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/tg/ and the furry fandom have long had a great deal of hostility towards each other. And yet, hate and love can be said to be two sides of the same coin. Furries have often shamelessly involved themselves in roleplaying games, from the likes of Ironclaw and its weeaboo spin-off Jadeclaw to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles And Other Strangeness. And yet, even more mainstream games have thrown them some encouragement.
Cats are, without a doubt, one of the most commonly admired of animals by furries. Consequently, anthropomorphized cats are a common feature in fantasy and science fiction settings, even in games; ironically, catgirls, despite being monstergirls, are very much a rarity in official game materials, because they are seen by many writers as being "too deviant and/or weeaboo". Yet catfolk somehow get a pass on this. Catgirls were introduced into science fiction literature by Murray Linebarger, writing as "Cordwainer Smith", first appearing in his short story "The Ballad of Lost C'mell".
Anyway, there's a lot of different cat-people races that run around various game settings. This article will serve to house and refer to them all.
The notorious Pooka of Changeling: The Dreaming can easily be adapted into catgirl form, as can certain others -- hell, there's an entire catgirl kith called the Nyan. Likewise, Changeling: The Lost has kiths/seemings you can spin as catgirls.
Dungeons & Dragons
Catfolk in Dungeons & Dragons go all the way back to first edition, with Rakasta first appearing in the modules X2: Castle Amber and X1: Isle of Dread, alongside the Lupin (dog/wolf-people, another hugely common furry race), and Tabaxi first appearing in the Fiend Folio. The Rakasta have a long enough history to warrant their own page, but as for other D&D catfolk...
The original tabaxi from the Fiend Folio.
Initially appearing in the Fiend Folio, Tabaxi are a reclusive race of humanoid felines native to tropical and subtropical jungles. They live in Stone Age-level clans, shyly hiding from most other sapient humanoids and hunting native game like peccaries and capybaras. The Tabaxi were later made a native race of the Forgotten Realms indigenous to Maztica - because of course you're going to have jungle-dwelling cat-people in the South America expy, right? - in the Fires of Zatal adventure. They were then chosen to be added to the official Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monstrous Manual.
In the shift, tabaxi went from having an implicitly catgirl-like appearance and tiger-colored pelts to a furry appearance and a yellow with black spots pelt with either solid spots (like a leopard) or roseate spots (like a jaguar); those tabaxi who look like leopards pronounce their species name as ta-BAX-ee, whilst those who resemble jaguars instead call themselves tah-BAHSH-ee.
Maztican tabaxi share something in common with lizardfolk, in that they have a larger, more powerful, innately magic and utterly evil "lord" version that possibly has infernal origins and which sometimes enslaves their clans. Unlike the Lizard Kings, though, "tabaxi lords" appear as huge, talking, non-anthro male jaguars or leopards. They're most notable for the fact that they're bitter rivals of couatls, and in fact were probably made to be expies for the Huitzilpochtli and Quetzalcoatl rivalry, and the fact that they can only reproduce by humping the female tabaxi, which is kind of squicky even for many furries.
Speaking of which, the fact their picture in the Monstrous Manual depicts a naked, big-breasted female tabaxi was probably responsible for more than its share of closet D&D furries.
Tabaxi became a full-fledged PC race in 5th edition, appearing in Volo's Guide to Monsters. They are notable as one of the absolute fastest races in the game, with a base speed of 30 feet per round and the ability to make a super-charged "Dash" that eats up their next turn's movement... which is a pretty cheap price for moving close to 120 feet in a single turn. Tabaxi can really sprint, which is odd, given they were jaguars & leopards, not cheetahs.
The 5e Tabaxi PC writeup looks like this:
- Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Dexterity, +1 Charisma
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 30 feet
- Vision: Darkvision 60 feet
- Feline Agility: When you move on your turn in combat, you can double your speed until the end of your turn. Once you use this trait, you can't use it again until you move 0 feet on one of your turns.
- Cat's Claws: You have a Climb speed of 20 feet and can make unarmed strikes with your claws, dealing 1d4 + Str modifier Slashing damage instead of the normal bludgeoning damage.
- Cat's Talent: You have Proficiency in Perception and Stealth.
The 5e Maztica fan revival draws on a mixture of old Tabaxi lore and pure fanon, dividing the race into three species; leopard-folk (standard 5e tabaxi), jaguar-folk (more aggressive and warlike, often from tribes that are or were ruled by jaguar lords), and ocelotl (smaller, gentler ocelot-like tabaxi with an affinity for psionics and highly reclusive). This revamped statblock looks like this:
- +2 Dexterity
- Speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Feline Agility and Cat's Claws: as above
- Subrace: Choose the Leopard-folk, Jaguar-folk or Ocelotl subrace.
- Leopard-folk: +1 Charisma, Cat's Talent (as above).
- Jaguar-folk: +1 Strength, Increased Claw Damage (Cat's Claws are 1d6+Str modifier), Jungle Camouflage (Advantage on Stealth checks in jungles).
- Ocelotl: +1 Intelligence, Quick Climber (Climb speed is 30 feet).
