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The Best Cat Anime!

If the weather and prolonged lockdown is getting you down, what better way to cheer yourself up than a lovely cute story about a cat. Anime loves cats, and here are some great examples of whole shows centered around our feline friends. Snuggle up, enjoy and celebrate Cat Day!

Cat Day is February 22nd, as the numeral 2 is pronounced ‘ni’, so the full date is ‘ni ni ni’. This is very close to how a cat noise is annunciated in Japan, ‘nyan, nyan, nyan’. But cats can be celebrated any day of the year!

My Roommate is a Cat

Subaru and Haru | My Roommate is a Cat | The Best Cat Anime!
My Roommate is a Cat, episode 6, 2019

A lovely story of growing together. Subaru is a shy novelist whose main wish is to leave his house a little as possible. After the tragic death of his parents, his contact with any other humans has plummeted drastically.

While taking an offering to his parents’ grave, a tiny black cat suddenly appears, and he is struck with inspiration for a new book. Taking the cat home, he starts on a journey that goes way beyond ideas for novels.

Forced to make new friends and undergo new experiences as he learns to care for his new kitten named Haru, Subaru manages to change in ways he didn’t think possible. In turn, Haru learns to trust Subaru and what it means to be a pet and companion.

Quite a unique anime, as the audience gets to see the action from both Subaru’s and Haru’s perspectives.

The Cat Returns

Haru after first entering the Cat Kingdom, Muta and other cats surrounding her | The Cat Returns | The Best Cat Anime!
The Cat Returns, 2002

The classic Ghibli movie, taking some characters and themes from the earlier film, Whisper of the Heart. Haru, while walking home from school, saves a beautiful cat while it crosses the road. Landing in a heap, Haru finds the cat standing naturally on its two back legs, dusting itself off with its front paws.

Bowing, he speaks politely to her and says she will be thanked properly soon. Not believing her eyes and ears, Haru remembers that she once fed a beautiful but filthy kitten as a child.

Soon, Haru’s life is turned upside down when very odd things start to happen to her, including her yard suddenly filling with cattails! But things are only destined to get weirder, with Haru being transported to the Cat Kingdom to be thanked by the King and Prince in person.

Chi’s Sweet Home

Chi licking himself | Chi’s Sweet Home | The Best Cat Anime!
Chi’s Sweet Home - Chi’s New Address, episode 89, 2009

Chi is an adorable little black and white kitten that wandered away from her mother and siblings. Lost and alone, she is found by Youhei, a little boy.

Taken in at first temporarily by Youhei and his parents, as their apartment doesn’t allow pets, Chi soon becomes part of the family as finding a new home for Chi was proving more difficult than expected.

This anime comes in the form of shorts of about three minutes each, great if you need a quick dose of cute, but there are over 100 episodes if you fall completely in love with Chi.

A Whisker Away

Kento with Taro | A Whisker Away | The Best Cat Anime!
A Whisker Away, 2020

Released in 2020 on Netflix, A Whisker Away is a movie by directors Junichi Sato and Tomotaka Shibayama that combines magic and the mundane to produce a sparkling storyline. Miyo is unhappy at home, mainly as she doesn’t get along with her stepmother, so she tries desperately to get closer to her crush at school, Kento.

After encountering a mysterious mask seller, Miyo is given a magical mask that turns her into a cat. As a cat, she can visit Kento, who openly says he loves her and can spend time with him as she has always desired.

Soon, she decides to stay as a cat, thinking her life with Kento is far better than her human existence without him. Her human face falls off like a mask and is claimed by the mask seller. Soon understanding humans becomes more difficult, so Miyo regrets her decision and journeys to the secret Island of Cats in an attempt to find the mask seller and become human again.

She and Her Cat

Daru enjoying being petted | She and Her Cat | The Best Cat Anime!
She and Her Cat -Everything Flows-, episode 2, 2016

Four short episodes, but they still manage to be packed with emotion. Join Daru as he watches over his owner and companion, a college student. There is beauty and nostalgia in the everyday here, combining amazing artwork with well-crafted dialogue and even incredibly poignant background noise.

Told from Daru’s perspective, we get to see all the daily problems of a modern college student through his eyes, which turns out to be an extremely unfiltered lens. She and Her Cat may be short but it will leave a lasting impression on your heart.

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