I have a creature (a cat person) that wants to set its own fists/claws on fire, because it attacks via its fists/claws, and is fighting enemies that are fairly flammable.

What can this creature do, with as low tech as possible, to set its own fists/claws on fire with as minimal damage to itself as possible? That is, what could it do this with technology?

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    – Secespitus
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 21:09
  • $\begingroup$ Is this creature humanoid or not? $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 21:33
  • $\begingroup$ The creature is a humanoid. It's a cat-person, but I'm not sure if that's entirely relevant to the problem? I feel like the other question is more specific in some ways than this one needs to be, but it does have many ideas that will probably cross over. $\endgroup$
    – Dragon
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ related $\endgroup$
    – user25818
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 21:51
  • $\begingroup$ It was my intent that technology rather than biological effects be used for this end, as indicated by the lack of a creature creation tag, and the mention of 'low tech'. Should I update my question with additional clarification in those regards, or will these comments suffice? $\endgroup$
    – Dragon
    Commented Mar 23, 2018 at 22:41

5 Answers 5


50/50 mix of ethanol and water will set light but not burn skin beneath it. Perhaps your creature produces this mix in glands beneath its skin which can be secreted and set light. Perhaps by a ferrocerium claw or pad for sparking.


The creature is a humanoid. It's a cat-person, but I'm not sure if that's entirely relevant to the problem? I feel like the other question is more specific in some ways than this one needs to be, but it does have many ideas that will probably cross over

Cats have retractable claws. I'd suggest that your cat person has hollow retractable claws and that a flammable liquid can be stored within the hollow claws or in a pouch fed through the hollow claws.

Your cat person wears a rough fingerless glove. She can extend her claws and release the fluid while striking her claws one at a time against the glove.

From this she has a short, controlled flame from the tip of the claw. Because the enemy is flammable, it's enough.

Since she has ten claws (but you could give her more) she has ten opportunities in any fight, to light a claw. Maybe she can reload if you need her to, but the idea of a limited number of 'bullets' has some advantages too.


The creature uses leather gloves that only expose the finger tips(for the claws), these gloves have a insulating "bowl/groove" inside its palm or on its knuckles with desired flammable material inside. The heat will not penetrate the insulation, so the creature shouldn't mind.

How will it work?

You will have some sort of strap holding this device on the hand (this can help you get rid of it quickly if the device fails, so it does not burn your hand) Remeber that the creature has gloves on, so any sparks or hot coals brushing against the hand can not harm it.

Next is the bowl attached to the strap, this could be ceramic, stone or even thick or wet wood. It depends on how long do you expect the device to last. I think the best and cheapest and most primitive way would be some hard wood wiped with clay on the inside.

Next is the flammable material in the bowl, this could be any solid fuel or a medium doused in flammable liquid.

The last part is the most technologically demanding thing (we are talking bronze age or so) You will need wires. They are complicated to make with primitive technology, but they were used both in medieval and ancient eras. And I don't mean like "they could make these", but "They were made for something uselful" Like this.

So once you get some wires you create some sort of mesh and you put it over the bowl with the fuel inside. The mesh will allow the air to flow, feeding the flames, when the creature moves its hands around. You attach this mesh on the sides of the bowl. You can drill holes in the sides for the wires.

And now your "Flame paws" are complete. Now with the strike of your palm (tiger stance) you shall turn thy enemies ablaze. Apply more flammable substance on your target in case it is not flammable enough.

The burning bowls of the Kitty the Scorcher, The searing claws, The doom of the flammable folk!


Fur braid.

The cat has a rope. It could be braided fur. The cat should have plenty of that.

One half of the rope is wet. Maybe wet with salty water or urine, to increase boiling point / decrease volatility. Maybe the wet half incorporates hairballs, which cats also produce in abundance. This wet half is tightly braided to restrict airflow.

The other half is loosely braided and dry. The outermost part might be greased. Cats make sebaceous secretions that could serve as the grease.

The cat starts with the wet half and winds it around her paws. Thus the inner windings are dense and wet and insulate the hand from fire / heat / hot air.

Winding continues; outer windings are the loose / dry and greased fur braid. Grease burns better, longer and hotter than fur. Dry fur burns well too. The loose braid permits airflow. The outer part will burn during the fight and the inner part will protect the hand.

Cats could make these fur braid ropes in advance and quickly wet, wind and light them as events warrant.

This burning fur / anal gland grease / cat urine system will also smell unbelievably bad, which I have to think these warrior cats will appreciate.


Normally in order to achieve a flammable reaction you mix two liquids which have a volatile reaction to one another, thus causing heat and flame.

Your cat-creature could either have them biologically produced in its organs and delivered to the hands via some vein-like system which ends in the end of the fists, causing a spray of mist to occur from both liquids at the same time. Upon contact, liquids burst to flame.

Same can be achieved via technology, just tiny pumps instead of veins.

As for protection of its own skin - a skinless fist covered in an oil that evaporates easily thus protecting the hand for biological solution or a simple material that does not heat up easily for a tech solution.


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