What do we get when we combine a cute cat with a cute anime girl? An animated cat girl who overflows with unbounded cuteness!
Cat girls are somewhat rare in anime, but they're one of the unique character types that you'll only find in anime (at least for now). Cat girl characters are becoming more popular because their mannerisms and personalities often make them adorable and lovable.
In that sense, anime cat girls are usually designed for fan service—and for that, they certainly succeed. But more and more, we're seeing anime cat girls who go against that type in different ways, including those who are badass, powerful, scary, or even creepy.
From vicious warriors to ambassadors from outer space, here are our picks for the best anime cat girl characters of all time.
15. Haineko (Bleach)
Haineko is one of the many Zanpakuto Spirits who materialize and rebel against their masters under the influence and brainwashing of Muramasa during the anime-only arc of Bleach: the Zanpakuto Rebellion of the Zanpakuto Unknown Tales Arc.
She has pretty lewd behaviors and a narcissistic attitude while under the powers of Muramasa. But after the brainwashing is lifted, she returns back to her friendly and kind self.
Aside from being an expert in close combat, Haineko uses her power similar to how Rangiku uses her Zanpakuto's Shikai form, relying on the ash that cuts anything it touches. And because that ash takes no solid form, it can be a surprisingly lethal ability.
14. Eris (Cat Planet Cuties)
Cat Planet Cuties falls under the harem genre of anime, so expect to see a non-trivial amount of mature content and various elements that really aren't kid-friendly—and that includes the galactic mission of Eris, a cat girl of the Catian race.
She's a tall and fair lady with a perfect body. (That's a given, seeing as how Cat Planet Cuties is full of fan service.) She's kind but also powerful, and she adds lots of action to her scenes when called for.
13. Neko-Musume (GeGeGe no Kitaro)
Neko-Musume (which literally translates to English as "cat girl") is a yokai character from the anime GeGeGe no Kitaro. She's affiliated with the Kitaro family and she's a tsundere type towards Kitaro, usually presenting in her human form as a young girl.
She appears more modern in the 2018 series, wearing a cherry red dress with a white long-sleeve shirt underneath. Her eyes are golden and her purple hair is tied back into a ponytail with a red ribbon.
When she transforms into cat form, her eyes become sharp, her nails grow into claws, and her hair stands straight like an angered cat. This also happens when she's excited, like when she sees fish or rats.
12. Himari Noihara (Omamori Himari)
Another cat yokai character is Himari Noihara from the series Omamori Himari. She's a bakeneko (known in the series as a demon cat spirit) who takes the form of a young lady.
Because of an incident in her past, she became a demon slayer and vowed to protect Yuto from the demons who want to kill him. On top of being a cute bodyguard, she's an expert swordmaster.
Omamari Himari is another anime that falls under the harem genre, so expect a non-insignificant amount of fan service. Even so, fan service aside, Himari is a well-written character as a samurai cat girl who's willing to give up her life for her young master.
11. Millianna (Fairy Tail)
In Fairy Tail, Millianna is a cheerful lady who really loves cats and doesn't want to see them get hurt, to the point that she imitates them in appearance. She's a human, but her brown hair is stylized as cat ears and she has four red whisker-like tattoos on her cheeks.
She appears weak and helpless at first, but she turns a new leaf when she becomes a member of the all-girl guild, the Mermaid Heel.
After she was betrayed by a childhood friend, Millianna filled the void in her heart with hatred and promised herself that she'd make those people who hurt her pay for all her years of suffering. But that resolve vanished when she came to understand the truth.
10. Erin (Seisen Cerberus)
In Seisen Cerberus, Erin is among the party who traveled to look for traces of Dagan Zot, a dragon that was sealed years ago. She's cheerful and fun to watch, but she's a tricky type of character who takes advantage of situations to bring herself to safety away from danger.
She has brown ears that match her brown hair and cat tail. She wears a combination of maroon and red clothes, with a cloth wrapped around her waist that forms a ribbon at her back.
She's seen to care about the main lead, Hiiro, but her true intention as to why she joined them on their journey is yet to be revealed.
9. Tamaki Kotatsu (Fire Force)
Tamaki Kotatsu, a member of the Fire Force 1st Division, may not be a traditional anime cat girl in appearance, but she definitely has the abilities of a cat and they manifest in cat-like ways.
Tamaki has a special Ignition ability called Nekomata, which grants her cat-like traits including increased speed and agility, plus the ability to engulf her target in flames. During Nekomata, her yellow eyes turn shining golden and her red flames form cat ears and a tail.
