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[[quoteright:278:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cat1_1689.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:278:Kneel before Mittens!!]]

->''"Cats have a scam going: you buy the food, they eat the food, they fuck off. That's the deal."''
-->-- '''Creator/EddieIzzard'''

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

Cats are almost always portrayed as particularly intelligent, cunning, and independent, and in works with [[SlidingScaleOfAnthropomorphism any degree of anthropomorphization]] a cat is likely to be TheChessmaster, a DeadpanSnarker, (see also CatsAreSnarkers) or one of the other [[TheTrickster Trickster]] archetypes. Sometimes they are all but stated to be a SuperiorSpecies.

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

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

This trope is approached from another direction through the [[CatsAreMagic traditional association between cats and magic]]. Whether MagicIsEvil or benign, it is yet another way for cats to show intelligence and wield power. Is it any wonder [[AllWitchesHaveCats that witches have long been associated with them?]]

This trope is often subverted when dog characters are the main characters of the story or are more major to the story than cat characters.

Compare PantheraAwesome, CuteKitten, CunningLikeAFox. Contrast DogsAreDumb.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/TheCatReturns''.
* Yoruichi from ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' falls into this trope. [[spoiler: And then you see her true form and it all makes sense]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* The black cat from ''WesternAnimation/{{Coraline}}''. Snarky, deadpan, aloof, insulting, arrogant - but willing to help in Coraline's time of need and vital to her confrontation with the Other Mother.
* Franchise/DisneyAnimatedCanon
** In ''Disney/TheJungleBook'', this is applied to both Shere Kahn and Bagheera. The former overlaps with CatsAreMean by being portrayed as WickedCultured, whereas the latter subverts CatsAreMean by making Bagheera still a hero, but of the DeadpanSnarker[=/=]GoodIsNotNice variety. Which makes Bagheera more mean than in [[Literature/TheJungleBook the book]] (seems like a Disney theme to make cats mean). In the book Bagheera was the one to spoil Mowgli and be overindulgent with him while Baloo the bear was the overly strict teacher.
** ''Disney/TheAristocats'' has the song "Everybody Wants to Be A Cat", where the cats sing an ode to their species' superiority. It actually has nothing to do with cats the animal. The song is a pun, since at the time in the Jazz world, referring to someone as a "cat" meant that s/he was a hip and swingin' musician. If you listen to the lyrics, it does nothing to diss other animals, only "squares."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/HomewardBoundTheIncredibleJourney'', Sassy is quite arrogant and condescending to Chance, often talking about how cats are superior to dogs. By contrast, Sassy does show respect toward the wise and grandfatherly Shadow. Her arguments with Chance are more of a RunningGag between the two of them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Novelist Haruki Murakami loves this trope; cats in his novels almost always hold symbolic or supernatural significance. In ''Literature/KafkaOnTheShore'', one of the cats comments "Cats know everything, unlike dogs."
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/TheNumberOfTheBeast''. 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 ''Literature/LandOfOz'' books also had this attitude.
* The Cheshire Cat from ''Literature/AliceInWonderland'' has this.
* ''Literature/{{Petaybee}}'': Coaxtl, the giant cat, loves this trope.
* So does [[FairyCompanion Edgewood Dirk]] of Creator/TerryBrooks' ''Literature/MagicKingdomOfLandover'' novels. Of course in his case he is actually ''literally'' a fairy, and in that world fairies might as well as be [[StarfishAliens Starfish Aliens]] as well as aware of far more magic, knowledge, and philosophy than mere humans could, so some of this may be justified. Doesn't stop his SmugSnake, DeadpanSnarker, and HolierThanThou attitude from becoming very annoying sometimes, though. Though Dirk seems to identify himself as a cat first and Faerie second, to the point where anytime he tries to explain or justify his attitude, it's always by reminding the person annoyed at him that he is a cat, never that he is a Faerie creature.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse''
** [[Literature/SongOfTheLioness Faithful]] (or [[Literature/ProvostsDog Pounce]]) is a very [[CatsAreSnarkers sarcastic]] companion to his humans, who he adopts largely out of boredom. He has a number of strange magical abilities and isn't above showing off.
** In ''Literature/TheImmortals'' we meet the goddess of cats, Queenclaw. She's incredibly smug.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' Harry has a massive 20+ pound cat named Mister. Harry routinely comments on how 'above-it-all' Mister holds himself. Upon having a puppy brought into the apartment, Mister responded by creating a tradition of swatting it half way across the room with a paw. Since then the puppy has become a very large dog, but Mister sees no reason that should stop his treatment of the dog, ''and the dog accepts it.''
** The Sight allows Harry to see the true form of whatever he looks at. His dog glows with hidden power, his cop friend looks like an angel, monsters look even more hideous...and his cat looks exactly the same as it does when this power is turned off.
*** Mister's continual intimidation of Mouse is made exponentially more impressive over the next few books when it is gradually revealed that [[spoiler: Mouse is a ''total badass'' powerful enough to be feared/respected by a 2000 year old terrorist and Harry's Faerie Godmother.]]
* Creator/HPLovecraft's essay [[http://www.psy-q.ch/lovecraft/html/catsdogs.htm Cats and Dogs]] is all about this. Also, in his novel ''{{The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath}}'', cats are high-powered, intelligent and benevolent.
