Cat Folk
Feline Fantastic Sapient Species


(permanent link) added: 2011-09-06 20:11:57 sponsor: Auxdarastrix (last reply: 2011-09-09 15:51:34)

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Cat Folk are Fantastic Sapient Species that are based on felines. They generally have a body type resembling felines to one degree or another, and are sometimes named after Real Life feline species. They can be science-fiction aliens or fantasy races. In terms of appearance, they can fall anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism from fully animal looking to barely non-human, however they must be sapient, non-human, and a distinct species from Real Life animals. While Cat Folk have been depicted with a variety of behavoiral and cultural characteristics, it is common to base at least some of their behavoir on feline Animal Stereotypes. Cat Folk based on predatorial big cats such as lions, tigers and panthers, for example, are generally depicted as being exceptionally strong and agressive, with a Proud Warrior Race culture.

This is closely related to Intelligent Gerbil (science fiction aliens based on animals), Petting Zoo People and Little Bit Beastly. There can be overlap between this trope and Cat Girl, however only Little Bit Beastly of examples of Cat Folk should also be listed under Cat Girl, and Cat Girl examples should only be listed if they represent an entire distinct species. Also, unlike the Cat Girl trope, Cat Folk have no particular tendency towards being female. Most species are gender balanced in terms of demographics, and the relative frequency and importance of males or females depends on the setting and the author rather than a general convention.

Feline therianthropes and humans that shapeshift into cats should be listed under Werecat or Animorphs. Humans that are merely dressed up as cats should not be listed here, but under Cat Eared Headband. Cartoon Funny Animals and Talking Animals should generally not be included if they are intended to represent actual Real Life species, or if they are in a Furry Fandom style world where every person is represented by an animal. Therefore, the likes of Garfield, Felix the Cat, and Prince John in Disney's Robin Hood would not count for this trope.

Not the be confused with the movie Cat People.

Examples Include:

Anime and Manga
  • Catnapped has anthropomorphic cats from the planet Banipal Witt.
  • The French Manga-style comics Dreamland has the Cat Kingdom, with most of its people specialized in trade and marketing. With one or two Mega Neko for Asskicking Equals Authority and a cute little cat with a moustache as a King.
  • The Exceed from Fairy Tail.
  • The Ctarl Ctarl from Outlaw Star are a race of cat-people who can shapeshift into big alien feline beasts. They are depicted as being a particulary pasionate and often violent speciesl
  • The Marvel Universe has the Cat People, who were created from housecats by ancient sorcerers. The Avengers character Tigra got her powers from them.
  • Among the humanoid animals in the future of Jack Kirby's Kamandi are a race of honor-driven tiger people; Final Crisis tied their culture's origins to Captain Marvel character and proud Cat Fellow Mr. Tawky-Tawny, "the Civilized Tiger."

Comics

Film

Live-Action TV
  • The Sisters of Plentitude in the Doctor Who episodes "New Earth" and "Gridlock".
  • On Red Dwarf, the ship's cats evolved over the eons into a Little Bit Beastly species of very vain humanoids, one of whom is a main character.

Literature
  • The Honor Harrington books have Treecats, a six-legged telepathic species resembling Terran cats.
  • The Kzinti in Larry Niven's Known Space books are an aggressive alien species resembling bipedal big cats in looks and personality.
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover stories: the cat-men (or cat-people).
  • C. J. Cherryh's Chanur series has the Hani species which are essentially bipedal intelligent terrestrial lions.
  • John Ringo's Into the Looking Glass novel features the Mreee (pronounced the way a cat yowls when you stomp it's tail) who look like three-foot tall anthropomorphic housecats whose native language sounds like "cats stuck in a barrel."
  • A. E. Van Vogt's Voyage Of The Space Beagle had a cat-like alien called Coeurl.
  • The tigers in the Doctor Who Eighth Doctor Adventures novel The Year of Intelligent Tigers. They're just intelligent tigers who have Bizarre Alien Biology, lay eggs, and have two opposable thumbs on each paw.
  • The Klees of Eelong in The Pendragon Adventure are giant, bipedal cats, and the dominant species in that world.
  • The Hrrubans in Anne McCaffrey's Doona books.

