A felinoid race native to the planet Cait.
Caitian hands have three fingers and an opposable thumb. Both hands and feet have retractable claws, which are customarily grown long and sharp for hunting. The use of these claws in combat with other Caitians is, however, taboo. They do not need to wear shoes, as their padded feet are quite durable, and allow them to move at speed (as well as in silence).
The Caitian sense of smell is acute, and other races are distinguished by scent as often as they are sight. Bajorans, for instance, smell less like prey than most, while Cardassians are somewhat unpleasant. The Caitian Hriss compared the Cardassian odour to a constant stench of day-old preth.
Like most species, Caitians are at risk of cancer. A particular concern for their doctors is alkalo-carcinoid structures; Caitians can develop these without showing the usual medical signs. For example, there may be no elevation in alpha proteins. Correct diagnosis can therefore be difficult.
“When a hunter dies on Cait, even if her body is never recovered, her entire pride gathers to sing and tell stories of her great deeds. Some of them are even true” - (Hsuuri).
Caitians prize physically creative artwork above the ephemeral. A Caitian might enjoy dancing as a kind of sport, for instance, but they don’t really regard it as art. Art is the creation of something permanent that can be touched and - ideally - smelt. Each of the Caitian worlds prides itself on variants of the strovothra, a form of organic-matter sculpture meant to stimulate the nose as well as the eye. A 60-metre column of twisted fruit-bearing vines, bonded by damp clay, was erected as a centrepiece display at a Caitian exhibition in Paris, on Earth.
The primary Caitian language is Shanifir.
The Rakun, or “matched pair”, is a traditional weapon of the Caitians. It consists of a dagger and a sword, attached to opposing ends of an intricately carved handle. The two blades, called the rakgr’n and raksir, are forged from the same piece of steel, separated, and finally shaped into a sword-and-dagger combination. The double blade forms the core of the Caitian fencing art known as Ras-Rakun. Rakun hilts are always inlaid with a stone or wood that identifies the owner’s clan. Members of Clan Fekiista Kalir, for instance, can be identified by their flint-handled Rakun. Honoured offworlders who integrate into Caitian culture are allowed to make their own variety, using a jade-like stone native to Cait.