Cyberpunk 2077 (opens in new tab) will let you pet the cats.
This important feature was finally confirmed when developer CD Projekt Red invited media outlets from around the world for extensive hands-on time with the game. You can check out our own Cyberpunk 2077 hands-on (opens in new tab) to see what GR's Sam Loveridge got up to in her four hours as a Corpo making their way through the Night City underworld. Another preview from IGN (opens in new tab) intentionally eschewed progressing through the story in favor of exploring the city, searching rooftops for loot, and traipsing through so many alleyways.
One of the most important things that IGN was able to confirm was the ability to show the proper affection and deference to the feline inhabitants of Night City: "Oh, and I pet a cat! That's very important. I didn't see any dogs for you dog people out there."
The absence of dogs could just be a limitation of the demo, but it is in fact something that CD Projekt Red has addressed before. Quest director Mateusz Tomaszkiewicz confirmed to us at E3 2019 that the studio had been discussing the prospect of dogs and petting them (opens in new tab). However, the background of the game states that there's relatively little wildlife left after a series of ecological disasters and pandemics between now and 2077.
"So to some degree it's intentional that we will have very few animals, but from time to time we do have them," Tomaszkiewiczs said at the time. "You might have seen a cat in last year's demo. So still in the air."
In Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the novel that inspired Blade Runner, living animals are nearly extinct and only kept by the ultra rich as status symbols. So maybe it's the same thing for dogs in Cyberpunk 2077? Cats, meanwhile, are still lounging around everywhere and acting like they own the place, without any care for the state of the world around them. That checks out.
See how your choice of life path in Cyberpunk 2077 could change your starting look (opens in new tab).