Author: Chris Katrev

The Tabaxi race in D&D offers potent advantages, particularly for classes emphasizing stealth and agility like Bards and Rogues. Their racial traits, including skill proficiencies and unique movement capabilities like Darkvision and climb speed, make them adept at infiltration and evasion. 

The Tabaxi race has evolved through three distinct versions over time. Initially introduced in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, it remained unchanged in Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. The second iteration emerged with the custom origin rules, granting players flexibility in rearranging ability score increases and skill proficiencies. In the latest update within Monsters of the Multiverse, the Tabaxi returned to its original proficiencies in Perception and Stealth.

Exploring Tabaxi Traits

Ability Score Increases

When determining your character’s ability scores, increase one score by 2 and increase a different score by 1, or increase three different scores by 1.


You can choose to be Medium or Small, with both offering slight advantages in certain situations.


Your walking speed is 30 feet, and you can climb at the same speed.

Cat’s Claws

Your claws enable you to make unarmed strikes that deal 1d6 + your Strength modifier slashing damage instead of the usual bludgeoning damage. While flavorful, they are less effective than manufactured weapons in combat.

Cat’s Talent

Proficiency in Perception and Stealth skills offers utility but may not suit every character concept.


You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light, albeit with color perception limited to shades of gray.

Feline Agility

By tapping into your reflexes and agility, you can double your speed when you move during combat, though you must wait until you remain stationary for a turn before using this trait again. This provides tactical advantages in combat scenarios, enabling swift movement when needed.

Exploring Tabaxi Class Options

Exploring the diverse capabilities that Tabaxi characters bring to different classes reveals a captivating realm of versatility and adaptability.


Tabaxi's unique traits, such as Feline Agility and climbing speed, become less significant when augmented by artificer’s magical items like Winged Boots. 


For Barbarians, who thrive in melee combat, the Tabaxi's climb speed and Feline Agility can be invaluable assets, offering them mobility options that they wouldn't otherwise have. Additionally, proficiency in Perception and Stealth skills broadens their utility beyond combat.


The combination of climbing speed and Feline Agility provides Bards with valuable options for escaping melee combat when necessary. Additionally, proficiency in Perception and Stealth skills enhances their versatility, enabling them to excel in both exploration and social situations. With the Bard's propensity for high Dexterity scores, Stealth becomes even more viable, while the potential for Expertise mitigates any shortcomings in Wisdom, ensuring they remain perceptive despite their natural inclinations.


Perception is invaluable for Clerics, aiding them in detecting hidden threats and navigating their surroundings effectively. While Stealth may not be a Cleric's forte, the additional proficiency can still prove useful in certain situations. Overall, the Tabaxi's combination of skills and abilities makes it well-suited for the trickery domain, offering versatility and utility akin to that of a rogue.


Druids heavily rely on Dexterity for their Armor Class and Wisdom for spellcasting, making the Tabaxi's skill proficiencies valuable additions to their repertoire. However, the Tabaxi's innate movement options, such as the climb speed and Feline Agility, might not be as advantageous for Druids who can often address similar challenges through Wild Shape transformations. 


The Tabaxi makes an excellent Dexterity-based fighter. With no inherent abilities for flight or teleportation, the Tabaxi's climb speed and Feline Agility provide significant mobility advantages. Stealth complements lightly armored fighters well, allowing them to maneuver and strike from the shadows. 


Feline Agility doubles the Monk’s already impressive speed, making Tabaxi monks the fastest characters in short bursts. Additionally, the two extra skills help close the skill gap between the Monk and the Rogue, making it easier for you to serve as your party’s scout. The Tabaxi’s skill proficiencies in Perception and Stealth align perfectly with the Monk’s typical high Dexterity and Wisdom scores, enhancing the Monk’s overall effectiveness.


The Tabaxi makes a good Dexterity-based paladin, benefiting from the climb speed and Feline Agility for added mobility. However, Perception is a challenging skill for paladins to maximize because they are already very multiple ability score dependent typically need to dump Wisdom. The Tabaxi’s racial traits can still enhance a Dexterity-based build, but balancing ability scores may be more difficult.


The Tabaxi makes an excellent ranger. The climb speed and Darkvision are highly beneficial, allowing you to navigate and see in difficult environments. Additionally, proficiency in Perception and Stealth, two of the ranger’s favorite skills, is a huge advantage. The extra skills help close the skill gap between the ranger and the rogue, making it even easier for the Tabaxi ranger to serve as your party’s scout.


