The Oscar for Best Cat Actor (Cator?) Goes To…

The Grand Budapest Hotel. Gone Girl. Saint Vincent. Big Hero 6.

What do these movies have in common?

It’s true all were nominated for and/or won a Golden Globe or Academy Award for best movie, director or actress. But beyond that?

Movies nominated in 2015 featuring cat actors Since you’re a reader of this blog I can only hope the answer is as clear as the whiskers on your cat’s face. 

The answer my friends is cats.

All the movie mentioned above star cats, even if one was of the animated variety and another faced a gruesome demise.

Their time has come.

Their time has come.


Coincidence? I think not.

The time has come that cat actors (cators?) – animal actors of all variety in fact – get the recognition they deserve, not their handlers.

I mean, just look at the headlines:

nominated films starring cats 2014

Whether it’s about how cute they are, why directors may or may not like them, their mental stability – these cats are getting press, which in turn promotes the movie. When’s the last time a grip or catering made headlines and drive box office sales?

Yet catering is featured in the credits as is the grip – though no one can tell me what that even is – and are likely on IMDB. But try to find the cat in a movie, or who trained/handled the cat (or cats)? May the force be with you.

At best, if you’re looking for it very closely, the name of the animal agency and cat may quickly shoot across the screen at the end of the credits – never to be seen again.

Whatever you do don't blink! I have gotten kicked out of a movie theater before for doing this. Granted, it was a preview (reason 203 I would make a terrible detective).

Whatever you do don’t blink! I have gotten kicked out of a movie theater before for doing this – full security and all. Granted, it was a preview of a new release (reason #203 I would make a terrible detective).


Last year I was fortunate enough to interview Dawn Hessler –  instead of getting a restraining order filed against me (thanks Dawn!) given the lengths I had to go through to track her down. She’s not only very kind, but she’s an extremely accomplished animal trainer who was responsible for all the tree of the cats on the set of  “Inside Llewyn Davis, which was by-the-by, nominated for multiple Golden Globes and Academy Awards (as an aside, her very own cat is the one who flushes the toilet in “Meet the Fockers”).

Perhaps I should have considered a career as a private investigator. Oh never mind, I forgot for a moment that “subtle” and “stealth” do not exist in my vocabulary! Ha!

Cat from nominated movie GONE GIRL Stay tuned to learn more about the cats from GONE GIRL when I post my interview the very man who handled them on a set where David Fincher ruled (and where we’ll divulge a secret about Mr Fincher he doesn’t want you to know!).

Thank goodness for the website Cats on Film that does a great job documenting cats in film over the years. Is there a particular movie starring a cat that’s a favorite of yours?  And would you have guessed what all those movies had in common if I hadn’t told you?

I leave you with this very tiny bit of sweetness from Big Hero 6 (which now I must see based on this clip!).

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51 Responses to The Oscar for Best Cat Actor (Cator?) Goes To…

  1. BC says:

    So right! I think Hermione’s smushed faced ginger cat, Crookshanks, should have been nominated for something!

  2. Bonnie Pinkston says:

    i haven’t watched any movies for a very long time but i will say my very favorite movie with a cat in it was Harry and Tonto. I’ll have to check out the ones you mentioned above. Will see if anything is Cheeto approved 🙂

  3. Brooke says:

    I love movies that have cats (unless they harm the cat). As a child, my favorite movie was The Adventures of Milo and Otis. I haven’t watched it in awhile so now I’m going to have to dig it out after reading this! lol Love your posts! 🙂

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      awww agreed, but trust me, having been on many commercial sets with animals they are treated better than the humans!

      • Brooke says:

        That is good to know! I had read somewhere that animals were harmed for the making of Milo and Otis. I’m not sure if it is true or not but I hope it isn’t! I definitely think animals deserve a lot more recognition in films because they work very hard. Probably work more than most actors! 😛

  4. lisa alexander says:

    I love anything that elevates the coolness factor of cats… and people who love them! I have seen the opposite in a lot of films, and lately, I see great changes in the media for the feline population! Ps Love your grip quip!

  5. Elissa Braitman says:

    Orangey, the cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Rhubarb, and many other movies from that period. He won a Patsy award (animal actor Oscar). I like the cat in Harry and Tonto, too, as Bonnie mentioned below.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      i felt bad for the cat in Breakfast at Tiffany – just called CAT and she didn’t seem to love him much 🙁

      • Elissa Braitman says:

        Yeah, I did, too. Truman Capote’s choice, I guess. Maybe she did love Cat. She wasn’t good at expressing her emotions with humans, either.

