Cartoon Cats From The 80s: Ranking the Top 15

Step back in time with us as we celebrate the vibrant, colorful world of 1980s cartoons — specifically, the fabulous feline characters that stole our hearts in those simpler times.

Picture yourself sprawled out in front of the T.V., bowl of cereal in hand, laughing along with the antics of the most charming cartoon cats from the 80s. These animated icons made an indelible mark on pop culture, whisking us away to worlds of whimsy, adventure, and laughter.

In this nostalgic journey, we’ll rank the top 15 cartoon cats from the 80s, celebrating their unique quirks and unforgettable personalities. So wear your retro hats, and prepare for a perfect trip down memory lane!

Cartoon Cats From The 80s

This section dives deeper into the world of 80s cartoon cats, whisking you back to those cherished Saturday mornings. We’ll spotlight each Cat, discuss their iconic shows, and explore why these characters left such a lasting impression. Be ready for a perfectly nostalgic feline-filled adventure!

1. Azrael from The Smurfs

Azrael from The Smurfs

Azrael is the famed orange tabby Cat from the enchanting world of “The Smurfs”, originally aired from 1981 to 1990. As Gargamel’s mischievous sidekick, Azrael often added a comical dimension to the show’s villainous plots. This lovable Cat is distinguishable by its yellow eyes and unique, expressive tail that often conveys his emotions.

Azrael is not just your ordinary cartoon cat; he is a complex character with a vast range of emotions — fear, confusion, and occasional joy, usually when he’s causing mischief for the Smurfs. Despite his association with the show’s antagonist, Azrael won viewers’ hearts with his exaggerated reactions and the subtle, almost-human intelligence that made his endeavors extraordinarily entertaining.

2. Snarf from Thundercats

Snarf from Thundercats

Debuting in 1985, Snarf, or Snarf Osbert, is a Snarf — a cat-like creature from Thundera — in the electrifying series “Thundercats”. Despite not being a conventional feline, his cat-like traits and endearing nature make him an integral part of our list. Snarf is a brave, loyal, and somewhat anxious caregiver to Lion-O, the show’s protagonist.

He’s often seen offering advice, showcasing wisdom beyond the other characters. His distinctive speech pattern, ending his sentences with a unique “snarf” sound, adds a quirky charm. This combination of courage, wisdom, and humor makes Snarf an unforgettable character in 80s cartoon history.

3. M.A.D. Cat from Inspector Gadget

M.A.D. Cat from Inspector Gadget

M.A.D. Cat, from the iconic series “Inspector Gadget” that began in 1983, is the perfect portrayal of the silent but sharp-minded sidekick. This gray domestic shorthair cat belongs to the evil Dr. Claw, the primary antagonist. Although M.A.D. Cat rarely speaks; his purrs, hisses, and yowls are his primary forms of communication.

He is often seen playing with controls on Dr. Claw’s console, humorously resulting in unexpected problems. Even amid the chaos, his consistently calm demeanor and implied intelligence and perceptiveness make M.A.D. Cat is a uniquely engaging character in the series.

4. Zipper from The Get Along Gang

Zipper from The Get Along Gang

Zipper, the cool blue Cat from “The Get Along Gang,” a series that premiered in 1984, is a character cherished for his laid-back personality and adventurous spirit. Wearing his red t-shirt and white sneakers, Zipper is the epitome of 80s coolness.

He is best remembered for his charismatic leadership and loyal friendship to the gang. Zipper is a natural leader, often inspiring his friends to undertake exciting adventures around Green Meadow, making him an inspirational character who promotes teamwork and camaraderie.

5. Felicia from The Great Mouse Detective

Felicia from The Great Mouse Detective

Felicia, the extravagant and pampered pet of the evil Ratigan from “The Great Mouse Detective” (1986), is a prime example of a feline antagonist who is both feared and loved. This oversized white Cat possesses an imposing yet graceful appearance.

Felicia is notable for her obedience to Ratigan’s orders, even when they involve hunting down the film’s mouse heroes. Despite her villainous roles, her elegance and her humorous attempts to maintain her composure in the face of danger contribute to a memorable and engaging character.

6. Henry’s Cat

Henry's Cat

Taking centre stage in a British animated series of the same name that began in 1982, Henry’s Cat is an adorably lazy yellow feline with a captivating charm. A lover of daydreams, he often finds himself embarking on wild adventures in his imagination. What distinguishes him from other cats is his peculiar look with only three fingers and toes, a round body, and expressive, half-closed eyes that always give him a tired appearance.

His propensity for storytelling, childlike innocence, and knack for overcoming adversaries using wit and imagination all contribute to his timeless appeal. Henry’s Cat embodies the charm of simple, innocent fun that marked many 80s cartoons, making him a memorable and loveable character.

7. Heathcliff

Heathcliff

First appearing in 1980, Heathcliff is an aggressive, street-smart orange cat from the self-titled animated series. Known for his mischievous charm and larger-than-life personality, Heathcliff often finds himself in various shenanigans around the neighborhood. Despite his trouble-making tendencies, he has a heart of gold, often coming to aid those in need.

With his dapper red shirt, quick wit, and distinctive laugh, Heathcliff embodied the spirit of a lovable rogue. He was the Cat everyone loved to watch but would think twice about owning, making his antics a delight to viewers everywhere.

