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Purrfect TV: The most cinematic cats on our screens

If you’ve long wished for a TV show to blend your love for Samurai stories and your obsession for cats, it looks like one Japanese TV show may have finally delivered. Frankly, more TV shows need a feline presence in them. As such, here’s a ranking of 14 of the best TV cats of all time.

Purrfect TV: The most cinematic cats on our screens

If you’ve long wished for a TV show to blend your love for Samurai stories and your obsession for cats, it looks like one Japanese TV show may have finally delivered. In Neko Zamurai, a warrior is tasked with assassinating the pet cat of his rival – but lo, the dude falls in love with the little bundle of fur and carries him around on assignments in his kimono. We’re not entirely sure what purrfection looks like in TV form, but this sounds pretty damn close.

Frankly, more TV shows need a feline presence in them. For now, though, here’s a ranking of 14 of the best TV cats of all time.

14. Snowball (The Simpsons)

Lisa Simpson (Yeardley Smith) had no luck keeping her beloved pet cat alive. As a result, many iterations of Snowball have graced our screens – and each has been just as cursed, adorable, and lazy as the last.

13. Smelly Cat (Friends)

The gigantic ball of fur who guest-starred in the music video for Phoebe’s (Lisa Kudrow) song “Smelly Cat” actually looked fairly respectable. Hell, he probably smells better than most people. Still, just look at the little guy – he’s a total star.

12. Thundercats (Thundercats)

They’re weird human-cat hybrid people with special powers, strange wrestling ensembles, and bad 80s bouffants. But they were your fave anyways and probably secretly are still.

11. Garfield (Garfield and Friends)

Friend of snack foods and fearsome archnemesis of the worst day of the week – Monday – this caustic, world-hating tubster is basically all of us, deep down. No point denying it.

10. Tom (Tom and Jerry)

Cat and mouse histrionics aside, will we ever really understand what Tom’s issue with Jerry was? Probably not. But watching him repeatedly fail to destroy a tiny mouse will always be comedy gold. Why can’t these guys just work it out?!

9. Stimpy (Ren and Stimpy)

Easily the stupidest cat on our list, Stimpy is gross and makes abysmal life choices (despite being a nice person), but that just makes him all the more entertaining to watch. Just don’t tell your cat about how its species is represented in cartoons, okay?

8. Sylvester (Looney Toons)

Another puddy tat who can’t keep his damn paws to himself, Sylvester was constantly out for Tweety’s blood. He was a bit of a monster, making it all the more satisfying whenever Tweety inevitably outsmarted him.

7. Zazzles (The Big Bang Theory)

Zazzles was the one cat Sheldon (Jim Parsons) decided to keep from the feline gang he hung out following his breakup from Amy (Mayim Bialik), because he was “zazzy”. We’d like to be put on record as suggesting a whole series of adventures starring Zazzles would be much preferable to any further episodes of The Big Bang Theory being made. Thanks.

6. Top Cat (Top Cat)

He’s the most tip top, folks! Top Cat was a wise-talking, cop-swerving, slippery chancer and if we’re all being honest with ourselves, we totally had a crush on him as a kid. No shame, ladies and gents – he was a stud. Even if he is a completely different species . . . and animated. Oh god.

5. Bandit (The Office)

Angela’s (Angela Kinsey) secret office cat got to enjoy being part of one of the finest funnies of the entire series: being launched to the safety of the ceiling during a panic-ridden fire drill.

4. Miss Kitty Fantastico (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

Willow (Alyson Hannigan) and Tara’s (Amber Benson) little furry baby with the finest name in the universe was a charming representation of their equally charming romance. And no, we can’t discuss their love story any further without weeping into the fur of all the Film Daily office cats.

3. Spot (Star Trek: The Next Generation)

Data’s pet cat gave the world the most beautiful relationship ever depicted between an android and a fluffy feline friend. Somehow, Spot was also low-key a total boss. Did you know she helped to provide a life-saving antidote when the ship became infected with an airborne virus? Because she did! Spot was a total hero.

2. Scratchy (The Simpsons)

Like an Eli Roth (Death Wish) remake of Tom and Jerry, The Simpsons’ Itchy and Scratchy gave us more of those cat v. mouse dramatics, but with lashings (and lashings) of guts and gore. By this point we’ve seen every part of Scratchy’s inner anatomy . . . and we’re fine with that.

1. Salem Saberhagen (Sabrina the Teenage Witch)

Technically, he’s a grown-ass wizard man trapped in the body of a slick feline. Regardless he is, and will always be, the sassiest cat on TV. King of cats? Absolutely. Here’s hoping the new Salem in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be just as acerbic and cool.

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Amy Roberts is a freelance writer who occasionally moonlights as a hapless punk musician. She’s written about pop culture for websites like Bustle, i-D, and The Mary Sue, and is the co-creator of Clarissa Explains F*ck All. She likes watching horror movies with her cat and eating too much sugar.

amy@filmdaily.co