The Nekojin List: Cat-people in Anime

Based on the work of Avi Melman and Curtis Hoffmann
Currently maintained by Rob Kelk

Nekojin Anime
Nekojin Characters in Specific Anime
Related Links


"Nekojin" means cat-people. ("Neko" is Japanese for "cat", and "jin" is a suffix that indicates an identifiable group of people.) The term is mostly used for women (who are occasionally referred to as "koneko", literally "kitten"). "Nekomimi" translates as "cat's ears"; occasionally, normal girls are shown with nekomimi.

This list comes from a nekojin list that had been maintained by Avi Melman back in 1991, when he was still on the net, and updated by Curtis Hoffmann in the mid-1990s. Note that Avi also included other animals/non-humans in his version of this list, so, rather than being a strictly nekojin list, it was something of a "Furry Humanoids" list. He also included nekojin in manga. A copy of Avi's list as presented by Curtis can be found on Rob's website.

With the increase of nekojin (and nekomimi on otherwise-normal girls) in anime, Rob has chosen to limit the current list solely to cat-people.

This list does not include normal girls who wear nekomimi headbands or otherwise like to dress up as nekojin - if it did, it would be too large to be maintained. (Sorry, all of the Di Gi Charat fans reading this, but Dejiko and her friends aren't listed here...)

If anyone wants to add to this list, please contact me (Rob Kelk, at the address on this site's homepage).

Contributors to this list:
Avi Melman    [AM]    (Original list maintainer)
Curtis Hoffmann    [CH]    (Second list maintainer)
Rob Kelk    [RK]    (Current list maintainer)
Dave Baranyi    [DB]
Henry J Cobb    [HC]
Jordan Derber    [JD]
Chris "Chika" Johnson    [CJ]
Ethan Hammond    [EH]
Paul Leplant    [PL]
D B Malmquist    [DM]
Galen Musbach    [GM]
Richard V. Lamb    [RL]
Gerald Smith    [gS]
Chuck Stewart    [CS]
"Chibi-Chibi"    [cc]
"Felic"    [Fe]
"HiEv"    [Hi]
"selaboc"    [se]
"The Ol Poop"    [OP]
"The Wanderer"    [Wn]

Nekojin Anime

The Cat Returns
(From Studio Ghibli) Cats have a kingdom, where they can walk upright and live a proper life. When visiting the human world, their Prince is saved from a oncoming truck by Haru, a human girl. In return, the King and people of the Cat Kingdom decide to reward her in every way - which, they being cats, include cattails in the yard, catnip in her pockets, and plenty of fresh mice. On advice of a mysterious voice, Haru seeks help from Baron, a dashing, aristocratic nekojin (identical to the statue/important plot device in Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart). When Haru is kidnap..., er, kitnapped to the Cats' dimension, Baron has to rescue her before she's married off to the prince - if he can! [gS]
Brother and sister are whisked to a fanciful place inhabited by nekojin to save the world - and their dog - from an evil catprincess who turns people to balloons with a touch. Being brought to there caused the dog to become a monstrous - well, a really big dog. The children change into catfolk while in that dimension, but they have only one day to succeed or they will become monsters themselves! [gS]
Two side-stories to the manga of the same name, Geobreeders tells the story of Kagura Total Security, a small company of people who hunt "bakeneko" (essentially spirit were-cats). Less-intelligent bakeneko are loners, but the smarter ones are members of various groups; a bakeneko group lead by "Kuro Neko" (Black Cat) has placed a bakeneko in Kagura with the knowledge and consent of Kagura's staff. [RK]
(see also the entry in the Anime Primer)
Kimagure Roboto
Episode 5 deals with the Doctor making a "Civilization Robot" with which a planet full of house cats is "civilized". So we get a planet-full of cat-people and the usual KR shaggy dog joke at the end. [DB]
Kyattou Ninden Teyandee
Produced by Tatsunoko Productions (1990), the show was more or less nekojin ninjas. It's not easy to find, as it isn't known well-enough in the States to be brought over. [AM]
Actually, this sounds like Samurai Pizza Cats, which was on TV in Canada and the U.S. [CH]
It is the same animation, but the dub was totally rewritten. [JD]
All the children in Loveless are cat-people, after losing their virginity, they lose their cat ears and tail too. [cc]
Magical Nyan-Nyan Taruto
(see the entry in the Anime Primer)
Night on the Galactic Railroad
Haven't seen this one yet, but it's definitely a qualifier. It's a movie about cats (of course), who conduct human-style business (run on twos, deliver mail, etc.). [AM]
Soft, lyrical tale of two friends who ride a train to the stars; the wonderous things they see, the magical people they meet. From a novel by one of the most beloved poets in Japanese literature. (And completely unlike another train ride you might think of.) The cast are drawn as nekojin, although there's no basis for this in the original book. One of the most beautiful films I've ever seen. [gS]
Spring and Chaos
The biography of the author of Night on the Galactic Railroad, with the characters drawn as anthropomorphic cats. [RL]
Wata no Kuniboshi
A very interesting nekojin anime movie about how cats perceive themselves. It follows a small cat, who, to herself and the audience, appears as a small girl with cat ears and tail, and wearing a dress. To the humans in the story, however, she appears as a normal cat. Everything has been put into two perspectives: to us, she talks; to the human characters, she meows. When the audience sees her running down the stairs on two legs, the characters see her bounding down on all fours. She is taken in by a kind man, with a wife who is scared of cats (this gives the cat numerous misfortunes.) Nice animation with an interesting story plot. Being from a girl's manga, it tends to lack action for those who want to see blood, guts and violence. Approximately 96 minutes. [AM]

