Cats are carnivores mentioned in the How to Train Your Dragon Book series.
The term 'cat' often refers to the domestic cat, (Felis catus), but is also often used to refer to any member of the Felidae Family. Members of the Subfamily Pantherinae are generally referred to as "big cats" and include species such as the lion, tigers, and leopards. The other Felidae Subfamily - Felinae includes the smaller species of cat. That said, the cougar is also placed in this group and is the largest species thereof. To note about Panthers: the panther is a name referring to individuals of jaguars, pumas, and leopards that have a black coat color caused by melanism. Panthers are not a specific species of cat.
In the How to Train Your Dragon Book series, domestic cats appear as pets, as well as animals trained for battle. Dragons are also noted to eat cats if necessary. Cats are also often used throughout the series as metaphors, mostly for describing dragons. In fact, throughout How to Twist a Dragon's Tale, Exterminator dragons are variously compared to large wild cats: "sinister leopard-like shapes", "large black winged panthers", or "three times as big as a lion", showing just how sinewy, strong, and predatory they are.
In reality, domestic cats are also pets, as well as occasionally as food, and as a working animal to keep vermin away. Larger cat species are often hunted as a trophy animal.
Cats are often mentioned in comparison to dragons.
|“||However, a dragon is not a fluffy creature like a dog or a cat or a pony.||”|
|“||Each [Newsbreath and Hookfang] was about the size of a leopard, and they were as delighted by his [Toothless] arrival as a couple of giant cats might be by that of a cute kitten||”|
|— Book 1|
|“||They were crouching like giant cats in the ferns, wicked eyes gleaming||”|
|— Hooligan Hunting dragons|
|— How to Train Your Dragon|
Further, cats are referenced in dragon behavior in a review of the in-universe book How to Train Your Dragon.
|“||Nobody yells better than Professor Yobbish. This is a sensitive and well-researched book that contains all the information you need to turn your dragon into a pussy cat.||”|
|— The Hooligan Observer|
|“||The noise of animals like big dogs or lions padding behind him, bounding through the heather||”|
|— Book 2|
Cats are mentioned in Book 3 as a metaphor to describe size discrepancies.
|“||The Gronckle picked up Hiccup and Fishlegs by the scruffs of their necks as if they were two kittens.||”|
|— Book 3|
Cats are also mentioned several times in Book 3 when describing hunting behavior of dragons and likening then to cats hunting smaller prey:
Cats are mentioned when Toothless first meets the Nanodragon Ziggerastica, whom he follows "like a cat following a mouse."
|“||The Sidewinders crept into the air like an army of cats stalking sparrows.||”|
|— Book 3|
|“||Watching from above, their hands over their mouths, Camicazi and Fishlegs could see the Sharkworms playing with the barrel almost as if they were gigantic cats playing with a mouse.||”|
|— Book 3|
Big cat species are mentioned in Book 4 to describe the Sabre-Tooth Driver Dragon as "larger than lions and faster than cheetahs."
Small Squealer dragons are also likened to lions, when compared to other small dragons.
|“||... and to a dragon as small as Toothless, it was like wandering casually in front of a pack of lions with open jaws.||”|
|— Book 4|
A Doomfang's color is described as "the glossy black of a gigantic, muscly panther".
As mentioned above, the author frequently makes comparisons between the Exterminator dragons and large wild cat species such as leopards, panthers, and lions. The Riding Dragons are also compared to "a pack of surly lions".