Tallest of the species in the Compact, very lean with virtually no body fat. Mostly hairless, except for a close strip down the midline of their elongated, long-snouted skulls. Kif always go robed and hooded and seldom bare their heads. The skin is gray and soft, if very tough and wrinkled. Agile and strong with sharp and retractible claws. Prefer dim light. Totally carnivorous and need (prefer) live food. Colour play no part in their decor which is generally utilitarian and often black and gray. Keen night vision.
Extremely competitive; quick to shift "loyalty" to whoever is in power (or likely to take over, in their frequent, often lethal power struggles).
The Kif has no central government but will sometimes be united under one hakkikt (prince). A hakkikt rule by controlling sfik (face) and giving devastating blows to enemies (pukukkta), that is killing them off.
The concept of sfik or face is important and means that the stronger will hold a thing and defy all comers. Kif ususally operates as individuals but sometimes a kif rises to a position of supremacy in which others fear to challenge him and in which he gathers great fear and support from them around him. Such a kif is a hakkikt (prince).
Sources: The Chanur novels,