Inspired by Where do I find the rules prohibiting animals from learning certain skills?

The Entertain trick gives a -2 penalty to perception to unwilling onlookers only if they fill a an opposed sense motive check against the animal's perform or charisma check.

Cats have a -2 to Charisma. Without ranks the DC is going to be really really low and thus only willing onlookers have a penalty to perception. Doesn't help if other people in the crowd notice.

I realize that the penalty is quite tiny, so trying to boost a cat at all costs is rather random, this raised the question for me - how high a perform dance check could a cat possibly have?

If you awaken it, it might have as much as 10 Charisma, but that's not all that impressive, and it ceises being able to really do the trick since it's no longer an animal. - However it could take levels in Bard or something that gives Dance as class skill. Puss in Boots had some sweet dancing skills...

But what about an animal cat? Familiars (according to this section) and Animal Companions aren't awakened just really smart - so all cats gained through class features or such count as well. Just not those that are essentially their own character (such as the awakened example above).

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    \$\begingroup\$ Is there a rule that the awakened animal loses the trick? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2015 at 23:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good question, I do not actually know. - Just assumed since tricks involve one person handling the performer, and awakened animals would defacto be people, thus you would use diplomacy to get them to do things instead of handle animal... thus I think tricks wouldn't apply either. Otherwise I might get an animal handler to teach our fearful halfling rogue the heel trick to get him to come if he doesn't want to :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Julix
    May 10, 2015 at 20:34

2 Answers 2


With any class that grants you a familiar you can have a respectable cat dancer starting at level 1. The familiar has the same ranks in skills that you do. If you take a rank in Perform (dance) your familiar will also have a rank in Perform (Dance).

Skills: For each skill in which either the master or the familiar has ranks, use either the normal skill ranks for an animal of that type or the master's skill ranks, whichever is better. In either case, the familiar uses its own ability modifiers. Regardless of a familiar's total skill modifiers, some skills may remain beyond the familiar's ability to use. Familiars treat Acrobatics, Climb, Fly, Perception, Stealth, and Swim as class skills.

It is important that the cat has a rank in Peform (dance), because the Entertain trick requires ranks in Perform in order to use a Perform check instead of a Charisma check and we are going to be adding bonuses to Perform.

Entertain (DC 25): The animal can dance, sing, or perform some other impressive and enjoyable trick to entertain those around it. At the command of its owner, the animal can make a Perform check (or a Charisma check if it has no ranks in Perform) to show off its talent. Willing onlookers or those who fail an opposed Sense Motive check take a –2 penalty on Perception checks to notice anything but the animal entertaining them. Tricksters and con artists often teach their animals to perform this trick while they pickpocket viewers or sneak about unnoticed.

The mascot familiar archetype makes Perform a class skill.

Class Skills: A mascot treats all Perform skills as class skills.

The evolved familiar feat will give your familiar a single 1-point eidolon evolution. The skilled evolution gives a +8 racial bonus to any one skill.

Skilled (Ex)

An eidolon becomes especially adept at a specific skill, gaining a +8 racial bonus on that skill. This evolution can be selected more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time an eidolon selects this evolution, it applies to a different skill.

This gives your cat a +10 Peform (Dance) check (1 rank, +3 class skill, -2 Cha, +8 racial bonus).

The master needs to have 13 Int, 13 Cha, the familiar class feature, the evolved familiar feat, and ranks in perform. The master will also need to be able to make a DC 25 handle animal check to teach the familiar the Entertain trick.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Color me impressed. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Julix
    Apr 21, 2015 at 13:34

The feat "extra traits" could be used to get some kind of bonuses.

Perhaps Inner Beauty (Shelyn) if there's something about the cat that the god liked, though it seems to say " when you manifest your faith in your deity" - which a cat probably can't do, since it couldn't have faith without being able to believe first... -- Otherwise this would be +4 to one perform per day.

Dance as a class skill comes from various traits but from Savant it comes with a +2 bonus on top and the fluff is "From a very young age, the ability to master performance types has come quite naturally to you." - Which seems fitting enough. A talented kitty.

The feat Skill Focus could help a little.

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    \$\begingroup\$ While the trait Savant is quantitatively better, the trait Barroom Tailspinner (okay, Talespinner) sets the imagination on fire. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 8, 2015 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ I did consider that as well, especially for a cat that can talk... \$\endgroup\$
    – Julix
    Mar 8, 2015 at 23:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ There's also the possibility of making the cat +10 boots of dancing... \$\endgroup\$
    – Rob
    Mar 9, 2015 at 11:33

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