Top Cat (character)

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This article is about the main title character. For the TV series, see Top Cat (TV series). For other uses, see Top Cat.
Top Cat
Top Cat (character).png
I may be shrewd and all, but my friends call me a charismatic leader, if that's what you're looking for!
Species: Cat
Gender: Male
Affiliation: Benny the Ball
Choo Choo
Fancy Fancy
Officer Dibble
Yogi's Gang
Yogi's Treasure Hunters
Occupation: Con artist
Goals: Scam people to get rich
Outsmarting Officer Dibble
First appearance: TC: "The $1,000,000 Derby" (1961)
Played by: Arnold Stang (1961-90)
Daws Butler (1972)
Tom Kenny (2000-02)
Jason Harris (2011, 2015, 2016)
Thomas Lennon (2021)
TCTM Top Cat.png
Top Cat: The Movie
TCB Top Cat.png
Top Cat Begins
WR 2017 Top Cat and Benny the Ball.png
Wacky Races
DC Top Cat.png
Adam Strange/Future Quest Special
JS T.C.png

Top Cat, often abbreviated to T.C., is an anthropomorphic cat and the smooth-talking main title character of the Top Cat animated television series. His voice was originated by Arnold Stang, using a Phil Silvers impression as the basis.

A highly mischievous con artist, Top Cat has been referred to as the most effectual, intellectual, and indisputable leader of his own street gang. He uses his clever wit to devise various get-rich-quick schemes and to tricks others, mainly his foil Officer Dibble.

Character description

Top Cat is a yellow feline with an oval-shaped head, white muzzle, and a black nose. His attire consists of a violet waistcoat, and a violet pork pie hat with a black band. On rare occasions, he also sports a cane to carry with.

Living in small area in Manhattan known as Hoagy's Alley, Top Cat makes a living by being a sly con artist. Although he acts incredibly lazy, he has own charm by using sarcastic remarks, alliterative wordplay, and a natural wit in dry comedy. Top Cat strives to make a fast buck, often using his mind to scam those who bump into him. He does so by taking advantage of the person he targets, usually by complimenting their traits so they would fall under his money-making schemes. Top Cat's targets vary, ranging from gullible patrons, to Officer Dibble, to even his own gang; though he does show some respect to the latter (especially Benny the Ball). In spite of his best efforts, Top Cat's elaborate schemes typically backfire, forcing him to start with his actions all over again.

Top Cat is also the main target of Officer Dibble, a beat patrol cop who bats an eye on him and his gang. The shady gentleman is a thorn on Dibble's no-nonsense authority, which infuriates him just as much as any customer Top Cat has. He lazily ignores cleaning up his own alley, and is frequently seen using Dibble's patrol telephone in spite of it only for the latter's use. No matter how many times Dibble tries to arrest him, or evict him from the area, Top Cat has nearly evaded from these actions, opting to instead continue his own way of life.


TV series





Video games


Debut series

Crossover Era

Yogi's Ark Lark

The Treasure Hunt

Fender Bender 500

Misplaced in Beverly Hills

Harvey Birdman Represents

In the Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law episode "Mindless," Top Cat crashes at Harvey's place after being neutered. He was arrested for money laundering just outside Harvey's house.

Back in the New York Groove

Top Cat Begins

Wacky Reboot

Everyone's Back in Jellystone!

Top Cat in the Funny Books

Flintstones visit New York World's Fair

T.C. Joins the DC Universe


The personality of Top Cat was largely inspired by Sargent "Ernie" Bilko, a character played by Phil Silvers in the 1950s TV sitcom The Phil Silvers Show. While both of these characters may seem different—one a cat who lives in an alley; another a Master Sargent working on a U.S. army base—the two have a shrewd taste for earning quick cash, using their minds to exploit their teams to do the hard work. In addition to having the same voice as Top Cat, Bilko's antics are also what get him in trouble with his higher up, which in his case is the bumbling Colonel Hall.


Main article: Top Cat (character)/Gallery

Behind the scenes

  • Top Cat bares some similarities to Hokey Wolf, who also came out the same year in 1961. The two create schemes to get what they want and both have similar voices, despite them being voiced by two different people.
    • Interestingly enough, Daws Butler represented the voice of Top Cat in the TV movie Yogi's Ark Lark—a pilot of the Yogi's Gang TV series—as Arnold Stang wasn't available at the time. Since Daws was using a similar-sounding voice to Hokey, Hokey had no dialogue in the film, and this issue could have also been the reason why Top Cat didn't appear for the series.
  • According to a 1982 calendar, he was born on May 29.
  • For some reason, his ears poke out of his hat.
  • On British merchandising, he was called "Boss Cat" instead of "Top Cat", due to trademark issues regarding British cat food with the same name as "Top Cat" during the time.
  • Top Cat is very famous in Mexico under the name "Don Gato y su pandilla" (Mr. Cat and his Gang). The popularity of his series led to two movies in the 2010s, Top Cat: The Movie and Top Cat Begins; both produced by Mexican animation companies and distributed by Warner Bros. Mexico.

In popular culture

  • In The Simpsons episode "The Day The Violence Died", Roger Myers Jr. says that animation "has always plagiarizes existing properties" and "without Sargent Bilko from The Phill Silvers Show, we wouldn't have Top Cat."