In 3rd edition, when Mystara was lost in WoTC's files, they created a more generic anthro cat race, and they called them... catfolk. First appearing in the Miniatures Handbook, they were later reprinted with a fuller racial writeup in the Races of the Wild. They're described as basically a primitive and nomadic tribal society of humanoid big cats, most commonly resembling lions, with leopard, tiger and cheetah-like individuals being just a difference in coat patterns. They're described as having an emotional nature and tending to act in "fits and starts" rather than in a smooth, continuous effort. Bursts of activity interspersing consistent laziness. They have the habit of leaping impulsively out of hiding and into combat when a foe is in the vicinity, and this is among the reasons why they tend towards Chaotic Neutral alignment. Many catfolk favor the use of charms and totems that they braid into their hair for luck in battle, success on the hunt, and good fortune in other such endeavors.
- +4 Dexterity, +2 Charisma.
- A catfolk’s base land speed is 40 feet.
- Low-Light Vision: Catfolk can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retain the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
- Racial Skills: Catfolk have a +2 racial bonus on Listen and Move Silently checks.
- +1 natural armor bonus.
- Automatic Languages: Common, Feline. Bonus Languages: Draconic, Gnoll, Halfling, Sylvan.
- Favored Class: Ranger.
- Level adjustment +1.
Pathfinder also includes catfolk, which refer to themselves in-universe as the Amurrun, as part of their fantasy kitchen sink approach. This elicited some query from fans over differences in artwork, portraying them both as catgirls and as catfolk, until it was clarified in one splat-book that Amurrun are very "mutable" and so the exact ratio of cat to human in their appearance varies wildly between areas, or even between individuals, sort of like the Khajiit of The Elder Scrolls. Whether or not this has to do with humans tending to screw Amurrun is left unclear.
Like many of the more popular Pathfinder races, Amurrun have a wide array of alternative racial traits and options.
Core Amurrun Traits:
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom
- Racial Type: Humanoid (Catfolk)
- Base Speed: 30 feet
- Low-Light Vision
- Cat's Luck: Roll a Reflex saving throw twice and take the better result. This can be done once per day.
- Natural Hunter:' +2 racial bonus to Perception, Stealth and Survival checks.
- Sprinter: +10ft racial bonus to speed when using the Charge, Run or Withdraw action.
Variant Amurrun Traits:
- Cat's Claws: Replaces Natural Hunter, grants the ability to make claw attacks (inflict 1d4 damage) as primary attack-class natural weapons.
- Clever Cat: Replaces Natural Hunter, grants a +2 racial bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy and Sense Motive checks.
- Climber: Replaces Sprinter, grants a Climb speed of 20 feet and a +8 racial bonus to Climb checks.
- Curiosity: Replaces Natural Hunter, grants a +4 bonus on Diplomacy checks made to gather information, Knowledge (History and Local) are always class skills, +2 racial bonus to Knowledge (History and Local) if they take a class with those skills.
- Nimble Faller: Replaces Sprinter, the catfolk lands on its feet after a fall even if the distance caused lethal damage, +1 racial b onus to CMD against Trip maneuvers.
- Scent: Replaces Low-Light Vision, grants the Scent trait.
- Jungle Stalker: Replaces Cat's Luck and Sprinter, grants +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks, ignore the first square of difficult terrain caused by foliage in each round.
Perhaps the most obscure of all the D&D catfolk, tibbits are a race of shapeshifting sapient felines that originated in Dragon Magazine #135 as a monster Advanced Dungeons & Dragons before being rewritten for 3rd edition as a PC race in the Dragon Compendium Volume 1.
The original tibbit, or cat-were, was an absurdly overpowered little freak. Said to be a very rare (5% chance) result of crossbreeding between a feline wizard familiar and an ordinary housecat, they were magical cats with "Very High" intelligence, 15% magic resistance, and the ability to shapeshift between the form of a "fat but energetic" black-furred housecat and a small, stealthy, dark-skinned humanoid with cat's ears. Roguish and mischievous by nature, tibbits are naturally chaotic race - 85% Chaotic Neutral, 15% Chaotic Good. As shapeshifters, they are immune to mundane weapons, needing at least a +1 to be hurt, and their feline natures give them both keen senses, making them immune to surprise, and feline agility, making them immune to falling damage.
In its humanoid form, the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tibbit has the powers of a 10th level Thief-Acrobat, whilst in cat form, it can use its meow to Dispel Magic 3/day, spend 1 round licking itself or another tibbit to cure 3d8 hitpoints of damage 2/day, or generate a Mirror Image by arching its back 1/day. Its spell-like abilities are cast as a 10th level wizard. In either form, it has access to the psionic powers of Body Equilibrium, Precognition, and Telempathic Projection, which it can use as a 10th level psion.
If that's not enough ridiculousness for you, just once in its lifetime, a tibbit can make a one-way Plane Shift that transports itself and up to 200lbs of various materials to the plane of Pandemonium, where tibbits apparently dwell "in great numbers". Given that this was made before Planescape recognized the planes, it's probably more logical to place them on the Beastlands now. The tibbits who remain on the mortal world can also issue a plea for help, summoning 5d10 of their fellows from Pandemonium who will fight on their summoner's side for 30 rounds before they are drawn back into the planes.
