Creature Feature (5e): Sabtora Cat

They prowl the sands, large predators with unusually long snouts for cats. Even more for such a predator is their four eyes; these eyes are spaced just so, allowing the cat to see in a 360 area round it without any notable sacrifice to the clarity of that sight. 

They are biological beasts, completely nonmagical, but some posit they were bred (or designed) by some long forgotten people to hunt escaping slaves. Whatever the case, they now are largely just feared for their predation pattern: they will charge lone camels and their riders and can move much faster than either. For this reason, many refuse to travel deserts that house Sabtora cats unless in a group.

Sabtora Cat

Large beast, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural armor
Hit Points 90 (12d10 + 24)
Speed 45 ft.

14 (+2) 22 (+6) 14 (+2) 4 (-3) 14 (+2) 6 (-2)

Saving Throws Strength +5, Dexterity +9
Skills Athletics +4, Acrobatics +8, Perception +8, Survival +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft. passive Perception 18
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Special Traits

  • Sensitive Ears, Many Eyes. A Sabtora Cat is extremely perceptive. Its base Perception bonus is +4 higher than normal (reflected in its statblock). 


  • Multiattack. The Sabtora Cat makes two attacks: one with its bite and one with its claw.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d8 + 6) piercing damage. 
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d4 + 6) piercing damage.


A Sabtora cat is a predatory animal, traveling most often alone but sometimes in pairs or (in rare cases) groups of three or four. Their interpretation of threat is primarily based on the size and number of potential prey, although their unusual intelligence allows them to also eventually learn the threat metal weapons and bows can pose. They will not hunt creatures much larger than themselves or who travel in groups larger than about eight.

A Sabtora cat will flee any fight it does not believe it can win unless cornered. It will stalk prey for as long as several days, waiting for the ideal moment to strike (usually at night or if the prey suffers injuries of some kind). They will then viciously strike out at the weakest prey first, attacking all at once if possible. If they score a kill and are strong enough to lift the kill and flee, they will usually then do so (even if other prey or Sabtora cats are still in combat). Otherwise, they will kill all the prey involved and vaguely share the meat equally among any present Sabtora cats. 


Sabtora cats (besides any powerful sapients in the area) are apex predators, dominating the desert. They can exist only in relatively small numbers due to their size and the quite low availability of food in the desert. These predators are adapted to the environment, however: they require only about a quarter as much water most similarly sized mammals and can go a month without food if necessary. 

One should be careful near relatively large sources of water in the desert (such as with oases), as often Sabtora cats make their dens here. If one spots a Sabtora cat cub, flee the area or be prepared for intense violence from its parents, even at risk of the parent cats’ own destruction or severe injury. They are fiercely protective of their young (an instinct perhaps due to their very birth rate, with mothers tending to produce only one to three cubs in a lifetime). 

A Rumor

After capturing a Sabtora cat female for his collection, a sheik found himself the target of its mate. While its initial attacks were simple, they grew in complexity with each escape, until one day…stopping. The next month, he was found murdered, his head missing from his otherwise intact corpse in his bed. The Sabtora female was missing. Not even the sheik’s wife had been woken by the violence. Some whisper the beast watched and watched from the highest dune, memorizing patrols and guard changes, finding the perfect moment to strike. Surely the two events are actually just coincidence, of course.

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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