Nekojin Characters in Specific Anime

(Not including the characters in the nekojin anime listed above)

Aisha C'lan-C'lan (Outlaw Star)
One of the C'tarl-C'tarl (a nekojin race), Aisha is one of the people searching for the Galactic Leyline. She's a ferocious fighter, but tends to jump to conclusions... [RL, RK]
Annapuma and Unipuma (Dominion)
The two cat-ladies/androids from hell. In the original Dominion anime and manga series, these two work for the notorious Buaku gang in the future, when the air is toxic. They are Buaku's best defense against the police, and they've got the legs for the job. (In the second manga series, No More Noise, they have been co-opted by the police, and assigned to Leona's squad.) [AM]
Artemis and Fang (Appleseed)
These genetically engineered nekojin don't show up in the original Appleseed anime, but are seen in Masumune Shirow's manga. It's possible that they might show up in the upcoming remake anime... [RK]
Apulo (Enemy Is the Pirate)
An alien felinoid sentient. [GM]
Bagi (Bagi)
A lioness spliced with human DNA. [GM]
Lady Battia Rou (Outlanders)
Lady Battia basically spent her time with either Princess Kahm or Geobaldi. She was a formidable opponent to anyone who crossed her path, and usually showed no remorse towards anyone. The only nekojin fault with Battia is the lack of a tail (was she ever seen with one?) [AM]
Benten (Kamichu!)
A catgirl rock-star version of the Lucky Goddess. [RK]
Buruman (Ozanari Dungeon)
A cute li'l catboy thief. [Fe]
Chako (Uninhabited Planet Survive)
She's an artificial lifeform which eats human food and requires air, but which can also interface directly with computers, and command them by her will. She takes the form of a bipedal cat. [GM]
The Cheshire Cat (Miyuki-chan in Wonderland)
In Studio CLAMP's homage to Alice in Wonderland, all of the characters are replaced by attractive women, all of whom seem to be attracted to Miyuki. The Cheshire Cat is a particularly-well-endowed nekojin... [RK]
Chinami (Mao-chan)
see "Yuriko and Chinami", below.
Eriya and Naria (Escaflowne)
Twin leopard-folk orphans rescued and raised by Folken. Out of gratitude they serve him as "special agents". Both love Folken but know neither can have him. On his orders, they try to capture Van and Hitomi a number of times... [gS]
Fam (Ruin Explorers)
An adventuring nekojin, rather lacking in catlike behavior. [PL]
Fang (Appleseed)
see "Artemis and Fang", above.
Felicia (Darkstalkers)
On a world overrun with creatures of the night, Felicia is a nekojin who fights for the humans. [RK]
Geobaldi (Outlanders)
An anthropomorphic tiger who commanded a fleet which later helped Kahm against her father, Emperor Quevas of the Santovasku Empire. Geobaldi had a love affair with Lady Battia, both in the manga and in the Outlanders OVA. Both Geobaldi and Battia appeared in the English Outlanders issues 1-29. [AM]
Giroro's cat (Keroro Gunso)
A pet cat who turns (or is turned) into a very cute catgirl. (Her name might be Cammy - can anyone confirm?) [GM, RK]
Ginger (Urusei Yatsura)
One of the three girls in Lum's school who tried to kill Lum, Benten, and Oyuki. The other two girls are Pepper and Sugar. Their computer is the "Salt-2". Ginger is dark-skinned in the manga, with black hair and two bands on her cat ears. (Wideban volumes 9-12). In the TV series, Ginger is pale-skinned and blonde. Appeared in episodes 122, 152, 168, and 198. [AM]
Haiji (Tsukuyomi ~Moon Phase~)
Haiji is an agent of Hazuki's mother and acts as Hazuki's familiar. Sometimes Haiji appears as a black cat and sometimes she appears as a small, cat-eared humanoid sprite. [DM]
Ichigo (Tokyo Mew Mew)
Ichigo sometimes turns into a cat, and sometimes into a human-cat hybrid. [GM] She's renamed "Zoe" in the Mew Mew Power dub. [RK]
Jannis (Spaceship Agga Ruter)
Jannis shows at least two distinctly feline forms; one 'cat-beast' and the other more like your regular cat. [Fe]
Kei (Midnight Panther)
Midnight Panther is an ecchi story about a trio of female assasins. One named Kei is a were-panther who doesn't just kill her victims, she eats 'em. [OP]
Kizna (Pilot Candidate, aka Candidate for Goddess)
