The wry punchlines of Salem the cat, who was actually a witch who had tried to take over the world and, as punishment, was forced into feline form, was one of the signature elements of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. So how did they find the perfect voice to capture this snarky, tortured soul? The producers ended up going with Nick Bakay, one of the show's writers.
For Entertainment Weekly's cast reunion, executive producer Nell Scovell recounted that Bakay used to do the voice in the writer's room while they were crafting the series. She explained, "He always used to do the part in the room, and he's hilarious, so when we started seeing people for that part we were always judging them against how Nick sounded, and they always came up short."
As for the cat itself, the process was a little bumpy. In the same EW special, Caroline Rhea, who played Aunt Hilda, said the cat puppet for season one didn't look like a cat, but rather "looked a bit like an alcoholic rabbit wearing a hairpiece." And she had to act opposite the puppet, while Bakay stood to the side and did the voice. But you know what? The process worked.