Cowboys and pioneers of the nineteenth century reported these strange beasts coming out at night, slashing open cacti and drinking the exposed sap. This caused the cats to enter an intoxicated state, stumbling around and rarely attacking travelers. Attacks by these strange varmint, though considered rare, did happen from time to time, with many frontiersmen waking up to find welts on their body from the cat's barbed tail. Despite these attacks, the Cactus Cat was not considered an aggressive creature (except toward cacti). The critter was also known to have a unique and haunting "wail" that could be heard at night through the darkened desert, along with the dry sound of its bones rubbing together.
The story of the Cactus Cat is probably fueled by numerous cases of misidentification, most likely being a bobcat, mountain lion or porcupine. The cat's "wail" may have also been that of a puma. It is also likely that the affable Cactus Cat was never believed to exist and, like most Fearsome Critters, was a product of a few bored woodsmen on a warm desert night.