Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat, Has Never Been A Cat

Hello Kitty Is Not A Cat, Has Never Been A Cat
Image: Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania

Hello Kitty, also known by her real name Kitty White, is the latest guest star to join the rolling monkeys of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania. That makes it the perfect time to issue a very important PSA: Hello Kitty is not a cat.

Sure, having tiny little cat ears and whiskers would make anybody think that Hello Kitty is a feline, but the established canon of the Sanrio character says she’s actually a little girl. Her name, “Kitty” is just a first name, and uses the same name shortening that a ‘Katherine’ might use.

“Hello Kitty is a cheerful and happy little girl with a heart of gold,” is how the official Sanrio website describes her. Not a cat, a little girl.

So, what’s with the whiskers?

Well, according to a Sanrio spokesperson, who spoke to AFP in 2014, “[Hello Kitty] is a 100-percent personified character. The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty’s setting.”

She might have kitty ears but hey, tune into Twitch and you’ll find plenty of people with kitty ears (bless you, Razer). She might have whiskers but so does Naruto, and he’s not a cat. (Technically he’s part demon fox, I guess — but that doesn’t count.)

Hello Kitty doesn’t walk on all-fours, she wears a bright little pinafore, and she attends school with her friendly classmates.

More to the point: Hello Kitty actually owns a real cat.

hello kitty charmy kitty
Image: Charmmy Kitty / Sanrio

Charmy Kitty (pictured above) is a cat. She looks like Hello Kitty, but the key difference here is she walks on four legs, has obvious fur and is treated like a pet.

When you compare the two, it makes sense. Charmmy Kitty is a cat, Hello Kitty is a little girl.

Will it make sense to anyone less versed in Sanrio lore? Probably not, but the point stands. If you’re going to refer to Hello Kitty, the first thing and most important thing you should know is that she’s not a cat.

The second thing you should know is that it’s objectively funny that Hello Kitty is set to appear alongside Yakuza‘s Kazuma Kirya in a game about monkeys rolling around in balls.

Video games are weird. Hello Kitty isn’t a cat. Stay tuned to Kotaku Australia for more fun facts.


  • Thanks for blowing my mind!

    “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.” (More of the quote from the Sanrio rep)

    “It is a 100-per cent personified character.”

    So through her anthropomorphism, she is not a cat, but is instead a person.

    Which makes sense. Thats taking a view that although a character has the exterior appearance of its base animal, it isn’t the base, but rather a person.

    Kind of like the Beagle Boys in Disney. They may resemble canines in a very vague way, but they’re people rather than really animals. Same with Mickey Mouse who even owns a non-anthro dog alongside having an anthro friend.

  • Here we go again… (https://kotaku.com/sanrio-president-hello-kitty-isnt-a-cat-shes-an-idol-1630914120)
    She’s not exactly a “cat”, but she’s not exactly a “girl” either. She’s a gijinka, or anthropomorphised cat which basically means she’s a cat that has been given human-like features and behaviours. Not quite a cat-girl who is a human with cat-like features and behaviours, and nowhere near the horrific representation we saw in the Cats movie.

    As for Charmy? Well, we adopt children which are smaller versions of ourselves so why wouldn’t a cat adopt another cat?

  • I’ll take the opportunity to share this with anyone who will listen but if you’ve ever heard “like Hello Kitty, Dear Daniel isn’t a cat, he’s a little girl.”, that’s actually misinformation from an Onion-like publication that got mistakenly put as Google’s pinned result and made the rounds of Tumblr. Unfortunately it’s actually not true. Sorry to everyone who fell in love with the “Hello Kitty’s he/him lesbian girlfriend” headcanon but it was a hoax unfortunately.

  • No Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza series franchise is not a cat he’s a male human from Japan also although Hello Kitty is getting added as DLC for Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania I’m not really a huge Hello Kitty fan myself I’m more of a Sonic the Hedgehog fan myself along with all the other SEGA characters including Beat from Jet Set Radio Kazuma Kiryu from the Yakuza series franchise Morgana from Persona 5 and the Super Monkey Ball gang from Super Monkey Ball that is coming to consoles and Steam October 5.

  • Unless they provide a DNA sample and show its place in the evolutionary chain, I’m not convinced.
    Next you’re gonna just tell me that thundercats aren’t cats, and the pizza cats are actually furries?

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