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 sapience), such as lions and tigers. The first creature to bear the type was Cat Warriors in Legends (though the Savannah Lions from Alpha was later issued errata to become a Cat). The first card with the subtype Cat without a second subtype was Canyon Wildcat from Tempest.
Cat-folk[edit | edit source]
Cat Warriors[edit | edit source]
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.
Dominarian catfolk as a whole appear to have become extinct, with the exception of the panther warriors of Free Urborg.
Panther Warriors[edit | edit source]
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[edit | edit source]
Leonin are a form of anthropomorphic lion found on multiple planes. They have a strong connection to white mana.
Mirrodin Leonin[edit | edit source]
The Leonin of Mirrodin dwelled in the Razor Fields, their capital being Taj-Nar, the Ancient Den.  Their culture is highly honor-based and religious, worshipping the white sun. Clerics of the suns have to survive a year in the Razor Fields before they are regarded as full "abuna"s that are allowed to lead other Leonin in religious ceremonies, particulary the Sunroar. As with all creatures from Mirrodin, they have partially metallic features. The Leonin shared a bond with the pterons, flying reptiles, and specialized skyhunters used them as mounts.
After Memnarch was defeated and Karn, Mirrodin's creator, sent those leonin abducted from other planes back to where they had come from, a schism ran through the remaining ones. One group supported a new kha named Kemba, calling themselves the kha-tal. The other, formerly the Obu-tal, called for revolution against the old societal structures, believing that they did not apply to the changed world.
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; both the nacatl and the leonin call their leader the kha, and after Alara reformed, some Nacatl began calling themselves Leonin.
Nacatl[edit | edit source]
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. Naya's leonin display a bit more physiological variety than Mirrodin's leonin; Nacatl have coats like tigers, jaguars, ocelots, etc., whereas Mirrodin leonin tend to stick with a more strict lion look.  
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. The Nayan pride of the Sunstrikers is loyal to Ajani. It's their sworn duty to keep his lands safe.
Nacatl means 'Meat' in Nahuatl, which is a Mesoamerican language notably used by the Aztecs.
Theros Leonin[edit | edit source]
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. 
Nishoba[edit | edit source]
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.
Rakshasa[edit | edit source]
Endemic to Tarkir, these anthropomorphic cats are also demons. Tiger-like in appearance, they are associated with the Sultai Brood, the members of the brood having made demonic contracts with them to gain power. The wield potent dark magic that makes them feared. A single Rakshasa can lay waste to swaths of land or reduce an army to dust. They summon horrors and abominations that swallow cities and devour legions.
In the past, Tasigur, khan of the Sultai, offended the rakshasa, who withdrew their support from him. Having been left vulnerable to the renewed dragon attacks, Tasigur made a pact with Silumgar, leading him to a meeting with the other khans. Afterwards, the rakshasa renewed their pacts, but this time with Silumgar. The dragonlord fears that the rakshasa will eventually turn against him, but knows that their magic is too useful for him.
Regular cats[edit | edit source]
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
Domestic Cats[edit | edit source]
Domestic cats had been rarely featured in Magic, until recently. When they are, they are often sacred creaures associated with white mana.
Amonkhet[edit | edit source]
Cats are sacred to the god of solidarity, Oketra, though they lack it. At least some are embalmed after death.
Innistrad[edit | edit source]
Other cats[edit | edit source]
Arynx[edit | edit source]
Cat Beasts from Tarkir. Once it has the scent, it hunts down its prey to the end.
Felidars[edit | edit source]
The Zendikar continent of Sejiri is home to felidars, ferioucous horned cat beasts. Some human knights are able to tame them.  Felidars that make it through their first year of life can easily live to see a hundred years more.
Felidars on Ravnica are primarily associated with the Azorius Guild where they form strong bonds with a single individual, sometimes a criminal, allowing them to see through their eyes and find them anywhere on the plane. Some Ravnican Felidar are winged.
