The cat is the fourth animal symbol in the 12-year cycle of the Vietnamese zodiac, taking place of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac. As such, the traits associated with the Rabbit are attributed to the cat. Cats are in conflict with the Rat.
Legends relating to the order of the Chinese Zodiac often include stories as to why the cat was not included among the twelve. Because the Rat tricked the cat into missing the banquet with the Jade Emperor, the cat was not included and thus began the antipathy between cats and Rats. In reality, it is likely domesticated cats had not proliferated through China at the zodiac's induction. The character of Kyo Sohma and his transformation into a cat in the manga Fruits Basket is based on the role of the cat of the Chinese zodiac legend; the Vietnamese zodiac is never mentioned.