A Kneazle is a cat-like creature that resembles house cats found in the Muggle world as pets. They were supposed to have breeds of their own, just like cats. They were known to have speckled, spotted, or flecked fur like cats and very pointy large ears. Their lightly plumed tail resembled that of a lion, and their eye colors and fur colors varied based on which breed or litter they were from. There were a wide variety of separate breeds of kneazles.
Kneazles were highly intelligent creatures with the uncanny ability to tell if someone was untrustworthy. They made excellent pets and were loyal to the wizard or witch they trusted. Kneazles were bred by wizards, witches, and even squibs and sometimes even sold to others for a hefty price. Kneazles were also known to interbreed with normal cats, which gave rise to several kittens in a litter that were part-kneazle and part-cat. Harry Potter’s friend Hermione Granger’s pet Crookshanks was an example of part-kneazles. Crookshanks was a half kneazle which meant that it was a magical creature and that one of its parents was a kneazle and the other was a regular cat.
History Of Kneazles
One of the early incidents in the wizarding world involving kneazles happened in 1832. A wizard named Abel Treetops from Cincinnati claimed to have developed a method to tame and train wampus cats into guarding wizarding households. However, this turned out to be a scam as after the MACUSA raided his home to find out more, it was revealed that he was casting the Engorgement Charm on kneazles instead of actually taming wampus cats.
Kneazle owners were required to have a license. Arabella Figg, Harry’s neighbor at Privet Drive bred kneazles and part-kneazles in her house. Some of the half-kneazles bred by Mrs Figg include Mr Paws, Mr Tibbles, Snowy, and Tufty.
Kneazles were known to be very wary of suspicious persons and therefore made good pets, especially for people whose jobs required meeting a lot of strangers who could turn out to be untrustworthy people. They possessed a very high level of intelligence and could be dangerous to suspicious characters, as in the case of Hermione Granger’s half-kneazle Crookshanks, who kept attacking Scabbers. The Ministry of Magic therefore assigned an XXX classification to kneazles.
Kneazle whiskers were sometimes used to make wand cores, but the wands made out of them were believed to be inferior wands compared to that made of dragon heartstrings, unicorn hair, and phoenix feather.
Real World Feline Equivalents
Kneazles could probably be considered the magical version of their real-world feline equivalents – cats. However, Kneazles were very different from cats in that they had lion-like tails and outsized ears. They also displayed way more aggression than a normal cat would when threatened. Furthermore, Kneazles were very different from cats in that they were magical beings and had a heightened level of feline traits that were otherwise not common in house cats. Their existence in the wizarding world was quite similar to that of a crup, which was the canine equivalent in the magical world. Other such animals in the magical world include the knarl and the fwooper.
Appearance in the Harry Potter Universe
The notable kneazle hybrid Crookshanks is the first proper introduction of a kneazle in the Harry Potter series. However, the part-kneazles in Mrs Figg’s house were the first to appear in the series for a brief period.
Crookshanks was found by the trio in the Magical Menagerie Pet Shop in Diagon Alley in August when they went looking for some medication to cure Scabbers, Ron’s pet rat. Hermione eventually bought him as a pet. In September, after they reached Hogwarts, Ron, and Hermione had several disagreements because of Crookshanks chasing Scabbers around. However, the reason for this later proved to be very valid as Crookshanks had been helping Sirius Black find Peter Pettigrew, who was hiding in his Animagus form as Wormtail or Scabbers, as Ron named him. This was all revealed finally in the Shrieking Shack, where Ron was dragged to by Padfoot, Sirius’s Animagus form, and eventually followed by Hermione, Harry, and Crookshanks.
Three kneazles named Hoppy, Mauler, and Milly stayed in the Scamander residence with Newt and Tina Scamander for over 25 years. Newt is also believed to have kept other kneazles in his time as a Magizoologist as he was very good with taking care of animals.
Kneazles also appear in the Harry Potter spinoff video game Hogwarts Mystery. Charlie Weasley and the protagonist of the game, Jacob’s Sibling, practice their eventual capture of a wampus cat by catching kneazles.
Kneazles in the Muggle World
Unlike many other magical beasts in the Harry Potter universe, which are strangely different from the animals in the Muggle world, like thestrals, dragons, and hippogriffs, kneazles are quite similar to cats. Also, their appearance is even more similar and almost identical to the lynx. A lynx is a type of wild cat that has pointy ears, just like a kneazle. Furthermore, it is not as tame as a house cat and can sometimes be aggressive when threatened, just like a kneazle. It is possible that Rowling’s inspiration for a kneazle in this series came from a lynx and its appearance.
What is the difference between a cat and a kneazle?
A cat is an animal that can be tamed as a house cat, although there are several breeds, and some of them can be less tameable. However, Kneazles, too, are tameable and are similar to cats, but are magical beings, unlike Muggle-owned cats. Kneazles have pointy ears and are known for their lion-like tails, which are both absent in normal cats. Kneazles also have heightened senses owing to their magical origins.
Is Crookshanks part kneazle?
Yes, Hermione’s pet Crookshanks is part-kneazle. He had mixed parentage as one of his parents was a cat while the other was a kneazle. It is very common for kneazles to breed with cats as they are similar in many respects. Crookshanks was part kneazle and therefore had impeccable skills like being able to spot Scabbers for who he really was, an Animagus form of Peter Pettigrew.
Are kneazles allowed at Hogwarts?
Yes, it is most likely that kneazles were allowed inside Hogwarts. It is not certain if kneazles were allowed at Hogwarts as pets of students. Firstly, kneazles were not very common pets which may be a reason for us not hearing about a kneazle pet at Hogwarts. However, part-kneazles were allowed as pets in Hogwarts, as is evident from Crookshanks, who was part-kneazle and was allowed into Hogwarts as Hermione’s pet.