The Wampus cat is a creature in American folklore. It is used as a mascot for numerous educational institutions. Folkloric creature with supposed shape-shifting powers can trace its roots to Native American Folklore of the South Eastern United States. Cherokee legend has it that during a secret meeting of tribal elders, a young woman from the tribe secretly witnessed the ceremony. She was then cursed by the elders. During the 1920-30s newspapers report of a "Wampus" cat killing livestock in North Carolina to Georgia. Possibly it was early intrusions of coyotes or the Jaguarundi, the livestock deaths were attributed to the legendary Wampus of lore.
The Wampus cat is the mascot of the following:
- Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School, Clark Fork, Idaho – seen as a yellow cougar with a spiked ball on its tail.
- Conway Junior High/ High School, Conway, Arkansas – seen as a six-legged cat. Described by locals as "a mountain lion with six legs: four for running, and two for fighting.
- Atoka High School, Atoka, Oklahoma
- Itasca High School, Itasca, Texas
- Leesville High School, Leesville, Louisiana
- The Wampus Cat has been associated in several South-Eastern tribal beliefs as a shapeshifter. One can find the story in Cherokee folklore.
In popular culture
- A musical ensemble who recorded several tracks in 1937 and 1938, and consisting of six or seven string musicians including Oscar "Buddy" Woods, were billed as 'The Wampus Cats'.
- J. K. Rowling's Pottermore story History of Magic In North America lists the Wampus cat as a source for hair used in magic wands. The American School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Ilvermorny, also has named one of its four houses for the mythical beast. 
- Strangeways Brewing in Virginia brews a beer named after the cat.
- In the Cormac McCarthy novel The Orchard Keeper, the character Uncle Ather tells stories about wampus cats, or "painters."
- Clark Fork Junior/Senior High School website Legend written by lifelong Clark Fork resident Shirley Dawson Crawford
- Owens, Judy (June 20, 2008). "Reporters Looking for Stories, Finding Wampus Cats | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural". Daily Yonder. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "Atoka Alumni Association – Home". Wampuscatalumni.com. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
-  Archived September 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
-  Archived April 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
- Stonestreet, O.C. (2016). O.C. Stonestreet IV, Curse of the Wampus, and other Short Spooky Stories of Piedmont North Carolina (1st ed.). Duke Libraries: Createspace. p. 74. ISBN 152323749X. Retrieved July 21, 2018.
- Uncle Dave Lewis. "Buddy Woods". Allmusic. Retrieved November 23, 2011.
- Sian Cain. "New JK Rowling story History of Magic in North America depicts Native American wizards". the Guardian.
- Rowling, J.K. (March 11, 2016). "1920s Wizarding America", "History of Magic in North America". Pottermore.
- Rowling, J.K. (June 28, 2016). "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry", "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry". Pottermore.
- "Strangeways Wampus Cat Triple IPA". RateBeer. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
- McCarthy, Cormac (2010-08-11). The Orchard Keeper. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. ISBN 9780307762504.