deeds. The Yule Cat prowls the snowy countryside during Christmas time, eating people who didn’t receive any new clothes to wear before Christmas Eve. Seriously.
Sauron (Lord of the Rings)
This entry isn’t even a joke – the dark lord Sauron was known as the prince of cats in an early iteration of the Lord of the Rings. And if a quick Google search doesn’t convince you, just take a look at his big eye from the movie. Doesn’t it look suspiciously like a cat’s eye? Frankly, we should all just be happy that Tolkien decided not to stick with the whole "prince of cats" thing. Sauron is formidable enough as it is, without being an evil cat.
It’s sometimes hard to tell what kind of animal Pete is, but he started off as a cat. And while he’s his temperament has improved in recent years, he started off as the source of most of Mickey’s problems back in the black and white era of cartoons. Also, those that play Kingdom Hearts know Pete is aligned with Maleficent, whose very name is the definition of evil. It’s also worth mentioning that only someone evil would dare wear the form-fitting jumpsuit he dons in the video game series. It’s so horrible.
Katz (Courage the Cowardly Dog)
Katz might or might not be the creepiest kitty on this list, and that has everything to do with his perfect evil stare. Seriously, his eyes could ruin even the best day thanks to the sheer hatred contained in them. But his actions speak volumes too – he’s tried to kill the Bagges on multiple occasions. In his first appearance, he uses giant spiders to try and dispose of Courage’s caretakers, and even manages to turn the otherwise delightful game of racquetball into a nightmare. He’s an utter sociopath who still haunts my childhood to this day. Image via PurfectPrincessGirl/Deviant Art
This Stephen King movie involves more fun with werecats, this time of the variety that feeds off energy of virgin women like vampires. Not only that, but they have telekinetic abilities and can ensnare people in illusions – powers which they use for nothing but evil. Oddly enough, their only weakness is regular cats — who can see through their illusions and can kill them with a swipe of their claws. The ones in this movie terrorize the rednecks of a small Indiana town before being stopped by a young cat named Clovis (the most heroic name possible).
Oh, and these werecats are incestuous too, because apparently all werecats are. It’s a thing.