New pet skins
So what else do we have to look forward to besides new hunter pet families? Well, for starters, there are some new spirit beasts. Have you ever desired to have your very own Ghostcrawler? Well, now you can! Yes, they put Ghostcrawler in the game, and if you're a BM hunter, he's tameable. In addition, if you couldn't get your husband to powerlevel a shaman just so you could get Bloodlust/Heroism cast while you started to tame and prayed for a meta gem to proc, you'll now be able to pick up a ghost wolf spirit beast of your own ... if you're OK with doing it the easy way.
In addition to that, many animals are getting whole new looks in Cataclysm. If you'd like a turtle god for a pet, you can do that. He comes both in burning and non-burning varieties. Terrorpene (shares the Nemesis skin) and Ghamoo-Ra (shares the Tortolla skin) are both tameable in Cataclysm.
Also, if you're just dying to look like a pirate, there are seven more tameable parrots in the game, in addition to Aotona.
You can even tame the Alliance Lion Mount, basically. (They look like this.) Or a Buru the Gorger lookalike! How about a horrible undead parody of an eagle? We have one of those now, too. In that particular case, I'd say the sky was the horrifying limit. But it will match your Forsaken hunter nicely.
Lost and changed pet skins
However, with all of this good stuff, there is some bad. Several pets have been lost with the changes to Azeroth caused by the Shattering. It's important to consult the Petopia list to make sure you're not abandoning a pet you can't get back.
Many of the rare spawns have changed into entirely new looks as well. Mania has helpfully compiled an excellent list of pet changes in Cataclysm. Some pets have changed families (from, say, Carrion Bird to Bird of Prey), while others have just changed appearances (many cats have changed, like Rak'Shiri and Shango), and still others have changed both pet family and appearance, like the Scarlet Tracking Hounds (now dogs with the same mastiff skin we see in Gilneas) and the Silithid Swarmer (now correctly a silithid, rather than a scorpid and with a silithid model). You can even tame a famous cartoon celebrity cat, if you wish.
There's a lot out there for you to obsessively stalk and tame, hunters. Go and bedevil your loved ones until they help you spawn camp for days and days and days.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm will destroy Azeroth as we know it; nothing will be the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion (available Dec. 7, 2010), from brand new races to revamped quests and zones. Visit our Cataclysm news category for the most recent posts having to do with the Cataclysm expansion.