Animals in the Pokémon world

Real-world animals have been mentioned a number of times to exist in the world of Pokémon. Most often, they are mentioned in relation to a Pokémon category. For example, Pikachu is known as the "Mouse Pokémon" and was directly referred to in the anime as an "electric mouse", hinting that real-world mice exist in the Pokémon world. Other than this, all other mentions of animals are rare.

A real-world dog featured in a picture book

Pokémon categories

Some Pokémon category names are animals, such as the Poodle Pokémon (Furfrou's category), which implies that there are not only dogs, but different breeds of dogs. The Pokédex routinely mentions the category of each Pokémon in various media. For example, in the anime episode Here Comes the Squirtle Squad, Ash's Pokédex tells him the category of Squirtle, a Tiny Turtle Pokémon, and in the Pokémon Adventures manga round Boogying with Buneary, Diamond's Pokédex displays the category of Buneary, a Rabbit Pokémon. Additionally, Pokémon categories can be found on TCG cards.

In the core series games

Old Amber artwork



  • The Shoal Shell resembles no known Pokémon, but does resemble the shells of clams.

Battle animations

Bees in the animation of Attack Order in Generation VI

Some in-battle animations depict real-world animals.

Pokédex entries

Several Pokédex entries imply the existence of real-world animals.

In the side series games

In the spin-off games

Pokémon Snap

In Pokémon Snap, coral reefs can be seen.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, Weezing and Zubat call the player's partner a chicken.

Pokémon Ranger series

In Pokémon Ranger, one of the foes says that goat milk cheese is his favorite.

In Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, barnacles can be seen in underwater areas.

Detective Pikachu

In Detective Pikachu, a boat is described as having 400 horsepower.

Pokémon Masters EX

In Pokémon Masters EX, during a morning log-in conversation, Adaman says that "[...]the early bird catches the worm!"

e-Reader games

In the e-Reader game Machop at Work, birds appears circling the fainted Machop if it loses the game from being hit by a falling rock.

In the anime

A real-world cat in anime concept art

Real-life animals have been seen and mentioned in the anime. They were more common in the original series as there weren't as many species of Pokémon introduced at the time. A picture book based on the anime once featured a dog walking past Ash and his friends, and a piece of concept art of the residents of Pallet Town featured a cat. Birds can also occasionally be heard in the background. Foods that contain meat products, such as hamburgers and chicken, are often seen.[1] In addition, the guidebook Pocket Monsters: The Animation confirmed that there were indeed animals in the world, and also revealed that Pokémon weren't related to animals at all.

Despite Pokémon themselves being unrelated to animals, it appears that behavioral and predator-prey dynamics still apply to Pokémon based on the animals they resemble. Meowth still considers himself a cat and displays cat-like behaviour frequently while in the episode The Ghost of Maiden's Peak, Jessie's Ekans was afraid of a real-life mongoose, a predator of snakes and cobras. Pokémon occasionally display traits of other animals, Ash’s Charizard being seen scratching its neck with its leg like a dog would.

In Pokémon: Adventures in the Orange Islands, the four Gym Badges are made up of seashells with a gem on the center of the shell. This implies that molluscs exist within the Pokémon world.

Ash holds up the Coral-Eye Badge, which appears to be made of one half of a clam shell.

However, animal appearances in the anime have become less frequent as more Pokémon have been added to take their places.