And the cherry on top: if you ever kill 20 or more tibbits in one place, there's a 25% chance that the Cat Lord, a powerful lesser deity that watches over all cats, will materialize at that spot and seek vengeance for their killing.
The 3rd edition version is altogether less powerful, and is essentially what you get if you try to mix "werecat", "catgirl" and "halflings" in a pot. They are now described as having evolved from wizardly bonded cats generations ago, so you can no longer try and engineer the birth of tibbits by crossbreeding your familiar with other cats. In their humanoid form, they look pretty much like halflings or maybe gnomes; small humanoids with pointed ears. Their feline-like eyes and their cat's fur-colored hair betray their true nature. In feline form, they look like any normal housecat.
Moody, curious and often rather arrogant, tibbits are by nature both hedonistic and adventurous, flexible, but surprisingly loyal to those they consider a true friend.
Their stats are as follows:
- Monstrous Humanoid (Shapeshifter)
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Strength
- Base land speed 20 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Feline Transformation: A tibbit can spend a standard action at will to transform into a house cat. In this form, it becomes Tiny, gains +2 to AC and attack rolls, +8 to Hide checks, +10ft speed, suffers -8 Str (dropping it no lower than Str 3) and gains +2 Dex and the Scent ability.
- It gains a natural bite attack (1d3 piercing damage) and 2 natural claw attacks (1d2 slashing damage) and its only full attack option is to make 2 claw attacks and 1 bite (-5 penalty), no matter its base attack bonus.
- Weapons, shields, armor and robes are melded into the tibbit's body during the transformation and cannot be used. Items that require a physical apparatus to function, such as rings or boots, shift into an appropriate form for a cat and remain viable.
- In cat form, a tibbit can't speak or use its paws to manipulate fine objects, which prohibits the use of casting spells with verbal or somatic components, using scrolls, or activating magic items.
- Whilst in cat form, a tibbit's true nature is only revealed to any effect that can pierce the effects of a Polymorph spell. If slain in cat form, a tibbit reverts to its true form in 1 round. Returning to its humanoid form takes a full-round action and, once it has done so, the tibbit must wait for 1 hour before transforming again.
- +2 to Spot checks, Jump checks and Escape Artist checks.
- Can speak to cats as an innate ability.
- Favored Class: Rogue
Though certainly not as obscure as tibbits, few but the setting's most devoted fans remembers the existence of pakas, a race of evil feline lesser shapeshifters hailing from the Ravenloft setting. Possibly drawing their inspiration from a cheesy horror flick called "The Cat People", pakas are evil, malicious catgirls (and catboys) who can take on a human form to disguise themselves amongst the ignorant, xenophobic peasants that make up 99% of the non-monstrous population in the Demiplane of Dread. Except, in this case, they're justified trying to burn pakas at the stake, because pakas are fucking douchebags. Seriously; their whole fluff is that they believe humans committed some transgression against them long ago, and so now they want revenge on all humanity. They don't even remember what humans supposedly did, they just take it as religious doctrine that humans did something, and that nebulous something is justification to trick, harass, and even kill or eat humans forever. Yeah, they're assholes.
That said, they are capable of gratitude, and are known to appreciate and repay acts of kindness, generosity and mercy towards them. This was even used as justification in Quoth the Raven #19, which houses the largest amount of paka-related lore in any Ravenloft book, to give them potential PC status. After all, they're a chaotic species more than an evil one, and so that means there are some paka out there who decide that the whole revenge deal is stupid and devote themselves to just having fun instead.
Beyond being able to switch between catgirl and human forms, pakas have the magical ability to telepathically communicate with and control felines of all kinds, from common housecats to great cats like lions or tigers. They can also heal wounds by licking them, though not very often.
Paka society is essentially matriarchal pride-structure; females group together and form stable bands, whilst males roam as they see fit, occasionally hooking up with a pride (usually to bang any interested females) and then leaving when they're not interested anymore, with kittens being raised by the female prides.
- Mandatory Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity
- Flexible Ability Score Increase: +2 Intelligence OR +2 Wisdom
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 6 squares (30 feet)
- Skill Bonuses: +2 Bluff, +2 Stealth
- Shapechanger: You have the Catform at-will racial power (shift between your paka form and your human form as a minor action) and are considered a Shapechanger for effects and conditions that target racial types.
- Lick Wounds: Racial encounter power, only usable when bloodied, use a minor action to spend a single healing surge.
- +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, -2 Strength
- Normal Speed (30 feet)
- Low-Light Vision
- Change Shape (Su): A paka can use a standard action to shift between its normal form and its "human guise", a single specific human identity of the same gender as its normal form. In human guise, a paka has a +10 racial bonus on Disguise checks made to pass itself off as a human. This otherwise functions as Alter Self, save it does not adjust ability scores.
- Claws: A paka has two primary natural claw attacks dealing 1d4 damage.
