Just a little too on the nose I guess. A Whisker Away feels like a calculated mix of Ghibli (The Cat Returns) and Shinkai (She and her Cat), trying to appease as many people as possible. And if that wasn't enough, they even made it about cats, because everybody loves cats, especially the Japanese (let's throw in some Miyazawa too).
It wouldn't be so bad if the animation had been on the same level, but that's where they cut corners. Character designs are a tad bland and the animation itself isn't all that spectacular. At least the colors pop and the fantasy elements look interesting enough, but because it compares itself so explicitly to the big names in anime, it's difficult not to feel a little disappointed.
That's not to say it's a terrible film though. The atmosphere is light and breezy, there's a beautiful fantasy world hiding in the second part and the pacing is pretty solid, making sure the film never drags. It's a solid anime, but it would've been nice if it had at least tried to set itself apart more.