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Cats Steal the Show in These 12 Famous Feline Flicks

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How do cats fare on camera? Unlike their doggie counterparts, cats don’t respond easily to verbal cues—and they’re far less eager to please. (Or, to quote Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents, “Cats don’t sell out the way dogs do.”) How to make ’em behave when the cameras roll? Gwen Griffiths, a trainer with Birds and Animals UK (The Dark Knight) has said that she and her team shape the behavior by using a small device that makes a clicking noise immediately after their star cat does whatever activity they want to reinforce (like sit or stay). They follow that up with the reward of a toy or food. Soon, the cat learns to do the activity to the cue of the clicking sound. “We strive for the same behavioral cues that we would put on a dog,” she says. “But with cats you have to use a different attitude.” Training usually starts only weeks before production.

When the cameras rolled, these kitties were ready for their close-ups. We looked all the way back to 1958 to build this list of the 12 of the best cat movies of all time.

Related: Check Out These Cat-Loving Celebrities

Bell, Book and Candle-FTR

1. Bell, Book and Candle (1958)

It’s not easy to steal a supernatural romantic comedy from James Stewart and Kim Novak. But magical Pyewacket, a brown sealpoint Siamese feline, had just the right air of mystery.

Breakfast at Tiffanys-FTR

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Pity the nameless cat that was drenched in the rain after Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) shoved him out of an NYC cab. But she soon had a change of heart and found him. Phew.

Disney/Entertainment Pictures via ZUMA Press

3.  The Aristocats (1970)

With the help of a smooth talking tomcat, this animated family of Parisian cats set to inherit a fortune from their owner try to make it back home after a jealous butler kidnaps them and abandons them in the country.

Allstar Picture Library/Alamy

4. The Godfather (1972)

Director Francis Ford Coppola has said he found a stray tabby cat on the Paramount lot during filming and dropped it in star Marlon Brando’s hands without saying a word. The legendary actor improvised the famous scene, set inside the Corleone home. However, the cat purred so loudly that some of Brando’s dialogue had to be re-recorded.

Harry and Tonto-FTR

5. Harry and Tonto (1974)

Widower Harry (Art Carney) treated his adorable ginger tabby so well in this comedy that a grocer remarked, “Hey, that cat eats better than me.”

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6. Alien (1979)

In space, nobody can hear you growl. And yet, Jonesy the cat somehow survived the deadly chaos aboard the Nostromo spaceship—along with heroine Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, of course.

Disney/Entertainment Pictures via ZUMA Press

7. Oliver & Company (1988)

This animated children's favorite, based on the classic Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist, tells the story of a lost kitten who joins a gang of dogs in New York City.

Entertainment Pictures/

8. Pet Sematary (1989)

In one of Stephen King's most bone-chilling works, beloved cat Church is resurrected after being buried in an ancient cemetary behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

Moviestore Collection Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

9. Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)

It may be a dog-eat-dog world out there, but for a trio of charming pets, it's more like bear eat dog—or worse—when they undertake a harrowing wilderness journey to return to their home. How did Sassy make it home alive after her harrowing trip over a waterfall?

10. Hocus Pocus (1993)

The Sanderson Sisters just wouldn't be the same without their immortal black cat Thackery Binx.

Austin Powers-FTR

11. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)

Because Mike Myers’ Dr. Evil is a parody of James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, he had his own cat. But the fluffy Mr. Bigglesworth became a hairless sphynx after surviving cryogenic freezing. Still petable!

Related: 9 New Cat Products We Saw (and Loved!) at Global Pet Expo 2019

Harry Potter-FTR

12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)

Of all the felines in Harry’s magical world, the most memorable was caretaker Argus Filch’s scrawny tabby, Mrs. Norris. The ferocious female skulked around Hogwarts in search of misbehaving students.

Captain Marvel-FTR

13. Captain Marvel (2019)

Who’s the coolest cat in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? The orange tabby named Goose who befriended Carol Danvers (Brie Larson) as she became embroiled in an intergalactic war.

Next, 25 Adorable Inspirational Quotes About Cats

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