In her ramshackle house off Somerset Terrace;
People make queries
On seeing our neighbor's cat-haunt,
Saying: "Something's addled in a woman who accommodates
That many cats."
Animal hoarding is a real-life psychiatric problem. Although animal hoarders come in all ages, races, pet preferences, and genders, animal hoarders in fiction are predominantly older white women with a fondness for cats.
This person is invariably Not Good with People, except that instead of being a Friend to All Living Things, she usually only has an affinity with one specific type of animal, which will flock to her like moths to a flame. She lives alone (Either because she couldn't get married or because she is a widow) except for the large number of cats or whatever animals living with her. She is often feared by the community and seen as an eccentric recluse. Sometimes she will turn out to be a Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold, leading to An Aesop about judging a book by its cover.
This trope definitely seems skewed towards female characters, and can be read as an extension of the traditional negative characterisation of spinsters, especially when it's implied that the cats are a stand-in for human children that she never had before it was too late. Men, apart from an occasional trend toward living on a rooftop surrounded by pigeons, tend towards either more complete isolation or a more diversified set of friends. Male or female, however, animal hoarders tend to do a poor job of caring for their pets. Sanitation is often a nightmare: many of the animals die from malnourishment, and the owner themself might die from related illnesses. In fact, the "Crazy" part of the trope name Crazy Cat Lady is Truth in Television because a parasitical disease Toxoplasmosis that causes neurological maladies such as schizophrenia is commonly found in litter boxes of many warm blooded animals (especially prominent with cats). Thus adopting more pets than one can maintain a clean healthy standard for increases the chances of the owner becoming this trope.
Conversely crazy men tend to hoard dogs, possibly related to Female Feline, Male Mutt.
Three guesses who inherits the house when they go. See Kindhearted Cat Lover for examples when liking cats is not a symptom of being socially ineptnote and Introverted Cat Person for cat lovers who are reclusive but not eccentric. See All Witches Have Cats, where the many cats are a sign of a magic caster.
Generally not related to Cat Girl, outside of harem series; although the term may also refer to one with mental issues.
- A "Got Milk?" ad featured an old lady with a house full of cats discovering she was out of milk. She mixed up a batch of non-dairy creamer. "Just like milk!" The cats hate it. The last thing we see is one of the cats closing the blinds and another locking the door...
- A GEICO commercial had the Gecko and spokesperson visiting customers, in this case an older lady. The spokesman asks what she feeds her cats; cut to a shot of the Gecko surrounded by cats and looking very nervous as she says, "I usually like to feed them fresh food." The pair are then shown back at the office with the Gecko's arm in a little sling.
- Get Rid of Cable: "When you pay too much for cable, you throw things. When you throw things, people think you have anger issues. When people think you have anger issues, your schedule clears up. When your schedule clears up, you grow a scraggly beard. When you grow a scraggly beard, *man picks up stray cat* you start taking in stray animals. And when you start taking in stray animals, you can't stop taking in stray animals. Stop taking in stray animals!"
- Black Butler:
- Sebastian loves felines and is shown to secretly keep cats in his wardrobe.
- Shaped Like Itself: Snake likes snakes.
- Then there's Soi Fon from Bleach, but there is a good reason: her former boss was Yoruichi, who just happened to transform into a cat. Les Yay, anyone?
- A minor character in Living Game keeps an apartment full of snakes (mostly behind glass), with predictable results on her love life.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. Dr Akagi's liking for cats is a subtle use of this trope, hinting (along with her post-it notes) that she's more Mad Scientist than Hot Scientist.
- Pet Shop of Horrors:
- It featured a Crazy Reptile Man (an actor who bought a basilisk)
- Humorous version is Nutty Poodle Gangster.
- Many of D's clientele are people who for one reason or another cannot relate normally to other people and hoard animals.
- Irma from Queen's Blade is all over the "cat attraction," thing, though she is likely sane, just very bitter and aloof.
- Cathy, or "Cat-chan" from Yu Gi Oh Zexal, although only in middle school, has a horde of cats and is definitely crazy, mostly for Yuma. She also wears her hair up to look like cat ears and can communicate with her cats through hisses and purrs.
- Aramaki of 7 Seeds has a large number of dogs and is rather eccentric. Of course, the reason he's a little rusty on social interaction is that he was the only person in Japan who wasn't in cryostasis for the fifteen years before the other four teams woke up, and the dogs are actually very useful (hunting for food, keeping watch, and so on). Still, this trope is basically how Arashi, Natsu, and Semimaru perceive him when they meet.
- The Cat Maniac in The Star of Cottonland is either a male Crazy Cat Lady or a Kindhearted Cat Lover; he's a cat-obsessed oddball who walks the streets with a net and carrier to catch cats, which he then takes back to his luxurious apartment to pamper and care for.
- Inverted with Galf, a Villain Of The Week in Fist of the North Star a crazy old dog man who keeps dozens of poorly managed dogs, and values their lives over humans.
- Airi "Nora" Nobara from Wasteful Days of High School Girls is the joshikousei equivalent. She lives alone, she's unwarrantedly aggressive towards everyone, and she knows every single cat in her neighborhood; short of sustenance expenses, she'd probably adopt all of them.
- A dog counterpart version in the final arc of the manga Inubu! Bokura no Shippo Senki.
- A 1955 issue of Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen features a wealthy Crazy Cat Lady who owns 49 felines and rewards Jimmy with a million dollars after he rescues one of them.
- DC Comics series Armageddon 2001 is a series of "what if" stories picturing the fates that are going to befall various DC superheroes as the world is turning into a dystopia. One of the stories shows superheroine Ice as a crazy cat lady.
- While not crazy (dressing as a giant animal and jumping across rooftops is considered sane in The DCU), Catwoman officially has 17 cats.
- Felicia Hardy in Spider-Man: Noir is a reclusive nightclub owner who not only owns many cats, but takes them to work! Her club's called "The Black Cat" and the waitresses are dressed in Cat Girl fetish gear, as well. After being disfigured by the Crime Master, she becomes a total shut-in who never leaves the house, never has any visitors besides her doorman Lippy, and does little but care for her cats.
- A Hellraiser comic featured one of these. She summons the Cenobites and agrees to go with them willingly if they help her take revenge on the neighbor who had been capturing and torturing her cats to death.