Student mechanic at the space navy academy in the far future; Seemingly a normal human girl except for a pair of prominent cat-ears. She is partnered with the lead character, a cadet (or "pilot candidate") named Zero, whom she sets out to make into a qualified Goddess (giant robot) pilot. Kizna is insecure concerning her ears and often hides them under a cap, but no one else seems to think they matter. [gS]
Koma (Asagiri no Miko)
A "Ghost Cat" who has lived near the Asagiri shrine for many years and sometimes helps to protect it, and its humans, from demons. She can appear as a black cat, as a human with cat-eyes, or any form inbetween. [DM]
Korin (Dragonball)
The cat on top of Korin's tower. [GM]
Koshka (Usagi-chan de Cue)
A cat-human hybrid who aims to defeat the lead female, the rabbit-human hybrid Mimika. She has cat-eyes, cat-ears and a tail, but no fur. [DM]
Merle (Vision of Escaflowne)
A close friend of the young king Van Fanel, Merle is a young nekojin who joins Van and Hitomi on their involuntary journey through Gaia. [RK]
Miyo (Dream World)
see "Uenza and Miyo", below
Mr. Cat (Princess Tutu)
see "Neko-sensei", below.
Naria (Escaflowne movie)
see "Eriya and Naria", above.
Natsuki Sasahara (Hyper Police)
Half nekomata, half-human, ears and tail, acts catlike consistently. [CS]
Neko-sensei (dub: Mr. Cat) (Princess Tutu)
A bipedal cat - no other human features - who is the ballet instructor at the school. He keeps threatening to marry naughty students; this makes them behave, but he reverts to cat-like behavior. [gS]
Nina (Words Worth)
A 'classic' catgirl with ears, tail, and even some fur stripes. [Fe]
Nuku-Nuku (All Purpose Cultural Cat-Girl Nuku-Nuku)
Nuku-Nuku is a cyborg with a cat's brain. Despite this, she acts like a human in most cases, although she does prefer to nap in sunbeams and likes catnip. Her only nekojin characteristic is a set of nekomimi-styled sensors that are mounted on her head; these sensors are visible only when Nuku-Nuku is in combat. [RK]
Nya (To-Y)
A very cute nekojin character, who To-Y basically has to care for. She sprouts cat ears and (sometimes) a tail when she gets playful. To-Y likes to tease her a lot, but when things gets bad, To-Y's patience with her sometimes wears pretty thin. He hasn't done anything rash yet in the anime. Don't know about the manga, though. To-Y is a member of a rock band. [AM]
Nyaako and Nyatta (Nekojiru-sou)
Pao (G-On Riders)
One of the three-person invasion force. [CS]
Pink (Dragon Pink)
A catgirl slave. [EH]
Ryo-ohki (Tenchi Muyo)
An artificial lifeform, Ryo-ohki can shapeshift between a number of different forms, including both child and adult nekojin forms. [GM, RK]
Sagisawa Yoriko (Da Capo)
A fairly shy and timid catgirl maid. [Hi]
Sanada (UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie)
The head maid of Valhalla is a nekojin, with a big gun that can turn normal girls into catgirl maids. [se]
Shader (Chrono Crusade)
A classic catgirl who happens to be a demon and one of the Sinners (the bad guys in Chrono Crusade). A top-flight scientist, she's the Sinner who gives the group their technical edge. Shader also created the watch device that controls Chrono's use of his abilities. [CS]
Sumire Shoda (Gakuen Arisu)
Just about anytime an Anime hints at Alice in Wonderland, the Cheshire Cat'll be a cat girl. [HC]
Tom (King of Bandit Jing)
Runs the roulette wheel in episode 2. [Fe]
Uenza and Miyo (Dream World)
The lion-king and his daughter, respectively. [Fe]
Unipuma (Dominion)
see "Annapuma and Unipuma", above.
Wan Dabada (KO Beast Century)
Wan is a Tiger beast, one of the many part-animal clans that inhabit a now polluted Earth. He has a massive appetite, and often gets into trouble when he dives into a situation, often not considering the consequences of his actions. Like the other members of the group, he transforms into his beast form under certain circumstances; he tends to change when he gets excited. [CJ]
Yuriko and Chinami (Mao-chan)
Half human, half alien, all pretty catgirl. Yuriko is the school's student council president (and is sympathetic to the humans), Chinami is her secretary (and is devoted to the alien plot). [RK]
Zoe (Mew Mew Power)
See "Ichigo", above

