"He's the most intelligent of his kind I've ever met."
Sirius Black's acknowledgement of Crookshanks' advanced intelligence[src]

Crookshanks was Hermione Granger's pet cat. He was half-Kneazle,[1][2] as evidenced by his lion-like appearance, ability to solve problems on his own without aid or teaching, and clear dislike of and ability at recognising untrustworthy persons (even if they are transfigured).

In 1993 Crookshanks was purchased from Magical Menagerie by Hermione Granger. The saleswoman from whom she had purchased him stated that he had been in the shop for a long time as "nobody wanted him". Crookshanks played an important role in the events that took place on 6 June, 1994. During the height of the Second Wizarding War, Crookshanks stayed at the the Burrow. It is unknown what happened to him after the war, but it can be assumed that he was returned to Hermione.


Purchased by Hermione Granger

B3C4M2 Magical Menagerie

Crookshanks in Magical Menagerie right before being purchased by Hermione

Ron Weasley: "You bought that monster?"
Hermione Granger: "He's gorgeous, isn't he?"
— Hermione's purchase of Crookshanks[src]

Crookshanks was purchased on 31 August 1993[7] by Hermione Granger from the Magical Menagerie, who had originally gone there seeking an owl. The proprietor informed Hermione that he had been there for quite some time, and that "nobody wanted him".[8]

Under Hermione Granger's ownership

Suspecting Peter Pettigrew

The Trio & Lupin on the Hogwarts Express

Crookshanks on the Hogwarts Express

"There's something funny about that animal! It heard me say that Scabbers was in my bag!"
—Ron after one of Crookshanks' failed attempts to catch Scabbers[src]

Hermione took Crookshanks to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with her and he was present on the train when Dementors boarded in search of Sirius Black. Perhaps because he was half-Kneazle, the newly-adopted cat demonstrated the ability to detect frauds masquerading as animals, most notable of which being Animagi. Before the start of the 1993-1994 school year, Crookshanks attacked Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form of Scabbers, Ron's beloved pet rat when Ron took him in as he was looking unwell after the Weasley family's trip to Egypt.[8] Afterwards, Crookshanks sought Scabbers out even attacking him in Ron's presence and causing the rat to seek hiding places.[9]

Crookshanks and scabbers

Crookshanks seeking out Scabbers in the Great Hall

Crookshanks would even try to sneak into the Gryffindor Boys' Dormitory to seek out Scabbers.[10] Crookshanks got another chance at Scabbers during Christmas when Hermione brought him into the boys' dormitory.[11] These constant attacks were cause for Ron and Hermione to argue. Early in second term, when Ron discovered blood on his bed sheet and Scabbers gone, he was convinced that Crookshanks had eaten him.[12] This caused a row with Hermione until the rat was found at Hagrid's. But Crookshanks was not the only one after Scabbers. Sirius Black's attempts to enter Hogwarts Castle that year, after escaping from the wizard prison Azkaban, was to procure Pettigrew, who framed Sirius for the betrayal of Harry's parents James and Lily to Lord Voldemort and murder of twelve Muggles on a crowded London street during the first War.

At some point during the year, Crookshanks met Sirius Black in his Animagus form, the stray dog mistaken by Harry for the Grim. He immediately took a trusting of Sirius, meeting with him on the Hogwarts grounds several times and stealing the passwords to Gryffindor Tower from Neville Longbottom to help him get into the castle. Crookshanks helped Sirius lure Harry, Ron, and Hermione into the Shrieking Shack. During the scuffle between Harry and Sirius, Crookshanks attempted both to steal Harry's wand and attack Harry, and when both failed, set himself over Sirius' heart. The hesitation that Harry felt gave enough time for Professor Remus Lupin to arrive.

B3C22M2 Ron offering Pig to Crookshanks to check on Hogwarts Express

Ron allows Crookshanks to sniff his tiny owl

Crookshanks led the way back through the tunnels. However, when Lupin transformed into a werewolf, Pettigrew stole Lupin's wand and stunned both Ron and Crookshanks, escaping. After all this, Ron accepted Crookshanks as a remarkable animal companion, asking for his 'judgement' of the small owl that Sirius had offered to him as compensation for the loss of Scabbers to confirm that the owl wasn't another Animagus.[13] Crookshanks did not react to the tiny owl, therefore it was decided that there was nothing wrong with it.

Eve of war

B4C14M2 Hedwig's Gryffindor Common Room delivery

Crookshanks curled up on Hermione's lap in the Gryffindor Common Room

Crookshanks soon became more friendly to others; for example, he once curled up in Harry Potter's lap when Harry was waiting to hear from Sirius. However, he still remained unusually perceptive and disapproving of bad behaviour, judging by how he stared at Harry and Ron while they made up answers for their Divination homework.[14] Ginny Weasley (who Ron claimed was a great lover of cats[15]) seemed fond of Crookshanks; she enjoyed playing with him and was able to coax him out in the kitchen of Grimmauld Place during an Order of the Phoenix meeting, rolling butter beer corks for him to catch.[16]

He had a fondness of chasing Wizard Chess pieces and had to occasionally be restrained in their presence. He was wary of fanged frisbees and hissed when one came near him. At a Gryffindor party, he took to following Ginny around, his yellow eyes fixed upon her new Pygmy Puff Arnold.

Second Wizarding War

During the height of the Second Wizarding War, Hermione and Crookshanks came to stay at the Burrow, but Hermione left with Harry and Ron after Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding reception was interrupted by Death Eaters.[17]

It is unknown what became of Crookshanks after Hermione was forced to abandon him during the attack at the Burrow in 1997. Hermione did not bring him along on the Horcrux Hunt. Most likely, Crookshanks stayed in the Burrow under the Weasleys' care until he could be reunited with Hermione after the war.