- Jumper: A paka is always considered to have a running start when making a jump.
- Lick Wounds (Su): As a standard action, a paka can lick its wounds, gaining fast healing 2 for 1 round. A paka can use this ability to heal 2 hit points per character level each day.
- Speak With Cats (Sp): Once per day, a paka with a Charisma score of 11+ can communicate with any feline; beyond species restriction, this functions as a Speak With Animals spell with caster level equal to the paka's character level.
- Sneaky: +2 racial bonus to stealth checks.
The terali are a race of leopard-featured catfolk native to the jungles of southern Termana in the Scarred Lands campaign setting. Materially primitive - they are a Stone Age people, using wood, bone and ivory as their primary materials - they are, none the less, one of the more civilized races of Termana - certainly compared to their gnoll neighbors.
These leopard-people live a seminomadic lifestyle; traveling in tribes up to 200 strong, they build vilages for shelter during the rainy season, and then roam the jungles following the game and living out of temporary shelters during the dry season. As natives of the Gamulganjus, part of the region of Termana so colorfully known as the Land With No Gods, they give no fealty to God nor Titan. Instead, they worship a pantheon of spirits, both ancestral and territorial.
A terali tribe is led by a hereditary chieftain, who is advised by a council of elders and tribal sorcerers. These latter souls are instantly recognizable; they are melanistic, giving them an entirely black coat in comparison to the black-dappled yellow of their kinsfolk. Only 1 in 20 terali are born with this trait, and they are highly revered by their fellows for being so obviously touched by the spirits.
For the most part, the terali are content to stay in their jungle, but every so often one of the tribe's marked ones will declare that a terali must be sent to the outside world in search of wisdom - or even be chosen by the spirits for this role themselves. This is in no small part because their spirituality is heavily defined by ritualistic approaches to cleanliness, with outsiders being considered impossibly filthy by spiritual standards - it takes a month to "decontaminate" any terali who returns from the outside world.
Whilst the spirits worshipped by the terali are never defined, a D&D player could do worse than to look up 4e's "Primal Power", which gives one of the most detailed looks at such "spirit religions" as D&D has ever had and whose Primal Spirits are certainly minable for inspiration.
Terali have yet to appear in the 5e update for the Scarred Lands, and in 3rd edition, appeared in the Termana Gazetteer with the following profile:
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom
- Base speed 40 feet
- Low Light Vision
- Natural Weapons: 2 claw attacks (1d3 damage each) per round, or 1 bite attack (1d4 damage) per round; a terali cannot use these when armed with a weapon or carrying a shield, and still provokes attacks of opportunity when using them unless it has the Improved Unarmed Strike feat.
- +2 racial bonus to Listen, Search and Spot checks.
- +2 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore checks in jungle and forest terrain.
- Favored Class: Druid and Ranger for normal terali, Sorcerer for marked one terali.
The official feline/humanoid player character in the Arcana Unearthed rulebook, they live on the plains of the Diamond Throne (where they can hop over to other planes) and on Praemal (where they're stuck). The text says "anyone who calls them cat-people doesn’t understand them at all," so don't call them that.
They have their own language which they speak alongside the koine of the region. They don't go for religion nor (thankfully) those lame-ass rituals rife in the AU system. They get along best with smaller fey or near-enough, like the Ptolus halflings or the faen.
As often with the Malhavoc content, there is overlap with the Scarred Lands. Legacy of the Dragon added a "terrig" offshoot of litorians who are basically just terali.
- +2 Dexterity, -2 Wisdom (as usual) - more, on gaining AU racial levels. On Praemal, +2 Dex +1 Str.
- Base speed 30 feet
- Low Light Vision
- Natural Weapons: 1 bite attack (1d4 damage) per round, on Praemal anyway. Again, AU has racial-leveling which grants bonuses to this, implying litorians get this starting out in the Diamond Throne too.
- +2 racial bonus to Intimidate, Listen, Search, Spot and Survival checks.
- Favored Class: in the AU schema, greenbond, oathsworn, totem warriors, unfettered.
When Ptolus was updated for 5th edition, the Litorians were given the following stats:
- +1 to three ability scores of your choice
- Medium size
- Speed 30 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Proficiency in three skills of your choice
- Advantage on Perception checks that rely on smell
- Speak, read, and write two languages appropriate for the character
Originally, the setting of Midgard didn't really have catfolk, although as it was based off of the Pathfinder Roleplaying System, there was an implicit place for the Ammuran, or Pathfinder Catfolk, in the world it had built. The first explicit race of Midgardian catfolk were the Nkosi, a race of leonine-featured shapeshifters able to change from their default humanoid shape into the form of lions, who debuted in the original Southlands splatbook. But, as Midgard transitioned from Pathfinder to Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, it saw an opening and hastened to fill it. Thus, the 5e rewrite of the Southlands saw the N'kosi gain a sibling race in the Basteti. Later, the Tome of Heroes would add two more catfolk subraces native to the northern regions; the Malkins and the Pantherans.
