Origin Story: Chinese Lucky Cat

In America we call it the Chinese Lucky Cat, but it actually got its start in Japan where it is known as maneki-neko, or “beckoning cat”.

maneki neko art print

Its association with being lucky comes from Japanese folktales, where cats who hung around a merchant’s doorway were believed to attract customers. These talismans are still immensely popular in Chinese American communities, which is why we think of them as being Chinese.

pink-kitty2

Fun fact: It is also said that the Pokémon named Meowth is based on a maneki-neko, though whether that’s true or not is much debated on the internet.

blue-kitty

What we can all agree on is that they are adorable and everyone should have (at least) one.  Because who doesn’t want more good luck in their life?

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