Battle Cat's alter ego is Cringer, the cowardly, lazy, over-eating feline companion of Prince Adam. He tends to spend most of his time as Cringer sleeping, eating, and avoiding responsibility, as well as hiding at the slightest sign of trouble or danger. He can talk, although no reason is ever really given for this ability. He has the appearance of a green, orange-striped tiger. When Prince Adam transforms into He-Man, he holds his sword out and fires an energy beam at Cringer, transforming him into Battle Cat. When he becomes Battle Cat, he grows to about twice his size, and is outfitted in red armor that covers his head, and back, with a saddle mounted on it for riding. As Battle Cat, he is fearless, and powerful. His voice changes significantly, and he talks with a growl, as opposed to his whimpering voice that is heard when he is Cringer. Cringer generally dislikes becoming Battle Cat, but he goes along with it anyway. He largely serves as a mount for He-Man, but he is known for mixing it up with the villains as well.
The story of Cringer/Battle Cat's past is covered in the episode "Battle Cat". The episode recounts that Adam, while on a few days exploring the jungle as a boy, found a kitten being attacked by a vicious sabrecat. After scaring the sabrecat away, Adam took the kitten back to the palace where it was tended to by Man-At-Arms. After it became well, Adam adopted the kitten as his pet. However the kitten was scared very easily, and Adam and the kitten were teased by Teela and the other children, with the kitten being called a cringer. Although Adam defended his pet, the name stuck. The Sorceress appeared and told Adam that Cringer might bring him embarrassment now, but in the future he would be useful.
Years passed, and after Adam was given the ability to become He-Man he usually hid from Cringer. However, when an archeological dig was attacked by a recently released monster, Adam transformed into He-Man without knowing Cringer was watching. After spotting him, He-Man tried to reassure his pet that he was really Adam, but after pointing the Sword of Power towards Cringer it let out the usual energy beam, transforming Cringer into Battle Cat for the first time. He-Man was shocked to see the change in the usually timid cat, but remembered the Sorceress' words from when he was a child and he received another message, telling him Battle Cat was now his partner.