Cat Kimonos: The Japanese Trend the Whole Internet Needs to Know About

Kimono Kitty | © Big Ben in Japan/ Flickr
Kimono Kitty | © Big Ben in Japan/ Flickr
Photo of Lucy Dayman
10 September 2018

Cat cafés, Hello Kitty, Cat Street, Cat Island, maneki-neko (aka the good luck welcoming cat) – cats are essentially Japan’s national animal, so it only makes sense for them to be able to wear the country’s most traditional garments. Yes, cat kimonos exist, and people can’t get enough of them.

Users have been posting photos of their less-than-impressed, but incredibly kawaii kitties sporting the garments all over social media, and they’ve taken the internet by storm. Whether it’s the classic cut complete with geisha-style wig piece or a breezier summer number, these kitties know how to sport a stylish kimono.

The Royal Kitty

In a country where dogs in designer three-piece outfits get pushed around in tiny custom-built prams, it’s only fair that kitties get the royal treatment, too. Here, we have a very traditional looking outfit. This little emperor all decked out and ready to enjoy at traditional kabuki show.

Make every day a special occasion, wear kimono

Though they were traditionally considered everyday wear, the popularity of the kimono has waned in recent decades. These days, kimonos and yukatas (lighter summer-style kimonos) are usually reserved for big events like spiritual holidays, tea ceremonies, or during summer festivals. But when you look this good, every day is a special occasion.

Very so-phynx-ticated

This sophisticated sphynx is sporting a very classic floral number. This hot look is perfect for an outing to enjoy hanabi (fireworks) season during the steamy summer months. Japanese online store Rakuten is the best place to find the perfect outfit for your four-legged baby. With a variety of different styles on offer, they even sell special pieces to be worn for the hanabi season.

Dive deep into the world of cat cosplay

If you want to explore the weird and wonderful world of kitty costumes, check out the work of Japanese Instagrammer @tamapupu. Regularly posting adorable photos of her incredibly well-behaved kitties in adorable costumes, it’s your purr-scribed dose of daily cuteness.

Ugh, get this off me right meow

As fewer and fewer people are opting to have children, the Japanese pet industry is booming. Recent reports state that there are now more than 19 million pets in Japan. Eight million of them being cats, now that’s a lot of kimonos to make, but this guy is ready to donate his to any other fashion-forward felines in need.

I’m ready for my close-up

Head tilted on a tidy 45-degree angle, looking straight into the camera and umbrella perfectly positioned, this kitty will no doubt be drowning in the modelling offers in no time. The face says ‘try and get a dog to do something like this. Impossible.’

Move over Hello Kitty, there’s a few new cats in town

This adorable trio are putting on a proper little mini fashion show. Dressed up in a variety of garments, they know just how celebrate the New Year in style. We’ve got the tasteful single headpiece down at the bottom, followed by the a classic red and white number to the left, but it’s our friend in the black and white who is stealing the show. Look at the posture – watch out Hello Kitty, because this stylish fellow is ready to steal Japan’s heart.

Can I Join Too?

The kimono craze isn’t just limited to cats. As you can see, Japan’s style-conscious pups are getting in on the action, too, and they’re starting to steal some of the limelight. The big question now: who wore it better?

Pet Dog in Kimono! | © Manish Prabhune/ Flickr.

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