In order to fill your coffer and keep your cats fed, you will need to take them hunting, and in order to fill your collection, get samples to sell to other scientists (including the NPC Alonya in Alonya's Quest), and for other purposes, you must go gathering.
You may hunt with up to two cats at the same time, but you may only gather with your primary active cat. Set the cat or cats you want to go with as your active cat(s), then head to the Hunting and Gathering areas. There are five different places you can hunt or gather right now, but more will be added in the future. You must have an active cat to hunt or gather.
Like real cats, your cats can hunt for meat. When you go hunting, you can take one or two of your cats with you. If you take two cats, their hunting levels will combine, allowing you to catch more difficult prey.
Every hunting area is rated by level. The prey in this area will never be above the max level of the area. You will want to hunt in the area appropriate to the hunting ability of your team! For example, if your two cats' combined hunting level is 10, you should not hunt in a place whose level range is 25-50.
A prey animal's hunting level represents how difficult it is to catch overall. A high-level prey might be very large and strong, or it may be small and weak but have a powerful poison or other special attack like fire. A low-level prey might be large, but slow and ponderous, not very able to defend itself, or small, weak, and without any special defense, not even remarkable speed. Therefore, you cannot necessarily judge how much meat a prey will yield by its hunting level!
Every time you kill a prey animal, each cat involved in the kill gets a kill credit if they have not already killed that day. That night, at midnight server time, every cat with a kill credit for that day will gain one level. (At this time, kill credits cannot be seen, so you will need to keep track of which cats you've already hunted to level with that day. This will be changed in future, but for now, do your best to keep track!) You may hunt as many times as you want with a given cat, but it will only gain one level per day no matter how often it kills.
Cats do not have to kill prey close in level to their own to get a kill credit. A level 100 cat can kill a level 1 prey and still get credit.
Cats can be Injured during hunting. This is far more common when hunting prey too high level for your cats, but it can happen at any time. This Injury may be inflicted by the prey itself in battle or it might happen as an accident during the pursuit. Either way, one or both of your cats may suffer an Injury. Very, very rarely, they may suffer an infected wound and come down with Avionoma, but this is an extremely rare occurrence.
You will also find carcasses that you can raid for meat, but your cats will not gain a hunting level for raiding carcasses.
Once your cat(s) make a kill, the meat will need to be deposited into a coffer. Your primary active cat, the one on the left, determines where the meat goes. If the cat is in a clan, the meat will go to the clan's coffer. If the cat is in your nest, the meat will go to your nest coffer. You may only collect as much meat while hunting as you have room for in your coffer. (Coffer sizes can be increased by the use of wood items like sticks and logs.)
A guide to the hunting areas and the prey found therein follows. Each prey animal's entry will show first its name, then the level range it appears in, and then its meat yield, which will be expressed in the following terms: Normal, Double, Triple, or Quad.
If you are hunting for meat, you will want to aim for those prey animals in your level range with the best meat yield. If you are hunting for levels, it won't matter; just go for anything you can kill.
Level Range 1-10
This is a calm place. Even the snakes here are nonvenomous, although some are very quick and surprisingly large, posing a definite danger to young, inexperienced hunters. In particular, the Hydra Snake with its mild but painful venom and the swift, ribbonlike Ivy Snake are good challenges for a young hunter to hone his or her skills on.
Bayabi Fly: 1, Normal
Mouse: 1-2, Normal
Erae Bird: 2-5, Normal
Blue-Tailed Rooster: 2-5, Normal
Crayal Bird: 5-10, Normal
Ivy Snake: 5-10, Triple
Hydra Snake: 8-10, Double
Level Range 10-25
Hunting is a little more difficult in the forest, with all the branches and trunks and brush in the way. The creatures here are warier and quicker, too. Miyu Peacocks, as prized for the flavor of their flesh as their gorgeous feathers, are found only in the Forest. As well, the fabled Tiger Constrictor roams here, a somewhat challenging kill for less-trained cats, but well worth the effort for those with the ability to take it down! The most dangerous forest dwellers lurk deep in the brush, never emerging to challenge a hunter, so it is relatively safe overall.
