We present a new simulation environment for X-ray computed tomography, called CatSim. CatSim provides a research platform for GE researchers and collaborators to explore new reconstruction algorithms, CT architectures, and X-ray source or detector technologies. The main requirements for this simulator are accurate physics modeling, low computation times, and geometrical flexibility. CatSim allows simulating complex analytic phantoms, such as the FORBILD phantoms, including boxes, ellipsoids, elliptical cylinders, cones, and cut planes. CatSim incorporates polychromaticity, realistic quantum and electronic noise models, finite focal spot size and shape, finite detector cell size, detector cross-talk, detector lag or afterglow, bowtie filtration, finite detector efficiency, non-linear partial volume, scatter (variance-reduced Monte Carlo), and absorbed dose. We present an overview of CatSim along with a number of validation experiments.