The Kzinti are a felinoid race which fought a few minor wars with Earth in the late-21st or early-22nd century. Their political state is known as The Patriarchy, a name which reflects the sexist culture of the species.
The Kzinti are a large, carnivorous cat-like species. They typically feature orange/brown fur with prominent fangs and tufted ears.
Some Kzinti possess telepathic abilities allowing them to read other beings' minds. However, Kzinti telepaths are neurotic and one can deter them from doing so by thinking about eating raw vegetables, which disgusts them. (TAS episode: "The Slaver Weapon")
The Kzinti culture is a violent one and highly prejudiced; they pay no respect to females or herbivores of any race, since Kzinti are sexist in the extreme - females of their species are not sentient and are regarded as 'dumb animals'. (TAS episode: "The Slaver Weapon")
Kzinti practice an annual coming-of-age ritual on Mimit, located “just outside” former borders of Kzinti space, called a Ravager Hunt. Ravagers are large, violent, omnivorous, and hibernate for some periods. (TOS comic: "The Wristwatch Plantation")
Hikaru Sulu said “Kzinti always had planet-based weapons that cause circuit failure in artificial gravity generators.” By applying the miniaturization skills of enslaved Bebebebeque engineers, Kzinti were able to place such a weapon, called the Hamstringer, on a warship in 2273 in violation of the Treaty of Sirius. The warship, Giant Killer, was propelled with a “first generation” warp engine (maximum warp near 3.8), was “heavily shielded,” and “armed with four laser banks and four particle beam cannons.”
The Kzin Patriarch officially denied such a ship existed, and said that any found should be destroyed as pirates. Giant Killer’s crew included its commander, Fth-Captain, its helmsman, Flyer, a special weapons officer named Arm-of-the-Hamstringer, and Telepath. The crew was motivated to earn “land and names.” Giant Killer was intended to be the first of many, but when defeated and ordered to surrender, its crew destroyed it. (TOS comic: "The Wristwatch Plantation")
At least seven Kzinti “ground-based defense squadron” vessels operated in 2273 from Mimit, a captured Bebebebeque colony converted into a secret Kzinti base. The flagship of these ships was Blood Gnat, armed with particle cannons. The others, including one named Death Dagger, were destroyed in combat. Blood Knat survived and escaped toward free space, its crew exiled from Kzin. (TOS comic: "The Wristwatch Plantation")
The Kzinti have had some capacity for space travel for some time. Chuft Captain is one Kzinti commander who has encountered the Federation before (as per Kzinti naming conventions, his rank is contained within his given name). (TAS episode: "The Slaver Weapon") It is thought the Caitians of the planet Cait are descended from an ancient Kzinti colony. (ST reference: The Worlds of the Federation)
Not long after the planet Earth developed warp drive the Kzinti fought a series of minor wars with the planet. The conflicts came to an end with the Treaty of Sirius which disarmed the Kzinti and limited their space force to a collection of police vessels.
- Exactly when the Earth-Kzin Wars took place is unknown. Hikaru Sulu stated they took place 200 years prior to 2270, however this was presumably an approximation. The wars taking place nearer to the end of the 21st century, or even the early 22nd century would be more likely as this would give Earth time to build a space force capable of fighting a war so soon after the devastation of World War III and the recent development of warp drive in 2063. Although Stavos Keniclius 5 had knowledge of the Kzin in TAS episode: "The Infinite Vulcan", it isn't known if this was inherited from the original's memory, or learned about through Spock 2's.
In the 23rd century Kzinti archaeologists discovered a pair of Slaver stasis boxes; they turned one over to Starfleet but kept the other in the hope of profiting from a valuable content typical of Slaver boxes. Unfortunately the box was empty so instead the Kzin opted to use it to as bait to capture another box. They were successful in luring the shuttlecraft carrying the box to a landing site on Beta Lyrae, and in the other box found a slaver weapon; after a period of experimentation the weapon self destructed, killing the Kzinti who possessed it. (TAS episode: "The Slaver Weapon")
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The Kzinti were created by Larry Niven, making their first appearance in the short story "The Warriors," part of his "Known Space" series. When he wrote an episode for Star Trek: The Animated Series he based it on one of his Known Space stories, "The Soft Weapon," in the process putting the Kzinti into the Star Trek universe.
Jimmy Diggs, a writer for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Voyager, has on a number of occasions attempted to tell more stories of the Kzinti, first with a proposal for a feature-length animation "Star Trek: The Lions of the Night". Material developed for that project was later worked into an article for the "Star Trek Communicator" in which he put forth the idea that the Kzinti would make excellent Star Trek villains. His most recent attempt would have seen the Kzinti appear in a season five episode of Star Trek: Enterprise. However the series was cancelled before this came to fruition.
Due to licensing problems, the Kzinti race was renamed to the Mirak in some Star Trek products.