Crookshanks Bio

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Crookshanks is Hermione’s pet who starts off regularly trying to attack Ron’s pet rat Scabbers. After a tumultuous year, it’s revealed that Crookshanks knew Peter Pettigrew was hiding as that rat and had spent the whole year trying to help Sirius Black uncover this mass murderer and turn him in for what he was. After this he maintained a better relationship with Gryffindor, taking to Ginny more than anyone else, and always giving Ron and Harry Potter a sideways glance whenever they were skiving off their homework. 

Crookshanks Quick Facts

Full Name Crookshanks
Birth Date Before 1993
Birth Place Great Britain
Nick Name “That cat”, “bloody beast”, “pig with hair”–as referred to by Ron during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Death Date [if applicable]  
Age When Series Starts At least 2 years old
Zodiac Sign Unknown
Siblings None
Children None
Partner / Spouse Hermoine
Most Memorable Moment Helping Sirius Black reveal Peter Pettigrew
Magical Heritage Full blooded cat
Hogwarts House Gryffindor by extension, as his owner was Gryffindor 
Wand None
Patronus None
Actors Who Played Crackerjack
Last Updated Apr 21, 2022

Crookshanks Birthplace

While it is not specified, we can assume that Crookshanks was born in Great Britain since he lived at a magical shop for animals in Diagon Alley.

Crookshanks Parents

Crookshanks Parents_Magical Menagerie
Image from Fandom

Nothing is known about Crookshanks’ parents or family, but we do know that he lived with the owner of the Magical Menagerie before coming into Hermione’s possession. After that, he belonged to her, and save for her time spent hunting Horcruxes, Crookshanks remained in her care. Crookshanks also showed great loyalty to Sirius Black. 

Crookshanks Physical Traits

Crookshanks Physical Traits
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Crookshanks had yellow eyes and ginger fur. He had a squashed face with a bottleneck tail and closely resembled a lion. He had bandy legs. Sirius Black described Crookshanks as the most intelligent of his kind. 

Crookshanks Early Life

For many years before Hermione adopted him, Crookshanks lived at the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley. He lived in the shop with other animals, keeping watch. 

Crookshanks Hogwarts Years

Crookshanks Hogwarts Years
Image from Fandom

At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry joins Hermione and Ron as they head to the Magical Menagerie in order to find a rat tonic for Ron’s pet rat Scabbers who has seemed a little ill, pale, and balding in places since the family returned from Egypt.

As the three of them waited in the crowded shop full of different pets, Ron explained the background to his pet, noting that he had been in the family for about 12 years and previously belonged to his older brother Percy. Without warning Crookshanks, a large cat jumped off the shelves and tried to land directly on the rat.

By the time Ron was able to save his pet rat and make their way out of the magical pet shop with Harry Potter by his side, they realized Hermione was missing. Much to their surprise, she came out with her arms wrapped around the grubby midsection of the same cat who had attacked Scabbers. Hermione said that the cat was absolutely beautiful and this was going to be her new pet rather than the owl she intended to purchase.

Crookshanks remained a problem throughout this book, and at multiple points, both Harry Potter and Ron started to believe that the cat could understand them, especially when the cat heard Ron talking about how Scabbers had been in his pocket, and Crookshanks jumped and attacked his pocket.

When Harry Potter was woken at 4 a.m. the day of his quidditch after a fitful night of nightmares, unable to return to sleep, he made his way downstairs, at which point he caught Crookshanks trying to sneak into the boys’ dormitory as soon as he had open to the door.

Image from Fandom

At Christmas, when Hermione came into their room to wish them a happy Christmas, she brought Crookshanks, who once again tried to attack Scabbers.

