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Cat Ninja

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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. Ninja are renowned for being masters of stealth, difficult to kill, and ruthlessly efficient or sadistically deadly assassins. 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're antagonists.

These cats often have all-black fur due to ninjas being generally portrayed as wearing all-black outfits.

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 - big cats are less common with Talking Animals, thanks to Rule of Cute, but may be more common with Animal Motifs, due to Rule of Cool.

Not related to With Catlike Tread or to Classy Cat-Burglar (although all three tropes reference cats as stealthy animals). See also Cats Are Superior, Cats Are Mean, Animal Stereotypes (generally the cause of ninja cats), Animal Occupation Stereotypes, and Good Animals, Evil Animals (when the cat ninjas are evil, often when they're black or Siamese). See also Female Feline, Male Mutt (in cases of overlap, you can usually expect a cat ninja and a dog bruiser).

Incidentally, February 22nd is both National Ninja Day and National Cat Day in Japan, because due to multiple possible readings of the number in Japanese "2 2 2" can be read as either "nin nin nin" or "nyan nyan nyan", the stereotypical onomatopea for a ninja's footsteps and a cat's meow, respectively.

Examples :

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Anpanman, Nyanja is an anthropomorphic cat who strives to be a better ninja. This is reflected in his name, a portmanteau of "ninja" and "nyan", the Japanese word for "meow".
  • From Bleach, Yoruichi was once head of the Onmitsukido (the ninja branch of the Soul Society) and can transform into a cat.
  • The anime Kyattou Ninden Teyandee (Cat Ninja Teyandee) is about a team of three anthropomorphic cats who are ninjas. It was localized in English as Samurai Pizza Cats, and as per the title the characters are called samurai, but they still look and act more like ninjas.
  • Obi of Snow White with the Red Hair has a cat motif and is unquestionably a ninja even if he's never outright called such in the European based fantasy setting seeing as he is a Stealth Expert kunai user who likes to keep his face covered and was formerly an assassin for hire.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • 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 develops 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.
  • In the Petvengers fancomics, secret agents and assassins are usually depicted as chubby little cat people.
  • Being turned into a cat-mutant in Shards of a Memory has not made Tang Shen any less effective as a kunoichi.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Puss in Boots, the cats (in particular Kitty Softpaws) are sometimes portrayed in a very ninja-esque way.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Cats & Dogs references this with literal ninja cat antagonists, which contrast the heroic "secret agent" dogs.

  • In the Discworld novel, The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, 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.
  • In Otherside Picnic, Sorawo and Toriko end up helping Akari, a girl being menaced by ninja cats. To get them to leave her alone, they head to Interstital space (the place between our world and the other side) and fight them head on. The ninja cats, armed with deadly weaponry, have the upper hand throughout the entire fight and when Sorawo uses her Magic Eye on two of the cats, hoping they don't look like cats with true forms revealed, she discovers that they look like cats. They're eventually able to get rid of them when Sorawo notices something inside Akari's body and has Toriko use her magic hand to pull it out then toss it away.
  • The Cat tribe in Trash of the Count's Family, made up of Cat Beastmen who use stealthy techniques like Super Smoke and assassinate people.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers season three, we meet Katherine Hillard, nicknamed Kat, who is actually a spy for the bad guys who can shape-shift into a cat that Kim and Aisha adopt. Later on, after being freed of the brainwashing, Kat replaces Kim as the pink ranger- and given that the season is all about ninjas, well...

  • Tamagotchi: Okugatatchi, the mother of the ninja Gozarutchi, is a ninja herself and has the pointy ears, whiskers, and tail of a cat.