She's a clumsy one who often gets in trouble, and she has a lot of weak points, but her will to become stronger often gets the best of her.
8. Carla (Fairy Tail)
Carla is a cute white cat with pink ears, a pink ribbon at the end of her tail, and fashionable clothing tastes (unlike Happy and Lily). She knows nothing about her past, but knows the prophecy about the disaster that may happen to her homeland of Edolas.
She was aloof at first and only cares about Wendy Marvell, to whom she provides air support. She nags all the time because she's a strict friend who acts like a mother, but eventually she opens up to the rest of the guild members and smiles frequently at the chaos her friends make.
She trained herself and her own magic, which grants her transformation abilities—and she's much cuter in human form!
7. Leone (Akame ga Kill!)
More of a woman than a girl, Leone from Akame ga Kill! is one of the members of the assassin group Night Raid. She's a normal human who's a fierce combatant and a competent spy, and she's able to become a cat girl once Lionel (her Teigu) is activated.
In her cat girl form, Leone grows ears and her hair stretches longer. She also gains tremendous strength and can sense dangerous intent (so sneak attacks don't work on her).
Though she's a woman, Leone doesn't act like one in the way she carries herself and her mannerisms.
6. Fran (Reincarnated as a Sword)
Fran was once a slave cat girl who was freed from slavery after "Master" burned the contract that tied her to her heartless owners. Now a free individual, she becomes an adventurer with Master—the "great sword"—who guides and helps her.
However, she isn't just strong because of the Skill Sharing settings that allow her to share in Master's skillset. She actually has an innate affinity for combat and magic, which makes her able to use those skills efficiently even without much training.
5. Kanade (Beast Tamer)
While his fellow heroes think that his ability is pretty lousy and useless, Rein Shroud's beast-taming ability in Beast Tamer actually earns him several extraordinary allies, including Kanade.
The cute cat girl companion Kanade is Rein Shroud's first familiar after he's banished from his party, so that already makes her pretty special.
However, behind her adorable appearance and childish tantrums, there hides a power to be reckoned with. She may not be adept at magic, but she's physically strong and able to bring down large beasts in one hit.
4. Yoruichi Shihouin (Bleach)
Yoruichi Shihouin may not normally have the cat-like ears or tail of a traditional cat girl, but she can transform into her black cat form, which definitely earns her a spot on this list.
Like Kisuke Urahara, she now resides in the Human World and only steps foot in Soul Society when needed. She also played a crucial role in the developments of Orihime Inoue and Sado "Chad" Yasutora, as she was the one who trained them during the early arcs of Bleach.
Yoruichi is a skilled Soul Reaper who once served as the leader of Soul Society's elite forces, the Onmitsukido. Because of her expertise in Shunpo, she's known as the Goddess of Flash, proven when she manages to escape Byakuya while carrying Ichigo.
3. Hiyori Iki (Noragami)
Unlike other anime cat girl characters, Hiyori Iki lacks cat ears even when she projects into her spirit form. Even so, she does have a tail that distinguishes her cat form from her human form.
Hiyori is a kind girl who's often willing to lend a hand to anyone who needs help, as seen right from the first episode of Noragami when she jumps to push Yato away from an oncoming truck.
In her spirit form, she exhibits the agility and nimbleness of a cat, which she enjoys even when she goes for a stroll by herself.
2. Kaguya Shinomiya (Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War)
Being an anime cat girl doesn't necessarily need to mean literally a cat. For example, look at Kaguya Shinomiya of Kaguya-Sama: Love Is War.
Kaguya isn't literally a cat nor does she have any superpowers or abilities that manifest in cat-like ways. She doesn't even possess the traits of a cat, whether it's agility or enhanced hearing or acute vision.
As it turns out, Kaguya is just a human who really likes wearing a cat ear headdress and acting like a cat. But she's super cute when she does and she's grown into a popular character because of it, making her one of the most iconic cat girls in anime. That's more than enough for us!
1. Neferpitou (Hunter X Hunter)
Neferpitou (or Pitou for short) is the feline Royal Guard of the Ant King Meruem. She's a chimera like the other Ants, but she's distinguished by her cat-like characteristics and appearance.
Neferpitou is strong, loyal, and deadly. She's the perfect mix of cuteness and badassery, but she's also a villain and that makes her both easy to love and easy to hate. We can't blame the main character for hating her!
Of course, Neferpitou isn't all bad. She has a softness under her tough exterior, and it mainly comes out when it's about the King. For example, she pleads for Gon to let her finish treating Komugi (the King's love interest) when she was badly wounded by the Dragon Dive.