Creating houses, farms, and dungeons in Minecraft is a lot of fun. But what's a fantasy world without your beloved cat? If you'd like to have a pet to hang out with or come home to after a day of mining for precious gems, you can make friends with a stray cat. In this article, will guide you on how to tame a cat in Minecraft.

All about Cats in Minecraft

Cats are friendly animals you can discover in villages and swamp huts. They are truly your great companions which help keep creepers and phantoms away.

Cats In Minecraft
Cats in Minecraft

Cat Spawning

Cats have a chance to appear every 1200 ticks, which is about 1 minute in the game. The game picks a random player (including spectators) and then selects a random spot that is between 8 and 32 blocks away from the player, both to the left and right, and at the same height. If this chosen spot is relatively close (within 2 chunks) to a village that has fewer than 5 cats, or inside a swamp hut, then a cat can spawn there.


Untamed cats can appear in villages under specific conditions. For them to spawn, there need to be at least 5 beds claimed by villagers within 48 blocks, and there should be no more than 4 cats within a certain area (a box that's 97 blocks long, 17 blocks high, and 97 blocks wide) centered around the spawning point. Cats that initially spawn with a village won't disappear, but any additional ones that show up may make them vanish later.

These village cats come in different appearances, but black cats may only appear during a full moon. This full moon effect is the same in both the Java and Bedrock editions of the game. Importantly, the process of cats spawning in villages is separate from the natural spawning of other friendly animals, so it's not influenced by the game's limit on the number of creatures.

Black Cats Minecraft
Black cats may only appear during a full moon.

Swamp Huts

When you start a new world in Minecraft, you'll find one untamed black cat already present inside swamp huts along with a witch. This cat will never disappear. Extra cats can also appear inside the hut in a similar way to witches. To make this happen, there must be grass blocks within the designated area of the swamp hut.

In the Java Edition of the game, if any more cats spawn inside the swamp hut (either through spawn eggs or commands without specifying a cat type), they will always be black. However, if there's already a cat within a specific volume of 16×8×16 blocks, a new cat won't spawn inside the hut.

In Bedrock Edition

In Bedrock Edition, villages periodically generate stray cats to maintain a certain ratio: 1 cat for every 4 owned beds, up to a maximum of 5 cats when there are 20 or more owned beds. Only beds currently claimed by villagers are counted. All cats within the village's boundaries, including kittens, cats from outside, and player-owned cats, are considered in this count. If there aren't enough cats, the village will attempt to spawn one within a specific volume centered on the village's center, which is the same method used for spawning iron golems in villages.

When cats spawn, 25% of them will appear as kittens. Additionally, during a full moon in the game, 50% of the cats that spawn will be black in color.


Adult cats in Minecraft can drop the following items:

  • 0-2 strings when killed. This drop is not influenced by the Looting enchantment.
  • 1-3 strings when killed by a player or tamed wolf.
  • Upon successful breeding, they drop 1-7 strings.

However, if you kill a kitten (baby cat), you won't receive any items or experience points.

Cats Drop Minecraft
Cats can drop strings.

Cat skins in Minecraft

Even though they use the same model, cats in Minecraft are smaller than ocelots. There are a total of 11 different skins (image at the beginning of the article) that cats can have, offering variety in their appearance. Notably, one of these cat skins was inspired by Jellie, the cat owned by YouTuber GoodTimesWithScar. This particular skin was selected through a community vote on Twitter. Let's check the special skin in this video:

Cat Behaviors

Cats in Minecraft have some interesting behaviors and interactions, like:

  • They are immune to fall damage, but they are cautious and won't willingly fall from high cliffs that could normally cause fall damage.
  • Cats can detect players even if they have the Invisibility status effect, so they're not easily fooled.
  • Kittens exhibit the same behaviors as adult cats, except for having a faster movement rate.
  • Cats hiss at phantoms that are actively pursuing a player (Java Edition only). This can help alert players to the presence of phantoms.
  • Both creepers and phantoms will avoid getting too close to cats, maintaining a distance of 6 blocks from cats for creepers and 16 blocks for phantoms. However, if a creeper has already started its detonation, it won't flee unless the player exits its blast radius. This behavior can help protect players from creeper explosions and phantom attacks.

Stray cats

A stray cat in Minecraft is a wild, untamed cat. Cats that naturally appear in the game always start as stray cats. Unlike untamed wolves, stray cats can disappear on their own if not tamed or cared for.

Stray cats have certain behaviors:

  • They hunt and attack rabbits and baby turtles within a range of 15 blocks.
  • Even though they initially spawn in villages, they don't necessarily stay there; they like to explore their surroundings.
  • They tend to run away from players who come within 7 blocks of them (unless the player is sneaking in the Bedrock Edition or the game is set to peaceful difficulty in the Java Edition). They also avoid players within 16 blocks.
  • If a player is holding raw cod or salmon within 10 blocks, stray cats will slowly approach the player. This allows the player to feed and tame them (see How to tame a cat in Minecraft section below). Yet, if the player moves too quickly or stops holding the fish within 6 blocks, the cat will run away and won't approach the player for a short time.
  • Stray cats can be leashed, which means you can use a lead to control their movement.

