“A cat,” as Judi Dench reminds us in Cats, “is not a dog.” So while the history of movies is filled with dog performers — there’s even an award at Cannes given out for canine actors — it’s often harder to find cats acting onscreen, given their unruliness, independence, and, well, small brains. (There are no actual cats in Cats, however, so maybe they’re smarter than we realize.) This also makes it that much more impressive when we do see cats onscreen — real cats, not CGI or animatronic ones — giving compelling performances. Admittedly, it often takes a multitude of cat actors to make one truly great movie cat, but still, it’s a joy to behold when it all comes together. Here they are, the 24 greatest cat performances of all time.
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