15 (beginning of series)
Orange (manga), Brown (anime)
Codfish, his master
Leeks, onions, miso, rain, Yuki
He transforms into an orange cat whenever he is hugged by the opposite gender or when his body comes under a great deal of stress. This animal is not in the Chinese zodiac, but legend says would have been if it had not been tricked by the rat into missing the induction feast. As part of his curse, Kyo transforms into a hideous monster whenever his Juzu beads bracelet are taken off.
Kyo is usually short-tempered, impulsive, and rude, but that is only one side to this complex character. He is also sometimes called "Kyonkyon"(by classmates in episode three of the anime, which makes him angry) and "Kyonkichi", which means 'lucky Kyo', mainly by Shigure Sohma and Ayame Sohma, who enjoy teasing him. One example of this is when Shigure teases him to the point when he stomps off into the forest on the verge of tears. He also appears to have a strong dislike for leeks, and the smell of them makes him sick and also hates miso and spring onions.
Kyo's mother, in despair over having her son born a "monster," committed suicide by walking in front of an oncoming train (Chapter 119) when he was a young child of possibly four to six years old. His father abandoned him as well, blaming Kyo for his mother's death. People have criticized Kyo throughout his life for his differences, too frightened or never bothering to glance beyond the label of "The Cat" and regard Kyo as a true person. Like most of the Sohmas, throughout his school years, he begins to get picked on for the color of his hair but he would chase them around, threatening to kill them, which was around the time his temper began.
Because of the Juunishi curse, Kyo must always wear a Juzu bead bracelet. These beads were made from the bones of a priest and warrior, and so they are a powerful protective charm. The beads themselves are alternately pale and either red (in the manga) or dark purple (in the anime), with the dark ones supposedly stained by blood. Whenever these beads are taken off his wrist, Kyo transforms into the cat's "true form", which is a beast that resembles a mutated rabbit-like form, which has a horribly foul stench that even caused Tohru to throw up. This form is a result of the Juunishi curse, and only the cat transforms into this form. The Juzu beads are handed down to the current cat of the Zodiac from the previous cat, and must always be worn. In episode 24 Kazuma Sohma takes the beads off Kyo's wrist and he turns into the cat's true form. He does this purposely in front of Tohru Honda, trying to test what Tohru truly feels for Kyo.
Early in the manga it is established that of all the Sohmas suffering from the Zodiac curse it is Kyo, as the cat, who is generally the most reviled (although he is frequently viewed with pity or sometimes even uneasy acceptance rather than outright hatred, and it is implied that Kyo may be hated by certain members of the Sohma clan more than others - Akito seems to despise Kyo more than any other of the zodiac). In chapter 108 of the manga, Shigure tells Tohru that the members of the Zodiac are "monsters...disgusting creatures," and that "the existence of the cat is our salvation...He's a monster even uglier than we are, inferior to everything." He adds that the cat has an obligation to accept the fact that he will be isolated from society (essentially imprisoned for the remainder of his life), "discriminated against and looked down upon," because seeing this allows the other members of the Zodiac to feel better about themselves, at least better off than the cat.
He also made a bet with Akito that he will beat Yuki before they graduate. But if Kyo doesn't beat Yuki before they graduate, Kyo will be locked in the Cat's Room for the rest of his life; if he does, then he will be accepted as a full member of the zodiac.
Relationship with Tohru Honda
The first time Kyo meets Tohru is when Tohru accidentally finds out the Sohma family secret. At first, it seems that Kyo truly dislikes Tohru, treating her with his typical harsh and angry manner. After Tohru accidentally causes him to transform behind the school, Kyo angrily shouts "Stay out of my way! What's with you?! I can't even stand to look at you!" He later 'apologizes' in the woods for what he said. The reason behind his reaction to her is revealed to be because of his feelings of guilt involving her mother's death. Standing near her, Kyo could have saved her from the oncoming car, but his fear of transforming in public made him hesitate and was thus unable to prevent her death. To cope with the guilt of believing he had been the reason Kyoko had died, Kyo pressed all of the blame onto Yuki, the hated Rat, in an attempt to ease his own burden. Likewise with Tohru, his temper was often short and he retaliated to her efforts of friendship by pushing her further and further away. However, just with the other members of the Sohma family, Kyo is drawn to Tohru by her kind and generous personality.
It eventually becomes apparent that Kyo's feelings have blossomed into love, something which both shames and terrifies him due to his belief that, as the Cat and the monster he turns in to, that no one could ever love him, as well as the guilt of the deaths of Tohru's mother and his own. Before he has even realized the extent of his emotion, it is clearly detected by others, such as Yuki, Arisa, and Saki. Saki, when in volume four, is visiting Kyoko's grave with Tohru, Yuki, Kyo, and Arisa, asks why Kyo is "standing before a grave with such feelings of regret... chaos.". Kyo finally confesses his love to himself and Akito in their confrontation in volume 11 and then breaks things off for good with Kagura Sohma in volume 12. He knows that his time "outside" is now limited, and he focuses all his energy into spending time and creating memories with Tohru.
Tohru starts to feel something change about her affection towards Kyo. Her attachment to him makes him wonder if she feels something for him -- something that he thinks is impossible. Even though he tries to fight his own feelings for her, he can't help but draw himself closer to her. Kyo and Tohru start to feel nervous around each other, for the two are realizing the true extent of their feelings (the mere act of touching hands sends them into fits of embarrassed babbling). A fight with Kagura pushes Tohru to express her true feelings for Kyo.
Kyo is quick to brush her feelings off, because he feels he is undeserving of love (due to his mother's death and the fact that he couldn't do anything to save Tohru's mother). Tohru explains that she just loves him and asks why he can't just accept that. He tells her she's made him disillusioned and walks away leaving her in tears. In Chapter 122 and 123, when Tohru falls off a cliff while extending a hand of friendship to Akito Sohma and hits her head, Kyo finally admits his feelings to her, although she is not conscious enough to understand. While she lies unconscious, Kyo kisses her on the lips, begging her not to die. Feeling deflated and defeated, he doesn't go to the hospital with Tohru when she's taken in by the ambulance.
During Tohru's stay at hospital, Kyo made several attempts to visit her but was turned aside by both Tohru's friends and his own fear. Finally he admits that before he can see Tohru, he must tie up the loose ends of his own life and goes to see his father. After Tohru is released from the hospital, Kyo finally visits her, only to have her flee from him, due to him rejecting her confession of love. Unwilling to give up this time, Kyo gives chase to Tohru, remarking on how fast she is, but that he is faster. Eventually he catches up with her and confesses the extent of his feelings for her, this time whilst she is conscious and able to hear. Tohru does not feel she has to forgive Kyo, rather, she just wants to stay with him and reiterates the strength of her love. Overcome, the two embrace, only to realize that Kyo has not transformed. On the last page of chapter 129, the quote, "When one who was never loved is loved, the ancient promise nears the end" meaning that when Kyo found love, both given and received, the curse will be broken. Realizing the truth, Kyo tore off his beads, sending them scattering to the ground, a testament to the end of the curse as Tohru looks on, weeping with joy. She then collected the beads and kept them on her dresser in a small bowl.
As the series ends, Kyo asks Tohru to accompany him on a journey to various dojos as he continues his martial arts training, so that eventually he can inherit Kazuma Sohma's dojo, and Tohru accepts. In the last chapter, she and Kyo are packing to move after graduation, and in the final pages they are shown as a loving elderly couple with a granddaughter. The last image of the two is of them shows them holding hands.