Aerie Bird: 10-15, Normal
Weasel: 10-15, Normal
Miyu Peacock: 10-15, Double
Lizard Snake: 15-20, Double
Chipmunk: 15-25, Normal
Tiger Constrictor: 20-25, Quad
Level Range 25-50
There are some surprisingly dangerous animals here even though it runs through the safer domain of the Forest. The water of the creek draws the larger, stronger animals which are not encountered in the open forest, and it runs far deeper than it looks, allowing for some unexpectedly dangerous prey, including the Eyini Fish with its poisonous fin spines and the semi-aquatic, electric eel-like snake known as the Lightning Constrictor. There is even a two-foot-long beetle with a six-inch-long, spear-sharp horn on its face. It takes real skill to hunt here, but not excessive amounts of it. Cats of average to good hunting ability will find many types of prey worthy of their time and skill.
Fakbi Fish: 25-30, Normal
Duhral Bird: 25-30, Normal
Ruby Beetle: 25-30, Normal
Eyini Fish: 25-30, Double
Beaver: 25-50, Normal
Dappled Python: 30-50, Double
Beaded Serpent: 40-50, Double
Lightning Constrictor: 40-50, Triple
Level Range 50-100
This immense lake, big enough to be an inland sea but fresh rather than salty, harbors some equally immense aquatic animals, such as the Jeyli Shark, Felisfire's only known shark species and the undisputed lord of the waters. Of course, there are subtler dangers as well, such as the Aphrae Fish with its venomous barbs, which even the Jeyli avoids eating. Even the landgoing beasts in the area are unusually challenging to kill. The savage native 'mongoose' hunts only by the side of the Lake, and many predators suffer from their encounter with the giant Hedgehog with its barbed quills. Most domestic xenofelinoids will struggle to hunt here, but those with the ability to hold their own against the animals here will bring home many, many pounds of meat.
Damani Fish: 50-60, Normal
Belai Fish: 50-60, Normal
Hedgehog: 50-75, Normal
Brown Hawk: 50-75, Double
Pearl Serpent: 50-75, Triple
Gheli Fish: 60-75, Double
Balanar Bird: 60-75, Normal
Mongoose: 75-100, Double
Aphrae Fish: 75-100, Normal
Jeyli Shark: 75-100, Quad
Level Range 100+
The Tundra is the harshest ecosystem which has been explored thus far by the colonists. A strange place in which animals have often adapted in the opposite way in which humans would expect, there are many prey animals capable of producing biogenic fire, making them extremely dangerous despite their sometimes small size. Even the rabbits are larger, stronger, and faster than Terran rabbits, with far more ability to defend themselves. Ghost Cobras flit across the snow, visible one moment and gone the next, and the smaller yet far more feared Fireconstrictor leaves behind the scorched, crushed bodies of those who attack it unwisely. Only the very best hunters will be able to survive here, but those few with the strength and skill to hunt here will thrive on the challenge of this domain of ice and flame.
Hooded Bird: 100-110, Normal
Rabbit: 100-110, Normal
Dawn Constrictor: 100-125, Double
Fox: 100-125, Double
Ghost Cobra: 150-175, Quad
Fireconstrictor: 150-200, Triple
As previously mentioned, you may only gather with one cat at a time. Every gather area consists of a grid of 20 squares. When the last item in the grid is claimed by a player, the grid instantly restocks to fullness. You are competing against other players to claim the items in the gather area, so click fast and don't hesitate to claim if you see something you really want.
There are a lot of different gathering strategies, depending on whether you're looking for a specific item or not. Time, practice, and experience will teach you a style that works best for you.
There are certain candies which can be used to enhance both hunting and gathering. More information on them can be found in the Uses of Candy guide.
A full list of all gather items and where they can be found an be seen by going to the Laboratory menu and clicking "Your Collections."