* [[Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents Amazing Maurice. He calls himself amazing for a reason.]]
* Creator/MercedesLackey [[AuthorAppeal loves this trope]]. Cats are usually intelligent, often wise, skillful at getting around in the world, and occasionally magical.
* In Alan Dean Foster's ''Catalyst'', some cats are powerful energy-based aliens that pose as cats and watch over other sentient beings. Of the three we meet, one attaches herself to the human protagonist, the second is actually evil and has a VillainousBreakdown near the end, and the last is run ragged by the absent-minded plant-like aliens who started everything a long time ago. It is the last that makes the main character some what suspicious - how do ''aliens'' have house cats?
* Werecats in the [[Literature/TheInheritanceCycle Inheritance Series]]. Especially Solembum.
* Creator/{{Saki}}'s "The Achievement of the Cat".
* In ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', all cats can talk - they just don't often feel inclined to do so.
-->"I am what I am. I would tell you what you want to know if I could, for you have been kind to me. But I am a cat, and no cat anywhere ever gave anyone a straight answer."
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'', perhaps. He's definitely smarter than his owner. The cartoon takes it a step further, with cats actually being aliens that "rule" humans in that they get free food and don't have to do anything all day.
* A story in ComicStrip/MandrakeTheMagician has Narda, Mandrake's girlfriend, [[AllJustADream dream]] - [[OrWasItADream or does she?]] - that cats are descendants of aliens that got stuck on Earth and used the primitive humans to survive, having lost their technology. (The same applies to dogs - the dog aliens and cat aliens were at war, and the hostility between cats and dogs are a remnant of this.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theater]]
* The finale song of (what else?) ''Theatre/{{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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Seems to be played at first in the ending of ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' with the cat [[spoiler: Sissel]] being a lot smarter than Missile (a dog), to the point that [[spoiler: everybody around him was convinced that he was a ''human'' spirit for a whole night. {{Subverted|Trope}} when Missile is revealed to be TheChessmaster in the end, who outsmarted Sissel on many levels.]]
* In ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', cats are the only animals which you can't control the adoption of. Cats choose their owners, not vice versa; they can even adopt dwarves while the game is paused. You can't go ''without'' cats because they're the only creatures that can protect your food stocks from vermin. Thus, the "catsplosion," where cat breeding gets out of control because you can't get rid of pets like you can strays. [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential Kittens, before they adopt make a great food source, however.]]
* A number of cat Franchise/{{Pokemon}} are like this, including Mewtwo for a bit.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', Creepers are the bane of any player's existence. But Creepers know better than to mess with cats.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' plays the concept for laughs with Emperor Krosp I, ruler of all cats. Krosp is a large, bipedal talking cat with a NiceCoat, the result of an experiment [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040315 intended to create somebody able to command ordinary cats to do the bidding of his creator]], and could be considered a perfect success...if, [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20040317 much to his frustration]], the ''other'' cats [[SubvertedTrope weren't still perfectly normal animals nowhere near his own intellectual level]]! Ironically, it's only when the human protagonist sarcastically kinda-sorta offers her fealty to him and he accepts that he acquires a "subject" that he can actually relate to.
* ''Webcomic/KarateBears'' have a pet Karate Kat who is badass. here he is [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/10/cats-and-dogs.html taking on 4 large dogs]] This one is also really badass: [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/01/karate-kat-2011_02.html Kitty Kat smoking]]
* Most outdoor cats in "Webcomic/PrinceOfCats" talk down to Lee, whom they telepathically communicate with as part of an obligation to their princess who is smitten with him.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Many ''WebOriginal/LOLCats''.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aP3gzee1cps This cat]] is caught by a human, and tries to weasel out.