Original series

A wild Pidgey eating a regular worm in Route 1
When Ash overslept and didn't get a Pokémon, Professor Oak says in the English dub, "The early bird catches a worm, or... in this case... A Pokémon...".
A wild Pidgey can be seen eating a worm right before Ash tries to catch it.
Various animals were mentioned by Team Rocket. Mostly, they referred to Meowth as a cat, and Pikachu as a mouse.
Professor Oak leaves a call with Ash to accept a delivery of an anchovies, spinach, and pineapple pizza.
Misty is scared when she sees a Caterpie, and Ash tries to calm her down by reminding her that it's a Bug-type Pokémon rather than a "real" bug.
Pidgeotto is seen eating a regular worm before being captured by Ash.
Ash in a cow costume
As a pun on (mushi, "insect") and (ushi, "cow"), Ash is seen in a cow costume because Misty is scared of bugs. In the dub, he makes a pun saying, "Cowterpie".
Fish can be seen in the fish tanks inside the Gym. They have made later appearances featuring the Cerulean Gym.
Misty mentions that A.J.'s ability to control Pokémon with a whip is similar to a lion tamer.
After Ash, Misty, and Brock fall into the Squirtle Squad's pitfall trap, a dinosaur fossil can be seen.
A cooked lobster can be seen as food served on the ship.
A fish is seen on the counter while James is running after his Poké Ball in the sinking ship.
In the Japanese version, the Magikarp salesman tells James that Magikarp is the king of koi. This is a reference to "Koiking", the Japanese name of Magikarp. In the dub, he says, "The king of all carp! A Magikarp!"
More fish can be seen swimming in the ocean near the sunken St. Anne.
A fish biting Slowpoke's tail
In the episode's Dare da?, a fish is biting Slowpoke's tail.
Brock attempts to attract customers to a restaurant by advertising unusual animal-themed dishes, including french-fried flounder, seven-layered crab cakes, squid on a stick, and clam juice snowcones.
Team Rocket sends a missile that is shaped like a shark's head to ruin the Beach Beauty and Pokémon Costume Contest.
Fish can be seen in the aquarium in Nastina's vision of her completed luxury hotel.
The Tentacool are referred to as jellyfish in the episode.
There is a drawing of an octopus on the front board of a takoyaki stand (this drawing is airbrushed out in the dub).
A Gastly created an illusion of a mongoose in order to scare Jessie's Ekans. It later defeated James's Koffing by stomping on it.
When Charmander lights up the room, a mounted deer head can be seen on the wall.
Some of the toys in the Ghost Pokémon's playroom appear to resemble giraffes and ducks, and there is a merry-go-round with horses.
Two different species of real world fish are seen in Meowth's fantasy.
One of the signs on Scissor Street features a crab.
Fish tails are seen in one plate when James and Meowth were dreaming about food. Meowth also mentions roast leg of lamb.
After witnessing a wild Magnemite "falling in love" with Pikachu, Brock comments that he can understand a romantic based relationship between animal-based Pokémon, but not an inorganic-based Pokémon like Magnemite.
Some real world animal plushes are seen on some of the shelves of the festival.
At the end of the episode, when Team Rocket comes out of the water, Jessie can be seen with a starfish, an urchin and a seashell on her head.
Santa Claus tells Ash and his friends that he has "no reindeer" to pull his sleigh, and uses a Ponyta instead.
In one scene, James is seen holding a lobster.
In the last scene, Team Rocket are eating canned squid, salmon and brown fish.
Lots of real world animal plushes are seen in the stores in the Princess Festival.
There are banners depicting multiple random fish on some houses.
Drawn bunnies and bears appear on some of the walls of the school.
Rabbit ears are seen in the top hat drawn on Team Rocket's van.
Meowth compares his voice to one of the chipmunks after inhaling gas coming from a tank with a Psyduck on it.
While Ash and his friends are looking for a hotel to stay in, a picture of a tiger can be seen in one of the hotels.
During Gary's banquet, some fish are seen sliced up.
Butterflies are seen on a painting when Ash and his friends are at Blaine's hotel.
A green mouse is seen on a cup in one of the many tourist stands of Cinnabar Island.
Real world fish are seen in an aquarium inside the Cerulean Gym.
James and Meowth wear Swan Lake-inspired costumes.
In addition, Seel and Dewgong are compared to seals.
Various coral is visible underwater.
A starfish is seen underwater.
Misty goes inside a giant clam underwater.
While Ash and his friends are falling down the sewer pipes, several skeletons of unidentified prehistoric animals are seen. Also, when a chef gets his kettle back, he talks about cooking chicken.
Miranda talks to seagulls to learn the conditions of the sea.
When Meowth despises the idea of going into a sewer, in the dub, Jessie tells him, "Pretend you're a catfish!" In the Japanese version, Meowth says, "I'm not a brown rat!" (Japanese: ドブネズミじゃにゃ!)
There is a swordfish on Victor's wall.
Some kind of yellow shark/seal is seen in a picture frame when she talks.
When Ash's Bulbasaur smells Poké-nip and becomes dazed, Misty reads a sign that says Poké-nip's scent affects Pokémon like catnip affects cats.
While Meowth was looking for food, he came across some fish bones. Meowth is also seen eating fried chicken.
While Ash and his friends are resting, their elderly female host mentions the disappearance of her "muskrat meatballs." However, this was only in the English dub of the episode, and is actually an example of a dub edit very similar to Brock's "donuts" in another episode. The so-called meatballs are actually dango, a sweet Japanese dumpling made from rice flour.
The host also refers to Team Rocket as "polecats", another name for wild ferrets.
One of the foods the characters eat is shrimp tempura.
In one scene, Meowth mentions insects.
A starfish is seen on the sandbar.
Real fish can be seen in the moment before a young Nurse Joy falls into the water.
Meowth is seen holding and talking about eating clams.
Kabutops and its prey
When Meowth mentions his "top of the line" food, it cuts to an image of a can of cat-food with a real-world cat on the label.
A fried chicken stand can be seen along with a chicken thigh in the Sunflora Festival.
Meowth mentions chicken feed.
A horse statue can be seen in the background.
At one point in development, this movie was going to feature a Tyrannosaurus Rex. This idea was scrapped as more Generation II Pokémon designs were revealed.
Jessie is seen holding a goldfish.
A fish can be seen in statue form, being attacked by Kabutops.
When one of Misty's catches escapes from her fishing line, Ash says that it was probably a catfish.
Meowth's food illusion created by the Gastly includes a fish.
Various corals are visible underwater.

