Lightning is an orange cat who first appeared in the 1948 short Old Rockin' Chair Tom as Tom's rival. Lightning is named as such because in his first short, he practically moved at the speed of lightning. In later cartoons, Lightning often appeared as one of Tom's alley cat buddies/rivals. He (or another similar orange unnamed cat) appeared in Switchin' Kitten and Catty-Cornered.



Lightning is known as laid-back, impatient, gluttonous, hard-working, tenacious, negative, ingenious, no-nonsense and grouchy. In episodes where Meathead is absent, he is shown to be the dimwitted one of the recurring alley cats.


Lightning Cat has orange fur and white paws. In at least two of his appearances, his tail is shown tied in a bandage similar to Meathead Cat. In most of his appearances, he physically resembles Butch Cat, although his character design varies within appearances.


Tom and Jerry

Spike and Tyke 

Tom and Jerry Tales

The Tom and Jerry Show (2014)

Season 2

Season 3


  • Fans have occasionally confused Lightning with Meathead, though the two are not the same and have appeared side-by-side in two cartoons.


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