Special Cases

Hikaru (Magic Knight Rayearth)
For comic effect, Hikaru is sometimes shown with nekomimi. [GM, RK]
Jiji (Kiki's Delivery Service)
Familiar to the young witch Kiki, Jiji is a talking cat. [RL, RK]
Kisa (Fruits Basket)
Changes between a tiger cub and a young girl. [GM]
Kyo (Fruits Basket)
Kyo shifts between cat and human forms. [GM]
Kyosuke (Kimagure Orange Road OAV: I Was a Goldfish/Cat)
Kyosuke's grandfather brings home a magic rope which can switch the souls of two people holding either end. Kyosuke gets switched with the pet goldfish, and is later transferred into Jingoro's (the cat) body. As a cat, he is picked up by Madoka and Hikaru. [AM]
Luna (Sailor Moon)
Normally a talking cat, Luna assumes human form once during Sailor Moon S. [GM, RK]
Nia (DearS)
Nia is a junior member of the "Biters", the enforcement arm of the DearS slave hierarchy. She's as human-appearing as any other DearS but her gloves and boots resemble cats' paws, and she wears a headpiece that both suggests cat ears and wraps her hair into a long "tail". Hyper-energetic and genki beyond human conception, she has a serious attention deficit problem. [CS]
Shampoo (Ranma ½)
Probably one of the best-known nekojin, although she's not technically one. Shampoo was affected by the pools at Jusenkyo. When splashed with cold water, she turns into a small pink cat with an attitude. Hot water changes her back, as it does for other Ranma ½ characters. [AM]
At one point in the manga, Shampoo becomes an actual nekojin for a short time. Was this manga story animated? [RK]
Shihouin Yoruichi (Bleach)
A cat that can assume human form. [GM]
Yucie (Petite Princess Yucie)
Yucie spends much of one episode as a cat. [GM]

Others - need information (including character names...)

Related Links

Here's a link to a catgirl gallery site

Just for laughs, there's a "What Anime Catgirl Are You?" quiz

[both RL]

This is - it was last updated on 28 November 2006

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