Cats Are Ninja
A cat, or feline species, uses their natural abilities to their advantage and becomes a ninja.
Cats are stereotypically stealthy, quick, graceful, and acrobatic. Ninja are stereotypically stealthy, quick, graceful, and acrobatic. So of course, in a work involving both cats (whether as literal Talking Animals, merely symbolic Animal Motifs, or something in between) and ninja themes, you should expect the ninja role to tend towards cats. Cats in general have a reputation for being an adorable pet, as well as for being self-reliant, hunting down mice with either ruthless efficiency or sadistic pleasure, having nine lives, and trying to sneak around everywhere. Naturally, some works of fiction ignore the fact that cats tend to knock over household items and prefer to exaggerate their "stealthy" tendencies by turning felines into ninja. Typically expect characters of this nature to be either Badass Adorable or Tall, Dark and Handsome (if not some version of Evil is Sexy). They may be an example of Cats Are Superior, if they're portrayed as arrogant, or Cats Are Mean, if they feature as an antagonist. This need not apply solely to household cats; it is possible for some species of big cat, such as tigers or panthers, to be portrayed as ninjas, although it is less common. Not related to With Catlike Tread or to Classy Cat-Burglar. See also Cats Are Superior, Cats Are Mean, Animal Stereotypes (generally the cause of ninja cats), and Good Animals, Evil Animals (when the cat ninjas are evil). See also Female Feline, Male Mutt (in cases of overlap, you can usually expect a cat ninja and a dog bruiser).
ExamplesAnime and Manga
- From Bleach, Yoruichi was once head of the Onmitsukido (the ninja branch of the Soul Society) and can transform into a cat.
- Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire has a cat ninja along with a terrier secret agent.
- Blood And Revolution has Saitou assigning animal motifs to most of the characters; Aoshi - a literal ninja, last head of the Oniwabanshuu - is given a panther (made only worse once Aoshi becomes a vampire and developes cat eyes). To Aoshi's annoyance, he eventually evolves into a chaos demon, and because Your Mind Makes It Real his natural form does have a cat tail.
- Cats & Dogs references this with literal ninja cat antagonists, which contrast the heroic 'secret agent' dogs.
- In Puss in Boots the cats (in particular Kitty Softpaws) are sometimes portrayed in a very ninjaesque way.
- In the Discworld novel, Maurice and His Amazing Performing Rats, the titular cat, Maurice, is trapped in a dank underground cellar, pursued by massive killer rats operating under the eldritch direction of the evil Rat king. Maurice, a cat given human-level intelligence after a magical accident, has to pull off feats of Ninja-like combat to fight his way out and escape: these involve swimming through mud and sewage and wriggling through increasingly smaller spaces.
- The Legendary Starfy gives us Shurikit and Kittana, two rival cats who are constantly practicing their ninja skills against each other. Shurikit also teaches Starfy a few abilities.
- In The Elder Scrolls, the Khajiit, a humanoid cat species, are known for their excellent stealth abilities and proficiency in combat, so naturally many of them work as assassins outside of their home province of Elsewyr.
- In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, some of the Dark Brotherhood members that attempt to kill you are Khajiit, although none are in the core group. The Thalmor are also not above hiring Khajiit as assassins and spies, such as the one that stalks you in Riften and another that is hired to kill Malborn. If the Dragonborn is a Khajiit, they naturally get a +5 bonus to Archery, Lockpicking, One-Handed, Pickpocket and Alchemy, as well as a +10 bonus to Sneak, the ability to see in the dark for 60 seconds and the use of their claws; this makes them great for stealth-based playthroughs and assassinations.
- BlazBlue: Taokaka the Cat Girl (it's not made clear how catlike she is under her hood, but she and the others from her clan definitely behave like cats) becomes an actual ninja (Bang's apprentice to be exact) in some joke endings.
- Ninja Cat is a free online flash game at Kongregate, where you play a cat who is a ninja.
- Brought up in the Mean Kitty Song.
\'\'\'Mr. Safety\'\'\': This little kitty is a ninja, always stalking my feet...
- RWBY gives us Blake Belladonna, who is a Faunus, a species that is mostly human but with a few catlike traits. Her moveset and penchant for stealth are also similar to that of ninjas, with a bow on her head resembling cat ears.
- Adventure Time: In the episode "Jake vs. Me-Mow", a tiny mummy cat assassin named Me-Mow is tasked with killing Wildberry Princess. Armed with sharp claws, poison, and ninja-like ability, she proves to be quite a handful for Finn and Jake.
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