Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Notable BiologyMeowth and Persian are quadrupedal feline Pokemon with prominent whiskers and retractable claws. The wild-type coat is short and soft, cream to white in color. In Meowth, this is accompanied by brown pointing on the ears, tail and back feet; the ear and foot pointing fades after evolution. The tail of both stages features a distinctive whorl at the end.
Meowth is small, weighing nine to ten pounds on average. It has disproportionately large eyes and a small, furry nose that can be difficult to spot. It is capable of standing bipedally for relatively long periods, which with its unusually flexible (by quadruped standards) shoulder joints allows it to throw small objects- see the section on Behavior, below. Meowth's most distinctive feature is the "coin" embedded in its forehead: actually a keratinous structure more akin to a horn. Metallic deposits within the coin lend it its shine. If its coin is not broken off early, Meowth sheds it on a seasonal basis. The coin reaches full size within two weeks after being broken or shed, but takes longer to regain its mature thickness and luster.
After roughly two years, Meowth evolves into Persian (unless it is exposed to an Everstone, which Meowth owners frequently purchase for this reaso; see Hazards.) It increases in size, now standing an average of three feet tall at the shoulder, with a more lithe and powerful stature like that of its fellow big cats. Unlike the younger stage, Persian have not been observed to move bipedally. The original coin is shed for the last time, and shortly replaced with a smaller, round red "gem." The gem is harder than Meowth's coin and firmly fixed in place. Persian does not shed its gem.
BehaviorThis line is remarkably intelligent, with at least one Meowth reported to have learned human speech. It is unclear, however, whether this is mere mimicry as exhibited by Chatot or if he actually knew what he was saying. Despite its intelligence, Meowth's often contrary nature makes it tricky to train. Wild-caught Persian are very resistant to training; as such, almost all trained or pet Persian were raised from the Meowth stage.
Meowth is notorious for its habit of seeking out and hoarding shiny objects, particularly round ones. It carries its finds back to its den, and if forced to abandon it, may take a favorite item along if it is able. Kittens still living with their mother do not accrue their own hoards, but bring objects to their mother instead; pet Meowth frequently do the same for their owner, even past the age when they would normally have left their parent.
In battle, Meowth is known to deliberately break off its coin, which appears to cause it no pain, and throw it at its opponent. This serves as a distraction while Meowth closes in to bite and claw at the foe. If its coin is still growing back from a previous loss, other small objects are sometimes utilized.
HabitatMeowth is native to Johto and Kanto. Populations have also become established on most of the Sevii Islands, likely descended from Meowth and Persian brought there as pets. While their native habitat appears to be forested areas, both wild and feral populations are frequently found in the vicinity of human settlement. As a popular pet and Contest Pokemon, there exists a considerable market for Meowth in other regions.
DietMeowth and Persian are carnivorous, though they may nibble on green plants on occasion.
HazardsMeowth's hoarding can make it a danger to its Trainer's valuables. Appealing trinkets should be kept well out of reach in a household where Meowth lives; it is adept at climbing and making its way into surprising spaces, so often "out of reach" means behind a lock. It is also necessary to provide a scratching post, mat, or tree and train Meowth to use it as soon as possible, as it needs to scratch regularly and will use the furniture to do so if there are no other options.
Many people who keep Meowth as pets purchase Everstones due to Persian's infamously fickle temperament. Even a Persian that has been around humans from birth may claw its owner if annoyed, and it is easily provoked. [Trainer Note: It calms down if you can get ahold of its whiskers, but it's much better to just back off and let it cool down.] Watching its body language is a useful tool to know when to back off, as Persian raises its tail when it's preparing to strike.
While Meowth can usually be trained and acclimated to humans and other Pokemon without much trouble, wild-caught Persian are nearly impossible to completely tame. Serious injuries and even deaths have occurred when a formerly wild Persian unexpectedly turned on its owner.
Courting and ChildrearingThis Pokemon reaches sexual maturity during the Meowth stage. Females go into heat roughly twice a year; during this time they make loud calls, and if living indoors, will attempt to get outside by any means necessary. A Persian in heat can be especially destructive in her attempts to escape. Intact males may mark their territory by scratching or spraying, and if allowed to roam frequently get into fights over females. For these reasons, many pet Meowth/Persian keepers opt to have them spayed or neutered. After a successful mating, the parents go their separate ways, and after approximately 3 months the female gives live birth to an average of 2-4 kittens.
The mother cares for her young for the first couple of months. Approaching a wild Persian with kittens should be avoided if at all possible; a tame Persian may allow her trainer/owner near if she's in a good mood.
Social StructureMeowth tolerates others of its species fairly well, and wild or feral individuals will often form loose colonies. However, it prefers to hunt alone. It can become quite attached to its human trainer, but unlike Skitty and Delcatty, Meowth is not a "lap cat."
Persian is much more solitary, voluntarily approaching other Persians only to mate. A tame Persian considers its trainer part of its territory, and doesn't take well to other people or Pokemon.