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[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tiger.png]]]]

Felines are typically associated with feminity, [[CoolCat coolness]], elegance, dignity, and grace, but a lot of male cartoon cats are clownish or buffoonish instead. This trope is based on the fact that cats, especially tomcats (as [[MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial females]] aren't [[BeautyIsNeverTarnished a common choice]] for {{slapstick}}), in cartoons are more often portrayed as tough, [[CoolCat cool]], streetwise, belligerent, buffoonish, and/or oversexed than elegant, graceful, or dignified.

This can be considered partly a result of early cartoons heavily relying on HeroicDog, and NiceMice, thus making the cats the villainous fallguy to make the former look better. FollowTheLeader from shows like ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' is probably another influence.

Sometimes this trope is used because in order to root for a cat in a show with talking mice, they have to be less of a predator than the other cats. So it's really a case of DesignatedVillain[=/=]DefectorFromDecadence.

There was a period in animation history when cats were the generic [[ButtMonkey fallguy animal]] and [[CatsAreMean bad guy]] in cartoons but its starting to become a DeadhorseTrope.

These cats are may be drawn with big, bulbous, clownlike noses that are often red in color.

This trope can apply to any species of cat, including [[PantheraAwesome tigers]], [[KingOfBeasts lions]], but usually applies housecats.

Contrast CoolCat and CatsAreSuperior. Related to MenAreGenericWomenAreSpecial, WomenAreWiser, and MenAreUncultured.




[[folder: Anime & manga ]]

* Meow from ''Anime/SpaceDandy'' is a rare anime variant of this trope. Also, he's an alien.
* Team Rocket's Meowth from ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' is another anime example. He grew up as a stray Pokemon in the streets, and as a member of Team Rocket he's the show's biggest ButtMonkey.


[[folder: Film - Animated ]]

* Gideon from ''{{Disney/Pinocchio}}'' is a mute character similar to Dopey of ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'' fame. His idea to get Honest John's hat off his face is to hit him with a mallet.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'', the male cats all fit CatsAreMean except for Tiger, who is a CloudCuckoolander MinionWithAnFInEvil and CowardlyLion played by the late Creator/DomDeLuise.
* Nuka from ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride''. He sets the grass on fire with a burning stick, but he sets the grass surrounding him on fire.
* Averted for the most part in ''Disney/TheAristocats'', in which O'Malley is just as sophisticated a hipster as Duchess is a well-bred, society cat. They get together and make jazz.
** Played straighter when O'Malley bravely dives into the water to save Marie. It backfires when he himself can't swim back to shore and has to be rescued by two geese. Or, alternatively, ''from'' said geese.
* RareFemaleExample: Ratigan's pet cat in ''Disney/TheGreatMouseDetective'' is female and used as something of a personal executioner, but due to her pudginess and slapstick depiction comes off as a gender swap of this, especially in her bout with Toby.
* The main character of ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat'', but probably justified because all of the characters are goofy.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In ''Literature/WarriorCats'', both averted and used... male Clan cats are more normal, but male kittypets tend to be a lot more goofy and friendly.
** The latter is probably because male kittypets [[GroinAttack are not really "male"]], as discussed in the books.
* Subverted in the book (and film) ''WesternAnimation/{{Felidae}}'' in which the main characters are intelligent male cats in one way or another. This becomes a plot point as [[spoiler:it allows Francis to realize why Claudandus is committing the murders.]]


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* Cat from ''Series/RedDwarf'' is an extremely vain and irresponsible humanoid who evolved from a cat.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'': Whenever Garfield is actually courting a female -- usually Arlene -- he seems to lose half his IQ. Basically, his most buffoonish moments are also the only moments in which he's written specifically as a tomcat rather than a generic feline.
* Bucky Katt of ''ComicStrip/GetFuzzy'' is a truly epic example, and virtually none of the cats in the strip come off well. In contrast, dogs seem to have a range of intelligence in the strip.
* ComicStrip/KrazyKat is either a straight example or a rare female example as [[AmbiguousGender his/her gender is ambiguous]].
* Bill the Cat from ''ComicStrip/BloomCounty'' is TheUnintelligible at best.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Big the Cat of the ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog'' series is as buffoonish as they come, though he's not one for slapstick. The female Blaze is ''much'' more dignified and intelligent (though still falls to the odd SlapstickKnowsNoGender moment).


