Hey Greatest Ape,
The text for the stalker cat is for all stalker cats. The informal nature of the stalker cat means that it is more of a rule of thumb than specific factual information. The cat doesn't say "Random Cat" vs. "Stalker Cat" so there is no way to truly know if you ran across another stalker cat on the way back or if it was just a randomly spawned Black machariodus where you couldn't find the nest.
The stalker cat is an aggressive cat that hunts you down. It comes into your settlement and wants to kill you. Coming across another black machairodus on a return trip seems like you ran into a random spawn. Many people have noted this stalker cat behavior on other forums (like reddit) describing the behavior and the times when it appears/spawns, etc.
If you can run more tests and set down a pattern of Black Stalker Cats (or other stalker cats) showing up if you wait long enough - then we can document that. Not saying it isn't possible, it seems more like you came across a random black cat that then den wasn't around for.
If you were hanging out in an oasis, after killing the stalker cat on the way back from the ocean - just chillin'- and a cat came into the settlement like a stalker cat - that would be a better argument that there might be a time limit.
Maybe it is true if you wait a really long time, they respawn a stalker cat in the same generation but how long is that? You'd have to test it out multiple times and then we could add extra wording in a generalized fashion about "sometimes when you wait a very long time after killing a stalker cat in the same generation, another stalker cat can appear but it is unclear how long this takes. Be aware that it is possible but very unlikely unless you wait a very long time to change a generation or complete an evolution leap. Normally there is a single stalker cat to put pressure on you in a single generation and once it is dead, you don't have to fear another returning until you move forward in time."
- Alright I'll check. I'll get a settlement in the woodlands and go to the beach and back. If a black attacks in the canyons or beach twice I'll know for a fact it respawns. I've been through the entire place zero dens. --Greatest Ape (talk)
White Machairodus stalker cat spawning before evolving at all.
I have been attacked by a white stalker cat 4 times now, and i have never evolved, i was attacked in different places too. --Fogme (talk)
- Hey there, Greatest Ape here, its not an Evolution Leap as previously thought. Once you discover the Big Swamp (or likely any location past it) Stalker Cats spawn. --Greatest Ape (talk)
- Information from summary New behavior found. I killed the cat, and then chilled on the spire, looking around, i hopped down and BOOM i got attacked. I think it was around 30 minutes, there was NO wandering cat. It was a white one (both the one i killed, and the one i attacked) so i KNOW it was the Stalker Cat - Greatest Ape
- Fogme / Greatest Ape,
- I wrote up a change to the page to indicate your findings trying to be generic in nature but still giving some details. The game developers don't say what triggers the stalker cat. Only observation from players came up with this.
- It's hard to say the exact thing that triggers them to spawn. For sure people have reported that after that first evolution leap they appear. Maybe there is some time amount or location like Greatest Ape mentioned that makes this happen. People never paid attention to the location or they evolved quickly so they didn't link them. We'd need more data and testing for sure to give a better answer.