    Video Games 
  • The Battle Cats features Ninja Cat as the first Special Cat to be unlocked. It serves as an upgraded version of Axe Cat, being faster, more powerful, and having multi-hit attacks, though it's ultimately still a Crutch Character.
  • 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.
  • Cat Ninja is the flash online game where the main character is cat with ninja skills.
  • Champion Island Games: Lucky is explicitly referred to by the doodle's description as a Ninja Cat, which explains her ability to disappear in a puff of smoke and reappear at one of the sport's entrance.
  • Claws of Furry: The Player Characters of the game are anthropomorphic cat people who are trained ninjas.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Throughout the series and in background lore, the Khajiit, a Cat Folk race, are naturally inclined toward stealth, and can often be found as assassins, spies, and thieves in other provinces.
    • In Skyrim, some of the Dark Brotherhood members that attempt to kill you are Khajiit, although none are in the core (joinable) 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 builds.
  • Epic Battle Fantasy: In the fifth game, one of the types of cat that can be fought, are "Cat Ninja", who are "very evasive cats".
  • Final Fantasy XIV has the Miqo'te race, which are basically people with cat ears, tails, and sometimes slitted pupils. The game also has a job called 'ninja'. So it's entirely possible to create yourself a cat-ninja in the game. The closest Non Player Characters get to this trope is probably V'kebbe the Stray, a former Pirate Girl who joined the Rogues' Guild.
  • 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 Monster Hunter, you'll normally get the services of the catlike Palico to aid you in your hunts. Palicos can be dressed up in whatever manner you please so long as you have the requisite monster parts to make their wardrobe; of note would be the Palico Nargacuga set, which includes a Fuuma Shuriken as a weapon.
    • As of Monster Hunter: Rise, Hunters can now give their Palicos the Felyne Kamura Set, only this set includes a bokken for a weapon.
  • Moshi Monsters has a species of ninja cats called the Caped Assassins (they don't really kill people) who randomly disappear and reappear.
  • Neko Atsume has the elusive Whiteshadow, who can appear in your yard at random, either "scouting" or doing "espionage".
  • Ninja Cat is a free online flash game at Kongregate, where you play a cat who is a ninja.
  • Orcs Must Die! Unchained has Midnight, a Cat Girl Ninja who serves the villain faction as a hired mercenary.
  • Pirate101 has Shiriku Neko, a cat who was raised by a clan of ninja pigs. She even joins your crew after you complete her Side Quest.
  • Interestingly, being a Lombax, Ratchet from Ratchet & Clank sometimes flirts with this trope - despite being a hero who deals primarily in superior firepower. In the second game, Going Commando, he was shown in a ninja outfit in a presentation still about "stealth training", in Ratchet: Deadlocked one of the most difficult awards to obtain is the "Ninja Ratchet" skin (that actually boosts his abilities a little), and in All-4-One, he gets a ninja skin alongside Clank, Qwark, and Nefarious.
  • Super Lucky's Tale: Master Mittens is this, or at least attempts to be. He certainly has the look down.
  • Super Ninja Meow Cat: As the title indicates, the protagonist is a ninja cat. They wield a ninja sword, and they can also pick up shurikens and other ninja weapons.

    Web Animation 

    Web Videos 
  • Brought up in the Mean Kitty Song.
    Mr. Safety: This little kitty is a ninja, always stalking my feet...

    Western Animation 
  • 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 despite her diminutive size.
  • In Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Po encounters a group of cats who are master thieves. While not technically ninja (since they are from China) they use kunoichi-style distraction, and disguise, and follow a lot of ninja tropes.
  • In Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles the Neko Ninjas are the only ninja clan from the comic to retain their ninjutsu trappings after becoming street gangs. And they're cats, with the leader being a ridiculously fluffy Persian.
  • Dark Kat has some purple-furred ninjas, the Kommando-Kats, in the SWAT Kats episode "Razor's Edge," although they really only get one scene showcasing their martial arts skills.
  • Neeko from Chop Chop Ninja is an anthropomorphic cat who also happens to be part of the show's four-man group of ninjas.

Alternative Title(s): Ninja Cat



Bartleby does some ninja training.

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