Looney Tunes Wiki

Catch as Cats Can is a 1947 Merrie Melodies short directed by Arthur Davis.


An emaciated canary, singing like Frank Sinatra, is getting on the nerves of a pipe-puffing parrot, who speaks like Bing Crosby. The parrot spots Sylvester, foraging through the trash. Telling Sylvester he needs more vitamins, which the canary has been swallowing in bulk, he lures Sylvester inside to snare the canary.

The straightforward approach fails (the canary bops him in the eye instantly). After Sylvester gives up instantly, the Crosby parrot stops him and forces him to continue "to get the vitamins he needs". Sylvester employs the following tricks to eat Frankie, all of them ending in failure;

  1. He carves a female canary from soap, lures Frankie there; the birds slide down a greased counter, into the sink, and down the drain, but only the soap bird goes through the pipe and down Sylvester's throat.
  2. Sylvester creates a trail of birdseed into the garage. This technique seems to work, but Frankie jacks Sylvester's mouth open.
  3. Sylvester laces the vitamins with buckshot; like all cartoon magnets, his attracts everything metal in sight except his prey.
  4. Sylvester uses the vacuum cleaner to suck up Frankie. After opening the vacuum bag, the canary turns Sylvester's vacuum cleaner against him, with a crash in the fireplace giving Sylvester a hot-stomach; as he buries his head in the sink, the bird adds Foamo-Seltzer to the water; Sylvester rockets off, crashing into a wall.

Just as the Crosby parrot is about to give an injured Sylvester a new plan to eat Frankie, the cat finally realizes the portly parrot is a better meal. The canary sees Sylvester sitting on the parrot's perch, imitating his mannerisms.





According to the podcast Cartoon Logic, the ending in which the Sinatra canary discovers that Sylvester ate the Crosby parrot and begins acting like him had a scene cut before its theatrical release where the camera was to pan to the backyard showing a tombstone reading "came in before his horse," a joke about Crosby's lucklessness at betting on horses. Versions of this short shown today on American and international television, as well as home media and streaming, end just as Sylvester, as the Bing Crosby parrot, says, "Ah, there's nothing like vitamins..."[1]


  • This was only one of three non-Bugs Bunny cartoons from 1947 not to be reissued. The others were "Mexican Joyride" and "A Pest in the House".
  • Songs sung by "Frank" include: "As Time Goes By", "It Can't Be Wrong" and "A Little on the Lonely Side".
  • This one of the only two shorts featuring Sylvester to be directed by Arthur Davis. The other is "Doggone Cats". Unlike the said short, where Sylvester didn't talk and had a yellow unnamed feline partner, "Catch as Cats Can" has Sylvester speaking, albeit with a dopey voice and no lisp.
    • Coincidentally, they were both released in 1947.
  • This is the only Sylvester short made in 1947 to not be reissued.
  • MeTV aired this short 26 November 2021 on Toon In with Me, however, this airing appears unrestored.



← Doggone Cats Sylvester Cartoons Back Alley Oproar →
Sylvester Cartoons
1945 Life with FeathersPeck Up Your Troubles
1946 Kitty Kornered
1947 Tweetie PieCrowing PainsDoggone CatsCatch as Cats Can
1948 Back Alley OproarI Taw a Putty TatHop, Look and ListenKit for CatScaredy Cat
1949 Mouse MazurkaBad Ol' Putty TatHippety Hopper
1950 Home, Tweet HomeThe Scarlet PumpernickelAll a Bir-r-r-dCanary RowStooge for a MousePop 'Im Pop!
1951 Canned FeudPutty Tat TroubleRoom and BirdTweety's S.O.S.Tweet Tweet Tweety
1952 Who's Kitten Who?Gift WrappedLittle Red Rodent HoodAin't She TweetHoppy Go LuckyA Bird in a Guilty CageTree for Two
1953 Snow BusinessA Mouse DividedFowl WeatherTom Tom TomcatA Street Cat Named SylvesterCatty CorneredCats A-weigh!
1954 Dog PoundedBell HoppyDr. Jerkyl's HideClaws for AlarmMuzzle ToughSatan's Waitin'By Word of Mouse
1955 Lighthouse MouseSandy ClawsTweety's CircusJumpin' JupiterA Kiddies KittySpeedy GonzalesRed Riding HoodwinkedHeir-ConditionedPappy's Puppy
1956 Too Hop to HandleTweet and SourTree Cornered TweetyThe Unexpected PestTugboat GrannyThe Slap-Hoppy MouseYankee Dood It
1957 Tweet ZooTweety and the BeanstalkBirds AnonymousGreedy for TweetyMouse-Taken IdentityGonzales' Tamales
1958 A Pizza Tweety-PieA Bird in a Bonnet
1959 Trick or TweetTweet and LovelyCat's PawHere Today, Gone TamaleTweet Dreams
1960 West of the PesosGoldimouse and the Three CatsHyde and Go TweetMouse and GardenTrip for Tat
1961 Cannery WoeHoppy DazeBirds of a FatherD' Fightin' OnesThe Rebel Without ClawsThe Pied Piper of GuadalupeThe Last Hungry Cat
1962 Fish and SlipsMexican BoardersThe Jet Cage
1963 Mexican Cat DanceChili WeatherClaws in the Lease
1964 A Message to GraciasFreudy CatNuts and VoltsHawaiian Aye AyeRoad to Andalay
1965 It's Nice to Have a Mouse Around the HouseCats and BruisesThe Wild Chase
1966 A Taste of Catnip
1995 Carrotblanca
1997 Father of the Bird
2011 I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat