Cat-ear Hood is an accessory in Final Fantasy XII that has a different effect depending on version. In the original PlayStation 2 version, it boosts Vitality and Speed, greatly helping the damage of weapons whose damage calculations take Speed into effect.
In the Zodiac versions, it turns any LP gained into gil, and is good for passive earnings as it can be equipped on reserve party members. In these versions, it also halves Ice and Wind damage to the wearer, and its stat boosts were given to the Germinas Boots accessory instead.
Wearing multiple pieces of equipment that all give the same elemental resistance does not stack, but certain different types do. This means that equipping the Cat-ear Hood alongside Adamant Hat/Vest (weak to Ice), makes the wearer take normal damage from ice. Half:Wind is the best wind-protection available bar the secret Gendarme shield that absorbs every element: Cat-ear Hood with Gendarme would have the character absorb half damage from Ice and Wind.
In the original PlayStation 2 versions, Cat-ear Hood is bought for 30,000 gil from Rabanastre's Clan Provisioner when the player reaches the rank of High Guardian within Clan Centurio. It is also made in the bazaar in the "Comfy Headgear" set, by selling two White Incenses (from Garuda-Egi) and Einherjariums (from Babil), and seven Virgo Gems (from various enemies; e.g. stealing from malboro- or cactus-type enemies).
In the updated Zodiac versions, the Cat-ear Hood can be bought for 50,000 gil in Rabanastre's Clan Provisioner at the rank of Brave Companion. It is also a treasure on the Trial Mode Stage 86 with the Diamond Armlet, and rarely drops from Spee in Stage 69 and Crypt Bunny in Stage 70. It can be stolen from Fury in Trial Mode Stage 63 and poached from Spee in Stage 69.
It is still made in the bazaar in the "Comfy Headgear" set with the same items as before.
Cat-ear Hood has different uses depending on version. In the original version, it gives stat boosts, which are good on their own, but also boost the damage axes, hammers, bows, daggers, and ninja swords deal; coupling the Cat-ear Hood with the right weapon type, can make them do much more damage. However, this is less useful in the original version where every playable character can equip any weapon, and the best weapons are Masamune, Tournesol, and Zodiac Spear, none of which particularly benefit from the Cat-ear Hood.
In the Zodiac versions, the Cat-ear Hood turns the wearer's LP gain into gil, halves Ice- and Wind-elemental damage, and increases Speed by 3. The gil-gain formula is: (Gil = [LP x character level] x 5), and it works on reserve party members. Only newly acquired LP are converted, the Cat-ear Hood does not convert any LP the character already has. It also only converts LP from the character that equips it; other characters will continue to earn their LP as usual. This is the main use of the accessory, and though it is also itself quite expensive if bought from the clan shop (50,000) or the hunt club (36000), the player can make their investment back quite fast. The yield can be good when equipped onto a high-level character, but the gil-yield is poor in new game minus where the player can't level up. If the player can get six Cat-ear Hoods, they can make gil quickly, especially in a Trial Mode run. For example, a party in their 50's going to Stage 40 in the Trials with six hoods earns about 2,000,000 gil, for an investment of 300,000 gil for buying them from the clan shop.
If the player has been wearing Golden Amulets, the party likely complete their License Boards half-way through the game if partaking in the side activities in hunting for Rare Game and Marks and rare loot for the bazaar. Cat-ear Hoods then become a good replacement for reserve members to wear after no more LP is needed, to take the passive gains as gil instead. Even when the player does not need the gil for shop purchases, gil remains useful for MP-free spell use with the Turtleshell Choker, and for the Gil Toss technick.