Is A Cat Girl A Furry?

What is a Cat Girl?

A cat girl, also known as “neko girl”, refers to a female character in anime or manga that possesses cat traits, such as cat ears, a cat tail, slitted eyes, whiskers, etc. Though cat girls display feline characteristics, they generally maintain a human form.

The origins of cat girls can be traced back to early anime and manga in the 1960s, where they started appearing in shows like Kimba the White Lion. Their popularity surged in the 1980s and 1990s, with iconic cat girl characters like Blair from Soul Eater and Nuku Nuku from All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku helping to cement their place in otaku culture (

Over time, the neko girl trope has evolved from more animalistic portrayals to characters who simply have some cute cat-like attributes while still appearing mostly human. They remain a mainstay in anime/manga and have expanded beyond Japan to gain appreciation worldwide.

Characteristics of Cat Girls

Cat girls are anthropomorphized female characters that have feline physical traits, such as cat ears, tails, slit pupils, and sometimes paw-like hands and feet. The most recognizable feature of cat girls are their cat ears, which are usually prominently displayed on the top of their head. Their ears often twitch or move to express the cat girl’s mood (Wikipedia, 2023).

Another signature trait is their long, slender cat tail protruding from their lower back. Their tails may swish playfully or strike upwards in surprise when something startles them (TvTropes, 2023). Cat girls also typically have vertical slit pupils, reminiscent of their feline counterparts.

In terms of personality and behavior, cat girls are often depicted as energetic, playful, mischievous and even aloof or stubborn at times. However, they can also be quite affectionate, loyal and love to be petted or given treats. Their cat-like curiosity leads them to explore surroundings and interact with people or objects in cute, kittenish ways (Wikipedia, 2023).

What is Furry Fandom?

Furry fandom refers to a subculture interested in anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics. The furry community encompasses artwork, literature, cosplay, and online roleplaying focused on these anthropomorphized animal figures. Members of the furry fandom are known as furries.

According to Florida Today (, the furry fandom originated in the 1980s, arising from science fiction and fantasy conventions. The term “furry” was coined at a convention in 1989. In the 1990s and early 2000s, furry fandom grew rapidly online through websites and forums. Today, furry fandom has conventions, meetups, websites, and online communities with hundreds of thousands of members worldwide.

While the most well-known aspect of furry fandom involves wearing elaborate mascot-like fur suits and costumes, according to (, only about 20% of furries own fursuits. Many furries simply enjoy anthropomorphic art and stories. Furry fandom celebrates creativity, community, and an appreciation for animal characters with human traits.

Comparison of Cat Girls and Furries

Cat girls and furries share some key similarities but also have notable differences. Both cat girls and furries involve anthropomorphized animal characters, often with human personalities and characteristics. However, there are some distinctions:


  • Have animal ears, tails, claws, eyes, or other animal features
  • Often depicted with human hair, clothes, personalities
  • Part of larger fandom/subculture
  • Related to cosplay and roleplaying


  • Cat girls specifically have cat features, while furries can be any animal
  • Cat girls more often depicted in anime/manga, furries have wider origins
  • Furries fully take on an anthropomorphic animal identity, cat girls maintain mostly human identity
  • Sexual/fetish element more pronounced in furry fandom than cat girl fandom

While there is some overlap, cat girls arise more from anime and manga, while furries have origins across many mediums and cultures. Ultimately, cat girls maintain a mostly human identity with some cat features, while furries involve fully inhabiting an anthropomorphic animal character.




Cat Girl Characters in Anime

Cat girls are a popular character archetype in anime and manga. Some well-known examples of iconic cat girl characters include:

Neferpitou from Hunter x Hunter is a powerful chimera ant with cat-like features including large furry ears and a tail. She exhibits cat-like agility, reflexes, and claws capable of shredding enemies.

Alicia Rue from Sword Art Online is a kind-hearted cat girl player with a whiskered face, pink hair, and cat ears. She befriends Kirito while helping other players stuck in SAO.

Eris from Mushoku Tensei is a catfolk girl with reddish hair, fuzzy ears, and a billowing tail. She’s energetic and mischievous but views Rudeus Greyrat as her master.

Other iconic cat girls include Ichigo Momomiya from Tokyo Mew Mew, Yoruichi from Bleach, Neko-Musume from GeGeGe no Kitaro, and Blair from Soul Eater. Their cat-like features match their personalities.

Cat Girls in Furry Fandom

Cat girls have a complex relationship with the furry fandom. While some argue that cat girls should be considered furries since they have animal traits like ears and tails, others contend that since cat girls are still largely human, they don’t quite fit the typical definition of being a furry (Catgirl – WikiFur, the furry encyclopedia).

