Neko no Ongaeshi

The Cat Returns

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: The Cat's Repayment
Japanese: 猫の恩返し
English: The Cat Returns
German: Das Königreich der Katzen
Spanish: Haru en el Reino de los Gatos
French: Le Royaume des chats
More titles


Type: Movie
Episodes: 1
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 20, 2002
Producers: None found, add some
Studios: Studio Ghibli
Source: Other
Genres: AdventureAdventure, Award WinningAward Winning, DramaDrama, FantasyFantasy
Theme: AnthropomorphicAnthropomorphic
Duration: 1 hr. 15 min.
Rating: G - All Ages


Score: 7.721 (scored by 173816173,816 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #12432
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #881
Members: 277,251
Favorites: 1,565

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Ranked #1243Popularity #881Members 277,251
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Episodes: /1


High school student Haru Yoshioka is bored with the monotony of life. One day, she saves Prince Lune of the Cat Kingdom from being run over by a truck. As a token of gratitude, the Cat King sends her "presents" and invites her to the Cat Kingdom to become Lune's wife. Haru's inability to properly communicate with the cats leads to the misunderstanding that she has accepted the proposal.

As Haru ponders on ways to escape the predicament, a mysterious voice instructs her to search for the Cat Bureau. However, not long after she finally arrives at the bureau, a horde of cats swarms in and forcibly takes her to the Cat Kingdom, along with a member of the Cat Bureau. Concerned for their safety, owner of the Cat Bureau, Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, follows close behind.

The more Haru immerses herself in the activities of the Cat Kingdom, the more cat-like she becomes. To her dismay, she soon learns that, unless she can find her true self, she may become a cat permanently. Haru's adventures in the world of cats lead her down a path to self-discovery, allowing her to return as a more confident person.

[Written by MAL Rewrite]


The Cat Returns is a spin-off of the movie Whisper of the Heart, and although some characters are crossed over, the stories in the two films are not related. Studio Ghibli began work on the movie as the 20 minute "Cat Project" in 1999 for a theme park in Japan. Although the theme park canceled the project, the 20 minute short film turned into a 45 minute project, and then a feature length film.

The movie was the second Studio Ghibli film to be directed by someone other than Hayao Miyazaki or Isao Takahata. It won an Excellence Prize at the 2002 Japan Media Arts Festival. It also won the Feature Film Award in the 7th Animation Kobe Awards in 2002.

Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors

Cat King

Tanba, Tetsurou


Hamada, Mari




Satou, Hitomi


Satoi, Kenta


Suzuki, Toshio
Ishii, Tomohiko
Assistant Producer
Morita, Hiroyuki
Director, Storyboard
Yoshida, Reiko


Opening Theme

Apple Music
Amazon Music
Youtube Music
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Ending Theme

"Kaze ni naru" by Ayano Tsuji


Nov 2, 2023
Knowing the magnitude and reputation of Ghibli's track record I was expecting something deep, nuanced, and filled with double meanings that’d make a second viewing experience necessary (I actually saw this film twice now and plan on a third at some point soon). But to my surprise this was a very light hearted and fun adventure romp. Think of an Alice in Wonderland, but where everyone is a cat and there’s no scary acid trip montage at the end. The film follows Haru, a highschool student, who one day saves a cat from a speeding car. It just so happens that this cat is a ...
Aug 19, 2023
Mixed Feelings
The Cat Returns/Neko no Ongaeshi review, originally written for my Letterboxd account.

The Cat Returns is one weird movie. At the same time I did find it enjoyable, largely because of how silly it was, but at the same time when it ended, I wasn't left with that much to take away from it.

A lot of it might be because of its runtime. It's just a bit over an hour long, and so it doesn't spend too much time in the cat kingdom, and a lot of it does feel kinda rushed.

However, with its beautiful animation and entertainment value, it is worth a watch, especially if ...
Dec 20, 2021
What is this anime?
Girl saves important cat. Cat kingdom wants to repay her. Cat kingdom also wants her soft, nubile body? ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) Yes, you read that right. Although I exaggerated a bit. Can she escape from the cats with her soft, nubile body in tact?

Did I enjoy it?
Despite my risqué short description of this anime, it is a Family film. Which is partially why it is rated 4. Because I don't particularly like family films unless they have something really special going for them. This movie would be nice if I had kids and wanted to watch something with them. It has ...

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Recent Forum Discussion

Poll: Neko no Ongaeshi Episode 1 Discussion ( 1 2 )
Beatnik - Jul 10, 2008
72 repliesby gannoncannon55 »»
Mar 22, 6:31 PM
Could this be one of the versions of the story written by Shizuku?
InfiNitrous - Jul 14, 2023
2 repliesby animedude1287 »»
Jul 15, 2023 5:38 AM
I enjoyed the barons character a lot more than i thought does that make me a furry
doodlenoodle613 - Jun 18, 2021
3 repliesby Sakura_2345 »»
Jan 9, 2023 10:53 AM
But what about Bunnies in another world?
Kuriko-san - Apr 20, 2019
3 repliesby Alpha_Druid »»
Jan 21, 2022 4:30 AM
Best movie of Studio Ghibli
ProxyLain - Sep 19, 2019
4 repliesby Alpha_Druid »»
Jan 21, 2022 4:25 AM

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