top of page

招财 猫   Zhāo cái māo


Maneki-Neko is a small figurine of a short-tailed kitten with a raised paw, very popular in China and Japan.

Where did it come from? Why is he waving his paw? Which? What are type?
Let's find out!


The name Maneki-Neko ね こcomes from Japanese. It was formed by combining the words "maneku" - to invite, and "neko" - a cat, meaning Maneki-Neko literally means "inviting cat".
There are many myths and legends about the figurines that certainly contributed to the popularity of Maneki-Neko, one of them tells about an old woman with cats who was so poor that to feed herself she had to sell her pets, and when she was left without cats, she began she burned ceramic figurines in the shape of her favorites, which surprisingly became very popular and could ensure her well-being. These legends come mainly from the historical Edo period, but the very shape of the cat figurine with a raised paw comes from the Chinese tradition, where it was believed that the cat was always washed before it rains, and the gesture of washing the cat's face is similar to the gesture of waving, summoning it to itself. . Hence, it was believed that when the cat washes, it invites all residents to the house to hide from the rain.


Figures were mostly in ceramic forms, but for the needs of mass production, today a large part is made of plastic (we offer kotki ceramiczne! :)). They differ in colors, and hence - meaning.
The most popular cats are made in the image of the Japanese Bobtail cat breed, i.e. white with black and red patches. These symbolize good luck. Black scares away demons, red protects against disease, pink symbolizes feelings, green, health, yellow, attachment to someone, and gold, which the Chinese are very fond of, symbolize wealth. Each of the kittens is also wearing a red collar  with a bell or an inscription on it, saying what the cat "attracts" to the household.
If a Cat raises its left paw, I call customers or household members to me, this is most often placed at the entrance to the building, in a visible place. There is also a variety with the right paw raised, it means happiness and prosperity. The higher the paw is raised, the more happiness and prosperity is, which sometimes brings funny-looking results. There are also versions with both paws raised, but they are not popular.

Do you know that?

Maneki-Neko was the inspiration for the character Hello Kitty and the Pokémon Meowth.

In Chinese, Maneki-Neko is 招财 猫 zhāocáimāo, 招财 - zhāocái:   literally to invite prosperity, _ccb78-58d_ literally to invite prosperity, _ccb78-95ad_bbc3cb78d05_bbc3_bb5781905 5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_māo:  kot.

bottom of page