Houichi (ホウイチ Hōichi) is the Kabukichou Boss Cat that rules over the other stray cats. He used to be a human, but became a cat after the cat he was taking care of sacrificed itself.
Houichi is a cat of a size larger than other cats, in fact around 2-3 times larger than other cats (this could be attributed to the fact that he is a human turned cat, or just his cat body is of such breed). His ears are missing due to being ripped off in a fight with a dog a few years prior to meeting Gintoki. His fur is gray on the underside and on the face between his eyes. The upper side of the fur is black. He has dark green eyes with black irises.
He has a very strict personality and is rough with any newbie. Each new cat must fight him in order for him to see if they are worthy of living in Kabukichou. Despite is violent methods none of the cats he fought were severely injured. He also taught Gintoki, Katsura and Kondou the ways of the stray cats because he had the same fate as them. He is not completely serious as he comically responded in frustration to Gintoki's speculations about his true origins.
Houichi used to be a yakuza, working as a hitman, until he finds a stray cat which he took care of and swore to seize murdering. However, he was commanded to go kill once more, thinking that he would die in the fight instead the stray cat jumped in which might be accidentally killed by Houichi, in turns, he had been lost in conscience and went to a killing spree. Amidst from the dead bodies, the yakuza saw his own and then realized that now he is cursed to be in the form of that stray. Afterward, he went on to protect the strays through fear.
He lost his ears due to a battle with a dog to protect a stray kitten, which is also how he met Otose. Otose took care of him and nurse him while he is injured. The reason she saved the cat was because it remind her of Gintoki to which she made a comparison.
- His name and lack of ears are a reference to the traditional Japanese story of Hoichi the Earless.