So, how to differentiate Nekomimi from Inumimi? They looks quite similar.

  • 5
    Look at the tail.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 8:12
  • 1
    This isn't efficient for every character since some of them don't have tails. Kuraishi Tanpopo for example has no tail, but her mannerisms make it obvious that she has nekomimi.
    – kobato-tan
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 8:55
  • @kobato-tan Yeah, there are some characters where you absolutely can't tell until someone else comes along and says "Oh, what a cute kitty!" or something, but that wasn't nearly as pithy.
    – Torisuda
    Commented Oct 12, 2014 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


Both words can be summerized with Kemonomimi (獣耳) what just means animal ears.

Kemonomimi, literally meaning "animal ears", is the concept of drawing animals as bishōjo or bishōnen, or having such characters wear animal accessories such as ears or tails. Catgirls and catboys are the most prolific in this category, although bunnygirls, foxgirls, and dog girls are also common. Kemonomimi characters typically appear human except for added animal-like qualities.

Quote from Wikipedia.

Nekomimi and Inumimi are some more accurate designation for such designed characters. But there is one essential difference.

The word Nekomimi (猫耳) means "cat-ears" in english. On the other hand you have the word Inumimi (犬耳) what means "dog-ears". And this is pretty much the difference... Nekomimi are styled like cats and Inumimi are styled like dogs.

Traditionally they only wear a headband with the ears of the animal they dress up without a tail or paws.

On this picture you are able to clearly see the difference between this two species. Left a Neko and right a Inu styled girl.


Picture from the nonoshirip blog.

It is not always that easy to find out what is shown at the moment because there are also some Inumimi with pointed ears. But you are also able to recognize them apart by the tail.

As before, Nekomimi have a tail like the tail of a cat. Inumimi more like a dog. Here is a picture with the tail. Again left the Neko and right the Inu styled girl.


Left picture from ZeroChan and right picture from ZeroChan.

Sometimes it is very hard to recognize them apart only by the ears. If you really want to know who is who you need more characteristics than only the ears.

But watch out! There are Kemonomimi that look similar to the cat or even more the dog... A example are Kitsunemimi (狐耳) what means "fox-ears" or Okamimimi (狼耳) what means "wolf-ears".

Kitsu and Okami

Left image from ZeroChan and right image from ZeroChan.

You could guess who is who? Left is the fox styled girl and right is the wolf girl. And this is a example where it is actully very hard to find out what Kemonomimi style the character is designed.

  • And then there are kitsunemimi (fox ears), which can look very much like either, though they are usually slightly thinner / longer and point "upwards".
    – Xeo
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 8:45
  • What about the case where the cat is based on expensive cats, like Persian cats, whose tails are like that of dogs? Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 4:25
  • @TendouKishi It is very hard if you see such a character. You can't really because they nearly look the same...
    – Gerret
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 12:24

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