- Every mention of Becca's great-aunt in All-Ghouls School portrays her as one of these.
- A rare male example is one of the 15 Portraits of Despair in The Sandman. A man accrues over sixty cats after a leg injury, and is left with a Sadistic Choice when a job offer comes up: take the job and abandon his cats, or attempt to keep living on the meager disability payments. He takes the job, and only five cats are sill alive when the police are inevitably called in.
- Parodied in Woundsalt, Mother Bucker.
- Woundsalt: [thinking] I am getting a "crazy cat lady" vibe right now. Funny though, I don't see any cats. It's like poor Shy got dumped and instead of filling the void with cats, she decided to have some variety and have every type of creature BUT cat.
- Six Days the Animorphs Were Idiots has Visser Three become one of these as a coping mechanism after Visser One dumps him. He ends up with at least ten, and at one point even tries to collect tigers too, but they're more trouble than they're worth.
- Doing It Right This Time takes Ritsuko's canon Crazy Cat Lady tendencies in a... slightly unusual direction:
Maya: (while proudly showing off her new collar): "Sempai noticed me, nyaa!"
- Inverted in Up; Charles Muntz is an explorer whose lived for years in isolation with only his dogs for company. They can, however, talk with the aid of a collar Muntz invented.
- The Fox and the Hound based on the literature has Amos Slade for the inversion, an old man who lives alone with his hunting dogs.
- Mrs. Scratchen-Post from The LEGO Movie is one. At the climax, she uses all of her cats to pull a sled into the showdown against Lord Business.
- In A Goofy Movie during the song "On the Open Road" one of the many motorists Goofy and Max encounter is an elderly woman whose car is filled with cats.
- Madame from The Aristocats is a mild example, being an old lady who owns a family of cats and makes them the beneficiaries of her will. One could argue that she goes full-on Crazy Cat Lady at the end of the film, when she decides to adopt all the stray cats in Paris. And this is supposed to be a happy ending.
- Rhino's owner in Bolt is a Crazy Hamster Lady.
- How to Train Your Dragon 2 - Hicup's mother Valka is crazy dragon lady as she was described directly in the film (note also that here Dragons Are Catlike). So crazy that she abandoned her husband and her newborn son and never tried to return, though at first it could be difficult because she was kidnapped by dragons. Also, after twenty years among dragons and, rarely, hostile humans Valka's body language became a bit inhuman and she started to forget how to speak.
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World - And here Hiccup himself finally turns into this and Vikings under his lead live not along with dragons, but actually for them. Solution was... quite radical.
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 sees Gidget the dog go undercover as a cat in a house filled with cats overseen by one of these. In the film's climax, she leads them all on a rescue mission with the other main characters to rescue a white tiger named Hu, with the cat lady proving that she Drives Like Crazy when the cats hide all the food to convince her to go on a pet store run. In the end, the cat lady adopts the tiger, believing him to simply be an overly large cat.
- Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island has Simone Lenoir. Not only does she have numerous cats for on her mansion's premises, but it turns out that she is actually a werecat herself, and an immortal one at that who must drain the life force from victims lured to her island.
- The Ur-Example might be Edith Ewing "Big Edie" Beale and her daughter Edith "Little Edie" Beale, whose lives were the subject of the groundbreaking documentary Grey Gardens (1976). The Beales were Impoverished Patricians who had been living in their filthy, dilapidated Long Island mansion for decades. The house is overrun with cats and raccoons. In one scene Big Edie, reclining in bed, matter-of-factly notes that a cat is urinating behind her fancy portrait which is leaning against the wall. In another scene Little Edie is shown dumping a whole loaf of Wonderbread in the attic for the raccoons to eat.
- The lady in A Clockwork Orange is more a pretentious and eccentric artiste-type, but she does by all appearances live alone (in a well-appointed, if oddly decorated, house) with a number of cats.
- The bird lady from Mary Poppins.
- The Crazy Squirrel Lady from Rat Race. Though she seems to want to get rid of them. If you don't buy a squirrel, she gives you directions off a cliff.
- The comedy The Wrong Box has Dr. Pratt, a deranged-but-harmless, pathetic old soul with oodles of cats in his office/home. (Peter Sellers' performance makes the character the One-Scene Wonder of the film.)
- A character in MirrorMask is an old lady who lives alone with a lot of small cat-like sphinxes. (In a line cut from the final film, she explains that she's a widow; her husband just disappeared one day, and apparently the sphinxes were so upset they didn't touch their food for days...)
- Ratman's Notebooks: Willard has his rats.
- Although technically disqualified because he hoards so many different species, Raoul from UHF's "Raoul's Wild Kingdom" segments deserves honorary Crazy Cat Lady status for having dozens of exotic and wild animals living tucked into drawers, hidden in cupboards, and running/flying/crawling free in his apartment. He qualifies for the Crazy part based on the number of poodles he sacrifices out the window in teaching them to fly. They make a pile about 8 feet high easily filling the trope, at least until they all die.
- Taken to a truly disturbing degree in Good Neighbors: Louise loves all cats to an extreme degree and is rather socially awkward and distant... and is also a sociopathic murderer.
- The fiendish Mrs. Deagle from Gremlins has no problem with cruelty to dogs (she threatens Billy's with a ride in her spin dryer at high heat for breaking a yard decoration), but when we see her home life it turns out her house is full of cats. And since she's a greedy old hag, she has given them all names like "Kopec" and "Dollar Bill".
- Jenny, one of Will's childhood Love Interests in Big Fish could be considered this as well as Kindhearted Cat Lover, since despite her reclusive lifestyle, legends of being a witch, and dilapidated household, she's very sympathetic and shy.
- In Big Ass Spider!, one of these is reason the hero ends up at the local hospital right when the eponymous menace first hatches out of a corpse in the morgue.
- Susan of Kiss Of The Tarantula, but with the titular spiders instead of cats.
- A tough-looking girl in Max, about a military dog who becomes a "civilian", is implied to be this but with dogs: there are a half-dozen dogs hanging out in what is presumably her (rather shabby-looking) bedroom, she can tell that Max has PTSD and his new owners need help dealing with it and it's implied that needing help with his new dog is the only reason the protagonist would talk to her.