Physical appearance

Ron Weasley: "What was that?"
Harry Potter: "It was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger."
Ron and Harry see Crookshanks for the first time[src]
Crookshanks was described as very big, bandy-legged, ginger-coloured and with a "squashed head". His face was described by Harry Potter to look as if he had "run headlong into a brick wall."[13] Crookshanks' other most recognisable physical traits were his "bottlebrush" tail and his yellow eyes.

Personality and traits

"Clever Crookshanks, did you catch that all by yourself?"
Hermione Granger after Crookshanks caught a spider[src]

Crookshanks determining if Ron's new owl Pigwidgeon is an Animagus

Crookshanks was highly intelligent and helped Sirius Black expose Peter Pettigrew who was disguised as Scabbers. Ron Weasley initially thought that Crookshanks wanted to simply eat Scabbers and accused him of being mad. Sirius Black on the other hand claimed that Crookshanks was the most intelligent cat he had ever met. Crookshanks was also very playful and enjoyed catching spiders[18], chasing gnomes[19], and attacking chess pieces.[20]

He was affectionate with those he liked and acted as a shield to Sirius, when Harry Potter was planning to kill him. He eventually came to like Harry and would sit on his lap on occasion, as he did in the summer of 1996. However, he could be moody towards those who threw him off their lap, no matter if it was accidental or deliberate.


The name Crookshanks seems to refer to the cat's bandy legs, from crook, meaning "a bend", and shank, a term for the lower part of the legs. It is likely to be derived from the Scottish surname 'Cruikshanks', which is pronounced in exactly the same way. George Cruikshank was a well-known British illustrator in the 1800s and illustrated Charles Dickens' novel Oliver Twist, the first of the famous "orphan novels" that influenced J. K. Rowling as she came up with the character Harry Potter.

Behind the scenes


Crackerjack, the cat that plays Crookshanks

Crookshanks Plush

Crookshanks plush from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

  • Crookshanks may be named after Poderick Crookshank.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Crookshanks interfered with one of Fred and George Weasley's Extendable Ears, which the twins, Hermione, Harry Potter, and Ron and Ginny Weasley used to listen in on an Order of the Phoenix meeting in 12 Grimmauld Place.
  • Evanna Lynch, who plays Luna Lovegood in the film series, named her cats after Harry Potter characters: she has a cat named Luna and another named Dumbledore. She also had a cat named Crookshanks, although it is now deceased.[21]
  • In the Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban book, Crookshanks was bought by Hermione while Harry and Ron were looking for Scabbers. In the film, this scene was omitted and he was first seen chasing Scabbers when Harry left his room in The Leaky Cauldron. Ron later referred to him as a "bloody beast" and a "pig with hair".
  • Crookshanks' role in the film version Prisoner of Azkaban is considerably diminished compared to his role in the book; he is never shown as friends with Sirius Black nor does he help Sirius in any way.
  • Hermione's ownership of Crookshanks may be reminiscent of her transformation to a cat about one year prior to his purchase.
  • In the films, Crookshanks is played by Crackerjack, as said on the second disc of the DVD of Prisoner of Azkaban. He is also played by Prince and Pumpkin. To make Crackerjack's hair look tatty like Crookshanks's, his trainer stuck bits of his already shed fur onto his body.
  • A plush version of Crookshanks is available at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and at The Making of Harry Potter.
  • Crookshanks' type of cat's face is known as a "pansy face." Based on these markings, Crookshanks would have the characteristics of a hansa Himalayan, or ginger Himalayan cat. He could also be a Persian, but due to his face shape the former is more probable. Many people get these breeds confused. The Persian has larger, buggier eyes and rounder upper lips than a Himalayan.

Author's comments

"When I was working in London in the late 1980s I used to eat my lunch in a nearby square on sunny days and a large, fluffy ginger cat that looked as though it had run face-first into a wall used to prowl around the sunbathers there; I assume it lived in a nearby house. I didn't ever get close enough to give myself an asthma attack, but I became distantly fond of this cat, which prowled among the humans around it looking disdainful and refusing to be stroked. When I decided to give Hermione an unusually intelligent cat I gave him the appearance of this haughty animal, with the slightly unfair addition of bandy legs."[22]


The Harry Potter Wiki has 37 images related to Crookshanks.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Explore the Story: "Crookshanks" at Wizarding World
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.K. - Extra Stuff (2006) via Internet Archive
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 17 (Cat, Rat and Dog) - "But Harry had just seen — slinking towards them, his body low to the ground, wide yellow eyes glinting eerily in the darkness — Crookshanks."
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5 (The Order of the Phoenix) - "Crookshanks had given an angry hiss and shot off under the dresser, from whence his large yellow eyes glowed in the darkness."
  5. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 9 (The Half-Blood Prince) - "Crookshanks's yellow eyes followed it and he hissed when it came too close."
  6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis) - "Crookshanks trotted after her, his yellow eyes fixed upon Arnold."
  7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter , page B - "Harry woke on the last day of the holidays, thinking that he would at least meet Ron and Hermione tomorrow, on the Hogwarts Express."
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 4 (The Leaky Cauldron)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  10. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 9 (Grim Defeat)
  11. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
  12. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 12 (The Patronus)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  17. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  18. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 8 (Flight of the Fat Lady)
  19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 5 (Weasley's Wizard Wheezes)
  20. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 38 (The Second War Begins)
  22. Harry Potter Lexicon

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