hello kitty

Relax Kitty fans, many of you may have thought that you have been catfished by Hello Kitty, but fear not, because Sanrio has confirmed to Kotaku that Hello Kitty is indeed a cat!

Before, news about ‘Hello Kitty is not a cat’ has been circling the websites and causes confusion among Hello Kitty fans.

The news was set off by Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist in Hawaii who was preparing a written text for the Hello Kitty exhibition at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. According to Yano,

“I was corrected — very firmly. That’s one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She’s never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature. She does have a pet cat of her own, however, and it’s called Charmmy Kitty.”

Due to the statement given by Yano, the whole Hello-Kitty-is-not-a-cat thing has been a huge misunderstanding.

To clear up the confusion, Sanrio issued a statement to Kotaku explaining that “Hello Kitty is a feline—just an anthropomorphic one.”

Hello KittyWELCOME
I knew it!

When a representative of Kotaku called Sanrio to clarify the issue, one of the spokespersons of Sanrio explained, “Hello Kitty was done in the motif of a cat. It’s going too far to say that Hello Kitty is not a cat. Hello Kitty is a personification of a cat.”

This makes a lot of sense since the point of anthropomorphisation and personification is animals having human characteristics, which explains why Hello Kitty walk and talk like a human.

hello kitty 02
Hello Kitty even has a family!

Similar to Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, although we know that Mickey is indeed a mouse and Donald is indeed a Duck (their names literally has the words mouse and duck) but we also realize that they are not really who they are because of the way they acted; Mickey goes to work, Donald drives a car.

Donald Daisy Duck Car
Since when did Duck drives?

It is the same with Hello Kitty; her name has the word ‘kitty’ which derives from the word ‘kitten’ meaning ‘a young cat’. Also, Mickey is a mouse, yet he has a pet dog named Pluto and Minnie has a pet cat named Figaro.

Pluto2BMickey horz
And you don’t think this is weird?

So, it is not strange for Hello Kitty to have her own pet cat, because it is normal for anthropomorphic characters to have their own pets. (It’s a cartoon after all) Plus, Hello Kitty also has another pet named Sugar, a white jungalian Hamster given by Hello Kitty’s boyfriend, Dear Daniel.

Meet Hello Kitty’s pets, Charmmy Kitty and Sugar.

Kotaku also reported that many of the news headlines called Hello Kitty ‘human’ but Yano never specifically mentioned that word; she simply said that Hello Kitty is a girl which corresponds with Hello Kitty’s official profile “the character is a cheerful and nice girl”.

In Japan, the word ‘girl’ does not necessarily use for human, in fact,  it is very common for animals to be referred to as ‘girl’ or ‘boy’ instead of by the Japanese gender markers designated for animals.

According to Kotaku, this is to personify them through vocabulary and raise them above the status of mere ‘pet’ to a member of the family.

As a conclusion, there is a clear separation between the pet animal and the anthropomorphic animal character in the cartoon universe. We know that Hello Kitty is a cat, but she is not really a cat. This also applies to Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and even Bugs Bunny.

Hello Kitty Animation Theater screenshot
Also, who says Hello Kitty doesn’t have a mouth? Look at that beautiful smile!!