The Kzinti are a fictional race from the Known Space series by Larry Niven.
One kzin alone sounded like a catfight. Four kzinti in heated argument sounded like a major feline war, with atonics.
- Larry Niven, in Ringworld
Kzinti are ferocious cat-like creatures, around 7 feet tall, with a thick orange fur. They have small amusing ears that look like "pink chinese parasols" according to Louis Wu. A Kzin is prone to anger, and therefore very easy to provoke. There have been several wars between mankind and Kzinti, all of which the Kzinti lost because they have a tendency to attack before they are ready.
A Kzinti female is docile, non-sentient in fact, a trait which is suspected to be due to breeding or selection by the male Kzinti. Their homeplanet is completely covered with cities and hunting parks (a Kzin enjoys the thrill of the hunt as much as eating the raw flesh afterwards).
As a side-note, the Kzinti are the (obvious) inspiration for the Kilrathi of the Wing Commander series.
Thanks to Transitional Man for extra bit on Kzinti females. Audited April 6, 2002