Myths and Folklore Wiki

One particularly monstrous breed of bakeneko is a two-tailed variety known as nekomata. Nekomata (Japanese: ねこまた, Chinese: 猫又 , meaning "Forked cat") are found in cities and villages, transformed from ordinary cats in Japanese mythology. They are born in the same way as other bakeneko, though only the oldest, largest cats with the longest tails (and thus more power and intelligence) become this powerful variety. These are the monster cats most likely to be seen walking about on their hind legs and speaking human languages.

Myths & Legends

While not all bakeneko are malicious or violent towards their masters, all nekomata certainly are. They look upon humans with contempt, and are often responsible for summoning fireballs that start great conflagrations, killing many people. They frequently control corpses with their necromantic powers like puppet-masters, and they use their powerful influence to blackmail or enslave humans into doing their bidding.

The most dangerous and powerful nekomata live deep in the mountains, in the shape of wild cats like leopards and lions. These wild monster cats grow to incredible sizes, many meters long, and prey on other large animals, such as wild boars, dogs, bears, and of course humans.


When these cats transform from ordinary animals into yokai, their tail splits down the center into two identical tails.