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Can't take my eye off the tiger.
When it comes to animal symbolism, a major association of felines is with sex. Any feline-themed character is likely to be very sexually attractive and probably the most sexualized character in the work. This can range from actual Funny Animal cats, to characters who are to some degree feline-human hybrids or shifters, to alien or fantasy Cat Folk, to entirely human characters who have a cat theme. Because Most Writers Are Male, this usually applies to female characters, although there are male examples.
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It's easy to see why: Cat ownership and feline traits have been historically associated with women (although in Real Life an equal number of men and women own cats). Many things men found attractive in women were projected onto cats. They are viewed as graceful, gymnastic and flexible; they have a mercurial temperament; if they aren't neutered they make it obvious to everyone around when they're in heat, and even when not in heat, they have no shame in their love of being petted and stroked. It can't be a coincidence that "sex kitten" rapidly became a term for female sex symbols. note 

Note that for this to be the case, the character's sexiness and feline associations must both be unusual within the work — if a work has a cast made up mostly of anthropomorphic cats, don't add the sexy one.

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There is a very strong overlap with Classy Cat-Burglar. See also Cat Girl, although they vary in their degree of sexualisation, with some being platonically "cute". Compare to Cool Cat.

See also Foxy Vixen for this trope's canid counterpart, as well a Snakes Are Sexy and Seductive Spider.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime And Manga 
  • Yoruichi from Bleach is a sexy tanned kunoichi who can turn into a black cat and would wind up naked when reverting to her human form.
  • Yukari Kotozume aka Cure Macaron from KiraKira★Pretty Cure à la Mode who has a cat motif. She is portrayed as the most attractive member of the group to the point that Even the Girls Want Her. She can also come off flirtatious to others. Even her Cure outfit is out there compare to the other's outfits.
  • In Ranma ½, Shampoo is a beautiful Chinese warrior woman who aggressively pursues the protagonist, and turns into a cat whenever splashed with cold water.
  • Fairy Tail: Erza's kitty-obsessed childhood friend Milliana began sporting an extremely revealing outfit and sexy attitude after she went through adolescence during the first Time Skip.
  • Soul Eater: Blair is a magic cat who can shapeshift into a human. In human form she's a woman who dresses very skimpily and flirts with any man she meets. (In one Gender Bender story where she's temporarily changed into a man, she's just as sexy and sexually-active.)
  • In Sword Art Online, the game Alfheim Online features a race of cat-like fairies called the Cait Sith, with members of the race bearing cat ears and tails. The only significant characters who are members of the race, Silica and Sinon, are attractive girls who are also part of Kirito's Unwanted Harem.
  • Obi in Snow White with the Red Hair has a restrained cat theme and is a sexy dude.
  • Neko Musume in the 2018 anime adaptation of Gegege No Kitaro finally ended up in this trope, after decades of being made Progressively Prettier from her original creepy, Gonkish appearance.
  • High School Dx D has Koneko Toujou's buxom older sister Kuroka. Both of them are nekomata.
  • Eris in Cat Planet Cuties is a stacked Cat Girl with no nudity taboo. When the Catian mothership arrives, it's shown that the rest of her species is similarly sexy and has very liberal ideas regarding nudity, casual sex, and polygamy compared to Japan.

