- Location: Wilson, NC 1991; Zebulon, NC 1991-
- League: Southern League 1991-2011; Carolina League 2012-2019; Low-A East 2021; Carolina League 2022-
- Affiliation: Pittsburgh Pirates 1991-1998; Colorado Rockies 1999-2002; Florida Marlins 2003-2008; Cincinnati Reds 2009-2011; Cleveland Indians 2012-2014; Atlanta Braves 2015-2016; Milwaukee Brewers 2017-present
- Ballpark: Fleming Stadium 1991; Five County Stadium 1991-
Their catfish logo is one of the most popular in the minors.
Bryant, a Raleigh area advertising executive, bought the Columbus Astros of the Southern League in 1988. He intended to use the team, which he promptly renamed the "Mudcats", to return affiliated baseball to North Carolina's capital. However, the nearby Durham Bulls declined to waive their territorial rights. Bryant located the team as close to Raleigh as possible, in the town of Zebulon, moving it in 1991 and in the same season switching its affiliation from the Houston Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates. After eight years, the 'Cats switched to the Colorado Rockies for four years, then went with the Florida Marlins before becoming the Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate in 2009. They finally hooked up with the Brewers in 2017.
Bryant sold his original franchise to a buyer who moved it to Pensacola, FL, in 2012, simultaneously buying the Kinston Indians and moving them to Zebulon. The K-Tribe assumed the Mudcats' brand, with the effect that "Carolina" dropped from Class Double-A to Class A-Advanced. Bryant sold that franchise to the Brewers in 2017 - a sale that was a benchmark. With it, the number of commonly owned parent/farm tandems reached 20%, as MLB clubs defended themselves against getting paired with teams they didn't want by buying ones they did. This was the primary force that led to the 2021 reorganization.
The 'Cats play Copa de la Diversión Hispanic engagement campaign games as Pescados de Carolina (Carolina Fish).