We have previously determined that an awakened creature or a familiar can attune to magic items, but one of those is a sapient creature, and the other "always obeys your commands". A paladin's steed (per the Find Steed spell) is also 'unusually intelligent' and falls within the score range for sapient creatures.

But what about a regular old animal? If my ranger has a wolf companion, can he make that wolf attune to, say, an Amulet of Health? According to the Beast Master archetype, a companion animal "obeys your commands as best it can". Is spending an hour 'focused only on the item' (as required for attunement) something a beast can manage? Or what if it's not an Animal Companion, but just a riding horse, a pet dog, a trained magpie?

I know, probably this is going to be down to the DM to determine, but is there any guidance we can use to help decide whether my cat can attune to an item, and whether rubbing it with catnip would help?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Feb 20, 2018 at 5:10

1 Answer 1


If you can get the animal to focus for an hour, yes.

From attunement, no restriction is made as long as...

 a creature [spends] a short rest focused on only that item while being in physical contact with it

From here the "intuitive understanding of any magical properties can certainly apply to beasts as they do have intuition even without intelligence. Intuition is defined as...

the ability to understand something immediately, without the need for conscious reasoning.

Animals don't lack the ability to understand so they don't lack the ability to gain intuition.

Yes the catnip will help

My cat has definitely found itself occupied by catnip for an hour at least so rubbing catnip on the magic item would help keep the cat focused and in contact with it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 and this made me think of sensory depravation room with only the animal and the magical item in it. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Senmurv
    Dec 4, 2020 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ You might mention that an illusion or enchantment might be able to make the object more interesting to pay attention to. Also, some objects might be more suited than others? A Sled Dog could certainly stay focused on an item made of bone or leather for an hour! \$\endgroup\$ Mar 4, 2021 at 8:31

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