Recently, cinemagoers were treated to Idris Elba's latest movie, Beast, which saw his character go up against a ferocious lion. Whether this will be the next hit horror movie or not remains to be seen, but there have been plenty of big and small cats that have become successful movie monsters.

For decades, filmmakers have been able to transform some of the cuddliest and most sophisticated pets and majestic big cats into horrific beings for audiences to jump scare at over and over again. Whether they appear for one scene or play a major role in the movie, there sure have been plenty of horror titles starring these creepy felines.


10 Butch (The Incredible Shrinking Man)

A tiny man running away from a cat in The Incredible Shrinking Man.

Released in 1957, The Incredible Shrinking Man starred Grant Williams as a man who continuously shrinks after coming into contact with a strange fog. And soon even his own home becomes a deathtrap where his once beloved pet cat Butch wants to hunt him down.

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Not only was Butch transformed from a lovable pet to a gigantic hunter, but the scene was also used to sell the movie on its posters. Being able to use the effects and filmmaking at the time, the production team were able to change the perspective on the pet from a companion to a threat, which inspired other iconic sci-fi and horror movies with a similar approach.

9 Miss Malkin's Cats (The Uncanny)

A Still From The Uncanny

The horror anthology movie featured some entertaining stories filled with many iconic British talent and avenging cats. One of the scariest stories involved Miss Malkin, who was murdered for rewriting her will to give the fortune to her cats, but they would soon exact their revenge against the murderer.

What made her pets particularly scary was how much they were filled with rage that was previously not seen which made the turn in their behavior that much more terrifying. Not also helped to make it one of the best scenes in the movie, but helped to cement the tone of it throughout and was an underrated horror anthology movie unlike any other.

8 Felice (The Kiss)

Cat from The Kiss

After being cursed with a deadly kiss from her aunt, Felice reunites with her sister's family, only to cause catastrophe for them, all in an attempt to rid of the curse on someone of her bloodline. Appearing throughout the movie, a ferocious and intimidating wild cat infiltrates their home, which is later revealed to be one of Felice's magical forms.

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While the movie may not be fondly remembered today, there is no denying how terrifying and effective the puppetry is for this particular animal. The exaggerated canine teeth and aggressive facial features made it one of the movie's highlights that would make anyone feel scared of any feline getting inside viewers' homes.

7 All The Pet Cats (The Corpse Grinders)

Poster for the movie The Corpse Grinders

Directed by Ted V. Mikels, one of the many celebrated cult American filmmakers, his 1971 comedy-horror title saw a cat food manufacturer start using people as their key ingredient. But soon afterward, the cats that have consumed it start developing a taste for human flesh.

While a low-budget production, the movie did try to make the cats act dangerous and bloodthirsty which, while probably seen as comedic today, might have put some people off from giving their lovable feline pets a pat on the head for a while. And Mikels would turn this concept into a series as it was followed by two sequels that followed a similar formula that might have made it funny more than terrifying at the time.

6 Dan's Cat (Re-Animator)

The scientist of Reanimator doing experiments

Seen by some as one of the best horror comedies of the 1980s, Re-Animator told the story of two medical students named Herbert and Dan who created a serum that can revive the dead. Made up of a series of mishaps and unpredictable side effects, they soon become jealous of each other.

Before their eventual feud, they attempt to resurrect Dan's deceased cat, but with the mix of painful cries and a twisted body with exposed organs, it became a haunting moment in the movie. Being cruelly resurrected against its will made it a memorable victim while potentially making some feel uncomfortable and on edge with what it is going through.

5 Valentine (Army Of The Dead)

Valentine growls in Army of the Dead

One of Netflix's most anticipated releases of last year, fans of Zack Snyder rejoiced as he made a horror-action movie that saw him return to working alongside zombies once again. After a deadly viral outbreak occurs in Las Vegas, a rag-tag group must try to sneak in and steal a fortune hidden in a casino while avoiding the living dead that haunts the city.

Among the many highlights was the living dead white tiger Valentine and as its true strength remained a mystery throughout, it made its presence that much more terrifying. And when they eventually do, Snyder is more than willing to show blood flying from its jaws, making it one of the movie's scariest zombies.

4 Irena (Cat People)

It may have received a sequel and a remake in 1982 to celebrate it's fortieth anniversary, but the original remains a cult favorite with horror fans. After Irena and Oliver fall for one another, the latter soon starts to notice strange happenings surrounding his love that will come to shock him in more ways than one.

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Leading up to the movie's conclusion, a panther is stalking multiple characters without being seen by them or the audience which creates unnerving tension throughout. Furthermore, the unease of this threat and its relation with Irene remains a mystery, adding more suspense as the characters are left in as much suspense as the audience.

3 Auntie's Cat (House)


The Japanese comedy-horror movie eventually found a cult following when it was re-released for audiences in the states at the end of the 2010s. House focuses on a girl called Gorgeous, whose visit to her aunt would become a trip she and her friends will never forget.

Throughout the entire movie, Auntie's white cat appears in a number of supernatural ways that see it become a threatening force. From shimmering green eyes to transforming into a ghostly entity, filmmaker Nobuhiko Obayashi was able to make the creature become a force to be reckoned with that some horror fans might not initially expect this seemingly adorable pet to do.

2 Church (Pet Sematary)

Based on one of Stephen King's beloved supernatural books, Pet Semetary tells the story of the Creed family, who lose their pet cat Church in a car accident. Bu only patriarch Louis knows and buries the deceased animal in an ancient burial ground in order to revive it, despite warnings.

While Chuch does indeed come back to life, he is no longer the same animal audiences were introduced to, being full of aggression and behaving with sinister intent. Without using any particular effects, director Mary Lambert was able to transform the same animal into a nightmare-fueled monstrosity that surely made more than one audience member jump up with fright while also being faithful to the similarities from the book.

1 Cat From Hell (Tales From The Dark Side: The Movie)

Based on the hit horror television series Tales From The Darkside, the movie is made up of three horrifying stories, all of which will surely make anyone feel scared and uneasy. The second story, Cat From Hell, saw an assassin hired to kill a cat that roams a large mansion, only for him to get his comeuppance by the sinister feline.

A truly terrifying foe, the cat doesn't stop at being creative with its kills, even going so far as to dive into the mouth of the hired killer who tried to hunt him down and suffocate him painfully. And emerging from the corpse's mouth for the mansion's owner to see was truly a sight to behold as even by the end of the story, audiences are left puzzled and speechless by the origins of this particular animal makes it all the scarier.

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