Table Top Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons has a number of examples, including the Trope Namer Catfolk, a nomadic Beast Man species reminiscent of lions, found in the Races of the Wild rule book.
    • Another nomadic leonine Dungeons & Dragons species are called the Wemic. They are centauroid lions. Wemics are excellent hunters and fighters. They do not make settled homes, but generally follow the herds they hunt for food, in the manner of a lion pride.
    • The rakasta from the Mystara setting are another anthropomorphic cat-people in D&D, the most known subrace resembling domestic cats with very un-domestic personalities. A Dragon Magazine article featured a vast array of rakasta subraces, from alley cats to ocelots and lions to smilodons.
    • While Pathfinder doesn't have a straight-up "cat race" as of yet, it does have maftets, a race descended from Sphinxes.
    • The tabaxi are a race of leopard people who live in tropical jungles. The Forgotten Realms Spin-Off setting Maztica featured a race of jaguar people also called tabaxi; it explained that the name of the leopard-tabaxi from the Realms was pronounced "ta-bax-ee" while that of the Maztican jaguar-tabaxi was pronounced "ta-bash-ee", but no justification was given to how two different species of cat-people on opposite ends of the world could have the same name.
    • 4th Edition's Player Handbook 2 includes the decidedly feline-looking Razorclaw Shifter, descended from weretigers.
    • The Tibbit race, which are Small humanoids with cat ears and markings as if their skin were fur; they can also turn into a full cats in the manner of a werecat.
  • Traveller Tabletop RPG has the Aslan.
  • Magic: The Gathering has a number of cat races, including the cat warriors
    • The lionlike leonin from the world of Mirrodon, on the other hand, are considered a separate race from the leopard-, jaguar-, or tiger-like cat warriors of Dominaria (though cards that benefit cats work for both). Their ruler in the Mirrodin novels was Raksha Golden Cub.
  • One of the factions in Alkemy is the Khaliman Republic, a middle-eastern-style nation... populated entirely by anthropomorphic cat people.
  • Star Fleet Battles: Lyrans (lynx) and The Kzinti.
  • Starfire board game: Khanate of Orion

Video Games
  • The Elder Scrolls has a race of bipedal cat people called the Khajiit, although they have a subrace that looks like common housecats.
  • Avernum has the Nephilim, a furry, feline race renowned for their sharp senses and ability to see in the dark.
  • The Kilrathi, a species of feline bipeds, are the primary enemies is much of the Wing Commander series.
  • The Ronso of Final Fantasy X are a race of muscular, anthropomorphic feline humanoids from the world of Spira.
  • The Mithra from Final Fantasy XI are an Little Bit Beastly race that also qualify for Cat Girl.
  • World of Warcraft has recently introduced the Tol'vir: a race of centaur-like beings with lion bodies and feline faces, crafted by the Titans from stone (and turned into flesh by the Old Gods).
  • Age of Wonders II has a cat-folk race called Tigrans.
  • Master of Orion series has an entire empire of cat-people, the Mrrshan, which were known for being one of the most aggressive and militaristic races throughout the series.
  • The Wizardry series has had Felpurr, humanoid cats described as descended from house cats, stretching back to 1990 in Wizardry 6: Bane of the Cosmic Forge. Felpurr are known for having one of the best stat lines in the game, reaching many elite professions with fewer attribute points than any other race. Particularly favoring speed and personality, they overshadowed even hobbits as the best thieves and bards in the series.
  • EverQuest has the Vah Shir.
  • The Quest for Glory series has the Katta, a race of cat-like humanoids. It also has the Liontaur people, which are basically lions shaped like centaurs.
  • Another Proud Warrior Race Guy example is Dantom, a tiger-person boss from Shining Force CD.
  • BlazBlue has a few examples; The Kaka Clan are essentially an almost always female race of Cat Girls who wear hoods. There are also the Grimalkin, although the only ones we've seen are Jubei ( who's DNA the Kaka were genetically engineered from) and his daughter Prof. Kokenoe, who's half human (or half human looking Witch Species anyway).
  • In Darkstalkers, Catwomen are a Cat Girl style of Cat Folk that are their own distinct race of semi-human monsters. One of their more prominent members, Felicia, is a playable character.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • In Star Trek: The Animated Series, Lieutenant M'Ress is a Caitian, a catlike humanoid alien species with pointed ears, slit-shaped pupils, whiskers, a tail and thick fur (usually including a mane). In addition to physical traits, Caitians are curious and have a hunter's instinct.
    • They animated series also has an appearance by the Kzinti.
  • Thundercats. More so in the new series.
  • In Samurai Jack there is a race of lion-people who are Proud Warrior Race Guys. They are commissioned by Aku to hunt Jack and succeed in doing so, only to let him go out of respect.
  • In the episode "Magicats" of She-Ra, She-Ra and Catra stumble upon a civilization of magical cats.
  • The Aldebarans from Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars.
  • The leopard-men from The Legend of Tarzan.

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