Origami Cats

Published September 2013

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From ori meaning "folding", and kami meaning "paper", origami  is the traditional Japanese art of paper folding.

Origami started in 17th century Japan, then became popular outside its country of origin in the mid-1900s. Origami has now evolved into a modern art form.

The goal of the art of origami is to transform a flat sheet of paper into a finished sculpture through folding and sculpting techniques, without the use of cuts or glue. In general, origami designs begin with a square sheet of paper whose sides may be different colors. The thickness or texture of the paper chosen determines if the edges of the folds are sharp or soft. The number of basic origami folds is small, but they can be combined in a variety of ways to make extremely intricate designs. The paper can also be folded dry or wet to create different styles of folds.

The best known example of origami is the Japanese paper crane.

While the Japanese crane is the classic animal of origami art, cats are a popular subject for origami artists to use as inspiration. Arguably, there are more designs for creating origami felines than for any other animal.

Below are just a few examples of origami kitties . . .

Standing Cat With Head Up by Alice Gray

Standing Cat With Head Down by Eric Joisel

Sitting Cat by Hideo Komatsu

Sitting Cat With Whiskers by Roman Diaz

Sitting Kitty With Tilted Head

Cat Laying Down by Hans Birkeland

The Two-Toned Cat

If the origami artist chooses to use a piece of paper that is one color on one side and another color on the second side, then the resulting sculpture will be of two colors as the paper is folded back and forth upon itself. This means that the paper kitty will have two colors.

Bi-Color Cat by Taichiro Hasegawa

Two Sitting Cats - One Black, One White by Gilad Aharoni

Standing Cat by Fumiaki Kawahata

Cat Playing With Feather by David Brill

Black & White Cat Sitting by Katsuta Kyohei

Red & White Sitting Cat

Chocolate & White Kitten Sitting On A Log


Talented artists can produce origami sculptures with expressive features . . .

Cat Mask by Kunihiko Kasahara

Innocent Black Cat by Taichiro Hasegawa

Angry Cat by Akira Yoshizaw

Tubby Cat by Yoshihisa Kimura


Cat Stretching & Cat Arching Its Back by Saadya Sternberg

Black & White Cat Sitting Up Begging


Exotic Shorthair

Siamese Cat by Seo Won Seon and Lee In Kyung

Mom & Kittens

Mother Cat & Two Kittens by H.T. Quyet

Cat & Mouse

Cat & Mouse

Cat, Mouse, and Cheese by David Brill

Cat Stalking Mouse Eating Cheese by David Brill

Kitty Origami

Origami is an incredibly popular art form. The internet has many sites and videos about origami with instructions from simple to complex — so if interested, you can now start folding paper into the shape of your favorite kitty.

By Hiroaki Takai 

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