|This article is about an older version of DF.|
Cats will kill vermin in and around your fortress. They are fairly weak animals in combat (but combat can be quite random, and they have been known to surprise players on the rare occasion). They also seem to want to wander every room, hall and mineshaft at least once, perhaps due to some modeling of curiosity.Verify
Cats cannot be assigned as pets; instead, cats choose dwarves as owners. Cats will only choose dwarves who have the preference "admires cats for their aloofness". If a cat is caged, it will not adopt, however it may adopt the moment it is taken from the cage (perhaps to be immediately butchered), regardless of who takes it.
Cats are useful around the fort to prevent the unhappy thoughts produced by vermin, and also for producing large numbers of kittens. If you can resist their cuteness and charm, and you get to them before they adopt a dwarf, kittens can be butchered to provide a small never-ending trickle of skin (to become leather), bones (for a variety of end-products) and meat for your fort. As a breeding pair of cats only costs 22 embark points, this is well worth considering - just cage and/or butcher the kittens as they are born, lest the kittens grow to adopt a dwarf before their last voyage. (See Breeding)
To reap the benefits of cat ownership (i.e. pest control) without the risk of catsplosion, take care to only allow male cats to roam freely.
[CREATURE:CAT] [NAME:cat:cats:cat] [TILE:'c'][COLOR:0:0:1] [VERMINHUNTER] [PETVALUE:20] [BUTCHERABLE_NONSTANDARD] [CARNIVORE][NATURAL][PET] [COMMON_DOMESTIC][BENIGN] [PREFSTRING:aloofness] [BODY:QUADRUPED:TAIL:2EYES:2EARS:NOSE:2LUNGS:HEART:GUTS:ORGANS:THROAT:NECK:SPINE:BRAIN:MOUTH] [BODYGLOSS:PAW] [SIZE:3] [MAXAGE:10:20] [ATTACK:MAIN:BYTYPE:MOUTH:bite:bites:1:6:GORE][ATTACKFLAG_CANLATCH] [CHILD:1][CHILDNAME:kitten:kittens] [FAT:1] [DIURNAL] [STANDARD_FLESH] [HOMEOTHERM:10070] [LAYERING:100]