Hello Kitty Isn’t Actually A Cat, Creator Sanrio Reveals

Hello Kitty is having an identity crisis.

The pink-adorned Japanese import has been a favorite of cat lovers for more than 40 years, but one Hello Kitty scholar (yes, that is a real thing) has revealed that the character is not really a cat at all.

Christine R. Yano has studied the Hello Kitty phenomenon for years and was even tapped by the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles to help curate a Hello Kitty retrospective. After Yano had gone through her collection, she sent notes to Hello Kitty creator Sanrio for approval and learned a startling detail, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hello Kitty Isn't Actually A Cat, Creator Sanrio Reveals

Hello Kitty was never a cat.

“I was corrected – very firmly,” Yano said. “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.”

Yano then found even more details about the Hello Kitty character. She has a full name — Kitty White — and actually hails from the U.K.

“She has a twin sister,” Yano shared. “She’s a perpetual third-grader. She lives outside of London. I could go on. A lot of people don’t know the story and a lot don’t care. But it’s interesting because Hello Kitty emerged in the 1970s, when the Japanese and Japanese women were into Britain.”

Not everyone is on board with the idea that Hello Kitty is an adolescent British girl and not a cat.

There was no explanation of how the human Hello Kitty somehow ended up with cat ears and whiskers, however.