8. Cringer / Battle Cat

Cringer / Battle Cat

From the classic 1983 series “He-Man and the Masters of the Universe,” Cringer, who transforms into the mighty Battle Cat, symbolizes strength and bravery. As Cringer, he’s a timid, green, and yellow striped feline living a comfortable life in Prince Adam’s palace.

But when Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, Cringer becomes the fearless, armor-clad Battle Cat, showcasing courage and raw power in the face of Eternia’s evildoers. This duality of character — the transition from the cowardly Cringer to the valiant Battle Cat — makes him a fascinating and unforgettable icon in 80s animation.

9. Lion-O

Lion-O

The leader of the Thundercats, Lion-O, is an iconic character from the 1985 animated series “ThunderCats”. He’s a courageous and moral leader with the body of a powerful adult but the mind of a child due to his rapid aging during their voyage to Third Earth. With his unique mix of vulnerability and strength, Lion-O presents a compelling character journey of maturity and leadership.

Equipped with the Sword of Omens and the Claw Shield, Lion-O fights against evil forces, symbolizing heroism and justice. His cat-like agility, strength, sharp reflexes, and charismatic leadership etch him deeply into the memories of 80s cartoon fans.

10. Sylvester

Sylvester

Though Sylvester the Cat debuted much earlier, his prominence in “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies” continued well into the 80s, cementing his place in this list. This black and white feline is best known for his lisping voice and ceaseless yet futile attempts to catch Tweety Bird.

Sylvester’s determination, despite repeated failures, his clever but ill-fated plans, and his humorous dialogue created a perfect blend of comedy and suspense. This timeless character’s endless pursuit and his lovable loser persona make him an enduring symbol of classic animation.

11. Tom from Tom and Jerry

Tom from Tom and Jerry

Although Tom made his first appearance much earlier, his presence in the 80s continued to entertain generations with the classic “Tom and Jerry” show. This blue-grey house cat is famous for his comical, almost Sisyphean struggle to catch the clever mouse, Jerry. Despite his many attempts, he often ends up causing more chaos and damage to himself than to his intended target.

Tom’s range of facial expressions, silent but eloquent communication through body language, and his relentless pursuit of Jerry offer a mix of comedy, suspense, and drama that captivates audiences. Tom’s character, with all his misadventures and humorous failures, remains an iconic figure in animation history.

12. Garfield

Garfield

From the eponymous series launched in 1988, Garfield is a charmingly lazy, orange tabby cat known for his love of lasagna and a good nap. His witticisms, cynicism, and slightly sardonic personality make him a standout character among cartoon cats.

His humorous disdain for Mondays, hilarious interactions with his owner Jon Arbuckle, and complicated relationship with the lovable, dimwitted dog, Odie, created a unique comedic dynamic. Garfield’s undying love for food, his devil-may-care attitude, and his amusing take on life continue to endear him to audiences of all ages.

13. Top Cat

Top Cat

Although Top Cat initially debuted in the early 60s, he remained a beloved character throughout the 80s. As the charismatic leader of a gang of alley cats in Manhattan, Top Cat is known for his quick wit, smooth talk, and occasional scam.

His adventurous exploits, usually aimed at improving their lives or simply having fun, often lead to humorous confrontations with Officer Dibble. Top Cat’s charm lies in his clever plans, interactions with his loyal gang, and irrepressible spirit of rebellion. His sharp wit and warm heart beneath his street-smart exterior make him an unforgettable character.

14. Catbert from Dilbert

Catbert from Dilbert

Although Catbert didn’t appear until the 90s comic strip, his impact was such that it’s worth bending the rules slightly to include him. As the evil Director of Human Resources in Dilbert’s office, Catbert often comes up with hilariously cruel policies to torment the employees.

His sharp claws, wide grin, and the joy he takes in his job makes him a deliciously villainous character. Despite his role, Catbert’s clever strategies, dry humor, and devilish charm make him a favorite among Dilbert’s ensemble cast.

15. Bucky from The Get Along Gang

Bucky from The Get Along Gang

Bucky is the adventurous daredevil deer from “The Get Along Gang,” a series that started in 1984. Though not a cat, his memorable character and close friendship with Zipper Cat warrant his inclusion. With his signature pilot goggles and outgoing personality, Bucky is the gang’s thrill-seeker, always up for an exciting venture.

His reckless courage often gets him into trouble, but his friends can always rely on his good intentions. Bucky’s infectious energy, fearless spirit, and close-knit friendship with Zipper Cat make him a cherished part of 80s cartoon history.

Final Thoughts

In this nostalgic journey, we’ve revisited the fantastic feline characters that dominated the 80s cartoons. From the mischievous charm of Azrael and Heathcliff, the bravery of Lion-O and Battle Cat, to the laid-back coolness of Zipper and the timeless humor of Tom and Garfield, these cartoon cats have left an indelible mark on our hearts.

They symbolize a simpler era, where vibrant characters, imaginative plots, and the magic of animation brought joy to our living rooms. These iconic cartoon cats of the 80s continue to hold a special place in our cultural memory, reminding us of the power of imagination and storytelling.