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: 7.731 (scored by 157173157,173 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #10582
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #859
Members: 249,305
Favorites: 1,335

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Ranked #1058Popularity #859Members 249,305
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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

Prince Lune

Yamada, Takayuki

Cat King

Tanba, Tetsurou




Satou, Hitomi


Yasuda, Ken


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 ...
Jul 16, 2008
A pretty good effort from Studio Ghibli, here.

The story here is very similar to many other Ghibli movies. A character is thrust into a magical land, or sees something out of the ordinary. However unoriginal it may be, it's well done. It's well written, and it's well paced.

The art style is a bit mediocre for a movie. The characters are drawn very simply, and lack shading to make them look more three-dimensional. The background paintings are very beautiful, though.

Soundwise, it is very well done. The music is high quality, and the stereo sound is mastered well. The English dub is done pretty well, no ...

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Poll: Neko no Ongaeshi Episode 1 Discussion ( 1 2 )
Beatnik - Jul 10, 2008
67 replies by Mrtvi0 »»
Jan 18, 2:08 AM
I enjoyed the barons character a lot more than i thought does that make me a furry
doodlenoodle613 - Jun 18, 2021
3 replies by Sakura_2345 »»
Jan 9, 10:53 AM
But what about Bunnies in another world?
Kuriko-san - Apr 20, 2019
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Jan 21, 2022 4:30 AM
Best movie of Studio Ghibli
ProxyLain - Sep 19, 2019
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