Tongue Tied

The Cat Fleet in formation (The Promised Land)

The Cat Fleet is a squadron of five spaceships upon which the nomadic Felis sapiens who had evolved aboard Red Dwarf now reside.

The Felis sapiens upgraded the fleet with salvage from Space Corps derelicts they had encountered in their travels. They now search the Galaxy for their "promised land" of Fuchal.

The Feral Cat faction under Rodon had seized power aboard the Cat Fleet. Since their 'Feral King' announced himself a living god, the search for Fuchal had been abandoned. (The Promised Land)


The Cat Fleet comprised five large ships in total, which all dark grey in colour and emit bright blue light. The fleet included three triangular-shaped vessels, one with a large antenna-like structure at the bow. There were also two circular ships. If looked at from above when flying in formation, the Cat Fleet appeared to depict a stylised "cat face".

The ruling faction, the Feral Cats, reside in the triangular ships. The triangular ships are equip with offensive 'meow missiles' - missiles modified to make "cat sounds" - for the protection of the fleet. Rodon has claimed one of these triangular ships as his flagship, and which also includes the bridge and Rodon's throne room.

The circular ships are mainly living space and hold the majority of the cat population, including a central marketplace. The doors within the fleet resemble cat flaps.

There are also a number of smaller shuttles which in the case of emergency can be used as escape pods. These also make "cat noises".


The Felis sapiens are a sentient, humanoid species who evolved from the domestic Earth cats. This evolution took place over three million years aboard the giant mining ship Red Dwarf. The progenitor of their species was Frankenstein, a pregnant cat who was illegally smuggled aboard Red Dwarf by the lowest ranking crewmember Dave Lister. Lister was discovered and punished to forfeit eighteen months wages by being put in stasis. However, this ended up becoming three million years after the rest of the crew were killed in a radiation leak. Frankenstein and her litter survived since Lister had stowed the cat safely away in the hold. The evolving Felis sapiens remembered Frankenstein as their 'holy mother' and Lister as 'Cloister', their saviour. ("The End")

After religious conflict devastated their species (they warred over which colour hats the Cat Commandments bade them to wear), the surviving members of the cat race constructed two great arks and fled Red Dwarf, searching for their promised land of 'Fuchal' where they believed they were directed to by their god, Cloister. This 'Fuchal' was actually Fiji, where Lister had planned on settling down. One of the Arks smashed into an asteroid, the other flew on into Deep Space, assured of its righteousness. ("Waiting for God")

The Feral King Rodon on his throne aboard the Cat Fleet (The Promised Land)

What became of the remaining Cat Ark is unknown, but many decades later the surviving cats and their descendants came to reside aboard the Cat Fleet. The Cat Fleet had been constructed from salvaged parts of the most advanced Space Corps derelicts the Felis sapiens had come across in their travels.

The original quest of the cats appears to be have been abandoned, as their fleet had come under the dictatorial command of the 'Feral King' Rodon, who demanded all worship him, and ordered the death of any who preached about Cloister. Some of Rodon's dissidents still sought after Cloister aboard Red Dwarf, however. (The Promised Land)


  • It is possible the Cat Ark on which the cats originally fled Red Dwarf was abandoned or alternatively it may have been used in the construction of the Cat Fleet.
  • Since Binks was familiar with Felis sapiens, it is likely that the holoship Enlightenment had come across the Cat Fleet, or at least its predecessor the Cat Ark (see episode "Holoship", Series V)

Behind the Scenes

  • The inception of the Cat Fleet came from a sketch made by Doug Naylor, which was then digitally recreated by his son Richard.[1]
  • The set for the interior of the Cat Fleet was redressed from the set of Iron Star.[2]




End of the Flagship

See Also


  1. "The Promised Doc" making-of documentary
  2. "The Promised Doc" making-of documentary