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What Kind of Cat Is Mrs. Norris From Harry Potter? Famous Cat Breeds Revealed!

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

kitten dressed as a witch in a cauldron halloween

If you’re a cat lover and a “Harry Potter” fan, you’ve likely heard of Mrs. Norris. Whether you like reading the books or prefer the movies (or maybe love both equally!), Mrs. Norris makes an appearance in both mediums. But what kind of cat is she?

Mrs. Norris doesn’t seem to be any specific breed in the books, but she was portrayed by the loveable Maine Coon breed in the movies.

If you would like to learn more about this unique character from the “Harry Potter” franchise, keep reading. We go over Maine Coon cats in more detail and take an in-depth look at the Mrs. Norris character.

What Kind of Cat Is Mrs. Norris in the Books?

Argus Filch was the caretaker and resident snitch at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was definitely not one of the students’ favorite people. He was known to constantly skulk around the halls of Hogwarts, hoping to find any students breaking the rules so he could punish them.

Mrs. Norris belonged to Filch and was essentially his eyes. She had a strong connection with Filch and would seemingly communicate with him instantly while spying on the students. Filch would go as fast as he could to where the rule-breaking was occurring. So, if the students saw Mrs. Norris, they knew that Filch wasn’t far off and would attempt to make their escape.

Mrs. Norris is described in the books as looking similar to Filch. She has a scrawny and skeletal body, and her fur is dust colored. Her eyes are called “lamp-like” because they are bulging and yellow. It doesn’t specify if the eyes also glow, but they might a little, especially at night.

maine coon cats sitting
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

What Kind of Cat Is Mrs. Norris in the Movies?

The cats that portrayed Mrs. Norris in the movies (yes, there were more than one) have all been Maine Coons. There’s practically no resemblance between the movie version and the book version. Instead of being scrawny, dust colored, and having yellow eyes, the movie Mrs. Norris is a large and fluffy tabby with brown and black fur and red-colored eyes.

Four cats played Mrs. Norris over the course of the eight movies:
  • Pebbles: She was a retired cat that came from a U.K. cattery called Kittycoonz. Her job was to walk the hallways of Hogwarts because she was specially trained to stop at a specific spot (or mark).
  • Maximus: He was trained to run beside David Bradley (the actor who played Filch) and jump onto his shoulders.
  • Alanis: She was particularly adept at sitting in David Bradley’s arms without struggling. She was apparently so good at it that she would often fall asleep there!
  • Cornilus: He was more of an extra, so he was trained to sit still and turn or look around on command.

Except for Pebbles, these Maine Coons were rescue cats.

While Mrs. Norris was given red eyes for the first several movies, they were blue in the final films.

More About the Maine Coon

blue tabby maine coon cat with dirty fur
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Now that you know more about Mrs. Norris, let’s look at the type of cat that was used to portray her in the movies.

History of the Maine Coon

The Maine Coon happens to be one of the most popular cat breeds in the world. Their history is steeped in mystery and legends, and no one really knows how this breed originated. What is known is that they were likely brought to North America from Europe on a ship where they took care of the rodent problem in the food storage.

One legend says that it was a Viking ship, which makes sense if the theory that Maine Coons descended from Norwegian Forest Cats is right. Since both breeds are fairly similar in appearance (large and fluffy), it is certainly a possibility.

Whatever kind of ships these cats were on, they eventually arrived in Maine. The longhaired cats started mating with the local cats, and the Maine Coon was brought into existence.

Maine Coon Appearance

Maine Coons are quite recognizable! They are the largest breed of cat and are known for their thick and fluffy coats and striking ear tufts. They come in almost every color but tend to be most known for the tabby pattern, just like Mrs. Norris!

They have strong and muscular bodies with a rather prominent square muzzle and high cheekbones. If you’re not sure if the cat that you’re looking at is a Maine Coon, the size, huge fluffy tail, and ear tufts should give you your answer.

maine coon kitten lying
Image Credit: VLADIMIR LVP, Shutterstock

Maine Coon Personality

There’s something about the largest pets that makes them the gentlest, and the Maine Coon is no exception! Maine Coons are frequently referred to as gentle giants. They are super affectionate and love spending time with their families. They also tend to follow you from room to room just to be in your presence.

While they are loving, Maine Coons are not necessarily lap cats and might choose to sleep next to you instead of on you. They are playful and intelligent and make amazing cats for a family with children and even other cat-friendly pets.

Care for the Maine Coon

The hardest part of caring for a Maine Coon should come as no surprise: grooming. It’s always best to get a cat used to being groomed at a young age. Gentleness goes a long way — brushing should feel pleasurable and not painful in any way.

Maine Coons could benefit from being brushed daily, but two to three times a week is more than enough. If time is an issue, they should be brushed at least once a week. Spring and fall are shedding seasons, so it’s even more important to stay on top of brushing a Maine Coon at these times.

Maine Coons have exceedingly thick undercoats, and if they develop mats, these will pull on your cat’s skin and can be quite uncomfortable. You can use a wire slicker brush or a soft brush during grooming sessions — just be careful to not scratch your cat’s skin if you are using a slicker brush.

Beyond brushing, they also need their claws trimmed and their teeth brushed regularly.

Finally, Maine Coons can be easy to train (which is not surprising after learning that four trained Maine Coons were used for the “Harry Potter” movies). They can even enjoy going for walks on a harness and leash. It isn’t quite the same as walking a dog, since cats tend to go at their own pace, but it can be an enjoyable experience for you both!

Conclusion

Mrs. Norris isn’t a great match for the Maine Coon. She was given red eyes in the movies to show her inner bad nature, which is quite the opposite of the amazing Maine Coon.

One interesting fact is that the author of the books said that she chose the name Mrs. Norris from a character in the Jane Austen novel, “Mansfield Park.” The Mrs. Norris in this book was similarly unpleasant and skulked around in the background too!


Featured Image Credit: Katrina Brown, Shutterstock

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