Let’s not mince words here: I am a cat person. I absolutely love cats. They are small furry idiots who make stupid yelling noises, destroy things for no reason, have little regard for the rules you set down, and are also some of the most loving animals on the planet. (To anyone who tells me that cats don’t love you, I invite them to witness my tabby when I’m away for even an hour.) I adore cats and want more cats in my life.
Fortunately, there’s no need for me to put aside my love of cats in MMOs, as a lot of game designers love cats as much as I do. (And not all of them were working on Stray.) But today I wanted to narrow things down a little more. It’s not enough for me to just have cats around in the game; I needed a solid list’s worth of games in which you can talk to cats. And to my simultaneous surprise and satisfaction, I did indeed find a full list’s worth.
And yes, go ahead and get the joke out of your system: Anyone can talk to cats; the trick is getting them to talk back.
1. The Elder Scrolls Online
“Khajiit has wares if you have coin.” Even if you know nothing else about Tamriel, you are probably familiar with that just from being on the internet. (Well, you probably also know about arrows and knees, but let’s leave that to one side.) Whether or not Khajiit have fluffy smoochable tummies is not specified, but considering the designers behind this game showed off their cats when releasing the Khajiit-centric expansion, it’s safe to assume that everyone is one hundred percent on board with Khajiit and cats.
2. Star Trek Online
For a long time, the Catians were kind of an odd duck in terms of Star Trek races, showing up primarily in the animated series and thus occupying a weird quasi-canonical space where they probably existed but we never saw them on screen. But in recent years the Catians have been more firmly embraced, and the presence of Dr. T’ana on Lower Decks means that we can definitively state that Starfleet employs an entire race of people disabled by catnip and distracted by dangling strings.
3. Final Fantasy XIV
Not content with simply having one race of cats in the form of miqo’te, Final Fantasy XIV went the extra mile and gave us a second race of cats with the Hrothgar. We’re still waiting on the Hrothgar ladies, sadly, but in a debate over which one is more cat-like, the most important thing to note is that catnip is an actual item in this game and its description mentions it has no effect on five of the spoken races… but there were six playable races when it was added. They’re cats.
4. Final Fantasy XI
How can we forget the original mithra? We can’t, obviously. Mithra are even more cat-like than miqo’te, sporting a thin coating of fur and a tendency to purr with rolled Rs in casual conversation. They even have the kitty noses. And if they take a nap in places where you could trip over them while you’re trying to get into the kitchen, well, that’s really a you problem.
5. World of Warcraft
One could never accuse World of Warcraft of being short on cats, but we specified games where you can talk to cats. And you can any time your Druid turns into kitty form. You might argue that that Night Elf isn’t really a cat from birth, but the point is that you were molded into cat form and now you can deal physical damage and occasionally get the zoomies and run around the room yowling at absolutely nothing. While probably pulling half of the room, too. Zoomies!
6. Black Desert
The Fadus appear to be snow leopard people, and while you might argue that most of these cat people are more akin to the common domesticated cat I would argue that one of the most wonderful things about cats is that cats of all sizes behave more or less like basic cats. I would then point you to this video of cheetahs meowing and we would all forget about video game because it’s meowing that’s so cute.
7. Old School RuneScape
It’s possible that RuneScape features a race of cat people; I don’t know. But that’s not important because it definitely features the Catspeak Amulet so that you can walk around and talk to any and every cat you meet. For all the negative things I say about this game, this would be the best possible advertisement for the game. I would be perfectly happy even if it didn’t feature in any other quests and was just a bizarre toy, but it actually does feature elsewhere, and that’s wonderful.
8. Dungeons & Dragons Online
Anyone who has played a tabletop game of Dungeons & Dragons knows that this is a game wherein anything vaguely humanoid and possessed of at least rudimentary levels of intelligence will become a player character at some point, and thus do we wind up with the Tabaxi, another race of cat people. Lore is relatively silent on whether or not the Tabaxi tend to knock things off of tables while staring others directly in the eye, so I’m going to go ahead and assume this is the case.
9. Guild Wars 2
Are Charr cats? It’s kind of hard to tell. They’ve got some very cat-like features mixed with some very not-cat-like features, like horns. But I’m going to go ahead and say that yes, Charr are close enough to count as cats. If we’re going to count Hrothgar as cat-like, the Charr count as well. This makes their city all the more impressive, as it’s got to be difficult to build a whirring and clanking monstrosity of steel and fire if you’re constantly suppressing the urge to jump back and yowl every time something snaps shut.
10. AdventureQuest 3D
It’s really a shame that you can’t play as a cat person in this game, but cats do exist in the Sandsea Desert if nowhere else, and there are cat ears to pick up as well as a whole quest line to get yourself a pet cat. I feel comfortable asserting that AdventureQuest 3D is resolutely pro-cat, a stance I am supportive of as someone who is also resolutely pro-cat.
But I’m sure that’s not it! I am sure there are more places where you can have your character be a cat for people to talk with and even more games in which a cat chimes up and asks for your help in a way that’s more comprehensible than an endless series of meows. (Though, you know, the endless series of meows is cute too.) And so I ask you, dear readers, to show me pictures of your cats because I like cats. Tell them personally that I adore them. I love cats.
Note: If all you have are dogs, well, I’m sure they’re very good dogs and I like them too, but as mentioned prior, I am primarily a cat person. Pictures of your dogs are not required, but they do deserve chin and/or ear scritches as they prefer.