How To

How to: create animated cat GIFs

Jan-Hendrik Fleischer


It’s not just owners who love their cats; GIF animations of them doing funny stuff have set the internet alight over the past few years. We show how you to transform video clips of your cat into animated GIFs on a PC, Mac, or via a web app. You can use these GIFs, for example, on Twitter and Facebook or as forum avatars.

In preparation, you’ll need to take a short video with your smartphone or with a digital camera. Then copy it to your PC or Mac. Most of the applications presented here don’t have a built-in preview. For this reason it’s advisable to open the video with a video player like VLC and note down the desired start and end time to the exact second. Then when you convert your video into a GIF animation, it will last for exactly the right duration.

How to: create animated cat GIFs

Download VLC for Windows

Download VLC for Mac

Create Cat GIFs with Windows

Free Video to GIF - Cat and Dog

  1. Download Free Video to GIF Converter and install the application.
  2. After starting the program, select your cat video using Browse video.
  3. Specify the start and end point of the animation. Add the values – in seconds – ​​in the From and To fields.
  4. Determine the size of the GIF to be exported. Remember that the resolution, as well as the length of the GIF animation, determines the size of the exported file. Note: Most forums avatars have a size limit of 100×100 pixels.
  5. Specify how many images are displayed per second.
  6. In the next step, you can manually delete frames, adjust the image quality and adjust the playback speed. To complete the conversion just click on Make GIF.

Free Video to GIF Converter

Free Video to GIF Converter doesn’t come with a preview window

Download Free Video to GIF Converter

Create cat GIFs with a web app

Imgflip Gifgenerator

As an alternative to Windows or Mac software, you can create cat GIFs in your browser. This works across Windows, Mac or Linux. Most vendors offer similar tools, but limit the animation length and add a watermark if the GIF is above a certain size.

This also applies to Imgflip Gifgenerator; the GIF animation is capped at 360 pixels and limited to a maximum of ten seconds – it adds watermarks too.

Web app - Imgflip Gifgenerator

Imgflip Gifgerenator offers a web app with lots of tools, but doesn’t have a preview either

  1. Open the Imgflip Gifgenerator website with a browser such as Firefox or Chrome.
  2. Click on Upload to load your cat video clip.
  3. The animated points will be between two sliders – the green arrow marks the start and the red arrow marks the end point. You can move these around to get the part of the video you want.
  4. To view more tools, click on More options.
  5. In the menu that follows, you can set the frame rate to a maximum of 360 pixels, adjust the playback speed and determine what happens at the end of playback. If you want a fluid, endless loop, for example, Forverse is a useful mode, as it plays the animation backwards after it ends.
  6. If you want to, you can add some text or crop your GIF to the desired size.
  7. For a preview, you need to click on Generate GIF. Once you’re satisfied with the result and you’ve adjusted the displayed file size, you can click on Download Image and save the GIF on your hard disk. Otherwise you can go back and select Choose different settings if you want to change anything.

You can embed finished GIFs via links or HTML code to your page, blog or Facebook. The necessary code will be available after conversion if you haven’t checked the mark for private use.

Start Imgflip Gifgenerator

Create cat GIFs on Mac

On Mac, there are two apps. Gifrocket is convenient to use, but doesn’t bring much in the way of tools. In contrast, GIF Brewery allows plenty of adjustments.

Mac - Gif BreweryGIF Brewery: for GIF enthusiasts

  1. Download GIF Brewery.
  2. Open your cat video from File/Open.
  3. With the Video Preview you can set the video excerpt you want. Move the yellow button for the start of animation and then click Set Start. Set the end to correspond to the red button and confirm it by clicking on Set End.
  4. If you want to crop the video, you can select an area and press Enter to crop.
  5. The GIF size can be adjusted to the desired number of pixels by using the Resize function. Bear in mind that a smaller animation requires less memory and loads faster on the internet. Forum avatars usually have a resolution of 100×100 pixels square.
  6. Under GIF Properties you can see more options. Frame Delay sets the playback speed of the animation. With Looping Mode you can specify the type of infinite loop. Palindrome ensures that the animation is played backwards when it reaches the end. This ensures that you get a GIF that’s both smooth and funny.
  7. Create GIF creates a preview of the animation. On top of that GIF Brewery incorporates the file size. If it’s too high, you can cancel and make corrections to the size of the animation (see point 5). If you’re pleased with the result, however, you can save your GIF.

Mac - Gif Brewery CatGIF Brewery offers the most configuration options among the GIF converters on this list. The integrated preview makes it unnecessary to resort to other media players and speeds up your work. Before it saves the file to the hard disk, GIF Brewery warns you of the importance of file size for Twitter, Facebook, forums or avatars. The many options it offers are great for experimenting, but may be a bit overwhelming for the casual GIF creator.

Download GIF Brewery

Gifrocket: for quick GIF fixes

Mac - Gifrocket - rolling cat

If you don’t need all the configuration options and you’re looking instead for a free and easy to handle alternative then Gifrocket could be for you. Simply drag and drop your video into the app – Gifrocket automatically does the rest.

You can access all the options via the spanner icon in the top right corner. Its menu only allows you to define animation size, quality and start and end times. Speed ​​or loop aren’t possible, and you can’t crop videos either.

Mac - Gifrocket

Gifrocket is a simplified version of Video to GIF converter for Mac

Download Gifrocket

Conclusion: four different GIF creators for fans of animated cats

The conversion of cat clips to GIFs isn’t rocket science. Free Video to GIF Converter does the job relatively quickly on Windows, but offers only simple loops. With the web app Imgflip Gifgenerator, you’re not bound to an operating system – it just works on your browser – but it’s not very fast, and creates GIFs with ugly watermarks.

The fastest way to GIFs for Mac owners comes by way of Gifrocket, but it has largely dispensed with configuration options. These are available on Gif Brewery in abundance. Whoever wants to get the most out of GIFs and has a Mac, could hardly find a better application for tinkering with adorable cuddly cat GIFs.

Have you made an adorable cat GIF? Care to share it with us?!

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