- 976-EVIL: Hoax's deeply religious mother keeps dozens of cats around the house. After Hoax kills her under the evil phone line's influence, they feast on her corpse.
- The Uncanny: Miss Malkin in the "London, 1912" segment lives in a rambling mansion with dozens - if not hundreds - of cats. However, given that she is extremely wealthy, she should probably be referred to as an eccentric cat lady.
- Hellboy II: The Golden Army:
- Subverted: the team approaches an old woman who at least seems to fit trope: Older, seemingly kindly, and has a cart filled with occupied cat carriers. Then it turns out she's actually a troll, and the cats are lunch. Hellboy does not take it well.
- For that matter, Hellboy himself has a very large collection of adopted cats, and interior shots of his room is accompanied by a lot of meowing. He's a bit of a slob, but he nonetheless takes very good care of them. When Liz returns to the B.P.R.D. in the first film, her first comment upon visiting HB in his room is "Look at them all!"
- In Madhouse (1974), Faye has become a crazy spider lady: dwelling in Herbert's cellar, breeding spiders and shunning all human contact.
- The overweight landlord in Alice, Sweet Alice has cats roaming over every surface of his apartment.
- The newly added DM Jerem' for French Vampire LARP 7 De Sang loves cats so much that the community's facebook page was taken over by the followers of the Kitten Imperator.
- The old lady that Alex kills in A Clockwork Orange lives in a home surrounded by fifty or more cats. (After he is imprisoned, the government sells all of his stuff. Why? To pay for the upkeep of the cats.)
- Belinda Winchester in Absolutely Truly is the resident cat lady in the town of Pumpkin Falls. She actually has cats stashed in her clothes.
- "Breaking out in chronic cats" is mentioned as a sign of senility in the novel Hogfather, when Susan discovers Death has taken in a vast number of cats as pets. Doubles as Kindhearted Cat Lover, as Death is friendly but socially confused when dealing with humans.
- Lady Sybil Vimes has her swamp dragons. Though this is mitigated by the fact that she a) is a swamp dragon breeder, b) has the money and space to adequately care for them, and c) is well-adjusted enough to eventually become happily married.
- In Pyramids, Pteppic's late mother was a Queen who kept dozens of cats. This wouldn't usually be a sign of craziness in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Ancient Egypt, except the cats she kept were mangy, spitting, flea-bitten ratbag moggies, not the regal and graceful creatures typically associated with Egyptian cat-worship.
- One of the thirteen Black Ajah Aes Sedai the female protagonists are sent out to hunt early in the Wheel of Time series was a noted cat-lover; cats flock to Aes Sedai in general but this particular character seeks out strays and injured cats to Heal and feed up
- The Fox and the Hound has an inversion with the nameless Master, an old hunter who lives along with his many dogs.
- Harry Potter:
- One of the Dursleys' neighbors (Arabella Figg) who they would sometimes leave him with was something of a crazy cat lady. Later in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it's revealed she is a squib (a powerless wizard) and probably had a bit of Obfuscating Stupidity in her earlier behavior. Rowling has said that the reason she keeps so many cats is because she breeds them as familiars for wizards. She also has a few Kneazles (highly intelligent, cat-like magical creatures which can sense deception and breed with regular cats), and uses them as spies.
- Morfin Gaunt (Voldemort's uncle) could count as a crazy snake man. He treats his pet snake with more affection than his sister (not that that's hard) and nails one of its dead skins to the door to scare people off.
- Voldemort. He has only one live snake, but showers her with affection he wouldn't dream of showing to another human being, even going to far as to put part of his soul in her. And that's not even going into the recurring snake motif associated with him...
- Accidentally occurs to an unemployed man in the first of "15 Portraits of Despair" in the last Endless anthology. The "Despair" part happens when he's offered a job that requires him to go out of town, leaving his cats locked up in his trailer... Considering that all those cats were outdoor/strays to begin with, you have to wonder why the hell he didn't just put them outside when he left town.
- In Harriet the Spy, one of Harriet's spy targets is a very reclusive man with some twenty cats. He's constantly attempting to avoid Animal Control, who have him pegged as a hoarder although he clearly cares for the cats — they eat better than he does. By the end of the book, they catch him and take the cats away. He's despondent... until the last time we see him, when he's started over with one little kitten.
- Stephen Colbert's book I Am America (And So Can You!) includes a short article written by a Crazy Cat Lady. In the book on tape she is played by Amy Sedaris!
- Jonathan of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell encounters an extreme Crazy Cat Lady who provides him with the means to bottle madness. She's forgotten how to speak all languages except for Cat, and eats the food they bring her. Eventually, she's granted a boon and turned into a cat and allowed to live among her kind.
- Gösta in Let the Right One In, the book and the movie. In his case the cat hoarding most likely ended up saving his life.
- Bagabond in the Wild Cards series has a telepathic link with all the animals in Manhattan but most especially cats.
- Crazy Cat Ladies appear now and then as tertiary characters in the Lord Peter Wimsey books.
- Crazy women hoarding cats appear as background characters in Agatha Christie's writing.
- In The Bad Place, most of the main characters belong to the same Dysfunctional Family: their grandparents are brother and sister, their parent is a hermaphrodite who managed to impregnate herself several times. Two sisters in the youngest generation are identical twins who share a telepathic link with each other, as well as with any animal of their choice. They surround themselves with a flock of cats that they are permanently linked to.
- Jeeves and Wooster stories:
- It becomes necessary to make Sir Roderick Glossop believe that Bertie is insane. One of the methods by which this is accomplished is to make it look like he's some sort of Crazy Cat Gentleman. Note that this works especially well because Sir Roderick already knows that Bertie's Uncle Henry was a Crazy Rabbit Gentleman who kept eleven of them in his bedroom and spent his last days in an asylum, "happy to the last and completely surrounded by rabbits".
- Later, in "Without The Option", Bertie meets an actual Crazy Cat Lady, the Pringle's Aunt Jane. He's impersonating his friend Sippy at the time, and since Sippy shot arrows at one of Aunt Jane's cats when he was about six years old, Aunt Jane now is highly suspicious that Bertie wants to harm her cats. This causes problems, since Bertie really is something of a Kindhearted Cat Lover and Aunt Jane's cats take to him instinctively.