Pokémon the Series: Ruby and Sapphire

During the Team Rocket motto, James mentions he's wearing mink.
Various corals are visible underwater.

Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl

In the Norwegian dub, after Brock comments on the Team Rocket trio's endurance, James replies that they "are stubborn like mountain goats[.]"

Pokémon the Series: Black & White

Various corals are visible underwater.

Pokémon the Series: XY

Various corals are visible underwater.
In the video of Team Charmander on the Wailord, real mollusk shells are seen.
During the Poké TV segment, barnacles can be seen on rocks above the sea.
Snail-like Sliggoo toys can be seen in the Gadget Festival.

Pokémon the Series: Sun & Moon

A starfish and shell seen on a bucket
One of Mimikyu's disguises shows a starfish and a shell that appear on a beach bucket.
The shape of Ida's clasp is a real shell.

In the manga

Animals have also been seen in the manga.

Pokémon Adventures

Red, Green & Blue arc

Yellow arc

Ruby & Sapphire arc

Diamond & Pearl arc

Black 2 & White 2 arc

  • Legendary Tornadus
    • On page 11, after Whitney wakes up screaming, her schoolmates ask if a spider was bothering her.

How I Became a Pokémon Card

In How I Became a Pokémon Card, a cat appears in one chapter.

Pokémon Pocket Monsters

In Pokémon Pocket Monsters, regular animals appear alongside Pokémon.

Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All

In Pokémon Gotta Catch 'Em All, a snail appears in GDZ04. In GDZ13, Shu is shown capturing some beetles in the forest.

The Electric Tale of Pikachu

In The Electric Tale of Pikachu, the Cerulean Gym Aquarium has real-life fish and whales.

Magical Pokémon Journey

In Magical Pokémon Journey, real-life animals such as fish, butterflies, and horses have occasionally been seen.

Pokémon Newspaper Strip

In the TCG

Numerous early Pokémon cards featured animals.


Attack Card
Cat Fleas Giovanni's Meowth (Gym Challenge 74)
Cat Kick Meowth (EX FireRed & LeafGreen 69)
Meowth (Next Destinies 80)
Giovanni's Meowth (Gym Challenge 74)
Glameow (Battle Styles 115)
Cat Punch Meowth (Wizards Promo 10)
Caturday Glameow (Unbroken Bonds 159)
Dogpile Chansey (Expedition 72)
Jellyfish Pod Misty's Tentacool (Gym Heroes 32)
Jellyfish Poison Misty's Tentacruel (Gym Heroes 10)
Jellyfish Sting Tentacruel (Fossil 44)
Tiger Swing Incineroar-GX (Sun & Moon 27)

In books

  • At least three animals can be spotted in the Let's Find Pokémon! series.
    • In Let's Find Pokémon!, a dragonfly can be seen near a pond, and a worm can be seen in the beak of a Pidgey.
    • In Let's Find Pokémon! 3, a Kangaskhan is eating a fish with rice.
  • The Pokémon Tales book Bulbasaur's Trouble revolves around a Bulbasaur who must find a frog in order to settle an argument between two children, making this one of the only Pokémon stories where a real animal is directly relevant to the plot.


  • Takeshi Shudō's original idea for the third Pokémon movie was about a real-world Tyrannosaurus rex fossil being discovered. It would have come to life and gone on a rampage through the Kanto region.[2]
    • Also according to Shudō, real animals went extinct in the Pokémon world years ago and no longer exist. He claimed that instances of real-world animals appearing in earlier episodes of the anime were due to the animation staff not paying enough attention.


See also

Nature: PokémonHumansAnimalsFlora
History: GamesAnimeAdventures
Culture: MagazinesMoviesRadioTelevision (Sinnoh)
Transportation (LandAirWater) • Weaponry
Mortality: IllnessDeathGhosts
Pokémon world templates