Denizens of the Southlands empire of Omphaya, the Nkosi were originally humans, but were warped by the magics of their former god-king, the titan Gamka, to bear a more leonic visage; writeups of the race describe them as resembling "bestial humans with large feline eyes, flat noses that give their face a leonic look, and a cat's eyes, teeth and fur", as well as noting that their modified jaw structure gives them a certain trouble with properly pronouncing human languages, leading to a tendency to double their vowels. Their mentality also has a strong leonic influence; they are naturally inclined towards teamwork, and also have a strong affinity for hunting: Nkosi tend to couch everything in terms of hunting prey. Even their social unit resembles a lion's pride, with an emphasis on close bonds and communal childcare.
Perhaps because of this, Nkosi are technically an Amazon race - oh, the males are kept around, and seen as useful when brute force is required, but the womenfolk are crucial to Nkosi society, and are its primary warriors and hunters.
Nkosi regard most other races neutrally, but have both an instinctive fondness for humans (due to their origins) and an inexplicable distrust of gnolls (who, remember, are NOT an Always Chaotic Evil race in Midgard).
The 5e Southlands Player's Guide retcons that the Nkosi are "siblings" in some nebulous way to the Basteti catfolk, the difference being that whilst Bastet and Gamka agreed they wanted their children to be feline humanoids, but Gamka wanted them to strictly resemble lions and Bastet wanted them to resemble all the cat species, so each entity went their own way and made their own take on the basic idea of the catfolk.
When it comes to the Basteti, there's not all that much to say. As we touched on with the Nkosi, they were created by the goddess Bastet, who wanted to blend the best of human and cat. Character-wise, they're pretty standard catfolk; a neurotic bundle of curiosity and impulsiveness mixed up with the killer's instincts of a skilled predator.
Malkins, who have the forms of "small cats" (housecats, wild cats, ocelots... basically, anything that isn't a "great cat") and Pantherans, who resemble great cats, are found in the northern parts of the world, beyond the Southlands, and comparatively rare compared to their Southland cousins. The most widely accepted story is that they are the descendants of Basteti who migrated north and then mutated from their traditional nature, with the fact that pantherans never have leonine appearances being cited as proof. However, individual families of northern catfolk have their own origin stories. Many malkins claim to be creations of Loki, who grew fascinated with the mischievousness and curiosity of the small cats and elevated them to a more human-like form to better serve him. Pantherans, in contrast, claim to have been birthed by the strange and enigmatic powers that rule over Midgard's forests as protectors of the natural world. Whatever their true origins, malkins and pantherans alike are noted for their curiosity, their adventurous nature, their optimism, extroverted natures, and general quirkiness. They are largely matriarchal as a race, although in practice they tend to be meritocratic. Malkins are more heavily associated with urban environments, and pantherans with forests and jungles. Likewise, malkins tend to be vastly more social, whilst pantherans are largely loners and live in small, tribal clusters.
- Ability Score Increase: +2 Dexterity
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 30 feet
- Darkvision: 60 feet
- Cat's Claws: You can make unarmed strikes with your claws, dealing 1d4 + Str modifier Slashing daamge.
- Hunter's Senses: You have Proficiency in Perception and Stealth.
- Subrace: Choose either Basteti, Malkin, Nkosi or Pantheran for your subrace.
- Ability Score Increase: +1 Chariosma
- Bastet's Blessing: You can communicate with all types of cats and have Advantage on Charisma checks against all types of cats. This doesn't necessarily mean they will listen to you, as cats don't like doing what they're told.
- Climber: When you move at least 10 feet horizontally first, you can use the rest of your movement to traverse vertical surfaces.
- Stalker's Reflex: You have Advantage on Dexterity checks for Initiative.
- Ability Score Increase: +1 Intelligence
- Size Adjustment: You are Small, not Medium.
- Curiously Clever: You have Proficiency in the Investigation skill.
- Charmed Curiosity: When you roll a 1 on a Dexterity check or save, youi can reroll it, though you must use the new roll.
- Ability Score Increase: +1 Strength
- Form of the Lion: As an action, you can assume leonine form or revert to normal form. In leonine form, you move on all fours, so your speed goes up by +10 feet but you can't use your hands for anything, you can't speak or cast spells, you gain Advantage on Perception checks based on smell, and you can make a Bite attack unarmed strike that does 1d6 + Str modifier Piercing damage. When you transform, your equipment falls to the ground, merges into your new form or is worn by it. Worn equipment functions as normal, but the GM decides whether it is practical for your lion form to wear a piece of equipment.
- Ability Score Increase: +1 Wisdom
- Hunter's Charge: Once per turn, if you move at least 10 feet towards a target and hit it with a melee weapon attack in the same turn, you can use a Bonus Action to attack that creature with your Cat's Claws. This can be done (Proficiency bonus) times per day, and all uses recover on a long rest.
- One with the Wilds: You have Proficiency in one of the following skills; Insight, Medicine, Nature, or Survival.
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:||Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:||Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|
World of Darkness
In Changeling: The Dreaming, the Pooka Kith can easily take the form of catfolk, since having a cat as their animal form is literally level 0 on the Forms option. Big cats like lions or tigers are level 4.