- In the Tunnels series, Mrs. Tantrumi is an old woman living in Highfield who owns a lot of cats. She is also one of Les Collaborateurs.
- This trope is consciously subverted in the novel The Shape of Snakes by Minette Walters. The novel features the death of a supposed mad black woman whose house is found to be full of ill-treated and mutilated cats. In actual fact she is not mad but merely suffers from Tourette's and the cats are strays ill-treated by her next door neighbours which Annie tried to save from further cruelty.
- In The Pale King, Chris Fogle's mother ends up obsessing over birds as a way to cope with the death of her ex-husband.
- Shotgun Sorceress has Sara Bailey-Jones, who owns a large number of Devil Kittens and kills anyone who is mean to them.
- The young adult novel Jacob Have I Loved has a cat lady who's portrayed as mildly dotty. When she ends up in the hospital, the main characters must decide what to do with all of her cats. They consider drowning them, even going so far as to throw them all in sacks and take them out in a boat, but in the end can't go through with it. The solution they finally come up with is to drug the (rather vicious) cats with opiates so they seem meek and compliant, and convince several of the local residents that adopting a cat is a good idea.
- The Forgotten Realms short story "The Inkeeper's Secret" by Troy Denning is set in a Cormyrean village that was once home to a Crazy Cat Lady. After she was accidentally killed by the villagers when they tried to get rid of the cats, she haunts the area as a vengeful spirit. She is eventually granted peace when Princess Tanalasta convinces the villagers to adopt the cats.
- The Queen of Cats from Sea of the Patchwork Cats.
- James Herriot's books occasionally featured a Mrs Bond, a lady who escaped the more unfortunate trappings of this trope by having a Big Fancy House and a pretty considerable sum of money to keep her fifty or more cats well-fed and cared for. There are worse ways to spend one's twilight years...
- Warrior Cats:
- Millie and Sol's owners, both elderly women, are portrayed as this in the manga - not so much due to the number of cats, because as far as we know they each only have one, but because of the level of obsession. Millie's owner has cat toys everywhere, as well as a custom cat bed with Millie's name, cat pictures on the wall, and a cat calendar and refrigerator magnets. Sol's owner also has cat pictures and decorations around her home, as well as sofa cushions with a cat design, and a subscription to Cat Fancy.
- In Pebbleshine's Kits, Pebbleshine encounters two young kittypets who know of a lady a few houses down from them who has many cats, and they're sure that she'd take Pebbleshine in if she's looking for a home.
- There is a CSI episode ("Cat's in the Cradle") where a murdered crazy cat lady is partially eaten by her cats.
- There was an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent with a bird lady who believed that people are reincarnated as birds, and that one parakeet in particular was her late husband.
- In one episode of The Flash (1990), The Trickster, when given a chance to find out, goes on a rant about how he doesn't care who's behind The Flash's mask, because he's just some guy, who will end up alone living alone with a lot of cats.
- An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond features Robert dating — briefly — "the frog lady of Massapequa".
- The first episode of A Touch of Frost features a Crazy Cat Lady who burns all her cats to death. On purpose.
- This appeared to be the future of Angela in the US version of The Office (US). In the final season, she had the cats confiscated from her after her divorce from the senator. On the finale she marries Dwight, and the others buy back her cats as a wedding present. No doubt they would have a better life living on the spacious Schrute farm than on Angela's old apartment.
- The Drew Carey Show: When Nora is gushing about her many adorable kitties, another character asks her, "You know they're going to eat your eyes when you die alone?" After a pause, she says somberly, "I try not to think about that." The scene playing during the credits for that episode is filmed through the eyes of one of her cats, who jumps up on her bed as she's sleeping and paws at one of her eyes. She wakes up and says something like "I'm not dead yet, Mittens."
- Matthew of Newsradio owns many, many cats. One episode, Bill dismisses Matthew's friends as shut-ins.
Matthew: They're not shut-ins, okay Bill... they're just the kind of people that like to stay inside... all the time.
Bill: Well, it's hard to get out when you're taking care of 16 stray cats... each named after a child you never had...
- An episode of New Tricks focused on the re-opened case of the death of a woman whose body had been partially eaten by her cats. It turned out she'd been accidentally killed. Her body had been locked in her house along with all of her cats with all of the doors and windows shut, no food, no water and well...nature took its course.
- On Charmed, there was a woman who has a ton of cats who seem to obey her commands. It's justified since, it was Kit, the Charmed Ones' old familiar, given a human form and raising new familiars.
- Mrs. Bond from All Creatures Great and Small and her house full of cats. Her husband seems to deal with it by ignoring it all.
- Reno 911! has Deputy Trudy Weigel who, amongst several other weird idiosyncrasies, is a notable cat lady, even dressing them up for Halloween and other occasions.
- In one episode, the only witness to a crime has amnesia, in an attempt to discover who he is they put a photo of him on TV asking for anyone who knows him. A woman turns up claiming to be his wife but turns out to be a crazy lady who owns 8 cats.
- In an episode, a police SWAT team busts into a house, thinking it's the house of a terrorist. It turns out the name was misspelled — Cut to a scene of Castle, Esposito and Ryan, drinking tea from fussy teacups whilst being climbed on by a horde of cats.
- In an episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Frank and Charlie start to realize Sweet Dee is turning into one. In Dee's defense, she only gets one cat and it is Charlie who bring in several more to her apartment in a failed attempt to get the first one.
- There's an almost literal example in Dennis' ex-wife Maureen Ponderosa, who not only loves cats, but also got plastic surgery to make herself look more like one on top of acting like one (hissing and clawing at people, for starters).
- There are several Hoarders who had hoards of animals in their houses. A few even had dead animals in the piles of trash or, in one instance, stored them in her refrigerator where they decomposed there.
- There is a TV spin-off from Hoarders: Buried Alive called Confessions: Animal Hoarding which focuses on this type of behavior. Some episodes have had people with: 2000 rats, 80 dogs or 50 cats. In all of these cases, the animals aren't receiving good care simply because there are so many of them.
- In an episode of Hannah Montana Forever, Miley was busy dealing with the fallout of revealing herself as the titular idol singer to the world. Not wanting to deal with anymore negativity, she contemplated staying in her house with nothing but cats. Her friend Lily lampshaded this and resorted to dragging her out.
