Get cozy with your favorite feline friends as we tuck into this next list. There are countless cat-themed characters gracing the pages of comics. Like real cats, their personalities and traits are widely varied. Some are silly and friendly, some are shy loners, and others are ruthless predators.
Here, we examine popular comic book characters who don’t just resemble felines, but also possess cat-like powers. Thus, as beloved as she is, you won't see Catwoman here, because she doesn’t display actual cat powers - she just has a cool themed costume. We're focusing on literal cat-people, like Thornn and Mr. Tawky Tawny, along with others who remain human yet possess feline powers, such as Hellcat and Black Cat. There are even a few you may not have heard of before, including Margaret Atwood’s Angel Catbird and DC’s Cat-Man.
- Photo: DC Comics
First Appearance: Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #7 released by DC Comics in August 1987.
How Did She Get Her Powers? There have been several iterations of Cheetah - most of whom simply donned cheetah costumes. However, the third and current version, Dr. Barbara Minerva, actually has cat powers. Minerva was like the DC version of Lara Croft until her tomb-raiding brought her into the midst of an ancient cheetah god ritual. In a ruthless move, Minerva decided to claim these powers for herself, dispatching her colleague in the process to satisfy the required blood sacrifice.
What Are Her Powers? As an avatar of the Cheetah God, Minerva possesses all the speed and agility of a cheetah, the fastest land animal on Earth. She also has enhanced senses, claws, fangs, and a powerful prehensile tail. Additionally, she is skilled at hand-to-hand combat and is incredibly durable, making her a strong contender against her nemesis, Wonder Woman.
Most Cat-Like Attribute: Drinking the blood of her colleague to further her goals. (You can never fully trust a cat; you never know when they’re going to switch from being friendly to trying to eat you.)Purrfect cat character?
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #52 - "Introducing the Sensational Black Panther" released by Marvel on July 1, 1966.
How Did He Get His Powers? As chief of the Black Panther clan and leader of Wakanda, King T’Challa was granted the honor of consuming the Heart-Shaped Herb. This sacred plant can only be consumed by those of royal lineage, and it granted him the powers of the Panther Goddess.
What Are His Powers? Superhuman senses and enhanced strength, stamina, and agility. He also has the power to draw from all the knowledge, strength, and wisdom of prior Black Panthers, and boasts an enhanced healing factor.
Most Cat-Like Attribute: The cute kitty ears on his costume.Purrfect cat character?
First Appearance: The Cat #1 - "Beware the Claws of the Cat!" released by Marvel in November 1972.
How Did She Get Her Powers? Greer Grant Nelson was an ordinary lab assistant until she participated in a novel science experiment that left her with superhuman physical and mental abilities. While fighting crime with her newfound powers, she suffered a fatal injury at the hands of HYDRA agents. The only way to save her life was to bind her soul to one of the Cat People with an ancient sacred ritual, after which she was transformed into the furry cat-woman that is Tigra.
What Are Her Powers? She possesses the physical traits of a cat and tiger-like abilities to match her appearance, including the ability to leap incredible distances, and retractable claws sharp enough to cut through steel. She also has heightened senses, enhanced super-human strength, super speed, and a powerful healing factor. She can also communicate with other felines and has strong empathic skills that are useful in detecting injury.
Most Cat-Like Attribute: Her fluffy tiger-striped fur, along with her willingness to show her claws when cornered - as Ms. Marvel learned the hard way.Purrfect cat character?
First Appearance: Amazing Spider-Man #194 released by Marvel in July 1979.
How Did She Get Her Powers? Felicia Hardy was your average, mild-mannered thief until she met and fell in love with Spider-Man. Fearing that her lack of powers put him constantly at risk of having to save her, she found a way to gain superpowers of her own.
What Are Her Powers? Unfortunately, Kingpin was behind Felicia’s transformation, and she was given a “bad luck” power that jinxed Spidey. Thankfully, Dr. Strange was able to remove it, which gave Black Cat super strength, agility, balance, vision, and retractable claws instead.
Most Cat-Like Attribute: Her notoriously flirtatious and fickle nature.Purrfect cat character?