Meowth is a small, feline Pokémon with cream-colored fur that turns brown at the tips of its hind paws and tail. Its ovoid head features four prominent whiskers, wide eyes with slit pupils, two pointed teeth in the upper jaw, and a gold oval coin embedded in its forehead. Its ears are black with brown interiors, and are flanked with an additional pair of long whiskers. Meowth is a quadruped with the ability to walk on its hind legs; while the games always depict Meowth on two legs, the anime states that Meowth normally walks on all fours. It can freely manipulate its claws, retracting them when it wants to move silently. The tip of its tail curls tightly.
Meowth is attracted to round and shiny objects, and has the unique ability to produce coins using Pay Day. Being nocturnal, it is known to wander about city streets at night and pick up anything that sparkles, including loose change. Upon finding a sparkling object, its eyes will glitter and the coin on its forehead will shine brightly. It shares this intrigue with Murkrow, with whom it often fights with for objects and prey. Meowth is a playful but fickle Pokémon with the capacity for human-like intelligence, with at least one member of the species teaching itself how to speak. Meowth tends to live in urban areas.
Meowth was introduced to Alola as a gift to royalty. The luxurious royal lifestyle soon led to Meowth diverging from its origins and becoming the selfish, prideful, and cunning Alolan Meowth. Alolan Meowth will turn hysterical if its coin or pride are besmirched. When the monarchy fell, the rare Alolan Meowth went feral and eventually grew as common in Alola as anywhere else. Alolan Meowth's fur is a light blue-gray color. Instead of brown markings, the tip of its tail, whiskers, digits, and the insides of its ears a whitish-gray shade. Alolan Meowth's whiskers maintain a slight curve compared to regular Meowth's straighter whiskers, and it has silvery eyes.
Meowth was cloned in Mewtwo Strikes Back, but his clone couldn't talk or walk on two legs, just like an ordinary Meowth, likely due to the fact that its progenitor needed to learn how to do this. The Meowth clone is encountered again in Mewtwo Returns.
A Meowth appeared in The Purr-fect Hero, where it was revealed to have saved Timmy from a Beedrill in a flashback. For most of the episode, Timmy believed Meowth was the same Meowth that had saved him. However, this was proven wrong when the real Meowth appeared to save Timmy again.
A gang of Meowth living on the streets of Hollywood appeared in Go West Young Meowth. Team Rocket's Meowth was revealed to be a former member, while his love interest Meowzie currently is one.
Meowth, Alola Form. The Scratch Cat Pokémon. A Dark type. Meowth are not native to the Alola region, but people brought them here. Eventually, their appearance changed to what we now see. They are prideful and cunning.
This concludes the entries from the Sun & Moon series.
In Days of Gloom and Glory, an unnamed Meowth based on Meowzie appears. Like in the anime, Meowzie finds Meowth's ability to speak human language "creepy". In the manga, she has at least one kitten, which she captures into a stolen Poké Ball to protect it from an impending flood.
Meowth appeared as one of Sham's Pokémon, which attacked Green and Silver while they were escaping from Masked Man's compound, as seen in a flashback from The Escape. Sham's Meowth later presumably evolved into one of her three Persian.
Multiple Meowth can be found during the Beach level. These Meowth are prone to accident and injury, as Pidgey is easily provoked to use Gust on them. Snap can also knock Meowth off a rock, making it fall to the ground.
Meowth appears as a random trophy. Meowth's trophy in this game is based on the anime ending theme Meowth's Party.
Meowth using Pay Day in Super Smash Bros. Brawl
"This... is Meowth's dream. Meowth strides all over the globe, scattering invitations to other Pokémon insisting they come to "Meowth's Party." At this wonderful party, guests are packed in like sardines as Meowth climbs up the stage with its faithful guitar. It strikes a chord, pauses, and then rocks their world!''
Meowth returns as a Poké Ball summon, attacking opponents with Pay Day. However, it instead faces one direction rather than attacking from all sides.
"A Scratch Cat Pokémon. It's one of the most famous Pokémon and very fond of things that glitter--the gold medallion on its head could be seen as an indicator of this infatuation. There are many Pokémon that resemble cats, but Meowth is the only one that can use Pay Day to receive coins at the end of battle. It evolves into Persian."
Meowth returns as a Poké Ball summon, with its abilities unchanged from Brawl.
NA: "Meowth is a Normal-type, Scratch Cat Pokémon who absolutely loves anything shiny. It's a creature of the night, and it's not unusual to discover a Meowth and a Murkrow fighting over their finds. Meowth's attack Pay Day can deal a ton of damage if an opponent gets caught in it. How purrfect!"
PAL: "Meowth, a Normal-type Pokémon, loves round, shiny things. It runs around at night, hunting for little treasures and trinkets, but often ends up getting into fights with Murkrow about who'll get to keep them. Watch out for Meowth's Pay Day attack. If it catches you from behind, it can be purralysingly pawerful!"
Niue released a one-dollar coin featuring Meowth as part of a commemorative promotion for the Pokémon franchise, with Meowth on one side and the nation's coat of arms on the other.
In the Pokémon anime episode Go West, Young Meowth, it was stated that Meowth of Team Rocket had to learn and practice standing on his hind legs like a human, implying that Meowth as a species are not naturally able to stand on their hind legs. However, almost all sprites in the games and the Pokédex in the anime depict it standing on its hind legs, suggesting Meowth has the natural ability to walk on two legs. Tyson's Meowth is also able to walk on two legs, seemingly naturally.
Meowth seems to be based upon the Japanese legend of the 招き猫 Maneki Neko, also known as the lucky cat or beckoning cat. According to one legend, a cat raised its paw to welcome a lord and saved his life when a lightning bolt hit the spot where he had been standing. Maneki Neko are often used as charms in restaurants and shops to bring customers fortune and good luck. Statues of the cat are usually depicted holding a koban, an ancient coin used in Japan, like the one on Meowth's head. Its Japanese species name also suggests it is based on a Bakeneko.
Meowth may be a combination of meow (the sound a cat makes) and wealth, alluding to the Maneki-neko's capacity to bring good fortune. The -th may also be borrowed from Nyarth, as both meow and nyā are onomatopoeia of a cat's cry.
Nyarth may be a combination of ニャー nyā (the sound a cat makes) and the switched sounds of シャム Shamu (Siam, former name of Thailand), becoming ミャス Myasu. Siam relates to a cat breed, the Siamese, which in turn relates to Meowth's evolution, Persian, and the Persian cat breed.