- In Grandma's House, Simon tries to be this, but it doesn't work out for him too well:
"The cat didn't make me any less lonely. It just became a mascot for my loneliness."
- In Parks and Recreation the cast once went to a bed and breakfast ran by a Crazy Cat Lady.
- In the Friends episode "The One Where Mr Heckles Dies", Chandler worries that he's going to end up alone and imagines his future self as a "Crazy Snake Man".
- In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Zazzy Substitution", Sheldon deals with a falling out with Amy by adopting lots and lots of cats.
Leonard: Okay, fine, live with cats! Be like my Aunt Nancy. She had dozens of 'em, and you know what happened after she died? They ATE her!Sheldon: You don't have to sell me on cats, Leonard, I'm already a fan!
- In The Suite Life of Zack and Cody spin off, The Suite Life on Deck, their teacher Miss Tutweiller has her room full of cats. It is suggested that she gets a new one every time she gets dumped. After her sister has a more successful Valentines Day than her she announces that she's about one bad relationship away from being one of those women who has thirty cats and pathetically names them after ex-boyfriends.
- An early season 2 episode of ER had the paramedics debate whether they could take in a man who was sitting around naked in his apartment while white rabbits scurried around his place. He was morbidly obese and singing a show-tune, but when they took him to hospital he panicked about who was going to feed his bunnies while he was in hospital.
- Hannah from One Life to Live is a different variation of this. She's fairly young, and is effectively a Yandere who happens to have a bizarre obsession with cats.
- In The Closer, Brenda lives in fear of turning into one of these and, after her cat (who she thought was male) has kittens, she wonders how she became one of those single women with too many cats.
- One segment of 1000 Ways to Die featured a Crazy Cat Lady who's husband divorced her due to her animal hoarding. Think that's bad enough? She is also nuts. She milks all of her cats daily and drinks the milk. She dies because her cats had been feeding on a plant that is toxic to humans but not to cats, so it went through the cats' systems and into the milk.
- An episode of The King of Queens involves Doug and Carrie discussing a cousin of Doug's and his wife, whom they hadn't seen since their wedding. Doug explains it's because they're both rather eccentric, and Carrie remembers that they own several cats, and the wife calls them their children. A later scene in the episode hints that the woman might on some level actually think they're her biological offspring.
- Sonia in Go On breeds cats. Lots and lots of cats. So many that she gives one or more to each and every member of the support group. And they all blame Ryan for it.
- Poirot: Such a lady is amongst the witnesses in "The Clock". Hercule Poirot demonstrates lots of patience when interrogating her, since it is hard to broach any other subject than her cats with the Cloudcuckoolander.
- The animal cruelty investigators from Animal Precinct and other shows along that line occasionally have to deal with animal hoarders. Not all cases involving hoarding involve cats, nor are all hoarders necessarily female.
- A male example: Will Graham in Hannibal shares his house with six (later seven) dogs but no humans, implicitly because he finds dogs much easier to get along with than people. They appear to be rescued strays, touching on Pet the Dog - his gentle and patient compassion for them shows that his blunt and slightly neurotic persona among people isn't indicative of an unpleasant nature, just social ineptitude.
- Invoked and played straight in the 2 Broke Girls third-season episode "And the Kitty Kitty Spank Spank". Caroline warns Max that they're headed down that road if they take in the cat meowing outside. Later the girls decide not to give the stray cat Max has taken in to a woman whose cat total goes from 27 to 31 during the episode.
- On Angel, there was a montage of several fanatical worshippers of Jasmine and what they did to show their love. One of them was an old woman who said, "I have thirty-seven cats, and I've changed all their names to Jasmine."
- The Log Lady from Twin Peaks is a subversion as she hoards one log instead of multiple cats, and possesses powerful psychic powers despite being regarded as crazy like other examples.
- On Gilmore Girls, Lorelai once fears that she might become a Crazy Cat Lady if she stays single and alone. She says that stray cats sense that and that they might be already getting ready to start coming to her door. One cat indeed does come and Lorelai brings it some food, but she shoos it away.
- One patient in Emily Owens, M.D. is a hoarder who has about ten cats. She has serious infection she caught from her wounded arm. When her daugher tells Emily about her life and how she unsuccessfully tried to help her, Emily realizes that the woman might have toxoplasmosis that changed her personality.
- How I Met Your Mother:
- Robin leans on this trope as she has five mostly big dogs in a small apartment in Brooklyn. In one episode, she's tells Lily's kindergarteners about her job. The kids ask her if she has fiancé or if she doesn't get lonely. A little girl compares her to her grandma who has five cats and does get lonely. Robin insists that cats are completely different and that she's not some pathetic cat lady.
- One of Ted's numerous dates is a woman who talks about her several cats on their first date and reveals that she likes dressing them up in costumes and taking pictures. She's actually more of an awkward Kindhearted Cat Lover. She has other interests, too, and is not a lonely wierdo.
- Saturday Night Live: Doubled down with Kate McKinnon and Charlize Theron as crazy ladies running a shelter for crazy cats in this sketch.
- In the future segments of the series finale of Star Trek: The Next Generation Data seems to be well on his way to becoming this. He lives with AT LEAST eight cats. The house is well-maintained and clean, however.
- On My Name Is Earl, Randy briefly dates a woman who is crazy about her one cat, and has gotten to the point where she has difficulty distinguishing the best ways to show affection to a cat versus another human being. She worries, however, that if she doesn't have a significant other, she'll end up like the real Crazy Cat Lady who lives nearby with only her cats for company (when she's awake, that is.)
- In the second half of the Season Four two parter of Night Court, we see judge Harry Stone trying to comfort his frenemy assistant DA Dan Fielding, who is recovering from a recent coma. Dan laments that the circumstances that led up to him being in said coma include his overriding fear of dying surrounded by a hundred cats.
- Mrs. Hough, the school administrator in I Am Frankie. Taken Up to Eleven in that her favorite cat is artificial.
- Lampshaded in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend with the song "Buttload of Cats" (or, in uncensored form, "Fuckload of Cats"), in which Rebecca decides that since she's trying to avoid relationships due to her mental health recovery, that means she has no choice but to adopt a bunch of cats. The song then points out that cats, being generally independent and inscrutable, might not actually be the best choice for a lonely person, and subverts the trope at the end when the two crazy cat ladies in the adoption shop bond over their mutual cat love and leave holding hands (to Rebecca's deep frustration).
