This is part of a series of posts where we’ll (re-)introduce you to a themed set of cute characters and where to buy products that feature them. It’s surprising we got this far without doing the most popular kawaii animal – cats! I’m picking 4 of my favourites and I’m sure we’ll be back with more cats in future.
Hello Kitty was one of the first kawaii characters I was aware of and the only one you could easily find in the 90s, so I’ll always have a soft spot for her. Hello Kitty was born in London and her motto is “you can never have too many friends!”, which means she’s always collaborating with brands and pop culture for fun collections.
You can buy Hello Kitty pretty much everywhere but Sanrio’s online shops in Japan, Europe and the USA are all good places to find out about new products. I love this unicorn plushie on the Japan site (requires forwarding service). There’s also lots of cute freebies to download.
We’ve been Pusheen fans right from the beginning and never would have guessed she’d become so massively popular! Pusheen is a tubby tabby cat who likes snacks, napping and hanging out with her friends. You probably first saw her in a gif or meme, or in one of the cute comics that still appear regularly.
Pusheen has an official store in the USA with exclusive products but you’ll also find her in lots of kawaii shops worldwide including ARTBOX (UK), Kawaii Panda (EU) and Queenie’s Cards (Canada) , as well as in her own subscription box and collaborating with brands. I love this donut bag with Loungefly. Don’t miss all the freebies too – there’s wallpapers, downloads, quizzes and more.
Nyan Nyan Nyanko
I’m a big fan of the weirder kawaii characters, and especially animals combined with food so Nyan Nyan Nyanko was an early favourite of mine. This white kitty is always getting stuck into every kind of food imaginable from burgers and sandwiches to cake and fruit.
San-X has mostly retired Nyan Nyan Nyanko but they do have a few products in stock including this cake plush (requires forwarding service). You can find a few older items at JapanLA (USA), Kawaii Shop Japan (Japan) and Ebay. Some of the old videos are on the San-X Youtube channel too.
Meowchi is one of the original characters from US kawaii brand Tasty Peach Studios. These happy mochi cats are soft and squishy and come in so many cute flavours and seasonal designs.
The most exciting Meowchi products are usually available through Kickstarter projects but there are plush, t-shirts and more in the Tasty Peach Studios shop (USA) with other items available through stockists like Hot Topic (USA) and Nippon Kawaii (EU). These new Funko Pops are available for preorder now from all the usual places. You can also download free colouring pages and wallpapers on Gumroad.
Who’s your favourite kawaii cat character? We’ll have a poll on Twitter & Instagram later today. If you voted in the bunny polls, Molang won both!
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.