  6. Summer says:

    One of my human’s favorite movies is The Three Lives of Thomasina, which used several ginger cats for the feline star of the film. She and Sparkle watched it together several times, and I’m sure I’ll get to watch it with her at some point too.

    • Linda Szymoniak says:

      Oh, I’m so glad someone else remembers The Three Lives of Thomasina. I really need to see if I can find a source for it on DVD or streaming. I’d love to see that one again.

  7. Sierra M. Koester says:

    I’m not a big movie watcher, but one from my childhood that I really enjoyed was “Homeward Bound” with Siamese Sassy.

  8. AngieBailey says:

    I love all movies with cats, and tend to pay attention to nothing else but the kitty when he’s on the screen!

  9. Dorian says:

    I love the highlights of the credits! It never occurred to me that the cats would be listed there! 🙂

  10. toni / RCTees says:

    I’m one of “those people” that can watch a movie where a person gets murdered, and never flinch…but hurt an animal….and I’ll come looking for you.
    Of the movies listed the only one I saw was Gone Girl. Best actor, most stable character…the cat.

  11. If anyone needs an actor baby kitty with a moustache, I have one sweet baby right here! Harvey says hi 🙂

  12. Annette Mayer says:

    It never occurred to me to look at the credits for the kitty but now i will. They should get proper coverage too. From when i was just a kid and watched That Darn Cat to the kitty on Meet The Fockers series of movies, all of the cats should get credit. Maybe you can help to get their that happening!

  13. gregory says:

    This could easily become part of the annual Cat Fanciers Association Awards!

  14. jmuhj says:

    I have quite a few of the films other posters mention on video, and they are favorites. I will not watch, let alone patronize, any film in which a cat is (cinematically) harmed or dissed. It’s my way of using my voice to register my disgust. A vintage favorite that was a favorite of my mom’s and mine is “GIGOT” starring the incomparable Jackie Gleason, in which an orange tabby cat is seen incidentally.

    • I HAVE CAT says:

      well in terms of actually hurt they have ppl on staff to make sure they are taken care of trust me – i know it’s like that for TV commercials!

      • jmuhj says:

        Yes, I know about the AHA. It isn’t always true that they are not hurt, however; and anything depicting harm to cats is a huge, huge turnoff to me.

  15. theresaoconnell says:

    Goodness! I’ve only seed the Grand Budapest Hotel (loved it). Now I’ll be sure to check these others out soon. Hate to see anything bad happen to furry stars though, even if it’s only make-believe!

  16. Birgit K says:

    That was a short clip, but it featured purrs 🙂
    I’ve not been keeping up with films but maybe I should (though only if nothing happens to the cat …)

  17. Cats definitely deserve more recognition! It is a lot harder for them on set than it is for humans. I always love to see a cat (that is well treated) in a movie 🙂

  18. PawesomeCats says:

    I loved the big ginger cat in Gone Girl… forget the storyline or the actors I’m focused on what the cat’s doing!

  19. Rhonda Powell says:

    My favorite is The Cat From Outer Space. Those Disney movies have some great kitties in them!

  20. The Feline Foundation says:

    Loved the kitty in Gone Girl, can’t believe how much screen time he got!!

  21. I live with a bunch of cat actors. They demand things. then again, I’m not sure how that’s different from regular cats. – Alana.

  22. annameow says:

    Based on this article, Tamar, I got some movie watching to do! Thanks! 🙂

  23. RiverfrontCats says:

    Yes it’s loooong overdue.

  24. Kat-Renee Kittel says:

    Concats to all your hard work at getting these interviews. Looking fur-ward to them. My favorite mew-vie and kitty actor of all time would be “The Cat From Outer Space.” (Disney)

  25. Deztinee says:

    Gweat posty. Can’t wait fur mowe.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  26. noodle cat says:

    Any movie with cats is a great movie!
    Noodle and crew

  27. NANCYcool5 says:

    Nice catch you got there! I love it! I need to pay more attention to the cats in those movies. As much as we love to watch movies, Kitty and I love to play with toys too, especially the bird catcher pro. She learns a lot of tricks and enjoys a lot.

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