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The Best Cat Mascots in Professional and Collegiate Sports

Cats have it all – they’re adorable but ferocious, friendly but focused. That’s probably why so many organizations choose a cat as their mascot to represent the athleticism and community camaraderie’s that define sports. 

There are, in fact, so many cat mascots that we thought we’d do a little round up of the most iconic and impressive feline mascots in professional and collegiate sports.

The Most Common Collegiate Cat Mascots:

When it comes to college cat mascots, there’s not a ton of originality. The standard “big cats” are used as mascots for 69 schools, with “Tigers” being the most popular. How many schools share the same mascot names? Check it out:

  1. Tigers: 19
  2. Lions: 16
  3. Cougars: 12
  4. Panthers: 11
  5. Wildcats: 11

The Top 10 Professional Cat Mascots

We’re sure these rankings may rumple a few tails, but hey, we just love a great cat mascot. What can we say?

1. Cincinnati Bengals: Who Dey the Bengal

Named after the battle cry of this professional football team, “”Who dey, who dey, who dey think gonna beat dem Bengals?”, this white bearded Bengal cat has a captivatingly exotic personality and a history that dates back to 1981.

2. Portland Trail Blazers: Blaze the Trail Cat               

Blaze the Trail Cat is an adorable feline with a heart-shaped nose and a tail of flames who has represented this Oregon basketball team since ’02.

3. Minnesota Lynx: Prowl

This WNBA mascot has fierce blue eyes, pointy ears and loves to dunk on the competition.

4. Utah Royals FC: Lioness

A newcomer to the competitive landscape, this Lioness represents Utah’s first NWSL team with a crown atop her head.

5. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jaxson de Ville

Styled after the nickname for Jacksonville, Jax, this jaguar accessories his blue spots with sunglasses and shorts, and often finds adventurous ways (zip wires, army jeeps, etc.) to enter the stadium.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks: D. Baxter the Bobcat

Created in 2000, this bobcat was created because the team played at the BOB (Bank One Ballpark). Baxter’s extra chubby cheeks are a crowd winner for this MLB team.

7. Los Angeles Kings: Bailey the Lion

This NHL mascot reps the Kings as the king of the jungle, with the number 72 on his jersey to represent the average temperature in his hometown, Los Angeles.

8. Carolina Panthers: Sir Purr

Sir Purr leads the NFL with an average of 451 hugs per appearance, it’s a good thing his big blue eyes are so lovable.

9. Sacramento Kings: Slamson the Lion

Meet Slamson, mascot for Sacramento’s NBA team. We want to love Slamson, we really do. His mane is gorgeous, but his mouth is a little reminiscent of the Cheshire cat.

10. Boston Pride

The Boston Pride NWHL team needed a cat as fierce as their team to represent them, and the sleek, yellow feline on their jerseys does not disappoint.

The Top 10 Collegiate Cat Mascots

1. BYU: Cosmo the Cougars

Cosmo the Cougar has been repping BYU for almost 60 years. He may be a symbol for sportsmanship, but his hip-hop dance skills are unmatched.

2. University of Arizona: Wilbur and Wilma Wildcat

The University of Arizona not only has one cat mascot, they actually have TWO! Originally it was just Wilbur, but then he met Wilma in 1986 and never looked back.

3. LSU: Mike the Tiger

Believe it or not, Louisiana actually has a tiger habitat where a real-life, rescued tiger lives on campus. His name is Mike VII and he’s cared for using a USDA approved care plan.

4. Houston: Shasta the Cougar

The University of Houston also uses a live cougar as their mascot, Shasta VI. However, the cougar is housed at the Houston Zoo instead of on campus.

5. University of Kentucky: Scratch the Wildcat

Dating back to the 70’s the Wildcat mascot had several iterations, until finally the school landed on this family-friendly version, named Scratch.

6. Missouri: Truman the Tiger

This big-nosed mascot earned its name in 1984, after the president Harry S Truman who hailed from Missouri.

7. Villanova: Will D. Cat Wildcats

With a mouth full of pointy teeth that manages to be both adorable and intimidating at the same time, Villanova’s cat mascot closely resembles the bobcat, which is a member of the wildcat family.

8. Texas State: Boko the Bobcat

Boko the Bobcat was created all the way back in 1921 and named for an ancient Greek jester!

9. Penn State: Nittany Lion

This fictional cat was created as a tribute to the mountain lions that roamed Pennsylvania back in the 1800’s and Mount Nittany, which is located by the school.

10. University of Auburn: Aubie the Tiger

This quirky, animated tiger was originally based on a cartoon character, and was the first to be inducted into the mascot hall of fame.

Cats really do make the best mascots, regardless of what sport or team they represent. Was your school or professional sports team on this list? Let us know what your favorite cat mascot is in the comments! For more fun cat culture, check out our blog.