In Land of Eight Million Dreams, the Oriental Adventures spin-off for CtD, whilst all of the "Hirayanu", or "Commoner" kwannon-jin (kiths) for the Shinma are functionally Pooka analogues, the specific "cat kwannon-jin" is called the Nyan, after the Japanese onomatapeia for the noise a cat makes. Tied to the Element of Fire, the Nyan are characterized as sultry, sensual and passionate, but also shallow, fickle, and unpredictable - they gain +2 Charisma when looking "to have a good time", but must make a Difficulty 8 Willpower check to leave friends or lovers to do their duties. In Wani form, they gain a bonus to Dexterity and Perception, as well as claws that do Strength+1 Damage.
Changeling: The Lost 1st edition has no specific feline kiths, but you can easily flavor most Beast type changelings as catfolk, especially Hunterhearts, Cleareyes and Truefriends.
The Elder Scrolls
"If you have coin, Khajiit has wares."
- – Any Khajiit merchant proving that money overlaps the barriers of race and language.
Yeah, The Elder Scrolls is technically /v/ rather than /tg/, but it's popular enough on /tg/ to get its own article, so it counts for here.
In the world of Nirn, the indigenous catfolk are a people called the Khajiit. Like the Argonians, khajiit predate the arrival of elves in Tamriel, the continent where all the games take place. This gives them some unique cultural aspects, most notably in that whilst their pantheon has some clear similarities to the mainstream religion of Tamriel, they believe their gods to take the form of mighty dragon-cats. They are a tribal people, with related tribes forming greater groups called clans, and matriarchal, in that a (typically hereditary) female khajiit called a Clan-Mother, who has authority over her clan and with greater government matters being settled by meetings of Clan-Mothers.
Of course, because Tamriel is full of racist pricks, the khajiit have traditionally suffered from prejudice and oppression, even being kept as slaves in some provinces. Ironically, they share a strong, mutual dislike for the argonians, despite both being in the same boat.
One thing that makes khajiit unique is how mutable they are: all khajiit start life as a non-morphic kitten, and grow up into a unique form based on the states of Nirn's two moons - the large moon, Masser, and the small moon, Secunda - during that kitten's birth. This can result in anything from the standard humanoid cat, with different sizes and appearances earning different names, to creatures that resemble housecats with human sapience, to sentient tigers and dire tigers. In fact, there have been seventeen named variants of khajiit, all based on the different moon statuses, although they are readily grouped into four categories based on Masser's state: Large Quadruped khajiit are born when it's Full, Large Biped khajiit are born when it's Waxing, Small Biped khajiit are born when it's New, and Small Quadruped khajiit are born when it's Waning.
For obvious reasons, the moons are an important part of khajiit culture and religion. Indeed, their one supreme spiritual authority is a being called the Mane; a living god-king born on the incredibly rare convergence of Masser and Secunda, which in the khajiit tradition forms a third moon. He's known as the Mane because for reasons of tradition, all khajiit shave their manes (head-fur) to represent the dawning days of their race, when only the Mane was allowed to wear a full mane. In fact, he's traditionally supposed to weave the shorn-off manes of all his tribe into his own hair, which leads to modern Manes being gigantic shaggy balls of fluff that can't even walk under the weight of all that hair.
Another way the importance of the moons to khajiit is shown is in their holy mana, a substance they call "moon-sugar" due to believing it originated as crystalized moonlight before being carried in by the tides to the region where the sugarcanes they produce it from grows. Khajiit do have a massive sweet tooth, but they also consider moon-sugar to be sacred, and consuming it is very important to their religion. Unfortunately, this has only made their reputation with other races worse; see, moon-sugar functions like a drug when consumed by any creature other than a khajiit, who have racially immunized themselves by ingesting it in just about every sweet food they make (which is just about everything). On its own, moon-sugar is a fairly mild drug, but the problem is, if you mix moon-sugar with nightshade, you can create a super-nasty opium-like narcotic called "skooma", which is irreversibly addictive and tends to really fuck you up.
One rather notorious book in Daggerfall mentions that, like real cats, the males have barbed penises.
Magic: The Gathering
Given the wide array of monsters in Magic: The Gathering, and especially what they did with minotaurs, you shouldn't be surprised to know that there are quite a diverse array of catfolk scattered across the planes. The most famous catfolk character by far is Mirri, who played a major part in the Rath, Masquerade, and Invasion Cycles as a member of the Weatherlight's crew. Second place probably goes to Purraj of Urborg, who did things during Mirage but nobody knows what they were because no Mirage novels were ever written. Third place is a set of steak knives.
One of the very first catfolk breeds to appear in M:TG were the Cat Warriors of Jamuraa, a continent on the plane of Dominaria. There are multiple different physical subspecies - tigers, leopards, jaguars and cougars - and various different cultural tribes, but not a lot is known about them. They scattered across Dominaria after the Phyrexian Invasian devastated their homeland.
