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Ron: "What was that?"
Harry: "It was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger."
Ronald Weasley and Harry Potter see Crookshanks for the first time.[src]

Crookshanks was Hermione Granger's pet cat. He is half-Kneazle,[1] 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).


Purchase by Hermione

Ron: "You bought that monster?"
Hermione: "He's gorgeous, isn't he?"
Ron: "Hermione, that thing nearly scalped me!"
— Hermione and Ron after the former's purchase of Crookshanks[src]
Hermione poa

Crookshanks with Hermione.

Crookshanks was purchased by Hermione Granger from the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley in 1993. The proprietor informed Hermione that he had been there for quite some time, and that "nobody wanted him."[2] It could be that as a highly intelligent animal, Crookshanks was merely waiting for someone worthy of his companionship and as Hermione is a very intelligent witch, Crookshanks must have deemed her worthy of his affection.

Crookshanks and Scabbers

"This cat isn't mad. He's the most intelligent of his kind I've ever met."
Sirius Black on Crookshanks[src]

Crookshanks played an instrumental part in Sirius Black's attempts to enter Hogwarts Castle for the purpose of procuring Peter Pettigrew, who was masquerading as Scabbers, Ron Weasley's beloved pet rat. Crookshanks immediately took a disliking to Scabbers, (perhaps because he was half-kneazle and could detect frauds) trying to attack him through Ron's clothes the first time they met. Afterwards, Crookshanks independently sought Scabbers out, causing the rat to seek hiding places. When Scabbers took off to hide in Rubeus Hagrid's hut, Ron was convinced that Crookshanks had eaten him. This caused a row with Hermione, until he was found at Hagrid's.

"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

Crookshanks met Sirius Black in his Animagus form of Padfoot on the Hogwarts grounds several times, and stole 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.


Crookshanks on the Hogwarts Express with Hermione and Ron.

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.[3]

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.[4] Ginny Weasley, whom Ron claimed was a great lover of cats[5], 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.[6]

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.[7] It is unknown what happened to Crookshanks while Hermione was searching for Horcruxes; most likely, he stayed in the Weasley's care, given Ginny's fondness of cats. Alternately, he may have left the Weasley household alone.

Physical appearance

Animalmagic 111305 crookshanks 0001752


Crookshanks was described as very big, bandy-legged, ginger-coloured and with a "squashed head". His face was described to look as if he had "run headlong into a brick wall."[3] This 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. 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 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 but Sirius Black claimed that Crookshanks was the most intelligent cat he'd ever met. Crookshanks was also very playful and enjoyed catching spiders[8], chasing gnomes in the Weasleys' garden[9], and attacking chess pieces[10]. He was affectionate with those he liked and also acted as a shield to Sirius when Harry was planning to kill him. However he was aggressive and disdainful of those he disliked, this list included Ron when the two first met. Crookshanks could also 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. Isaac Robert 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.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 20 images related to Crookshanks.

Notes and references

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