|Kanji||不浄猫 / 猫騙し|
|Rōmaji||Fujō Neko / Neko Damashi|
|Anime||01. The Season of New Leaves|
Tainted Cats (不浄猫 Fujō Neko), also known as Copycats, Impure Cats, or Trickster Cats (猫騙し Neko Damashi) are one of the in-world creatures of Shin Sekai Yori. They make an appearance in the novel, manga and anime. Their species originated from common domesticated cats, but were bred selectively with Cantus to increase their size and intelligence, and thus mutated into Tainted Cats.
- Tainted cats are three meters long, slimmer than tigers or lions, with abnormally long limbs and necks. Although their heads are comparatively small, about the size of a leopard's, they are tall enough that their eyes can be at the same level as the eyes of a growing teenager. They have a face like a normal cat's, except for the fact that the mouth can open many times wider. Their fangs are approximately 15 centimeters long, with elliptical cross-sections, and feel rough like shark skin. The teeth are supposedly usually folded inside the mouth to keep them hidden. Unlike saber-toothed tigers, tainted cats have fangs on both, the top and bottom jaws, that are blunt at the ends.
- Once a tainted cat bites down on something, a special joint in their skull causes their jaws to lock, making them extremely difficult to force open. They do not kill by impaling prey, but by pressing down on their jugular vein and strangling them. This leaves behind no blood or other evidence that someone has been killed, and thus perpetuate the copycat legends as children disappear without proof of having died.
- Tainted cats are highly intelligent, stalking their prey for days to learn their habits before attacking. They also do not require an item with the scent of their prey to track them; seeing a picture alone is sufficient.
- Tainted cats were bred selectively with Cantus to increase their size and intelligence. The decision to breed them originated from the need to kill other humans without relying on Queerats, following the K incident 243 years prior to the start of the story.
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