- A variation is used in Black Mirror: Striking Vipers. Karl living alone with a cat in the episode's ending seems to signify his letting himself go socially and physically and giving up on dating women in real life. It may also be a nod to having a feminine side beyond his sexual proclivities in the game.
- Downplayed/subdued version in Ryan Adams' "Dear John" (a duet with Norah Jones off Adams' 2005 album Jacksonville City Nights), which is about a woman remembering her late husband (warts and all, but still missing him). Apparently, she used the cats to fill the hole he left (it's ambiguous if they had any surviving children):
Ten years passed
And I ended up with a house full of cats
But most of them went missing
Through that window you never fixed, the door you never latched
- Weekly World News parodied and inverted this with a headline of a "Fat Cat Who Owns 23 Old Ladies".
- Susan Calman portrays herself as this in The News Quiz and Susan Calman is Convicted, often describing how she spends her evenings dressing her cats up.
- Just about any routine by Kitty Flanagan is bound to contain a few jokes about how she is turning into a crazy cat lady.
- According to Milton Jones, the Pope is one. Milton read that he's a Cataholic.
- In Nomine sourcebook Liber Servitorum includes an old woman who seems to be a crazy cat lady. She is, in fact, a servant of an angel who inhabits her cats.
- In Vampire: The Masquerade, one of the character templates for the Nosferatu (a splat of vampires horribly disfigured by the Embrace who live secluded lives or utilize illusion powers to maintain the Masquerade) is a crazy small animal person. The character's gender is up to you, as is the type of small animals he hoards. He seldom leaves his lair, preferring to use animal mind-control to have one of his pets act as a proxy when dealing with the coterie.
- There's a Creepy Cat Lady in the Horror Recognition Guide for Hunter: The Vigil. She's just that little bit creepier than normal, thanks to what she can do with her cats...
- In Scion, one of Japanese goddess Izanami's favored human guises is an old lady with 47 cats, reflecting her divine existence as the reclusive, isolated queen of the Underworld, feared and distrusted by her pantheon.
- One of the spaces in the classic version of The Game of Life reads "Aunt Leaves You 50 Cats", and costs you $20,000 "for their care".
- You can get a Crazy Cat Lady action figure. See her here.
- Mew-Genics is referred to as a "Crazy Cat Lady Simulator".
- The Sims 3 Pets exaggerates this trope with the character of Hetty Lionheart, who lives alone in a shack-like home in Appaloosa Plains in a household of four cats. Not only that, but she has the Insane, Hydrophobic, and Evil traits, dresses in cat-like clothing, and even resembles one in facial appearance. She's also disliked by most of the town, in addition.
- The Touhou series has Satori Komeiji, who lives alone in a huge underground palace with an army of crows and cats. Justified in that her ability to read minds means that she tends to attract a lot of animals who can't otherwise communicate with her. She's actually rather friendly, but has a habit of responding to what people are thinking rather than what they're saying, which causes people to avoid her. Some of her fans have done◊ up gag-art poking fun at this fact.
- Tales of Symphonia:
- One room in the Altamira hotel is teeming with ginger cats; it also contains one eccentric elderly man who says odd things when you talk to him.
- The Crazy Cat Old Man is a recurring Continuity Cameo in the Tales series going all the way back to Tales of Phantasia. He's in just about every game as a sort of an Easter Egg.
- Tales of Xillia 2 takes it a step further by having the player meet the crazy cat lady very early, but her cats are missing. Finding them constitutes a game-spanning sidequest. The ones that have been found are then utilized as a small army to find items and other cats, some of which can only be found this way.
- World of Warcraft:
- There's an NPC named Donni Anthania in Elwynn Forest, with the subtext <Crazy Cat Lady>. As expected, her house and the surrounding area is crawling with cats. She also sells cat pets to players. She seems like a fairly normal, generically attractive NPC... then you notice the bloody butcher knife in her hand. (Also, the descriptive text of the cats you can get from her is weird. The Cornish Rex cat claims Donni invites it to tea parties where the "tea" is the tears of defeated enemies, while the Bombay Cat's text says Donni plans to inter it with her when she dies.)
- There's Auriaya, product of someone in the Blizzard quarters who said "Hey, what if we pick a crazy cat lady, and make her a raid boss?". She also happens to be a giant. And thousands of years old. Her cats HURT.
- Characters can earn the title "Crazy Cat Lady/Man" by collecting 20 different pet cats, out of 25 available in the game. 4 of the 25, however, must either be acquired with real money and 1 was obtained through a 2012 promotion in China, so earning it with strictly in-game pets requires a perfect 20/20.
- In Harvester, there's the Crazy Wasp Lady complete with long creepy rant about how the wasps' ability to sting again and again is reminiscent of multiple orgasms...
- In Dwarf Fortress, Dwarves have a tendency to become Crazy Cat People if the cat population is left unchecked◊, though the cats are the ones adopting the dwarves. Because all the cats will slow the game to a crawl, to counter it, you can have the stray cats butchered for food, leather, and bones.
- Knights of the Old Republic KOTOR 2: In the restored content there is a deranged padawin living in the ruins of an old temple who raises and trains Laigrek (large cockroaches) to kill any trespassers or treasure-hunters on sight. Noble characters can dissuade her while Villains can kill or corrupt her.
- Farmville has a series of ribbons called Cat Lady which are awarded by brushing your cats enough times.
- Edna Strickland in Telltale Games' Back to the Future: The Game. She becomes worse.
- The Cat Lady presents a more sombre approach to the often eccentric but happy cat ladies present in the media. The game itself takes place after the suicide of the main character the cat lady, Susan Ashworth, a misanthropic and lonely woman. With many tragic events in her past driving her to clinical depression, worst of which was the death of her baby girl due to her negligence and the suicide of her husband that followed, she finally decided to end her suffering and drank all 32 of her sleeping pills. But, she was not meant to die.
- One of the tenants in One Piece Mansion is Osuzu, "A sweet but annoying cat-loving older woman". She actually spreads happiness to any tenants directly adjacent to her, even at high stress levels.
