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A catgirl wearing sailor fuku A catgirl wearing sailor fuku

A catgirl is a woman or girl with cat ears and a cat tail, but an otherwise human body; they are found semi-commonly in anime and manga either as a form of cosplay or actual body parts, as well as in a few video games (Dark Cloud, for example). Catgirls wishing to look especially cute will wear over-sized mittens and shoes that look like paws. "Catgirl" can sometimes be modified to refer to other woman/animal combinations that are sometimes found, usually mammals like bunnygirls, foxgirls and (more rarely) doggirls; see kemono. Fans unfamiliar with the Japanese obsession with cuteness (kawaii) sometimes point out catgirls act more like kittens than grown cats, who can be aloof and surly.

Most catgirls are typically not considered furry because they resemble humans with cat-like embellishments rather than being an anthropomorphic cat. This even includes characters such as Escaflowne's Merle, the Puma Twins from Dominion: Tank Police, or Aisha Clan-Clan from Outlaw Star, who are more catlike than usual.

Ordinary humans, such as Hikaru Shidou from Magic Knight Rayearth, or Ichigo Momomiya (Zoey Hanson in the English adaptation) from Tokyo Mew Mew (Mew Mew Power in the English version) will sometimes sprout cat ears or a tail in order to illustrate their excitable personalities. This is similar to the phenomenon of becoming chibi and is mostly a stylistic quirk from manga artists. In Japanese, catgirls are usually called nekomimi (猫耳)—literally, "cat ears"—rather than the literal term nekomusume (猫娘). Sometimes characters do not actually feature cat-like ears or such an accessory but their hair sticks out and resembles cat ears.

Characters in anime and manga may momentarily develop a catlike mouth. This is usually used to emphasize mischievous thoughts or comments by a character. Rebellious boys are more often compared to dogs (InuYasha being a popular example) or wolves. The "lone-wolf" characterization is very common for brooding, aggressive, socially isolated males, while comparisons to dogs usually refer to adorably rebellious but ultimately harmless boys. However, in certain anime and manga series, such as Loveless, a boy may be compared to a cat in a similar way catgirls are. In those occasions, they are sometimes referred to as catbois (or catboys). Understandably, Bishounen catboys are typically associated with shoujo and yaoi.

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series is sometimes depicted as a catgirl in Japanese doujinshi due to her accident with the Polyjuice Potion in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in which she temporarily took on many characteristics of a cat.

In some circles, catgirl is a disparaging term for a stereotypical hyperactive and obnoxious fangirl, who might wear cat ears as an accessory while at conventions.

List of catgirl characters

Amy Diamondstar from Exodus - Furry Rebellion! Amy is some kind of pink-furred cat.
Anya and Lisa (Foxgirl) from Tsunami Channel
Aisha Clan-Clan from Outlaw Star
Arf (doggirl) from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha
Aria and Lieze Lotte from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's
Bagi, title character of Bagi
Botan from Yu Yu Hakusho (she's not a catgirl, but occasionally, when she is caught in a lie, she assumes a catgirl appearence).
Cat Lady in the motion picture Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989), portrayed by stuntwoman Linda Fetters.
Calico Ashigari from Exodus - Furry Rebellion!.
Captain Amelia from Treasure Planet. Voiced by Emma Thompson
Cham-Cham from Samurai Shodown II (not actually a catgirl, but wears cat ears)
Chen from Perfect Cherry Blossom.
The Cheshire Cat from Miyuki-chan in Wonderland
Chinami and Yuriko from Ground Defense Force! Mao-chan
Dejiko (aka Princess Chocolla, Digiko, or Di Gi Charat) and Puchiko (aka Petit Charat or Cappuccino), stars of Di Gi Charat
Dora the Explorer Dora's Halloween, costumed as Catgirl.
Fam from Ruin Explorers
Felicia from Darkstalkers
Foxxy Love from Drawn Together (foxgirl). Foxxy's ears are only part of her hat, but her tail actually seems to be part of her body.
Foxy Malone from Exodus - Furry Rebellion!.
Hazuki from Tsukuyomi - Moon Phase (she is not actually a catgirl, but wears cat ears and behaves like one)
Hojo no Ruri from Onmyou Taisenki
Ichigo Momomiya (Zoey Hanson in the English adaptation) from Tokyo Mew Mew (The English version is titled Mew Mew Power)
Dr. Katherine "Kat" Manx (Cat Ranger) from Power Rangers SPD A feline alien and head of research and design at the SPD Academy. She created the Delta Morphers alongside the parents of the B-Squad Rangers. Unlike most catgirls, Dr. Manx does not have a tail (or if she does, it was never shown on the program). (Portrayed by Michelle Langstone)
Kate from the webcomic Anime Arcadia (link)
Katt from Breath of Fire 2
Kitty Navilos from The Rogue's Gallery by Alan Solivan (not a real catgirl, just wears fake ears and a tail )
Kizna Towryk from Pilot Candidate (she is not actually a catgirl, but has implanted cat ears)
Koboshi from Pita-Ten (she is not actually a catgirl, but wears cat ears)
Kohaku from Melty Blood (she has several animations as a catgirl)
Koto (foxgirl) from YuYu Hakusho
Kuaru from Lunatic Night (cat or dog? All that's said is that she can transform into a "Furry Beast")
Lethe from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance
Mao from the PlayStation2 game "Shining Tears" (no tail, but natural cat ears and catlike agility)
Maya from Geobreeders (she can look like a catgirl, though she usually chooses not to)
Meirin and Tamamo-no-Mae (foxgirls) from Yami to Boshi to Hon no Tabibito
Merle, Naria and Erya from Vision of Escaflowne
Miau from Little Monica (she behaves like a catgirl, wearing cat ears and a tail as well)
Miss Nyako and her nice, Konyako, from Eden's Bowy
Mithra, the race of cat-like humaniods from the video game Final Fantasy XI
Myao,a witch from the Playstation game Rhapsody:A Musical Adventure
Lt. M'ress, a Caitian communications officer (voiced by Nichelle Nicols), from Star Trek Animated Series
Most characters from Loveless.
Natsuki from Hyper Police (who is a nekomusume)
Nei and Fal (a.k.a. Rika) from Phantasy Star II and Phantasy Star IV respectively. There is some dispute that the "Nei-type" or "Numan" is not a catgirl because they lack tails.
Neko (a staff member) and the species Kera'sha from the book series Dragon Tamers, appearing from the second book onwards.
Nia from DearS
Nina from Words Worth
Atsuko Natsume a.k.a. Nuku Nuku from All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku (she is a cat/human cyborg, with human appearance)
Norn from Atelier Iris
Nya from To-Y (not a real catgirl, just wears fake ears and a tail)
Ouka (wolfgirl) from .hack//Legend of the Twilight
Pink from Dragon Pink
The Puma Twins, Anna and Uni, from Dominion Tank Police
Sera from Sonic the Hedgehog
Shader from Chrono Crusade
Shrodinger from Hellsing (Actually, he is a catboy, cat ears and all.)
Taruto and others from Magical Nyan Nyan Taruto
Uriko from Bloody Roar
Yoriko from Da Capo
Youko (foxgirl) from Tactics

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