Within the furry community, there are differing views on whether cat girls should be embraced as furries or not. Some furries accept cat girls as part of the fandom, especially those who have more animal-like features. However, other furries view cat girls as being too far separated from typical anthropomorphic animal characters to be considered true furries (Are cat girls furries?).

Overall, cat girls occupy a nebulous space within furry fandom. While not fully anthropomorphic, many cat girls exhibit enough animal traits and aesthetic similarities to furry art and characters to appeal to some parts of the furry community. Their prevalence in anime and other media means cat girls have become ingrained in furry culture, even if their status as true furries remains controversial.

Cat Girl Cosplay

Cat girl cosplay refers to people dressing up as cat girl characters from anime, manga, or video games. Cat girls are humanoid characters that have feline traits like cat ears, tails, paw gloves, etc. Cat girl cosplay outfits usually include:

  • A cat ear headband, hair clips, or wig
  • A tail that attaches to clothing or wraps around the waist
  • A costume dress, blouse, and mini skirt combination designed to look like a cat girl character
  • Thigh high socks or stockings
  • Cat paw gloves
  • Cat or bell collars
  • Cat eye contacts or makeup

Some popular cat girl characters that get cosplayed include Neko from K, Felix Argyle from Re:Zero, Chocola from Nekopara, and Blair from Soul Eater. Cat girl cosplay is popular because it allows fans to embody cute, playful characters. It’s a staple in the anime convention scene. There’s a market for handmade and commissioned cat girl outfits, with costume pieces being sold on sites like Amazon and Etsy.

Psychology of Cat Girl Appeal

Cat girls have grown in popularity in anime, manga, and cosplay communities due to their blend of human and feline traits. According to psychologists, the appeal of cat girls lies in their ability to combine the cute aspects of kawaii culture with an alluring sexuality.

The large, expressive eyes and exaggerated facial features of cat girls connect to our innate fondness for things that resemble human babies. Their playful behavior and accessories like bells and ribbons enhance this youthful cuteness (Source). At the same time, their cat ears and tails add an exotic, animalistic element.

Cat girls manage to be both cute and sexy by blending innocence and maturity. They maintain a coy playfulness while exuding a mysterious, sensual allure. This allows viewers to appreciate their cuteness while also being drawn to their sexuality.

Their hybrid nature also allows for cat girls to take on various personas. They can play the role of a pet to take care of, a playmate to fool around with, or a mysterious femme fatale. This flexibility broadens their appeal across different preferences.

Overall, cat girls strike a enticing balance between childlike cuteness and mature sexuality. Their hybrid cat-human traits allow them to inhabit both spheres, tapping into a wide spectrum of human attraction and desire.

Criticisms and Controversies

One of the most common criticisms of cat girls is the concern that they promote the fetishization or sexualization of animal traits. Some argue that cat girl characters are overly sexualized in a way that can be seen as problematic or unethical. For example, cat girls are sometimes depicted in skimpy outfits with a focus on their breasts, thighs, and other sexual characteristics.

In online communities like Reddit, there have been controversies related to sexualized cat girl art. In one case on the r/COMPLETEANARCHY subreddit, users pushed back against what they saw as the oversexualization of cat girl anime memes, leading to debates about whether this kind of art promoted unhealthy fetishization [1]. Other leftist subreddits like r/SocialistRA also faced controversies about cat girl art being too focused on sexual appeal rather than political messaging [2].

However, supporters of cat girl art argue that completely desexualizing the characters takes away an important part of their appeal. They say cat girls represent a playful sensuality rather than objectification. But ethical concerns remain about the potential for fetishizing animal traits or emphasizing youth and innocence in problematic ways.


In summary, while cat girls share some similarities with furries, they are considered distinct from the furry fandom. Cat girls emerged from anime and manga, where they are depicted as human girls with cat ears, tails, mannerisms and personalities. In contrast, furries create their own anthropomorphic animal fursonas for roleplaying, which can be any animal, real or imagined.

There are some cat girls in the furry fandom, but they are a minority compared to other fursonas. Cat girls are also popular for cosplay, allowing fans to physically portray the characters. Their appeal comes from their blend of human and animal traits, which some find attractive or relate to psychologically.

To answer the original question, cat girls are not inherently furries, as they originate from a different subculture and fandom. However, there is some overlap between the two communities. Ultimately, it depends on how an individual identifies and chooses to participate. Cat girls could be considered furries if they are created as fursonas or for furry activities. But as characters in anime and manga, they exist distinctly outside furry fandom.

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