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An illustraion of Nekomata in Hyakkai-Zukan.

Neko (猫, ねこ) is the Japanese word for a domestic cat. In furry terminology, it is often used to refer to nekomimi (猫耳), otherwise known as catgirls, found commonly in anime and manga either as a form of cosplay or actual body parts, as well as in a few video games.

Nekomata and Bakeneko[edit]

In Japanese mythology and folklore, Bakeneko (化け猫) are cats with supernatural abilities akin to those of the kitsune or tanuki. A cat may become a bakeneko in a number of ways: it may reach a certain age, be kept for a certain number of years, grow to a certain size, or be allowed to keep a long tail. In the last case, the tail forks in two and the bakeneko is then called a Nekomata (猫又). Nekomata are popularly found in anime as well.

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