Where does come from?
The cat emoji curled up on emoji keyboards (just as we were settling down to work) under Unicode 6.0 in 2010. Across platforms, the emoji points left and is sometimes sitting. Its form and color vary by vendor. Apple’s design is regal and realistic, with red-orange stripes and a white underbelly. Most others feature a more cartoonish, orange-hued Mittens, as shown in the screenshot from Emojipedia below.
The cat emoji joins other digital felines, like the tiger 🐅 or lion face 🦁. Ever wonder about all those other cat smileys on the keyboard, like pouting cat face 😾? They harken back to the fact that emoji originated in Japan, where cats are considered symbols of good luck and fortune.
People feel feelings about cats. People feel feelings about emoji. And, some people really feel feelings about the cat emoji. One person launched a Change.org petition to Google to change its cat emoji back (which they recently modified in 2017):
Her beautiful smile was a shining light in these dark times we find ourselves in. I urge Google to reconsider this change because she is the one thing keeping this nation together today. Don’t take my beautiful cat child away.
Who uses ?
Cat people. You know them. You might very well be one. Either way, that’s who especially loves the cat emoji, whether showing off their handsome house cats online or wishing folks a Happy Caturday.
— Eva Brown (@evawut) July 21, 2018
keep that mf thang on me 🐈
i’m definitely becoming a crazy cat lady pic.twitter.com/7AQD0lKGr0
— baby blue (@sluttt0n) July 16, 2018
Vets and animal-rescue agencies often use the cat emoji to promote their work and causes.
Brilliant day out for all the family🐕🐩👩👦💞
Only 8 weeks until #PupAid2018 fun dog show, raising awareness of #puppy farm cruelty & rescue pet adoption🐩🐈🥰#PrimroseHill SEPT 1ST#WheresMum #Adopt #LucysLaw@pupaid @rickygervais @Protect_Wldlife @PeterEgan6 @Lucy_Cavalier pic.twitter.com/GRXKoHG3qZ
— ANIMAL ADVOCATE Ⓥ (@_AnimalAdvocate) July 7, 2018
We made it! What a week! We've had multiple major surgeries, tick paralysis cases, emergency dentistry, dog attack patients and fish hook eaters….along with all of our usual suspects! You just never know what the week will bring. Enjoy your weekend 😁🐕🐈🐾
— East Port Vet (@EastPortVet) July 27, 2018
As do lovers of Halloween or anything spooky, with cats long associated with magic and witchcraft.
HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH MY FELLOW WITCHES 🍃🐈🔮
— space bounty hunter🌙️ watch KILLJOYS 🚀 (@spacekya) July 13, 2018
115 days until Halloween 🎃🐈👻 pic.twitter.com/dRHPJCBUV9
— ᗷᖇᗩᑎᗪOᑎ ᗪE ᕼOYOᔕ 🎃 (@BrandonABC13) July 9, 2018
We have many cat-related expressions in the language, like look what the cat dragged in or the adjective catty. The cat emoji sees ready use in those contexts.
— Acorns (@AcornEnterprise) September 26, 2017
— Candace (@scrandace) June 23, 2016