[[folder: Web Original ]]

* [[http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/maru-the-cat Maru the Cat]] is a Japanese tomcat who got his fame due to his playful and goofy tricks posted on Website/YouTube. At some point, Maru's [=YouTube=] channel [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome was the 8th Most Subscribed channel and 11th Most Viewed [=YouTube=] channel of all time]] in UsefulNotes/{{Japan}}. As of 2016, he won a Guinness world record.
* In general, the entire WebOriginal/LOLcats phenomenon could be considered a modern incarnation of this trope.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Tom from ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' is usually the losing end of the titular rivalry, though a few cartoons have him [[TeamRocketWins win]], and he's temporarily suave in some cartoons. In general, he's still a ButtMonkey.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** [[WesternAnimation/SylvesterTheCatAndTweetyBird Sylvester]]. Even in cartoons where he's not chasing prey -- there's a well-known one where he's trapped with WesternAnimation/PorkyPig in an abandoned hotel full of murderous mice, and they're the aggressors from start to finish -- he's still portrayed as a buffoon. Sylvester is known for having one of the largest losing streaks along with Wile E. Coyote in classic looney tunes, even losing when he's in the right. Sylvester's only victory was against Porky in one short. He's also died the most out of the cast.
** Minor Looney Tunes character Claude Cat, who was usually persecuted more than persecuting, was played as an inept, anxiety-ridden loser.
** A "big cat" example: Pete Puma. He asked WesternAnimation/BugsBunny if he could have two lumps in his tea, but Bugs gives him two lumps on his head.
** The two cats in Creator/BobClampett's last Tweety cartoon, "Gruesome Twosome". One is dopey; the other is a moderately brighter fellow complete with Jimmy Durante voice and schnoz. [[Creator/AbbottAndCostello Babbott and Catstello]] (especially Catstello), the antagonists from Tweety's 1942 debut, also fit this trope.
** Many male cats are portrayed this way, including Catstello from the first Tweety cartoon, the lion from "Roman Legion Hare," Conrad Cat from "Conrad the Sailor," and Benny.
** In the Looney Tunes cartoon starring Elmer Fudd and Sylvester, there was even a rare buffoonish female cat.
** Penelope Pussycat is a rare female version. Several cartoons show Penelope as clumsily, and luckless from the start, sometimes leading her to take a skunk disguise, but things get worse upon catching WesternAnimation/PepeLePew's sight, she's reduced to a state of panic and often ends up [[SlapstickKnowsNoGender falling into slapstick]] in her franticness.
* Riff Raff from ''WesternAnimation/HeathcliffAndTheCatillacCats''.
* Katnip of ''WesternAnimation/HermanAndKatnip'' was [[FollowTheLeader made to imitate Tom]]. Unlike Tom, Katnip [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption ''never'']] won against [[InvincibleHero Herman]]. While Herman was intended to be heroic, many viewers [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation considered]] him sadistic in attacking Katnip leading to the creation of Itchy and Scratchy below.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheItchyAndScratchyShow'': Scratchy takes the Katnip roles to extremes. He's simply a Kind hearted fellow trying to peacefully live his life, and help others, but Itchy, the psychotic mouse, conspires to kill for no reason. Itchy virtually always succeeds in torturing, and killing Scratchy, only in one unseen cartoon did [[TheDogBitesBack Scratchy bite back]].
* Stimpy from ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' is dumb and buffoonish as an inversion of CatsAreMean and DogsAreDumb.
* Averted with WesternAnimation/TopCat and his gang in general, but the ironically named Brain fits this trope to a T.
* Mr. Jinks of the WesternAnimation/PixieDixieAndMrJinks cartoons.
* Also Punkin' Puss from WesternAnimation/PunkinPussAndMushmouse.
* Louie the mountain lion from the WesternAnimation/ClassicDisneyShorts and ''WesternAnimation/HouseOfMouse''.
* Klondike Kat from his segment of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Underdog}}'' show is pretty buffoonish as well, though unusually he's the good guy against an Evil Mouse.
* Furrball in ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventures'' is this sometimes. Example: a mishap with malfunctioning 3-D glasses and glue results in a WhatADrag situation when he tries to remove them.
* The title character of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' is a [[KidHero younger]] version of this trope. In most of the first season, he is very dumb, naive, and overconfident. From the second season on, he is [[DumbassNoMore smarter]] and tends more toward CatsAreSnarkers, but still very [[TheChewToy accident-prone]] and perfectly capable of making an ass of himself. All of this contrast with Nicole, his mom and the only other cat in the show, who is a hyper-competent badass.