Of the favorite creatures to keep as pets in Anduruna, ryuu-nekos indisputably top the list. But bright-eyed intelligence and fluffy affection are only a part of their appeal. Easily trained, they fill purposes ranging from nighttime household guardians, pest hunters, mail fetchers, even alarm clocks. And, with their rudimentary opposable thumbs, assiduous mischief makers. However, there is a serious side to ryuu-neko ownership.
Ryuu-nekos have a very unique life cycle. They reach adulthood in four years, but 'adulthood' and 'fully grown' are not synonymous. Indeed, nobody really knows how large ryuu-nekos can become. Their size is dependant upon diet. If they consume beyond their current needs, the excess nutrition will trigger a corresponding growth spurt. Licensed Anduruna pet owners must adhere to daily calorie feeding guidelines, to ensure their pets stay within certified weight limits. In nature, ryuu-nekos have been known to reach thirty feet in length, and possibly longer. Ryuu-nekos of this size generally have less fur, but develop claws, teeth, and horns. Large wild ryuu-nekos are predatory and potentially very dangerous.
|Fortunately for the breeding industry, it is possible for adult ryuu-nekos to reproduce regardless of size. Hobby and professional breeders specialize in creating pure-bred ryuu-nekos, in addition to exotic cross-breeds and elusive black or white color tufts. Although occasionally something truly unique will break out of the eggshell, most ryuu-nekos are various combinations of the primary types listed below. They are capable of completing a full reproductive cycle annually, yielding a clutch of one to five eggs.
Wild ryuu-nekos seem disposed to breed within their subtypes, which makes crossbreeds in nature exceedingly rare. Their breeding cycles also extend as their size increases, with the largest adults rarely if ever breeding. Life expectancy is tied to a ryuu-neko's size as well. The domesticated pets generally live for fifteen years, whereas full sized natural specimens can live to be nearly one hundred.