    Comic Books 
  • The Trope Codifier in many ways is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, a morally ambiguous villain-turned-(anti)hero and arguably the Ms. Fanservice of the whole DC universe. She's a Classy Cat-Burglar and Femme Fatale who serves as an occasional ally and love interest for Batman himself, while her outfit tends to be some version of a Spy Catsuit or even having her Dressed Like a Dominatrix.
  • Marvel has Catwoman's Alternate Company Equivalent Black Cat, and Tigra, a furry half-feline heroine in a bikini with definite animal instincts.
  • On the male side, DC's villain Catman spent decades as something of a C-list joke... until Gail Simone got her hands on him in Secret Six and reinvented him as a badass, frequently shirtless, bisexual Anti-Villain.
  • Wonder Woman villain Cheetah has been this at times. Her Golden Age version was a beautiful Badass Normal woman in a fur-print catsuit with hand and foot claws. Later versions have made her a feline-human hybrid, sometimes sexy but sometimes more bestial and uncanny looking.
  • Downplayed with DC's Starfire. She's an alien whose species evolved from cat-like creatures and she's a beautiful, flirtatious, Innocent Fanservice Girl in a skimpy costume who became notorious by being one of the first heroic characters to have non-marital sex in a DC comic. However, there's relatively little feline about her appearance or personality, and the "evolved from cats" thing is rarely mentioned.
  • The heroine of the Porn with Plot pioneering adult furry comic Omaha the Cat Dancer is an anthropomorphic feline stripper with frequent on panel nudity and sex scenes.
  • Parodied in Empowered with Ocelotina, a cat-themed purported supervillainess who is basically an in-universe porn star.
  • The IDW Angel post-show comics introduced an assassin named Dez, a female jaguar given the magical ability to shapeshift into a human. She was depicted as a Shameless Fanservice Girl with many nude scenes.
  • In The Wicked + The Divine, Sakhmet, who incarnates the Egyptian Cat Girl war goddess, is the most sexualised and sexually active of all the gods, hardly caring for anything except physical pleasure.
  • Flare has Tigress, whose usual Stripperific tiger-print costume includes thigh boots and fingerless gloves. She once claimed to have been worshiped in ancient Egypt as the goddess Bast.
  • Shakara featured a minor female character from a species of Cat Folk who tries to betray the assassin Valentine D'Eath after sleeping with him.
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    Film — Animated 
  • The Shrek series and spin-offs portray the Puss in Boots as a Dashing Hispanic who likes to flirt with women, while Kitty Softpaws is characterized as a seductive Classy Cat-Burglar.
  • Sawyer, the feline female character from Cats Don't Dance. Though not heavily sexualised, she does boast a rather curvaceous body, is a very skilled dancer and is the love interest to Danny.
  • El Arca has Panthy, a Femme Fatale panther club singer with an Impossible Hourglass Figure.
  • Treasure Planet: Captain Amelia is the most noticeably feminine character in the cast while being a member of the Cat Folk, with much emphasis on her agility and accent. She eventually becomes a love interest for Doctor Doppler and marries him by the end.

    Film — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Discworld: When Nanny Ogg's cat Greebo is at times magically transformed into a human, he is described as a battle-scarred Hell-Bent for Leather tough guy exuding enough bad-boy sexuality to leave any non-lesbian woman who sees him practically catatonic.
  • In the October Daye books, Tybalt is the king of the local Court of Cats and a cat shifter. When he is first introduced, he is explicitly described as "basically walking sex appeal". Much attention is paid to how he looks in tight leather pants.
  • There's a very dark example in various works by the British SF writer Richard Calder, starting with the Dead Girls/Dead Boys/Dead Things trilogy. "Catgirls" in them are the result of a human mutation that makes them beautiful, instinctive and malicious Femme Fatales. They are also intensely masochistic, to the point of seeking out and enjoying their own Questionable Consent sexual murders.
  • The were-leopards of City of Devils are all extraordinarily good looking and ooze sex appeal. Unfortunately for everyone else, they transform into huge, hungry felines when they're aroused, and pretty much anything gets them feeling frisky.

    Live-Action TV 

    Music 
  • The Cure's "The Love Cats" consists mostly of a whole string of feline metaphors for sex, including semi-orgasmic cat noises.
  • The video for the Fall Out Boy song "The Take Over, the Break's Over" features several women dressed as cats dancing seductively.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • This one's Older Than Dirt. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess associated with love and fertility, is usually depicted with the head of a cat (a lioness in earlier depictions, a housecat starting around the Late Period).
  • Norse Mythology associated the Love Goddess Freyja with cats.

    Theatre 
  • While the characters themselves are less human in behavior and fall under Nearly Normal Animal, most of the costumes in Cats evoke this, being tight spandex outfits decorated with tabby, calico, or other feline patterns. In addition, most of the female cats wear lipstick and eyeliner. It's especially noteworthy in the "Macavity" number, where two female cats dance seductively while singing it, and in the character of Rum Tum Tugger, who does pelvic thrusts during his song and takes a clear influence from Mick Jagger.
    • It's also all but directly stated that Grizabella may have been this in her youth, as she wears a little black dress and high heels, is more heavily made up than the other cats, is referred to as "the glamour cat", and is implied to have been a prostitute.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Blake the cat faunus is noted both in and out of universe to be sexy. Her design is made to be androgynous and form-fitting to be attractive to both sexes and many characters proclaim their attraction to her. She is also the only member of the Team who has a confirmed relationship (albeit a failed one) before the series, and has multiple people interested in her over the course of it.

    Western Animation 

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