Professor McGonagall was a Transfiguration teacher at Hogwarts during Harry’s school years. She was a very proficient witch and possessed one skill that not many wizards and witches achieve.
She was an Animagus, a magical person able to turn themselves into an animal at will.
What Type of Animal Does Professor McGonagall Turn Into?
Professor McGonagall can turn herself into a cat. To be precise, she turns into a silver tabby cat with distinctive markings around the eyes resembling her glasses.
Being an Animagus is a difficult feat to achieve, and seeing as Professor McGonagall taught Transfiguration and was also considered for Ravenclaw, we have no questions about her abilities. Professor McGonagall achieved her Animagus form under the tutelage of Albus Dumbledore, who was teaching Transfiguration at Hogwarts at the time.
What Kind of Cat Was Professor McGonagall?
Professor McGonagall turns into a tabby cat.
Just like her corporeal Patronus, Minerva’s Animagus form is described as a cat, and in the series, it is not of great importance to know the breed of a cat one turns into. The cats can be similar to one another, and we can assume the narrator wasn’t a cat person to recognize any differences and specify what kind of cat is Professor McGonagall.
We can try and make an educated guess given the information we have been provided. One of the most popular silver tabbies in Great Britain is the British Shorthair Silver Tabby.
McGonagall’s Animagus form may be British Shorthair, as she was described as a silver tabby cat. Minerva may resemble her old family cat (minus eye markings), with whom she became very friendly during her early years.
Why is Professor McGonagall a Cat?
Professor McGonagall turns into a cat because the cat is suited best with her character. The Animagus form is, just like the corporeal Patronus, something that comes naturally depending on one’s character. The animal form is a reflection of one’s personality.
The process of becoming an Animagus is lengthy, and one needs a lot of talent and dedication to achieve it. One needs to be skilled at Potions and Transfiguration. There are several steps, including carrying a single Mandrake leaf in your mouth for a month.
After the process is complete, one can choose to turn into an animal whenever one wants. The wizard or witch that trains to become an Animagus cannot select which animal they will change into. One transforms into an animal that suits them best.
Looking into it deeper, we can see how a cat can represent Minerva McGonagall’s character. She was stern, fierce, proud, and very independent, taking matters into her hands without so much as a blink of an eye.
She was also very territorial. On rare occasions, Professor McGonagall also showed affection and joy. In our opinion, those are traits one could give a cat.
Did Professor McGonagall Have a Cat?
Yes, Professor McGonagall had a cat when she was young. The cat belonged to the McGonagall family.
The cat was mentioned by J.K. Rowling when she described Minerva’s childhood. According to the writer, McGonagall’s mother, Isobel, discovered that her daughter is a witch and could command the family cat even before little Minerva could talk.
As far as we know, she doesn’t have a cat at the moment and didn’t have one when Harry was attending Hogwarts. Between her Animagus form, her Patronus, and her getting along well with the house cat from early childhood, we can guess she has an affinity for felines.
Professor McGonagall is one of the most talented witches in Hogwarts castle, and during her youth, she was considered (just like Hermione) the brightest witch of her age. It is no surprise that she could achieve a great deal in her academics, like becoming an Animagus.
As we know, one can’t pick the animal one wants to change into, but a cat is definitely a suitable animal for the fierce and protective Headmistress McGonagall.