What is Nekomimi and Nekomusume?

We’ve all heard the term Nekomimi or Nekomusume, but what do they actually mean?

Nekomimi and Nekomusume are terms that are often applied to cat girls. Cat girls are are either depictions of girls with cat ears and cat tails, often found in anime and manga, or cosplayers with costume cat ears and cat tails.


That is the simple definition of the words, but in actuality the terms do not directly translate into cat girl. Nekomimi (猫耳) actually translates into cat ears, neko means cat and mimi means ears. Nekomusume (猫娘) directly translates to cat daughter, neko means cat and musume means daughter, but a rough translation of musume can also mean girl.


Over the years cat girls have gained more and more popularity. There’s even a convention specifically for this subculture in some areas, such as Nekocon in Virginia, USA.


And that’s all you need to know about Cat Girls! If anyone asks “What is Nekomimi?” or “What is Nekomusume?” make sure you direct them here! You can find more information on Japanese subculture terms just like this in my growing Otaku Encyclopedia.