Dominaria is also home the Panther Warriors, a culture made-up of exiles from Jamuraa who sometimes serve dark forces, but are mostly neutral in their outlook.
The Leonin are a race of lion-folk found on two planes. The more well-known are the White Mana-aligned leonin of Mirrodin, a highly religious and honorable race that worships the white sun of their world. They tame the pterons, flying reptiles, as steeds. In contrast, the leonin of Theros are disgraced outcasts who scrabble on the edges of civilization, having already been looked at uneasily for their tendency towards atheism, they then made the mistake of allowing themselves to be recruited as the army for an archon named Agnomakhos, who became one of Theros' worse tyrants. They have peacefully withdrawn from humanity since then, but the scars remain. They have become something of a second home to Ajani Goldmane, who also unwittingly struck a blow for them by beginning a crusade of militant antitheism against Heliod due to the sun god's murderous betrayal of his friend Elspeth. Mechanics for playing a Therosian leonin in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition appeared in Mythic Odysseys of Theros, where they had the following stats:
- Ability Score Increase: +2 Constitution, +1 Strength
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 35 feet
- Darkvision 60 feet
- Claws: You can do 1d4 + Str Slashing damage with your unarmed strikes.
- Hunter's Instincts: You have proficiency in one skill chosen from the following list: Athletics, Intimidation, Perception, Survival.
- Daunting Roar: As a bonus action, you can unleash a a frightful roar, forcing all creatures of your choice within 10 feet to make a Wisdom save (DC 8 + your Proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier) or be Frightened of you until the end of your next turn. You can only use this ability once per short rest.
It hasn't escaped notice by fans that Daunting Roar is basically better than the Dragonborn racial ability "Dragon Breath", simply because it keys off of a stat that the leonin actually gets a +2 bonus to and it takes a Bonus Action, rather than an Action. Turns out that even WotC can learn something.
The Nacatl are a race of "jungle-themed" catfolk from Naya, a shard of the plane of Alara. They can resemble tigers, jaguars and ocelots, as well as looking like lions (those ones are sometimes referred to as "leonin nacatl") and are divided into three strains; Cloud, Wild and Savage. See, the nacatl used to own Naya, their empire stretching far and wide, but a religious nut named Marisi came out of the woods preaching that civilization had corrupted and weakened the nacatl, arguing that they needed to go back to a more primal lifestyle. The resultant civil discord as nacatl either fell for her dribble or shunned her ended up destroying the empire. Now, the bulk of the nacatl race are the Wild Nacatl - stone-wielding tribals who stalk the lowland jungles. The Cloud Nacatl are those who dwell in the mountaintop ruins of their former empire and still preserve their former civilization. Savage Nacatl are an extremist branch of the Wild Nacatl who refuse to even use stone tools, instead relying on teeth and claws like their primal ancestors. A Nacatl with the appearance of an albino lion named Ajani Goldmane was one of the very first Planeswalkers ever carded in Magic: The Gathering. He has also forged something of a bond with the leonin of Theros.
The back of the Warhammer 40k 6th Edition rulebook mentions "Homo sapiens hirsutus", or Felinids as one of the fifteen known races of abhumans. Because Games Workshop never gave a definitive description for Felinids from Warhammer 40,000 other than the fact that they're abhumans and have a suggestive feline name, /tg/ likes to imagine them as catgirls, regardless of other, more literal interpretations. So if you see an Imperial Guard regiment with cat ears and the player insists it's canon, that's why.
The first non-human "party member" of the Red Dwarf TV show was Cat, the survivor of a race of humanoids who evolved from Lister's pet cat over the three million years that the ship was flying off aimlessly into deep space. So, naturally, in Red Dwarf - The RPG, Evolved Cats are one of the player options.
Unlike most catfolk, Red Dwarf catfolk aren't furries; they look like humans with slightly pointy ears and elongated canines. Sort of like downplayed elves with vampire teeth, really. Though according to dialogue in the show, they have six nipples, and it's implied the women thusly have six tits - whilst according to the books the males have a feline's barbed penis. They are characterized for being vain, shallow, short-sighted and self-centered, more interested in themselves and in looking as sexy as possible than in anything else, to the point of tending to ignore bigger issues to focus on their personal grooming.
In the Red Dwarf RPG, Evolved Cats have maximum Agility 7, Dexterity 6, Strength 5, Perception 7, Intelligence 5 and Willpower 6. They get 1 free point in both the Awareness and Athletics skill, but their vanity and self-absorbed nature imposes a -2 penalty to all Empathy checks.
The catgirl is one of the most iconic forms of monstergirls in the known world, with a popularity that transcends multiple media and which means many actually don't recognize them as such, since catgirls are often held up as more of a "cute Japanese thing". They are endemic in Japanese media (neko), especially fantasy settings ranging from classical to urban to star opera, and because of this, there are some on /tg/ who don't accept them as legitimate fantasy creatures, deriding them as weeaboo.