One evening as Harry Potter Was making his way back up to the castle, he saw a pair of eyeballs in the forest but realized gratefully that it was just Crookshanks. However, his gratitude faded almost immediately when he realized that Crookshanks seemed to be talking to a large, black dog. One evening, Harry Potter got up to get some water from the night table near the window. He looked outside and saw the outline of a black, shaggy dog that he thought was a Grimm, indicating his imminent death. Instead, he saw Crookshanks in the middle of the night going up to the forest’s edge and talking to that same dog.

The animosity between Ron and Hermione continued to build all year with regular attempts by Crookshank to seize Ron’s pet rat, Scabbers. It culminated when Ron found blood on his sheets, ginger cat hairs at the foot of his bed, and his rat missing. This ordeal was so traumatic that Ron refused to speak to Hermione until she showed legitimate remorse for how her cat behaved, having allegedly killed Scabbers.

When Ron and Harry Potter received an invitation to visit Hagrid one evening, they were surprised at the severe lecture they received about their poor behavior toward Hermione, who regularly visited Hagrid throughout the year while trying endlessly to research cases that would help with Buckbeak’s appeal. Hagrid explains that she was lonely and struggling, and while Ron defended his position staunchly, it was Hagrid who wisely reminded Ron that people could be a little silly and overprotective when it comes to their pets, and he expected better of both Harry and Ron.

When Buckbeak lost his initial case, and an appeal was in order, Ron offered to help Hermione with research, thus repairing their temporarily damaged relationship.

After Buckbeak’s execution, the trio hid underneath Harry’s invisibility cloak and tried to make their way discreetly back up to the castle. Still, Ron’s recently rediscovered pet rat Scabbers fought him tremendously, eventually biting his hands and running off. In the scuffle that preceded, the shaggy black dog reappeared and pounced on Ron before dragging him through the forest and into the tangle of the Whomping Willow.

As Harry and Hermione frantically danced around in place, being whipped and smacked by the branches of the Whomping Willow, Hermione cried out for help, and that’s when Crookshanks heroically appeared darted through the Whomping Willow branches and pressed the perfect spot with his paw. In doing so, the Whomping Willow became as still as a statue allowing Hermione and Harry to follow Crookshanks through a tunnel at the tree’s base.

This tunnel leads them to the Shrieking Shack, where Sirius Black has taken Ron and his pet Scabbers. During a confusing struggle, the group realized that Sirius Black was an animagus who could transform into a dog, and he was there to kill someone. While they thought he was there to kill Harry Potter, he alleged that he was there to kill Peter Pettigrew, who was masquerading as Ron’s pet rat. When Harry Potter didn’t believe him and held him at Bay with a wand, Crookshanks jumped on Sirius Black’s chest and hooked his claws into Sirius’ coat, shielding him from Harry Potter’s spell.

Image from Fandom

It was during this time that Sirius Black confirmed that the cat had immediately recognized Peter Pettigrew for what he was, and even though the cat was unable to take Scabbers and bring him to Sirius Black, he still regularly helped Sirius Black throughout the school year. At one point, he stole the list of Gryffindor common room passwords off of Neville Longbottom’s nightstand and brought them to Sirius Black so that Black could try to get Peter Pettigrew himself. 

When Professor Lupin and Professor Snape arrived and the subsequent struggle ended, Crookshanks once again led the group back through the tunnel and out to the castle grounds. When the full moon showed itself between the clouds and Professor Lupin began to transform, Crookshanks hissed, his fur standing up on end. Crookshanks was hit with a spell by Peter Pettigrew as soon as Peter was able to take Professor Lupin’s wand, but the cat was safely revived after all was said and done. 

Back on the Hogwarts Express on their way home, a tiny owl almost no larger than a snitch hovered outside their window. When Harry let it into their compartment, it carried a note from Sirius Black, which stated that Ron should now be the rightful owner of the new owl, given that Sirius Black held himself at fault for Ron’s pet disappearing. Even though Ron had been nothing but bitter and angry toward Crookshanks all school year, he now held his new owl out for Crookshanks to sniff and asked the cat’s opinion about whether or not it was safe. When the cat purred, Ron decided to keep the new owl.

