Cats are often overlooked in the history of military animals, and for the most part, all of our famous wartime cats became so during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, when cats were still very much a part of the naval service – both here in the States and abroad. These were the days when it was essential to have a good ratter/mouser on board to protect the food stores. Like their human counterparts, some cats performed above and beyond their daily service. In other cases, the cats were not official members of the service, but they showed courage under fire, or assisted in the survival of troops on the ground. Here are five cats that stand out for their exceptional wartime actions.
Pictured here, a ship’s cat on the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Encounter, 1914-1918