The Tabaxi makes an outstanding rogue. With climbing speed and Darkvision, they can navigate challenging environments with ease. Proficiency in Perception and Stealth, two of the rogue's favorite skills, further enhances their scouting capabilities. The extra skills make it easy to expand beyond the rogue's basic role as a scout. Additionally, Feline Agility synergizes with Cunning Action, allowing you to move up to six times your speed by taking the Dash action as both your action and bonus action while using Feline Agility in the same turn.


Climb speeds and Feline Agility are less appealing when you can cast spells that allow you to fly and teleport, but they might save you a spell known, which is a huge benefit for the sorcerer since they learn so few spells. The two skills are fine, but they’re not great options for the sorcerer, as sorcerers typically prioritize Charisma-based skills.


Because warlocks get so few spell slots, the ability to solve problems without resorting to magic is very powerful. A climb speed can often suffice in place of flight, and Feline Agility makes it easier to escape and evade foes. The two skills are nice, providing proficiency in Perception and Stealth, but they’re not fantastic options for the warlock, who typically focuses on Charisma-based skills. However, the added mobility and ability to handle physical challenges without using spells can still be beneficial.


The skills don’t work well for the wizard, who typically focuses on Intelligence-based skills like Arcana and History. Beyond low levels, the Tabaxi’s traits can become redundant with low-level spells like Expeditious Retreat or Fly, which provide superior mobility options. While Darkvision is nice to have, it’s not unique enough to make the Tabaxi stand out for wizards. 

Exploring Tabaxi Feat Options

If you're seeking feats that enhance the abilities and themes of a Tabaxi, here are several options that harmonize with those characteristics.


This feat grants a +10 feet increase to your speed and prevents difficult terrain from affecting your movement when you Dash. For a race known for agility and speed like the Tabaxi, this feat enhances their mobility even further, allowing them to dart in and out of combat with ease.


This feat provides a +5 bonus to initiative rolls, ensuring that Tabaxi characters are quick to react in combat situations. Additionally, it prevents them from being surprised, reflecting their keen senses and reflexes.


With this feat, Tabaxi characters can better utilize their natural stealth abilities. It allows them to hide when lightly obscured, such as in dim light, and they can attempt to hide even when only lightly obscured by foliage, heavy rain, falling snow, mist, and other natural phenomena.

Squat Nimbleness

This feat enhances the Tabaxi's natural agility, granting them benefits such as increased speed, proficiency in Athletics or Acrobatics, and the ability to move through the space of creatures larger than them. It reinforces their nimble nature and can be particularly useful for melee-oriented Tabaxi characters.


This feat grants three luck points, which Tabaxi characters can use to reroll d20 rolls they don't like. Given their curious and sometimes mischievous nature, having a bit of luck on their side can be incredibly advantageous in a variety of situations.

Exploring Tabaxi Background Options

Tabaxi can adapt to a range of backgrounds based on their past 

experiences, training, and goals. Here are 5 backgrounds that may 



Tabaxi are often depicted as nomadic hunters or explorers, making the Outlander background a natural fit. It reflects their affinity for the wilderness, granting proficiency in Athletics and Survival, along with the Wanderer feature, which allows them to find food and water for themselves and others while traveling.

Haunted One

Tabaxi characters with dark and mysterious pasts may find the Haunted One background compelling. This background grants proficiency in Investigation and Religion, reflecting their curiosity and insight into the supernatural. It also provides a feature called Heart of Darkness, allowing Tabaxi characters to inspire fear or awe in others by revealing glimpses of their haunted past and the horrors they have faced.

Folk Hero

Some Tabaxi may have risen to prominence within their communities or become legendary figures, making the Folk Hero background compelling. It grants proficiency in Animal Handling and Survival, showcasing their connection to nature and leadership qualities. The Rustic Hospitality feature reflects their ability to find shelter and support among common folk.

Far Traveler

Tabaxi are often portrayed as travelers from distant lands, making the Far Traveler background a suitable option. It provides proficiency in Insight and Perception, reflecting their keen senses and ability to adapt to new environments. The All Eyes on You feature allows them to draw attention and gain advantage in social situations.


Given the Tabaxi's natural agility and athleticism, the Athlete background could be a fitting choice. It grants proficiency in Athletics and Acrobatics, showcasing their physical prowess. The Determination feature reflects their determination and ability to push themselves beyond their limits.

In conclusion, building a Tabaxi character in D&D offers a unique blend of agility, stealth, and versatility. Whether you choose a class that complements their natural abilities or one that leverages their unique movement capabilities, the Tabaxi can bring a dynamic and exciting element to your gameplay.

Arra Alpino