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I suppose he has "cat like" qualirties in battle and such. The following should help in the history of it,
Tybalt shares the same name as the character Tibert/Tybalt the "Prince of Cats" in Reynard the Fox, a point of mockery in the play. Mercutio repeatedly calls Tybalt "King of Cats" (perhaps referring not only to Reynard but to the Italian word cazzo "penis"). Luigi da Porto adapted the story as Giulietta e Romeo and included it in his Historia novellamente ritrovata di due Nobili Amanti published in 1530.