Tamed cats

Tamed cats in Minecraft tend to stay active and explore around the player unless you specifically command them to sit.

Tamed Cats Minecraft
Tamed cats in Minecraft

Here are some behaviors of tamed cats:

  • If a tamed cat isn't sitting, it may try to get on top of chests, the foot part of beds, or active furnaces that are at the same height level within a 4-block-radius area around it. Once on top of these blocks, they often sit without needing a command from the player. If a cat sits on a chest, for example, that chest becomes unusable unless the player commands the cat to stand. You can make a sitting cat stand by holding a raw fish nearby, removing the block it's sitting on, pushing it off, or even by attacking it. Cats won't sit on a block if there's another block above it, blocking their way.
  • Cats, like other creatures, can enter nearby boats, but this can sometimes lead to them trapping themselves.
  • If a player is hurt by a hostile mob or a harming potion (but not by environmental damage like falling), a cat that's sitting nearby will stand up, move a few blocks away from its sitting spot, and then go back to sitting. This behavior seems to be a reaction to protect the player when they're in danger.


When a player goes to sleep, their tamed cats will come closer and sleep nearby. When the player wakes up, the cats also open their eyes.

Here's an interesting twist: There's a 70% chance that a tamed cat will give the player a gift after they wake up, but this only happens if the player sleeps during the night. If you sleep during a thunderstorm in the daytime or if the tamed cat has been commanded to sit, you won't get a gift.

The gift the cat gives is determined by a special list called "cat_morning_gift.json." It could be any item from this list, which is a way for your feline companion to show its appreciation.

Gift Weight Chance 1 in ...
Rabbit's foot

Rabbit hide


Rotten flesh


Raw chicken

10 (531) 16.13% 6.2
Phantom membrane 2 (131) 3.22% 31


Cat Gifts Minecraft
Cat Gifts

After a cat gives a gift in Minecraft, both the cat and the gift will be found in the general vicinity of the bed where the player slept, even if there are walls or floors in between.

If a player has multiple tamed cats standing in the area, only the cat that slept on the player's bed may provide a gift. However, if all the tamed cats in the vicinity are unable to reach the player (for example, if they're trapped in minecarts or boats), in the Java Edition, each cat has a 70% chance of providing a gift. In the Bedrock Edition, only one cat can give a gift, even if there are multiple cats present.


Tamed cats in Minecraft have a teleportation ability, but there are specific conditions and exceptions. They typically teleport to the player if they are more than 12 blocks away. However, they don't teleport under the following circumstances:

  • If the player has ordered the cat to sit. Exceptions:
    • If the cat is injured while sitting, it may teleport, but it won't sit after teleporting. For instance, if a sitting cat is struck by lightning, it will teleport while on fire and may die.
    • If a kitten is told to sit and grows up while the chunk it's sitting in is still loaded, it will teleport to the player while still sitting.
  • If the cat is trying to sit on a chest, bed, or furnace (Bedrock Edition only).
  • If the cat is attempting to lie or is already lying on a bed.
  • If the cat is in a minecart or boat.
  • If the cat has been attached to a fence post with a lead.
  • If the cat is in an unloaded chunk.
  • If none of the blocks on the edge of a 5x5x1 region centered on the player are transparent blocks with an opaque block below and another transparent block above.
  • If the player is in another dimension.
  • If the player is in water; the cat teleports to the player when the player leaves the water.
  • If the cat is in water, teleportation is unreliable and may or may not occur.

It's important to note that cat teleportation is completely silent, so you won't hear any sounds when they teleport.


Feeding cats raw fish makes them ready to have kittens. The kittens will look like one of the parents and belong to the owner of one of them. Parents can't have more kittens for 5 minutes after. If one parent is walking and the other is sitting, they can still have kittens, and the walking parent's owner gets the kitten. Kittens usually take 20 minutes to grow up, but feeding them more fish makes them grow faster, with each fish making them grow 10% faster.


Feeding an injured tamed cat with uncooked cod or salmon will restore 2 points of its health. Unlike tamed wolves, a tamed cat's tail does not indicate its health status.

How to tame a cat in Minecraft 2023

Follow these steps to tame your stray cat:

  • #1. Gather raw fish: Begin by collecting raw cod or raw salmon from a nearby water source, like a lake or river.
  • #2. Approach the stray cat: Hold the raw fish in your hand and slowly approach a stray cat.
  • #3. Feed the cat: Right-click or tap on the cat with the raw fish in your hand to offer it. Keep feeding the cat multiple times until you see hearts above its head, which indicates it's being tamed. You may need to be persistent and use several fish to win its trust.
  • #4. Observe the hearts: Once you've successfully tamed the cat, the hearts will disappear, and the cat will sport a collar. Congratulations, you've now tamed a pet cat!

Please keep in mind that game mechanics can change with updates, so it's advisable to check the specific taming process for your Minecraft version in 2023, as there may have been adjustments or new features added.