It must be said that our feline friends don’t get the most screentime in our favourite games, with the animal bragging rights being taken by the dog enemy. But when they do crop up on our screens, their purrs of content deliver a breath of fresh air to gamers. So with that in mind this article is dedicated to the best cats in videogames – yes, finally justice is served!
1Palico (Monster Hunter Series)
I must admit to never having played a Monster Hunter title before the recent release of Monster Hunter World, mostly due to this being the first showing on Xbox, but five minutes in and I was smitten with the sheer cuteness of the Palico. Combined with this overwhelming feeling of joy was surprise at the near on endless combinations of Palico I could make, with an extensive customization system that would put even Saints Row to shame. A few minutes later, more like 10 in truth, and I was set with my character and Palico in tow.
But your fuzzy pal isn’t just there for the cuteness, as your Palico will be helping out with attacking the monster you are attempting to take down, as well as providing you with some boosts to make your quest that little bit easier. I’m talking attack and defence buffs, as well as health restoration, but as you progress through Monster Hunter World you will be crafting and upgrading new gear and gadgets for your companion to utilise.
See, not just a pretty face… but that plays a big part in why we adore Palicoes so much.
2Cats (Assassin’s Creed Origins)
If you were to ask us what we do most in Assassin’s Creed Origins the answer would mostly be assassinating – as you can imagine. But a close second has to be petting the many cats you will find perusing Egypt.
That’s not too surprising, given that the Ancient Egyptians worshipped the things, but also due to how faithfully recreated the felines are. Typical cat behaviour includes weaving in and out of Bayek’s legs, purring contently when the assassin strokes their head, and generally acting as a distraction to whatever plans we had in mind.
There is a reason for Ubisoft painstakingly recreating the marvels of Ancient Egypt down to every last detail, but why would they have put cats in the game if not to have us revert to a childlike state whenever we see one?
More cats please Ubi!
3Aqua Kitties (AQUA KITTY UDX)
What do kittens love? Milk! But did you know that they love it so much that they will go to the great lengths of producing personal submarines, developing mining skills and even overcoming a centuries old fear of water to get to the white stuff? Well, given the plot of AQUA KITTY UDX this must be true.
In an attempt to protect their supply of milk, the Aqua Kitties must don their best mining gear and get down underwater to get rid of all evildoer – and let me tell you there a lot under the sea – who want a piece of the milky cake. Not only this, but the cats will be travelling across the screen rescuing any fellow felines who have be taken out and are succumbing to the watery horror. It all makes for some fast-paced, action packed Defender-esque stuff. But with cats, obviously.
It’s not all the time you see a whole game centered around the feline side of the animal spectrum – so AQUA KITTY UDX was a breath of fresh air on Xbox One, and delivered a more than decent offering on our consoles.
The ocelots in Minecraft are merely a couple of cuboids with a meow, but that is certainly enough to make us fall in love with them, especially when they morph into a cat upon feeding them a fish.
In their wild, roaming ocelot state, seeking out one of these mobs will result in them making a beeline in the opposite direction, but give them a fish while sneaking up to them and the chances are that a colourful cat will be yours.
Unlike the wolves in Minecraft, however, the cats come in all different colours, making for some randomness and excitement for your new Minecraft pet. As well as this, and somehow you can make them sit – unlike in real life – and they will follow you reasonably willingly… again unlike my experiences with cats in the real world.
See? It’s not all about how realistic the cats are!
5Sherbert, Scratchpaw & Meowburt (Castle Crashers)
For any fan of the arcade beat em up that is Castle Crashers you will know that equipping one of the many companions (or ‘Animal Orbs’, if you prefer) when you go into battle is essential if you want to make it out again in one piece. It could be Owlet who seeks out fruit for health, or Bitey Bat if you want to get some easy combos in, but whoever is your preference, the loveable pets in Castle Crashers cannot go without a mention.
But we are here for the cats – and Castle Crashers has not one, not two, but three of the felines to bring along for the journey of rescuing the King’s four daughters and his magic Crystal.
Firstly we have Sherbert, a ginger tabby who grants the character with a higher jump. Next up is Scratchpaw who gifts the player with +1 Strength and +2 Agility for XBLA and PS3 players, or +2 Strength and +2 Agility for anyone on PC or the Xbox One/PS4 remaster of the game. And then we have the grey Meowburt, who is extremely useful for anyone who wants their knight to be the most agile they can be, with this little guy giving players +3 or +4 Agility for the XBLA/PS3 or PC/remaster editions respectively.
They may come with different buffs, but one thing is similar – they all share the same cartoonish art-style that we have come to love from Castle Crashers and developers The Behemoth.
6Kat Tut (Peggle)
He may not have been lucky enough to warrant an inclusion in the sequel, but the original peg-hitting popular puzzler Peggle introduced us to Kat Tut, the third Peggle master who you play as in the campaign.
As with every master you will encounter throughout Peggle, Kat has a game-changing special power known as Pyramid. Upon striking the green peg in the level, the Free-Ball Bucket will instantly grow some pyramid ‘arms’, stretching out to accommodate more room along the bottom of the screen. As you could imagine this leads to some easier free balls being gained and the all-important Style Points being racked up.
For me, Kat Tut is a favourite when it comes to taking on a friend or family relative in a light-hearted game of Peggle, and the individual levels he brings are pretty decent too, focussing on Ancient Egypt.
7Pix (Pix the Cat)
Pix is the most helpful cat we have ever seen – at least if Pix the Cat is anything to go by.
This rapid and frantic puzzler will see you assume control of Pix, dashing around multiple screens, picking up eggs and delivering them to certain locations in order to hatch them, all the while ensuring you don’t get muddled up and stuck in a trap.
This may seem like the most unlikely cat behaviour, as I’m sure most ordinary animals would either ignore or eat the eggs, but in a game with neon lights and funky disco tunes in abundance, the mentality of Pix is the last thing you should be questioning!
8Schrӧdinger’s Cat (Schrӧdinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark)
Quantum mechanics may be one of the most confusing and complex concepts out there, but if it involves a cat then we find it hard not to pay close attention. Enter Austrian physicist Erwin Schrӧdinger who, with the help of a model involving a cat, gave his opinions on quantum superpositions and other, science-y stuff.
But this is TheXboxHub, not TheQuantumMechanicsHub, so we are much more interested in the game that Schrӧdinger’s Cat stars in on Xbox One – that of Schrӧdinger’s Cat and the Raiders of the Lost Quark. In this puzzle platformer, the iconic animal (who is now purple for some reason), has been called in to sort out the cat-astrophe (sorry) at the Particle Zoo, and to do so he will be calling upon the help of useful Quarks in order to make his way through the adventure.
Yes, I don’t know why he is purple, I don’t know why the quarks have faces and I don’t know why we have a Particle Zoo. But who cares? Schrӧdinger’s Cat is certainly alive in this game and indulging in some good ol’ fashioned platforming.
So there we have it, 8 of the greatest cats that we had the pleasure of seeing on our gaming screens. Are there any felines on here that should have made the cut, but didn’t? Let us know in the comments below or on the usual social media channels.