A bakeneko (meaning monster-cat) is basically a a cat yokai. Any normal cat can become a bakeneko.
A cat can become a bakeneko by:
- Living over ten years of age
- Having a tail longer than normal that can be forked in half
- Having the weight about one kan (8.25 lbs)
With this myth, lead to some Japanese people to cut the tails of their cats to make sure they won't becomes monsters, and that may be so the Japanese Bobtail breed to have such a short tail. Because these monters haunt the household they live in, but not all bakenekos do that.
The body of a killed bakeneko may be 5 feet long.
Any cat that was caught drinking lantern oil was counted as a bakeneko. Cats may have drank lantern oil because it was based on fish oil
When a cat becomes a bakeneko it gains some paranormal powers and some of the bakenekos use these powers to haunt the household such as:
- Menacing (even eating) sleeping humans
- Walking on its hind legs
- Eating ghostly fireballs
- Jumping over fresh corpses making them into zombies
- Shape-shifting into human form
But not all bakenekos do that to humans, some still stay loyal to owners unless the owners betrayed them in something such as telling everyone else that the cat's a bakeneko, and if you do that you'll get yourself killed.
Becoming a nekomata
A bakeneko may end up becoming a nekomata (meaning forked cat) because as they get older and older, their tails spits in half making two tails, and as they grow even older they end up having a much tails as they can. It's still the yokai cat.