Tom and Jerry is one of the most iconic cartoon series of our lifetime. This long-running show started in the 1940s and spin offs continue to this day. This beloved comedy features Tom Cat in his many failed attempts at catching Jerry Mouse. While Jerry is your typical brown house mouse, Tom is a domestic shorthair with no specified pedigree.
What Is a Domestic Shorthair?
The term domestic shorthair refers to short-haired cats that do not belong to any recognized purebred cat breed. They are not to be confused with the American Shorthair and the British Shorthair, which are two recognized breeds.
The domestic shorthair is categorized by having a short, sleek, soft coat. Because this term is used to describe any short-haired domesticated cat, these cats can come in a variety of coat colors and patterns. Domestic shorthairs shed regularly but are low maintenance with grooming needs and typically do well with regular brushing to remove loose hairs.
Domestic shorthairs will vary in size, with females typically reaching up to 12 pounds and males reaching up to 15 pounds or more. Since this is not a purebred cat that does not fall into a breed standard, size and stature will naturally vary depending on the individual’s genetics.
The most common eye color for a domestic shorthair is greenish yellow or gold but they can also have varying shades of blue, hazel, green, and yellow.
Like all other traits of the domestic shorthair, their personalities can vary significantly, too. Most purebred cats are bred to have more specific personality traits but since these cats are of mixed origins, they will have their own temperament.
The lifespan of a domesticated house cat typically ranges between 10 and 18 years of age but some have been known to exceed the age of 20. Strays and feral cats that live outdoors typically have shorter lifespans because they are left to fend for themselves and do not have access to veterinary care.
Tom and Jerry
Tom and Jerry made their first appearance to audiences back in 1940 in a theatrical short titled “Puss Gets the Boot.” This instant hit led to the icon we know and love today. The animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbara went on to create more than 100 episodes of the series for MGM about these cat-and-mouse rivals with a flair for chaos and mischief.
Tom Cat made his first appearance in 1940 as Jasper but had his official name by 1941 which inspired your typical male cats that are referred to as tomcats. He is a gray and white domestic shorthair with a tuxedo pattern. He is best known for his antics and his recurring failed attempts at capturing Jerry, his clever little mouse nemesis.
Jerry is a witty brown house mouse that resides in Tom’s home and loves to gorge on cheese. Tom may have his sights set on catching Jerry, but Jerry is much too clever to fall victim to the hapless cat. Tom is typically seen as the villain of the story, but Jerry certainly has plenty of mischief up his sleeve.
Recurring Characters in Tom and Jerry
Spike and Tyke
Two of the most well-known recurring characters in Tom and Jerry and Spike and Tyke. This father-son duo is the epitome of what a healthy father-son relationship looks like. The father, Spike, is stern and occasionally absent-minded. He has a special distaste for cats, especially Tom but holds a sweet spot for mice. Tyke is your typical playful, fun-loving puppy that looks up to his dad.
Butch Isaac Cat is a black and white tuxedo cat that was first introduced as an antagonist but is seen on and off throughout the series as either a friend or foe, depending on the mood.
Toodles Galore is a beautiful short-haired pure white cat with long lashes, showy makeup, and a ribbon around her neck. She never speaks and doesn’t get involved in much other than being the object of Tom’s affections.
Mammy Two Shoes
Mammy Two Shoes is one of the few human characters in the Tom and Jerry series. She rarely ever shows her head but frequently has to deal with the chaos caused by Tom and Jerry.
Tuffy is a food-loving, diaper-wearing young gray mouse that often speaks in French. He is known for upsetting the duo when he scarfs down large meals that both Tom and Jerry have their sights set on.
Quacker is the little yellow duckling that is always trying to escape being a victim of Tom. Jerry is often seen trying to save Quacker from Tom, too. He is a very loving and trusting little duck that wants to be friends with everyone, even Tom is setting him up as a meal. He speaks much more often than the two main characters.
Cuckoo is a yellow canary that always teams up with Jerry to defeat Tom, primarily through some sort of violence.
Lightning is an orange cat that gets his name from his lightning speed. He first appears as Tom’s rival but is recurring throughout the series as one of the alley cats that is either a friend or enemy of Tom.
This tiny gray kitten is often portrayed as one of Tom’s alley cat friends, though he had a history of befriending Jerry, he is often seen playing the role of his enemy.
Meathead is the mangy brown alley cat that wears a red toupee. He is one of Tom’s many rivals throughout the series and is portrayed as more of a dim-witted individual.
George and Joan
George and Joan are the nice couple that own Tom and Spike. George is often seen wearing a suit and complaining about bills. He is more of a dog person that is often reading a newspaper in the company of Spike. Joan is more of a cat person and is closer with Tom, she is typically seen either cooking or knitting.
Jeannie is the teenage babysitter that watches George and Joan’s baby while they are out. She is typically seen talking on the phone and neglecting her duties while Tom and Jerry do their best to keep the little one in check.
George is Tom’s cousin, though he is the spitting image of Tom and looks as though he could be this twin. Unlike Tom, George has an extreme fear of mice.
Cousin Muscles is Jerry’s cousin and the strongest character in the series. None of the cats were a match for this tough guy, including Tom.
Uncle Pecos is Jerry’s cowboy uncle that is always sporting a black cowboy hat that covers his eyes. He has a long white mustache and is always singing while strumming away at his guitar.
Tom from the long-running hit TV series, Tom and Jerry, is a gray and white domestic shorthair cat with no known pedigree. Domestic shorthair is a term used to describe any short-haired domestic housecat of mixed origins. Tom and Jerry is one of the most popular cartoons in history and though Tom Cat and Jerry Mouse are the stars of the show, many other recurring characters add to the fun.
Featured Image Credit: castleguard, Pixabay