Firecats[edit | edit source]
Firecats are elemental cats 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[edit | edit source]
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.
Leotau[edit | edit source]
Leotau are semi-intelligent mounts employed by the Inner Three nations of Bant, distantly related to the leonin of Naya. They are unique in that they are hooved animals; they have the heads and bodies of lions, but possess the legs of horse or bull. There are three varieties found in the savannahs of Bant: the orisil, the mherva and the grohm.
Undead variants of these species are present in Grixis.
Maaka[edit | edit source]
Serpopards[edit | edit source]
Urborg Panthers[edit | edit source]
Urborg Panthers are cat-like nightstalkers.
Yalomar Cats[edit | edit source]
Yalomar cats were powerful felines native to the region of Khone on Corondor. One cat was used in training the Numbered Ones in the 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.
Zheng[edit | edit source]
Notable Cats[edit | edit source]
Cat Warriors[edit | edit source]
Panther Warriors[edit | edit source]
Leonin[edit | edit source]
- Raksha Golden Cub
- Ushanti, leonin seer
- Kemba, Kha Regent
- Ranya, skyhunter captain
- Laena, skyhunter
- Brimaz, King of Oreskos
Nacatl[edit | edit source]
Unique Cats[edit | edit source]
Creature Update[edit | edit source]
Creature types changed into Cat include:
Cat tokens[edit | edit source]
|Cat||Black||Creature — Cat||2/1|
|Green||Creature — Cat||1/1|
|Green||Creature — Cat||3/2||Shroud|
|White||Creature — Cat||1/1||Lifelink|
|White||Creature — Cat||2/2|
|Cat Dragon||Black/Red/Green||Creature — Cat Dragon||3/3||Flying|
|Cat Soldier||White||Creature — Cat Soldier||1/1||Vigilance|
|Cat Warrior||Green||Creature — Cat Warrior||2/2||Forestwalk|
named Nacatl War-Pride
|Green||Creature — Cat Warrior||3/3||Nacatl War-Pride must be blocked by exactly one creature if able.
Whenever Nacatl War-Pride attacks, create X tokens that are copies of Nacatl War-Pride and that are tapped and attacking, where X is the number of creatures defending player controls. Exile the tokens at the beginning of the next end step.
|Elemental Cat||Red||Creature — Elemental Cat||1/1||Haste|
named Sacred Cat
|White||Creature — Zombie Cat||1/1||Lifelink|
named Adorned Pouncer
|Black||Creature — Zombie Cat||4/4||Double strike|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
Cat warriors. Art by Melissa Benson.
Leonin. Art by Todd Lockwood.
Nishoba. Art by Dave Kendall.
Panther warriors. Art by Eric Peterson.
References[edit | edit source]
- Mark Rosewater. (August 7, 2017.) “Cats”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Quinn Murphy. (August 7, 2017.) “Surprise Cats”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Peter Archer (ed.) Rath and Storm anthology. Wizards of the Coast.
- Windgrace Acolyte
- Magic Arcana. (January 19, 2004.) “Style Guide - Leonin”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (December 8, 2010.) “The Nonhuman cultures of Mirrodin”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 17, 2008.) “The Secrets of the Cat People!”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Doug Beyer. (December 17, 2008.) “Insights from the Inbox”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Jenna Helland. (August 15, 2012.) “The Stonekiller, Part 2”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Mike McArtor. (March 19, 2014.) “That's All Catfolks”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- The Magic Creative Team. (March 11, 2015.) “Planeswalker's Guide to Dragons of Tarkir, Part 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Magic Arcana. (April 22, 2010.) “Riding the Felidar”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- D&D Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
- Trick Jarrett. (May 10, 2013.) “Bloodrush Art”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.
- Dakkon Blackblade (comic)
- Magic Arcana. (March 15, 2007.) “Planar Chaos Token Art 1”, magicthegathering.com, Wizards of the Coast.