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 170894170,894 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #11502
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #875
Members: 272,611
Favorites: 1,534

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Ranked #1150Popularity #875Members 272,611
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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
No opening themes have been added to this title. Help improve our database by adding an opening theme here.

Ending Theme

"Kaze ni naru" by Ayano Tsuji


Jan 6, 2008
This is my first review, but hopefully it is of some use to the community here.

Story: The Cat Returns is a side story to the Studio Ghibli film, "Whisper of the Heart'. In essence, it is a separate story within a story, which makes the concept quite clever. It brings back old characters from the original showing, into a plot that has a similar atmosphere to The Nutcracker or Alice in Wonderland. It is a fantasy, in a which a shy girl is carried off into another land, and in the process learns more about herself. The moral behind the story is a touching ...
Mar 15, 2008
Mixed Feelings
There are a group of fans who believe that Ghibli can do no wrong. Yet even the studio who gave us classics such as Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, and Spirited Away, are capable of turning out a second-class effort. The Cat Returns, a curious entry to the Ghibli library, is one such movie. Directed by newcomer Hiroyuki Morita, this film is a spin-off of Yoshifumi Kondo's magical Whisper of the Heart--almost unheard of for a studio that strives on original productions.

The story, which involves Haru, an unlucky high school student, whisked away to ...
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
71 repliesby UnknownGhost5 »»
Nov 8, 2023 8:53 AM
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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