* The blog ''We Three Cats'' is allegedly written from the perspective of three housepets, and they often espouse this trope.
-->[[http://wethreecats.blogspot.com.au/2010/08/making-exhibition-of-herself.html It has been a while since we posted.]] Not because we have been busy. We have just been being cats, which is the best thing to be.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Animaniacs}}'' has Rita and Runt, a cats-rule-dogs-drool OddFriendship. However, Rita is more of a sympathetic nature, as despite her arrogance and selfishness, most of her misfortunes have been examples of [[DudeNotFunny unfair and unequal treatment]]. Still others are brought on by her own ego, so there's a slight subversion there, and Runt is frequently saving her bacon.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode,"That Darn Katz!", [[spoiler: cats are revealed to be a SufficientlyAdvancedAlien species who left their dying homeworld, got the Ancient Egyptians to worship them and [[AncientAstronauts help them construct the pyramids]]- all while being {{Manipulative Bastard}}s towards humankind.]]
* In the children's series ''WesternAnimation/DoctorSnuggles'' a recurring character is The Cosmos Cat, a perhaps SufficientlyAdvancedAlien that is a RubberForeheadAlien - its just that it is a cat that has the rubber forehead (antennas and such), not a human. (And at least in the Swedish dub, he speaks as an EruditeStoner.)
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThunderCats2011'' This is {{deconstructed|Trope}} and PlayedForDrama, since the {{Catfolk}} of TheEmpire of Thundera are a {{Proud Warrior Race|Guy}} who are [[SuperiorSpecies genuinely excellent]] fighters, have an [[TheOrder order]] of KungFuWizard[=/=]{{Magic Knight}}s and possess powerful {{Ancient Artifact}}s. As a result, they do much CulturalPosturing around [[MasterRace believing]] their own press, that they were and are the great civilizers of their planet, who "brought law and order to a [[WorldOfFunnyAnimals world of warring animals]]." This is a deeply-rooted societal justification for [[AnimalJingoism jingoistic]] FantasticRacism against other [[PettingZooPeople Animals]]. They place minorities like {{Dog|faces}}s in a FantasticGhetto to be victimized by "Alley Cats" (the bottom rung of Cat society, who apparently distract themselves from their own low status by lording it over the even lower-status Dogs). In their war with the {{Lizard|Folk}}s, the Cats [[MadeASlave enslave]] the hungry Lizards they catch raiding crops (due to the Cats' monopolization of arable land) even [[VigilanteExecution lynching]] them, if they feel like it. Its only a matter of time until the Cats' sense of security undoes them.
* ''WesternAnimation/HeathcliffAndTheCatillacCats'' covers this in the ThemeTune:
-->So join in the jubilee!
-->"The cats are great," they'll all agree!
-->Find in each calamity
-->The cats' superiority!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* There's a joke about the difference between cats and dogs:
-->Dogs think: Humans care about us, they feed us, treat us when we are ill, and stroke us when we are sad... [[SufficientlyAdvancedAlien They are gods for sure]]!
-->Cats think: Humans care about us, they feed us, treat us when we are ill, and stroke us when we are sad... [[AGodAmI We are gods for sure]]!
** Said another way: Dogs treat humans like other dogs. Cats treat humans like other dogs also.
** Another classic joke on the matter: "Dogs have owners; cats have staff."
** Another classic joke on the matter: "Dogs come when called; cats take a number and get back to you."
** Creator/KevinSmith summed it up this way:
-->Dogs are man's best friend. Cats are like man's complacent roommate.
* The [[AncientEgypt ancient Egyptians]] would worship cats.
-->'''Creator/TerryPratchett''': In ancient times, cats were worshiped as gods. They have never forgotten this.
** Interestingly, feral cats are still very common in Modern Egypt, roaming the streets of Cairo, Alexandria, and other Egyptian cities like it's nobody's business. Even more interestingly, while Egyptians don't worship cats anymore (they're mostly Muslim and Christian these days, folks), they tend to treat cats with comparative respect, letting them just live (hey, they eat the garbage that the government's too cheap to provide collection for!). Dogs, for various reasons, do not get the same treatment.
** In most Muslim countries cats are considered superior because they were the favorite animal of Muhammad, who owned several. Dogs get a negative rap because many Muslim clerics believe they're suitable only for hunting, not as pets (they're often considered unclean). Many striped or tabby cats have three black streaks on their head, and there's a (though fairly obscure) Muslim legend that when Muhammad petted his favorite cat, three of his fingerprints stayed on her head and those of her descendants to mark their favored status. It's highly unlikely that all the cats with that marking are descended from one cat, but it's a good story.
** There is a Christian legend that there was a tabby cat in the stable on the first Christmas, and s/he snuggled up to the Baby Jesus to keep him warm. The Blessed Mother placed her initials on the cat's forehead as a mark of her favor.
* As one episode of ''The Dog Whisperer'' showed, there's a reason for this trope. One couple owned two fairly large and very vicious dogs that attacked each other and others nearby. Who was the only one they listened to? The cat.
[[/folder]]

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