Cats Are Superior (split from Cats Are Mean) YKTTW Discussion

Cats Are Superior (split from Cats Are Mean)
(permanent link) added: 2010-06-22 09:06:01 sponsor: MasoTey (last reply: 2010-06-22 09:06:01)

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Cats are the elves of the animal kingdom. They're better than us -- and they know it.

Cats are almost always portrayed as particularly intelligent, cunning, and independent, and in works with any degree of anthropomorphization a cat is likely to be The Chessmaster, a Deadpan Snarker, or one of the other Trickster archetypes. Sometimes they are all but stated to be a Superior Species.

On the other hand, cats' perceived negative qualities -- such as aloofness, smugness, and laziness -- might be attributed to their awareness of their exalted position.

This can, but need not, overlap with Cats Are Mean. Superior cats can have a wide range of attitudes toward lesser creatures: showing contempt for them, ignoring them, treating them with amused tolerance, or taking pains to guide and protect them.

This trope is approached from another direction through the traditional association between cats and magic. Whether Magic Is Evil or benign, it is yet another way for cats to show intelligence and wield power.

Compare Panthera Awesome, Everything's Cuter with Kittens, Cunning Like a Fox. Contrast Dogs Are Dumb.

Note: Quite a lot of examples that might better fit this trope are currently found under Cats Are Mean, but because of both the length of that page's examples section and my ignorance of many of the works referred to there, I think it better to collect some examples from scratch here and move any other examples over from Cats Are Mean after (if) this trope is launched.


  • Novelist Haruki Murakami loves this trope; cats in his novels almost always hold symbolic or supernatural significance. In Kafka on the Shore, one of the cats comments "Cats know everything, unlike dogs."
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Number of the Beast. Eureka the cat has this attitude while eating dinner with Deety, the Cowardly Lion and the Hungry Tiger.
Deety: Eureka, do you have Dorothy's permission?
Eureka: What a silly way to talk. Dorothy must get my permission. Feed me the lobster first, then the shrimp. You may have the last piece of shrimp for yourself. [snip] Ignore these jungle beasts; they are not cats. Be it known that Felis domestica has been civilized more generations than all you lesser breeds combined. As my serene ancestress, Bubastis, Goddess of the Nile, was wont to say: "Where Cat is, is civilization." Hurry up with that lobster. [snip] Scratch behind my left ear - gently. I shall sing, then I shall sleep. Maintain a respectful silence.
  • The Glass Cat in the Oz books also had this attitude.
  • The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland has this.


Web Original

Newspaper Comics
  • Garfield, perhaps. He's definitely smarter than his owner.

Western Animation


  • The finale song of (what else?) Cats is all about the proper way for humans to suck up to cats, as the glorious creatures obviously deserve. Might be slightly tongue-in-cheek; it's hard to tell because of the style of the music.
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