Stray Ending Explained: What Happens to The Cat?

Stray is the new apple of gamers’ eyes, and the hit game's ending is sure to bring a tear to your eye. Here's what happens.

Stray Game
Photo: Annapurna Interactive

This article contains spoilers for Stray.

Gamers have been eagerly awaiting the release of Stray ever since the indie title was announced in 2020. Now that the game is finally out, people are eating it up by playing it or watching it play out on Twitch. Regardless of how they’ve experienced one of the best games of 2022, quite a few people have walked away from Stray with more questions than answers.

In Stray, players control a cat as they explore an underground city. Their main goal is simple: escape to the surface and rejoin the cat’s family. Along the way, a small drone by the name of B-12 joins the cat, and players slowly realize there are no humans in this city, only robots. Where did all the people go? How did the world end up the way it did? The cat doesn’t care because it’s a cat. However, the animal does bond with B-12, and, eventually, the cat finds the path outside it’s been searching for.

However, as the ending shows, leaving that city comes at a cost that will almost certainly pull at your heartstrings. Here’s what happens at the end of Stray‘s incredible story.

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Stray: What Happens At the End of the Game?

Eventually, the cat and B-12 reach the walled city’s control center. Unlike the rest of the underground metropolis, this location is in pristine condition, and the Companions (the robots players encounter throughout the game) there show no personalities whatsoever. The area is essentially a time capsule that captured the city in its prime. It also appears to be the only way out. Unfortunately, the doors are locked thanks to an ongoing confinement procedure.

B-12 hacks its way into the control room’s center (with a helping claw from the cat) and then recovers the last of its memories. It turns out that B-12 used to be a human scientist who witnessed the plague that wiped out humanity, hence the confinement procedure. B-12’s original human form wanted to upload his consciousness into a robot body, but something went wrong, and he got stuck in electronic limbo for hundreds of years. Thanks to the cat’s intervention, the scientist finally received a body: the B-12 drone. In a sense, B-12 is now the last human alive, and he wants to help the cat open the city now more than ever. To do that, though, he needs to bypass the lockdown, which involves turning on several systems.

As B-12 interfaces with computers, he experiences electrical blowbacks that injure his drone’s systems. At first, he writes the damage off as a temporary problem that is easily fixed. However, by the time B-12 is ready to finally open the doors, he reveals that he knew going in he would have to sacrifice himself to open the walled city.

As B-12 says his final goodbye, he states that the future lies in the hands of the Companions, as well as the cat, and disengages the lockdown. B-12 falls lifeless to the floor, and the cat mourns for him by cuddling next to the drone. However, B-12’s sacrifice pays off. The city opens up, which not only allows the Companions to see the sky for the first time but soon destroys the mutant Zurks and robotic Sentinels that hounded the cat earlier in the game. Stray ends with the cat finally leaving the city, presumably to rejoin its friends.

Stray: Are There Any Alternate or Secret Endings?

Up until the final area, Stray is a linear experience (not that that’s a bad thing, mind you), and the control center section doesn’t change that. While the game includes plenty of collectibles, such as sheet music and codes, it doesn’t provide any side missions or other, traditional ways to significantly alter the ending.

What you see is what you get with Stray, and you only get the one ending listed above. Still, one of the screens in the walled city lights up after the cat exits, which could imply the game’s story isn’t over. Perhaps we might see some DLC or even a Stray 2. Fingers crossed.

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Stray: Does the Cat Die At the End of the Game?

For some reason, rumors have been circulating around the internet that the cat dies at the end of Stray. Said rumors have even seemingly dissuaded some from playing the game. That being the case, let us set the record straight by stating that the cat seemingly survives the game in as good of a condition as can be expected.

However, as mentioned above, the cat mourns the loss of B-12 (its only companion) at the end of the game. It’s undoubtedly a heartbreaking moment, as the two bonded throughout their adventure and wanted to see the outside world together. Players can make the cat cuddle with B-12 for as long as they want (and who can blame them), but at this point in the game, the cat can’t die by anything short of clipping out of bounds and falling into the digital void below. The cat can die either to Zurks or Sentinels earlier in the game, but those fates are not canon or permanent. No matter what happens, Stray‘s narrative ends with the cat living and heading off to a currently unknown future.