Felis sapiens (designated Felix sapiens by Kryten's replacement Hudzen-10 in the episode The Last Day) are a fictional, sentient, humanoid species from the Red Dwarf television series. The series generally refers to them simply as cats. They are all originally descended from a single pregnant domestic cat of Earth-origin, named Frankenstein, whom Dave Lister bought on shore leave on a colony on Titan. One cat, simply known as "The Cat," is a regular character in the show.
In the first novel, Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, Cats have slimmer faces, a narrow, flat nose, larger eyes and ears which are higher on the head. In the fourth novel Backwards we find out that the cat's penis is covered in sharp and painful hooks (as is a real cat's).
According to the unmade episode Identity Within, if cats do not have sex by a certain age, they die.
In the original episodes, the last remaining Cat Priest was able to provide further insight into the nature of the cat religion. He tells Lister that he sublimated his natural instincts to be neat, clean and well groomed, instead choosing to emulate Cloister, by "wearing the holy custard stains and the sacred gravy marks".
The Cat race had Seven Cat Commandments. They are as follows:
Cats found guilty of being vain were forced to wear fashion styles from the previous year.
The Cat maintains that the cat commandments stretch back to a "Dark Age" of religious fanaticism, which explains why he hardly adheres to them.
In the novel Infinity Welcomes Careful Drivers, the war is over whether the god is called Cloister or Clister, rather than the colour of the hats. And the promised land is named "Bearth" for Earth, rather than "Fuchal" for Fiji.
The Cat race apparently had wise old people in its history who formulated several "wise old Cat sayings". These sayings range from the rather intelligent "It's better to live one hour as a tiger than a whole lifetime as a worm" to the not-so-brilliant "What are you talking about, dog-breath?" Though it is debatable whether this is a correct saying, due to the Cat only learning of dogs when Lister shows the Cat a picture of his father.
Food (fish and birds in particular) is of central cultural and economic importance. Due to voracious consumption of food, five fish is the equivalent of being a millionaire. Appreciation is shown to someone who gives them food by licking that person. In true feline fashion their food is given a chance to escape, which means they taunt it with a song. Whenever an unknown presence (including strange humans and humanoids) is met they make themselves look big by raising their arms above their head and pull a snarling face. This is to prevent getting eaten by the stranger. Cats also love what they call "shiny things" and will play with the object. Any attempt to take the "shiny thing" from a Cat may result in the offender being eaten.
As a whole Cats are extremely vain and love mirrors almost as much as their actual selves. In fact, they are so self-centred that if they had to give someone a present, it would most likely be a belonging of their own which they hate and want to get rid of.
A Cat relationship lasts for three minutes, and they do not refer to each other by name at any time, preferring to say "Hey you!".
In one parallel universe cats do not exist. Rather, a race of creatures evolved from dogs exists instead. Unlike the cats, Dogs are very smelly and dirty and hate baths. They offer their bottoms for strangers to smell and are terrible dancers.
Whenever he enters unfamiliar surroundings, he removes a small spray can from his lapel and begins spraying objects, reciting all the while, "This is mine, this is mine." This is apparently a technologically-based scent-marking of his territory; the exact contents of the can are unknown.
Most of their other technology, particularly spacecraft, was stolen from the cargo hold of the Red Dwarf. In particular, they depended on canned food for survival. In the novelizations, the first tool discovered by cats is a can opener.
The Cat race learnt English by watching The Flintstones. They also have a spoken language: the only word known is jozxyqk, meaning "the sound you make when you get your sexual organs trapped in something" (although it is strongly implied this is merely an attempt to cheat at a game of Scrabble). They use their scent to read books and have two hundred and forty six smell symbols in their lexicon and can be broken down into smaller smells which altered the meaning of the smell. Dave Lister's T-shirt contained a sentence about a fearful, very bad estate agent going to a noxious toilet. Lister can read a cat-authored Dick and Jane early primer by strongly sniffing the pages, but relies on Holly to translate more complicated works, like the Cat Bible.
Evolved Rabbits are explained as being the dominant species of their parallel universe, and have evolved into a civilisation that bears strong resemblance to a stereotypical Fascist dictatorship. Humans are regarded in their universe as little better than mindless animals, being used for slaves and medical experimentation. In the game, Evolved Rabbits receive a bonus to Awareness (due to their keen senses) and to Aesthetics and Seduction (they are highly sexual beings, who have still perfected the arts of reproduction even if their biological processes have slowed down due to their evolution). However, they are so obnoxious and odious they can't even stand each other; they receive a penalty to all Empathy checks, ranging from -3 (humans) to -1 (Evolved Rabbits). Evolved Rabbits can be told from humans by the shape of their ears (longer, thinner and pointed) and by their buck-teeth.
Evolved Rats are sneaky, sly and tough, with a fondness for slick hair and 'sharp' clothing. They are very concerned with grooming and hygiene, being known to spend hours preening themselves. They tend to be solitary, but will occasionally group together in small gangs. They tend to be adept at tasks that require dexterity and/or less scupulous skills. Evolved Rats have slightly pointed ears and "Roman" noses.
Evolved Mice are shorter than humans and tend to be spry in their youth, becoming more rotund as they age. They are much more social and gregarious than their Rat cousins and tend to be attracted to group settings, inevitably developing a tightly-knit social hierarchy. Mice are as meticulous about grooming as Rats but are generally less fashion-conscious, favouring overalls and sturdy toolbelts to zoot suits. Both Evolved Rats and Evolved Mice are attracted to shiny objects and sweets, and will never be truly happy unless they have a 'nest'; a personal and private hidey-hole with comfortable bedding and places to hide their various treasures.
Evolved Iguanas originate from a parallel universe where domestic reptiles are not extinct (as evidenced by Lister's question "What's an Iguana?", though this may simply have been ignorance as Rimmer brought up the subject). Slow, methodical and relaxed by nature, most other races find Iguanas to be inscrutable slobs. Iguanas never give any indication of their feelings, and will remain tight-lipped and enigmatic until and unless they feel the situation warrants sharing personal information. Iguanas are economical when it comes to using words, and yes or no questions are the best to ask for in hopes of receiving an instant reply (and it will almost always be punctuated with "mon" in a West Indies accent). Evolved Iguanas have lanky body-builds and large (bulging) eyes, which often have the tendency to look in different directions. They are naturally skilled climbers and are actually very fond of exploring the unknown, though they never seem surprised by what they find. Some believe the race's slow manner and relaxed attitude is a by-product of their culture's fondness for wacky weed and reggae- though no-one has ever proven this (or attempted to).