- In Final Fantasy VIII, there's a random NPC who asks Squall if he likes cats. If you reply that he doesn't, the guy gets mad and says he's not going to tell him his secret. But if you have Squall say that he does like cats, then he reveals that he keeps 256 cats in his house, to which Squall is not amused.
- Plants vs. Zombies series
- Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time has the Chicken Wrangler Zombie, Octo Zombie, and Weasel Hoarder, each of which hoard Chickens, Octopi, and Weasels respectively. The Octo Zombie's almanac entry even name-drops the trope, calling him the "undersea equivalent of a crazy cat lady".
- Plants vs. Zombies: Heroes introduces an actual Crazy Cat Lady, which starts off without any strength, but gains strength for 1 turn when a Pet card is played.
- From Warframe, we have the Hyekka Masters (even referred to as such in a devstream), though they are a different kind of crazy than your garden variety crazy cat ladies. After all, most cat ladies aren't equipped with flamethrowers and incendiary grenades. Also the cats in question are a breed whose natural prey are the Infested.
- In the second Icewind Dale game, the NPC Firtha has nine cats, despite living in a one-room house.
- Dishonored has a Crazy Rat Lady in Granny Rags, an old homeless woman whose only company are scores of city rats. Of course, she is also the biggest spook on the streets of Dunwall, a sorceress marked by the Outsider, and a cannibal, and the rats are the giant plague-carrying variety with a taste for human flesh.
- Male example in Nanu from Pokémon Sun and Moon, who has a lot of Alolan Meowth in his police station home. Amusingly, he may not be doing it on purpose, since he does have a female Alolan Persian.
- In Pokémon Sword and Shield, one of the NPC campers you can interact with is an elderly lady with a horde of Galarian Meowth.
- Cat Face: Cat Face is once forcibly imprisoned in a disgusting and cramped household full of cats owned by a demented cat lady who lured him in by bribing a female cat to woo him. Even when he escapes, she continues to chase him relentlessly until he locks her into a parallel dimension inhabited by his unfathomably creepy double, Face-cat. Face-cat floats towards her ominously, followed by the screen turning black and the Crazy Cat Lady's screams.
- Wendy Vainity, known for her insane CGI animations, has an obsession with cats, regularly making videos about them and owning several items of furniture featuring cats, in addition to several actual cats that she owns. She also is unmarried and lives alone and has said she prefers cats to people. Contrary to the stereotype, she appears to have a normal, friendly personality. In recent years, Wendy took this one further, changing her Youtube screen name to Mad Cat Lady, and became interested in Furry Fandom, creating her own cat lady fursona Jaguar Ella (which she uses as her avatar). She is very much Louis Wain's spiritual successor albeit in animation rather than painting, as this video aptly shows. Wendy's most famous video, and the one that got her known, is the cat video "Meow! Sad Toy Cats.wmv" or "Meow meow I am a cat."
- Mel'anarch, who is a younger character fitting this trope, replacing cats with spiders, including a giant one named Zhor that she had a child with, though that spider is in fact an elf himself who was altered into his current form.
- An example involving actual cats (here called ferals) is Ash'waren, the Sullisin'rune Ill'haress. After the timeskip she's shown to have several in her chambers, and her justified paranoia and distrust of her servants along with the implications that she has not been leaving her rooms put her here.
- The Free Willies: Amber (though not old and white), shown in a response to an ask on the Tumblr she has nine cats, a rabbit, and a bearded dragon.
- Natalie of Fur Will Fly has has cats, lots◊ and lots◊ of cats, despite being a cat herself. She's also quite energetic, so one could argue that she's a twofer of this trope.
- Nobody Scores! both subverts and plays this trope straight in a one-shot where Jane tries to become a literal Crazy Cat Lady.
- The entire point of Cat vs. Human
- Dong-whi and Yun-lee are both absolutely cat-crazy in Nineteen, Twenty-One and spend a lot of the comic looking after cats. The cafe owner is also absolutely cat mad.
- Homestuck has Roxy Lalonde, who achieves the unique feat of being Crazy Cat Lady while only 15 years old and a protagonist. She's not your typical Cat Lady, as she doesn't begrudge the displaced Dersites their hunting of her cats. It helps that she's one of the last two humans on Earth.
Why did you have to clone so many cats? Why did they all have to breed so much?
Why do they all have to be so friendly???
- Discussed Trope in Freefall. Florence tells Winston to not adopt ten thousand adorable robots.
Florence: That's how crazy cat ladies get started.
- In Housepets!, the mother of the eleven "Mr. Bigglesworth" cats is implied to be this. She has eleven Siamese cats, and named them all, male and female alike, "Mr. Bigglesworth".
- And then there's the Christmas party.
- Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal:
"If we can assemble enough cats in a small enough space, we'll have created a neural network! A mind!"
- Jamie Halligan in Leftover Soup made a tabletop game revolving around not only hoarding cats, but stealing them from one's opponent. It's called "Cat Burglar".
- Uh-Oh, Its a Dinosaur: Mrs. Lucinda, with her one cat. You will eventually learn to feel sorry for the poor thing.
- Toon Hole puts a spin on it. Someone's aunt is hording cats, but as soon as he leaves, it's shown that the cats are actaully keeping the cat lady hostage.
- In an episode of The Guild it's shown that Vork keeps dozens of birds in his home. He apparently uses them for food (since he is unemployed and only barely gets by on his dead grandfather's benefit checks).
- Katherine of Manwhores is an unusual version of this trope in that she is in her 20's and doesn't actually own any cats (being allergic.) This doesn't stop her from filling her house with cat posters, cat models, and cat movies filling her house — in addition to demanding to play with a cat toy to, um, get frisky.
- CollegeHumor's video "Batman vs Cat Lady" parodies Catwoman with a character clone who is a classic Crazy Cat Lady.
- Photoplasty Famous Images, As Seen From a Different Angle shows a dozen cats on the side of the room that we don't see in James McNeill Whistler's famous portrait of his mother.
- Pets are #5 of their list 6 Things You Didn't Know You Could Get Addicted To, which mentions Toxo.
- In the world of the SCP Foundation, the Tailor-Made Prison for SCP-511 requires that an old lady suffering from dementia play the role of a Crazy Cat Lady to a building full of feral cats, with said feral cats all being controlled by a cat shaped thing made from the decaying flesh of multiple dead cats. Since the family of such a woman would never let her live alone in a cat infested buildingnote , the Foundation kidnaps one from a hospice or nursing home when the previous Crazy Cat Lady dies and forces her to live there. The Foundation considers this to be a lesser evil than allowing SCP-511 to escape.
