If I am eliminated by an exploding kitten, the instructions say to discard all my cards, including the kitten. So they go to the discard pile.

Now, if I play a combo of five cards, can I take the kitten from the discard pile? And if so, what happens with it? There is nothing in the rules prohibiting me from taking the kitten, and also nothing about what happens with the kitten. Is it just dead weight, or does it actually explode?

  • As a house rule we always set the exploded kittens aside.
    – Wouter
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 9:57

1 Answer 1


The wording on the exploding kitten card from the rules

You must show this card immediately. Unless you have a Defuse card, you’re dead. Discard all of your cards, including the Exploding Kitten.

That wording does not indicate that it only happens when you draw it from the deck. So no matter how the card gets into your hand, once it is in there you will have to follow the instructions for it.

  • That opens up some interesting strategies...
    – Patta
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 1:22
  • @Patta Not sure what kind of strategies you are referring to when drawing the card causes you to lose.
    – Joe W
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 6:07
  • Well, "strategies" might be a bit of an overstatement. But I can actually see cases where this would win me the game or at least allow me to eliminate another player (combine with a defuse card) Not a viable strategy, yea, but it still could help :D
    – Patta
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 9:55
  • 1
    @JoeW Suppose I know that my opponent, the only surviving opponent, has no defuses (maybe I used 3 of a kind and didn't get the defuse I asked for), and another player in the game is already dead. Instead of waiting for that last kitten in the deck to turn up, maybe I could take the kitten from the discard, then defuse it, raising the probability that my opponent draws the kitten by a factor of two! This also means I get the advantage of "stacking the deck", and I could force the kitten on my opponent next turn.
    – user45266
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 16:29

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