The 20 Greatest Cats In Movie History (Before Keanu)

Photo: PHILIP V.CARUSO/REX/Shutterstock.
The kidnapped kitten at the center of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peel's Keanu is about to steal our hearts forever. We'd probably join up with drug dealers to save him too. Theoretically.

But let us not forget the many feline thespians who paved the way for this tiny tabby. Cats, after all, don't just belong in the realm of YouTube videos and Instagram. They have a great and storied history in the cinema, dating back to Thomas Edison's first experiments in moving pictures. Then there was something of a golden age of cats in Hollywood from the '50s through the '70s, when cats slinked onto the screen in grown-up films like Breakfast at Tiffany's and practically every animated movie of the era.

Naturally, there have also been some box-office duds in this catalog (looking at you, Garfield), but we'll channel our feline friends here and ignore the existence of such failures (although it's harder to forget that one of our childhood faves, The Adventures of Milo & Otis, supposedly involved considerable animal cruelty.) Ahead, we honor the 20 best cats in movies.