- Referenced in this lolcat.
- The herbalist healer in two episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender lives alone on a mountain with her spoiled cat, Miyuki.
Aang: You're insane, aren't you?
Herbalist: Thaaat's right.
- There's Hatty MacDoogal, a crazy cat lady on Futurama who tends to carry a cat around with her and calls anything she doesn't know the word for a "kajigger" or a "whatchacallit".
- Codename: Kids Next Door has a Crazy Cat Lady as a recurring Villain of the Week. She can even make her cats gather around her to cause Make My Monster Grow on herself!
- Gravity Falls has "Lazy" Susan Wentworth, a scatter-brained old waitress at Greasy's Diner who owns several cats; The Stinger for "Dipper vs. Manliness" has her getting them to leave a message with her on Stan's answering machine.
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series presents a more sympathetic example with Mrs. Hasagawa, Kokaua Town's fruit seller. She has collected a large number of alien experiments that, due to either poor eyesight or senility, she thinks are cats. Lilo and Stitch tried to remove them, but then decided against it when they realized Mrs. Hasagawa really did care for them and was taking care of them as well as anyone else could.
- Looney Tunes: The Sylvester and Tweety cartoon "Ain't She Tweet" has Granny with what looks like hundreds of bulldogs ("They're so cute and active!") in her yard, which makes it harder than usual for Sylvester to get at Tweety.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The trope is discussed by Rarity's friends in "Suited for Success" after she freaks out and refuses to leave her home due to a particularly ill-timed visit by a fashion critic.
Applejack: Well, we can't just leave Rarity like this...
Pinkie Pie: She'll become a crazy cat lady!
Twilight Sparkle: She only has one cat.
Pinkie Pie: Give her time...
- The Apples' cousin Goldie Delicious in "Pinkie Apple Pie" takes it Up to Eleven with an adult cheetah included in her horde of cats, and can be seen in a later episode adopting even more felines. Goldie even takes several of her cats with her on her trip to Las Pegasus in "Grannies Gone Wild".
- Fluttershy was well on her way to becoming one, with Rainbow Dash and Rarity her only real links to the larger Pony world, when Twilight Sparkle dropped into her life and recruited her into what amounts to her service.
- The trope is discussed by Rarity's friends in "Suited for Success" after she freaks out and refuses to leave her home due to a particularly ill-timed visit by a fashion critic.
- The Simpsons: The Crazy Cat Lady, seen up above and originally introduced in "Girly Edition", is the Trope Namer. If somebody approaches her house, she greets them with incomprehensible screams and thrown cats. Her real name is Eleanor Abernathy, and according to the episode "Springfield Up," she used to be a successful doctor and lawyer — until she suffered mental burnout around age 32, turned to alcohol, and sought emotional solace in her pet cats. One episode, "The Blue and the Gray", revealed she has a Spear Counterpart in the form of a Crazy Dog Man. Another episode, "Lisa's First Word", shows a flashback of Homer and Marge house hunting, coming to a house that is filled with cats. They mention that it will be a nice house once the cats are out, and the real estate agent tells them that the former occupant's will specifically states that the house belongs to the cats, so they would technically be the landlords of the Simpson family.
- In The Fairly OddParents episode "Invasion of the Dads" Mrs. Turner becomes one of these, even though she's severely allergic to cats.
- The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack: Flapjack accidentally lets all of the cats escape from the home of one in "Who Let the Cats Out of the Old Bag's House?".
- The Venture Bros. has Myra Brandish, Dr. Venture's ex-bodyguard-turned-stalker, who keeps at least 5 cats. That she BREASTFEEDS.
- In the Phineas and Ferb episode "Road to Danville", Buford is surprised at how lame the title characters' idea of a quilt is. After Phineas says Buford does not have to hang out with them all the time, Buford awkwardly says that it's fine and he'll turn into a cat kid. Isabella asks what that is, and Buford says it is the "kid version of a cat lady". He attempts to make it not so awkward by saying, "Quick, someone say, 'Where's Perry'!" and Baljeet does so and Buford says, "You're always there for me, man."
- In the Pixar Short "George and A.J.", one of the many senior citizens impressed by Carl Fredricksen's escape in his house of balloons is a cat lady of this kind, whose name is Mrs. Petersen. When the titular male nurses show up to take Mrs. Petersen to the nursing home, she uses her cats to make an elaborate escape of her own similar to Carl's.
- The Cleveland Show:
- In "Buried Pleasure", Cleveland introduces Holt to his co-worker Jane, who loves cats and has a bunch at her home. Though her cats don't really like her, as one of them just turns off the machine when she tries to leave them a message.
- In "Sexy and the Biddy", after Hazel has Murray re-committed to the nursing home, he and Rallo get even by having her committed by placing cats everywhere she goes until she snaps, making her think she's becoming a crazy cat lady.
- The Critic:
- In one episode, Jay was tied up by her crazy fan and tries to call for help. An old woman with many cats heard him, thinking one of her cats is talking. Soon, Jay starts talking to her about his sad life, until she threw the cat out the window for talking too much.
- In another episode, when Alice invites Jay into her apartment room, he's worried he might fight a lot of cats there. But to his surprise, her room is fancy.
- Teen Titans Go!: Happens to Starfire in "Cats Fancy", due to Robin wearing a cat suit.
- Bob's Burgers - Linda's sister Gayle only has three cats, but she's definitely crazy. According to one episode she got one of her cats, Mr. Business, from taking him off someone else's porch, and she once mentioned that the pound will not let her get more cats.
- The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Sanctuary" involves SpongeBob taking in a stray snail to keep as a companion for Gary and when the residents who don't want their snails learn of this, they give them to him. It gets to the point where he takes in any snail he comes across as his house becomes filled with them and he starts taking on the appearance of a stereotypical hoarder. Eventually, Squidward is able to get a snail rescue shelter to take them from him.
- Before taking on the Chipettes in Alvin and the Chipmunks, Miss Miller had a lot of cats. What happened to the cats afterwards is never explained, and her eccentric ways are toned down slightly.