In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Crookshanks became friendlier toward the group, curling up in Harry’s lap whenever he sensed Harry was tense. He would judge Ron and Harry when they made up answers for Divination homework. 

Crookshanks_Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Image from Fandom

During Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, it became clear that Ginny had taken a fondness for Crookshanks. Ginny was able to play with him, rolling butterbeer corks at him and regularly luring him out of the kitchen at Number 12 Grimmauld Place. 

During Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Hermoine took Crookshanks with her when she sent her parents, obliviated, to live in Australia. So Crookshanks took up residence at the Burrow with the Weasley family, where he had all the mice he could want. Unfortunately, Hermoine had to leave him behind when the Death Eaters attacked Bill and Fleur’s wedding at the last minute, and Hermoine had to flee with Harry and Ron. Crookshanks likely remained under the loving care of the Weasleys until the Second Wizarding War was over and Hermoine could be reunited with him. 

Crookshanks After Hogwarts Years

Being a cat, Crookshanks lived a long life but no doubt passed away at some point after Hermoine left Hogwarts. 

Crookshanks Magical Abilities and Special Skills

Crookshanks Magical Abilities and Special Skills
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Crookshanks could detect when things were not honorable or truthful. He was able to tell straight away that Peter Pettigrew was hiding, disguised as a rat. He could tell that Sirius Black was also an animagus but was to be trusted entirely. He glared at Ron and Harry throughout the series when they were up to no good or procrastinating, almost as though taking after Hermoine. 

Crookshanks Trivial and Fun Facts

There is a theory that Crookshanks originally belonged to Harry Potter and his family. In the book Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows, Harry finds a letter written by his mother which explains that they had a cat and Harry almost ran it over on his new toy broomstick. Later, when the trio visited the pet store, the owner said she had had the cat for some time, but no one would take it.

In the film version of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Crookshanks acts more catlike than ever, trying to claw the extendable ears Fred and George Weasley had lowered to eavesdrop on the Order of the Phoenix. However, given Crookshanks has the magical ability to detect wrongdoing and bad behavior, this may have been an attempt to thwart their eavesdropping. 

The cat who portrayed Crookshanks is revealed to be Crackerjack on the second disc of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. However, he was also portrayed by two other cats: Prince and Pumpkin. 

To give the cat his mottled appearance, the trainer took clumps of fur Crackerjack had shed and stuck them back onto his body before filming. 

Evanna Lynch, the actress who portrays Luna Lovegood in the films, named her pet cats after characters from Harry Potter. One of her first cats was called Crookshanks. 

Crookshanks Appearances in Books 

Crookshanks appears in the following books:

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Crookshanks Appearances in Films

Crookshanks appears in the following films:

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Quotes About Crookshanks

Ron and Harry after first seeing Crookshanks in the pet store:

Ron Weasley: “What was that?”

Harry Potter: “It was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger.”

Hermoine when Crookshanks appeared in the common room one evening, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban:

Clever Crookshanks, did you catch that all by yourself?”

In the same book after Crookshanks tried to attack Scabbers out of Rob’s bag”

There’s something funny about that animal! It heard me say that Scabbers was in my bag!”


Question: Is Crookshanks a Boy or a Girl?

Answer: Crookshanks is a male cat. 

Question: What Type of Animal is Crookshanks?

Answer: Crookshanks is a cat, but a special wizard breed of cat with instincts and characteristics similar to tigers. 

Question: How did Crookshanks Know Sirius?

Answer: Crookshanks met Sirius on the grounds at Hogwarts. Sirius said it took a while to gain his trust and communicate with him, but after that Crookshanks helped Sirius find Peter Pettigrew. 

Research Citations

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 1999.

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic, 2002.

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Listening Library, 2003.

Rowling, J. K. (2010). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. London: Bloomsbury. Chicago (Author-Date, 15th ed.) Rowling, J. K. 2010.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.

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