Japanese Word For Cat
Bonin Island - part of the Ogasawara Islands (see below) - photo: Yasuhiro (Flickr)
People want to know the Japanese word for cat. It immediately comes to my mind even though I don't speak Japanese because of the well known beckoning cat. These are called Maneki Neko. So the word for cat in Japan is Neko.
Well that is about it...! Not quite perhaps. The website: www.freedict.com tells me that the Japanese word for "kitten" is koneko.
The Japanese word for "wildcat" is yamaneko.
Google translate, translates "cat" into Japanese thus:
www.learn-hiragana-katakana.com translates "cat" into Japanese thus:
This is the same as the Google translation but the style in which the symbol is drawn is different.
About.com presents this symbol as the Japanese for cat:
Once again the same symbol, just a different style.
The Japanese have a long association with the domestic cat through the Japanese Bobtail. This is one of the domestic cats with the longest history going back more than 1,000 years. The Egyptian Mau beats it.
The Japanese have well developed animal welfare and protection laws.
And the Japanese have recently started to train all (not sure if it is all) the feral cats on a group of islands off Japan to be domestic! As is usually the case feral cats on small islands can cause havoc with the native wildlife, preying on it. Of course this is not the cat's fault because we introduce the cat in the first place.
But what is really nice and in complete contrast to the usual capture and kill or just plain shoot 'em method, the Japanese have adopted the ultimate in humane treatment of feral cats. It even beats trap, neuter and return, considered the best method to manage feral cat populations.
They are the Ogasawara Islands; tropical islands about 620 miles south of Tokyo. They became overrun with a growing population of feral cats. It takes about 3 months to train the cats to become domesticated they say. The cats are then rehomed. How about that! It is possible. The USA should learn from that. (story: www.telegraph.co.uk).