When the Cat's Away

A Mickey Mouse Cartoon

Release Date : May 3, 1929

Running Time : 6:42


While Tom Cat, drunk on bootlegged hooch, is away hunting, Mickey, Minnie, and an army of mice ransack the feline's home for food.


Mickey Mouse
Minnie Mouse
Katt Nipp


Walt Disney
Carl Stalling

Cut Scenes

A scene of Kat Nipp drinking liquor in the opening scene.


United States
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
Mickey Mouse in Black and White Volume 2
The Mickey Mouse Club : February 16, 1956

Technical Specification

Color Type: Black & White
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono : Cinephone
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by Celebrity Productions, Inc.


From Thomas Mulligan : I like the way when Mickey, Minnie, and all of their mouse friends sing and dance!
From Mark Yorsaner : Overall, it was OK (small Minnie and Mickey were kinda cute) , although I wouldn't recommend watching it if you don't like vermin. When you have mice, rats and roaches scurrying all around in a relatively nice looking house, it may make some people nervous.
From Jerry Edwards : When the cat, owner of the house, leaves to go hunting for the day, the mice take over the house to play. Mickey and Minnie tap dance on a piano keyboard, playing some popular tunes. I've always considered this a very odd Mickey cartoon, with Mickey, Minnie and the other mice shown to be closer to the size of real mice, instead of the "usual" near human size. Also odd is that, while most of the other mice have more "rat-like" faces, it is sometimes difficult to tell them from Mickey, since some of them also wear Mickey's style of short pants. One fun gag is that one of the mice turns into a key so that Mickey can use "him" to unlock the door to the house. Another fun gag is where a block of Swiss cheese is cut so that it can be played on a player piano. A fun cartoon, once I got over the shock of the mini-Mickey and mini-Minnie.
From Gijs Grob : Awkwardly, in this cartoon Mickey and Minnie are portrayed as real mice. They are joined by several look-a-likes in a house party, while the owner, a drunk cat, is gone hunting. There's still some silent comedy (and no dialogue), but there's no real story, only an extended musical number. Therefore I regard this cartoon as the first of many "song and dance routine" cartoons. (It predates the Silly Symphony series, which initial sole raison d'etre seems to be song and dance routines). These cartoons no doubt delighted the audiences at the time. However, I regret their coming, because both story and surreal humor had to give way to the rise of them. When the Cat's Away for example, despite some clever gags, easily is the dullest of the earliest Mickey Mouse cartoons.
From Ryan : Isn't that unusual? Mickey and Minnie were the size of regular mice in this short. I wonder why Disney did this. This short was okay, but I would not call it one of my favorites. One gag I liked was where one mouse put a record on another mouse's snout. Then a third mouse came, put a funnel in his mouth and placed his tail on the record. The first mouse wound up the second mouse's tail and out came the song "Kingdom Coming."
From Hal Niederbrach : I got this short on "Mickey Mouse In Black and White Volume 2" . I'm surprised that this short is so old (it goes back to 1929) that the Main Title music cue or the music in this short doesn't survive anymore.
From Bill : This was sort of a strange early Mickey short. Mickey and Minnie and a group of their mouse friends break into Tom Cat's house when he leaves to go fishing. This is odd because it is not something Mickey would do. It is also strange because Mickey and Minnie are the same size as the rest of the mice, "small". Some of the mice are even wearing the same kind of shorts Mickey wears. I attribute this to the fact that the short is an early one in Mickey's career. He was still being developed. But it had the trademark music and dancing which I always enjoyed in the Mickey shorts. It also had some clever gags; Mickey using one of the mice for a key for the lock; Mickey cutting up a wheel of cheese for the player piano; and one clever gag, one of the mice playing a record on his nose and being wound up with his tail by the other one. Not one of the best efforts of the early Mickey's, but enjoyable just the same.

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