What are some of the most famous cats throughout history? Our own cats might be the stars of our lives, but there are a few notable felines in history that even non-cat people recognize. Join the team at Oakland Veterinary Referral Services as we pay homage to some of the most famous cats throughout history

Unsinkable Sam

During World War II, this black-and-white boy survived not one, not two, but three sinking ships. He was aboard the German ship the Bismark when it was hit by a torpedo and sank in May 1941. Not only did he survive, but he was able to jump aboard the British ship the HMS Cossack. That is, until that ship also sank after being hit by a German torpedo. Sam then survived his third sinking ship when the HMS Ark Royal was hit by a different torpedo and sank in November 1941. While the ships might not have survived, Sam did, and he got to enjoy a comfortable retirement (on land) for the remainder of his life. 

Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat was a memorable feline of modern times. With her naturally grumpy face, she stole the hearts of internet users throughout the world. The cat (whose real name was Tarder Sauce) managed to look especially cantankerous in practically every scenario. She became a viral sensation in 2012, and people around the world embraced her less-than-thrilled demeanor in a series of popular memes. While her owner insisted she was a happy cat who loved cuddles, her grumpy facial expression is what truly earned her love and respect. Sadly, Tarder Sauce passed away in 2019, but her grumpy expression will live on forever. 


While this French cat was born on the streets of Paris, she’d go on to have a lasting legacy spanning all time. She became the first cat to survive a flight to space. Launched inside of a special tube that monitored her vital signs in 1963, she successfully returned from her trip, and will forever be known as the first cat in space. To honor her after her death in 1967, she was buried in front of the French Space Agency. Visitors and space enthusiasts can still pay their respects today at her tombstone. 

Creme Puff

While felines jokingly have nine lives, Creme Puff the cat only needed one incredibly long one. She is listed as the oldest cat who ever lived. In fact, she enjoyed eating broccoli, eggs, coffee, and red wine for thirty-eight years…and three days. It’s hard to imagine any cat topping this Texas kitty’s record.


Chase is another internet cat-sation who has melted hearts throughout the world. This tabby (and his sisters Millie and Skye) have been the stars of many viral videos with their “cat dad” building them forts in closets while they run away when their mom comes into the room. Chase has often been the highlight of the videos with his need for physical affection and his reluctance to be pulled away (especially when hugging his mom in those moments he’s not playing pretend with his dad). He is not afraid to let his parents know when he is unhappy about something.

At OVRS, we love cats of all shapes and sizes, even if they’re not one of the famous cats throughout history. If you’re in need of emergency care or specialty feline veterinary care, we are the place for you. To learn more about our services or to schedule an appointment, please call (248) 334-6877.