Like all of the "beastfolk monstergirls", exactly how cat-like they are differs hugely from depiction to depiction. At the lowest, most vanilla tier, you end up with a perfectly human girl who merely dresses up in a cat motif, has hair styled to resemble cat ears, and probably makes use of the iconic meowing verbal tic. These are, ironically, the most contentious of the catgirls, with most monstergirl fans mocking them as not really proper monstergirls, for the same reason "humans wearing cat-ear hairbands and strap-on tails" aren't considered catgirls. The average catgirl at the least has cat ears atop her head and a cat's tail sticking out of her rump, and this is the most iconic form for the race.
But, Japanese artists in particular like to get a bit more beastly: clawed (or outright paw-like) hands and/or feet, limbs covered in fur, and digitigrade legs are all common aspects on more "monstrous" catgirls. Some catgirls go so far as to have human-like faces but bodies entirely covered in fur (or at least colored to look that way), a rare but not unheard of "blending point" between the beastfolk and monstergirl fetish zones. In some corners of the internet, this is known as the "Flora Paradox", after a particularly prolific webcomic that uses this look for its catgirl protagonist: "If you'd hit that, you're a furry; if you wouldn't, you're gay". On /co/, this is known as either the Tigra Paradox, after the Marvel superheroine who happens to have that exact look or, more traditionally, the Cheetara Paradox, after the female protagonist of Thundercats.
Particularly in anime and Japanese media, catgirls often display cat-like mannerisms, such as loving fish, being easily distractible or lazy, hissing at people they don't like, etc. One especially iconic Japanese trait is a verbal tick where where they frequently say or finish their sentences with "nyan" (Japanese for "meow") which sometimes comes in the form of a speech impediment instead. This is intended to ramp up the cuteness factor.
Whether or not the sphinx should be considered a catgirl is a topic of some debate. On the one hand, she literally is a blending of woman and cat. On the other hand, she traditionally very much doesn't look the typical catgirl, closer to a lion-centaur.
Theoretically, one could have the same debate on if a female wemic (lion-centaur) also counts as a catgirl, but it never happens because nobody remembers that they exist off of 1d4chan. Their similarity to Chakats may also have something to do with this.
Big Eyes, Small Mouth, being "the anime RPG", of course lets you design catgirls as fantasy races or aliens.
Also there is a /tg/ homebrew rpg for them, named CATastrophe.
As stated above, catgirls are one of the most common monstergirls in Japanese media, arguably surpassing even elves. As such, whilst they can't hope to compete with the number of succubus variants, the Monster Girl Encyclopedia has its share of catgirls.
The foundation of the family is the Werecat. They are selfish and capricious, but normally of very little danger; they're more the mischief-making catgirl who will sulk if scolded type than anything. However, like a number of "base" beastgirls in the MGE world, they enter a period called "heat", which makes them extremely sexually aggressive as their libido spikes sharply. They like sex when they can get it anyway, but heat is when they get rapey. There's a plant called "matabi" which is basically werecatnip; they basically get drunk and super-horny, even worse than when they're in heat.
The Sphinx is a branch of the catgirl family from the not!Egypt region, and is presented as a dark-skinned, blonde-haired catgirl with a high intellect and a natural affinity for magic. They look for smart men, and use riddles imbued with lust-inducing magic to compel men to have sex with them. In typical MGE "logic", you can't win these riddle-games; defeat afflicts you with an aphrodisiac charm effect and compels you to fuck the sphinx, victory causes the spell to rebound onto the sphinx and compels her to rape you instead. They're supposed to be guardians of the ancient ruins, but they're so horny and lust-driven that they've given up on that and just look for guys amongst the adventurers coming to loot the place - a man who succeeds on the riddle game and accepts the sphinx as his waifu will find she's happy to loot the place with him so they can get rich and live in luxury elsewhere.
The Nekomata is the obligatory Zipangu Catgirl. Based on the hengeyokai of the same name, these catgirls are more cheerful and openly affectionate than the standard werecat, whom they can be distinguished from by their possession of twin tails and the ability to disguise themselves as normal cats, which they use to stalk guys they like until they're ready to pounce.
The Cheshire Cat is one of the magical and zany monstergirls from Wonderland, a demiplane based on Alice in Wonderland. Descended from Werecats mutated by the demiplane's magic, they are characterized as whimsical, playful, mischievous, and - in the grand tradition of Wonderland mamono - stupidly horny. They love to verbally pester and tease guys they like, and combine this with their innate ability to teleport to play headgames with people.
The Jinko is a tiger based catgirl. They are a race of warrior women that are able to resist their lust until they go into heat, in which they'll rape a man and force him to marry them. After their first sexual intercourse, it becomes much easier for them to go into heat, it either happening more often or happening whenever she senses her husband is aroused by her.
The Cait Sith is a catgirl created from mamono mana transforming normal cats into catgirls. The result is basically a loli cat furry, something that has made them one of the most controversial of the MGE creatures. Personality wise, they're basically Werecats turned up a notch or two in terms of feral behavior.
The Ocelomeh is an Aztec-themed catgirl; basically a jaguar-coated dark-skinned catgirl amazon. In public, they are aggressive and sexually dominant, but in private, they are gentle, affectionate, tender and implicitly submissive.