Cats are carnivorous mammals. In Magic, the term refers to both regular cats, as well as other feline creatures (some of which being endowed with sentience), such as lions and tigers. The first creature to bear the type was Cat Warriors in Legends. The first regular cat was Guma from Urza's Saga.
Cat warriors are feline humanoids found throughout Dominaria, primarily on the continent of Jamuraa. There are various different strains of cat warriors, some resembling tigers, others leopards or jaguars, and yet others cougars. The cat warriors have kept a relatively low profile throughout Dominaria's history, but they date back at least as far as the era of the Thran Empire.
There are various tribes of cat warriors. The Chitr’in were visited by Gerrard Capashen and Mirri once. The Efravans, Hooraree, Khyyiani, and Sulaki live in the Sukurvian Desert. After the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria caused the destruction of the cat warriors' Jamuraan homelands, their race was scattered across Dominaria.
The panther warriors, nacatl, and leonin, and perhaps nishoba as well, might be considered to belong to the same race as other cat warriors, but their cultures are distinct enough to set them apart.
The panther warriors are exiles of the cat warrior nations, many of whom had taken up residence in Urborg. They sometimes serve dark forces but are usually neutral in their world view. During the Mirage Wars, they were led by Purraj, an ally of Kaervek, who came with him to Jamuraa from Urborg and possibly perished there.
Leonin are a form of anthropomorphic lion found on the Razor Fields of Mirrodin, their capital being Taj-Nar, the Ancient Den. Their culture is highly honor-based and religious. As with all creatures from that plane they have partially metallic features. Like all inhabitants of Mirrodin, the leonin were drawn to that world from another plane. Though never explicitly stated, it is possible that they came from Alara.
The nacatl are a race of leonin from the shard of Naya (originally part of Alara). The males look very similar to the leonin of Mirrodin (sans metal plating) and have light fur, while the females lack manes and have spotted jaguar-like pelts.
The cat-people used to dominate Naya, but a rebellious faction led by Marisi believed they had grown weak, and that they should return to their true cat-nature. Their empire crumbled and the nacatl were reduced to isolated tribes. By the time of the Conflux, the nacatl were split into at least two cultural groups: the peaceful Cloud Nacatl, who inhabited the mountain ruins of their ancestors, and the violent Wild Nacatl or Claws of Marisi, who lived in the lowland jungles; the two groups had nothing but contempt for each other. Scratchforms is the writing system employed by the nacatl. Among Wild Nacatl scratchforms are predominantly used by shamans. The most important text set in scratchforms was the Coil.
The savage nacatl are a subgroup of which very little is known, save that they disdain the use of weapons and armor. Savage nacatl are larger and more muscular than other cat-people, with no manes, gray fur, and black tiger-like stripes. Their relation to other nacatl is unknown.
After the Conflux, when Alara was made whole once more, some nacatl migrated to the civilized lands of Bant and began integrating into the city-dwelling culture. The Bant cat-people, who adapted to the chivalrous code of knights and soldiers, simply called themselves leonin.
Unlike the proud leonin of other planes, Theros' leonin are disgraced outcasts due to their previous support of the Archon Agnomakhos, who tyrannised Meletis and surrounding lands. These leonin make a conscious effort to seperate themselves from humanity and the other races, down to not worshipping the main gods of Theros, though some do still occasionally honor Heliod and Nylea.
Ogre-sized cat-people blending the features of snow leopards and smilodons, nishobas lived as marauders in cold regions. Nishobas are known to have lived in Terisiare and Otaria, but may have become extinct after the end of the Phyrexian Invasion of Dominaria.
Examples of regular cats are:
- Black Cat
- Fleetfoot Panther
- Mist Leopard
- Mtenda Lion
- Penumbra Bobcat
- Pouncing Jaguar
- Raging Cougar
- Sabertooth Alley Cat
- Sabretooth Tiger
- Sanctuary Cat
- Scarred Puma
- Trained Caracal
- Trained Cheetah
- Uktabi Wildcats
- Zodiac Tiger
Firecats are native to the Pardic Mountains of Otaria. As their name suggests, their bodies are permanently ablaze. Their extinguished furs were often used as clothing by the Pardic barbarians.
Jhovalls are enormous cats native to Mercadia. They are fierce in combat and are large and strong enough to be used as mounts for fully-armored warriors, although training to ride the beasts takes many years of practice. Jhovall riders therefore make up the elite corps of both the Mercadian and Cho-Arrim armies.
Undead variants of these species are present in Grixis.
To be written.
Yalomar cats were powerful felines native to the region of Khone on Corondor. One cat was used in training the Numbered Ones in the Khone Valley of Sacrifice. When the Numbered Ones managed to destroy it with magic, the resulting blast blinded the Khonian midwives and killed all but one of the Numbered Ones, leaving only Gydolien Mor alive.
- Raksha Golden Cub
- Ushanti, leonin seer
- Kemba, Kha Regent
- Ranya, skyhunter captain
- Laena, skyhunter
- Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Creature types changed into Cat include:
Cat tokens are produced by:
- Ajani, Caller of the Pride (2/2 white Cat)
- Ajani's Chosen (2/2 white Cat)
- Brimaz, King of Oreskos (1/1 white Cat Soldier with vigilance)
- Firecat Blitz (1/1 red Elemental Cat with haste)
- Jedit Ojanen of Efrava (2/2 green Cat Warrior with forestwalk)
- Kemba, Kha Regent (2/2 white Cat)
- Nacatl War-Pride (3/3 green Cat Warrior)
- Penumbra Bobcat (1/2 black Cat)
- Vanguard of Brimaz (1/1 white Cat Soldier with vigilance)
- Waiting in the Weeds (1/1 green Cat)
- White Sun's Zenith (2/2 white Cat)
Cat warriors. Art by Melissa Benson.
Leonin. Art by Todd Lockwood.
Nishoba. Art by Dave Kendall.
Panther warriors. Art by Eric Peterson.
- ↑ both the nacatl and the leonin call their leader the kha, and after Alara reformed, some Nacatl began calling themselves Leonin.