Caturday felids: Awesome embroidered cat shirts, and a dog in a cat suit

November 30, 2013 • 5:58 am

Before we get to the video of the dog in a cat suit, I’d like to show you what I want for Christmas.  Imagine how awesome it would be to give a talk wearing one of these awesome shirts hand-embroidered by Japanese artist Hiroko Koboto. These photos come from Collossal and Bored Panda.



On second thought, if I gave a talk in one of these, everyone would be looking at the shirt and nobody would hear a word.

This is a great one:



In a short interview at Spoon and Tamago, Koboto explains the genesis of these shirts:

The Nara-based artist began creating clothes as a hobby, mainly for her family. “My son was of a smaller build and store-bought clothes wouldn’t fit him well so I would often make him clothes,” explains Kubota. “It was actually at his request that I began embroidering cats.”

As it turns out, Kubota’s son is somewhat of a cat fanatic and enjoys collecting images of cute cats he finds on the Internet. His favorite ones would become models for embroideries.

This is one of my favorites:

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 6.43.45 AM

Another favorite, appropriate under a sport jacket:

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 6.44.16 AM

Screen shot 2013-11-30 at 6.56.18 AM


Of course when I saw these, my immediate thought was, “How do I get one?”  Since these have gone viral, it’s not easy:

After posting her creations online they quickly went viral (like most Internet cats do), prompting Kubota to open an etsy shop 6 months ago. Despite the hefty price tag for a shirt ($250 – $300) she quickly racked up 15 sales and her current inventory is looking a bit slim. According to her website she also used to do custom orders. But now that she seems to be getting busier that service may be in jeopardy.

Yes, they’re pricey, but the embroidery is lovely, and Professor Ceiling Cat simply must have one of these for lecturing.

I contacted Ms. Koboto, and she told to write back in six months. The orders are obviously pouring in, and given the number of internet cat fanatics, she’s hit a gold mine. I hope she remembers me (I’ve saved the correspondence).  But it looks like I won’t be getting one for Christmas. 🙁


The cat in the video below is obviously a small dog who has somehow put on a cat suit, perhaps for purposes of espionage. He barks exactly like a dog until he’s caught in the act, and then pretends to meow. Could be an alien.

h/t: Steve, Todd, Su

21 thoughts on “Caturday felids: Awesome embroidered cat shirts, and a dog in a cat suit

  1. Fabulous, I don’t suppose I’ll be able to get one though and I’m not sure my embroidery skills are up to it either.

  2. I have read the explanation that the cat was sick and was more like coughing than barking, which I can believe, having heard my cat cough and puke, although not that loudly.

  3. Beautiful shirts! I like the first one best, the tri-color tabby face. As the Japanese shirts looks like a distant prospect, why not commission a local embroiderer to produce a knock-off for you? You could choose your own picture to show the embroiderer, make it worth his/her while, and still have change out of $300.

    1. The advantage to this is that you can use a shirt that you know fits and is of known quality. I wouldn’t buy a shirt made by a random person, particularly for $300. I just had some custom shirts made in the $150 range and I’m not pleased with the results.

      Still, I think someone would wear a shirt like this 2 or 3 times and the novelty would wear off. Sort of like that Christmas-themed shirt that we’ve all had at one time or another.

      1. Yes, I like the idea of getting my own shirt and having it embroidered (and–I would certainly wear it as often as I could without wearing it out). But how can one find a local embroiderer–especially one who can do work of that quality!

        1. Buy a shirt you like and send it to Ms. Koboto. She might give you a hell of a discount for the exposure you gave her here.

        2. “But how can one find a local embroiderer–especially one who can do work of that quality!”

          I wonder how important the hand embroidering is? From five feet away, can you tell the difference? (I have no idea.) The computerized machines will just take in a vector-based graphics file. Gotta be a lot cheaper than by hand. If it’s 95% as good, I’d be happy with that.

          1. That was my thought, too. Some time back I was at some sort of exposition type thing at the State Fairgrounds, and one of the booths had a computerized embroidering machine. I think the spiel was to set yourself up as your own sweatshop for the local children’s sports leagues, but that’s not at all what I would have used one for.

            Indeed, Amazon lists one such machine for all of $300, and it’s got rave reviews. It’s probably got a bit of a learning curve to it…but, with as many reviews as it has, I’m sure it can’t be hard to find somebody who offers a commercial service based upon it.

            For that matter, there may well be a WEIT reader with such a machine….



        3. On etsy I could not find Ms Koboto’s shop but using the words .embroidered cats shirts. in one search field … … found some from between ~$20 to ~$28 for both shirt + kitteh ! > w shipping, o’course.

          Likely machine – driven.

          Still darling enough with the idea thereof.

          One such etsy shop w several different breeds of kitties on blue chambray shirts was called priceapparel.


  4. Beautiful stitchery. Given the popularity of kittycat everything on the interwebs, it wouldn’t surprise me if inexpensive (read:cheap) knock-off copies mass produced by exploited labor resources begin to flood discount box stores soon. Maybe even in time to find their way into Santa’s bag this gift giving season! Should this tongue-in-cheek prediction come true, it is unlikely to diminish the value of a Koboto shirt. Hell, it might even increase it. I don’t know how to determine between craftmanship and art, but that embroidered feline imagery featured in the photo’s certainly is arresting.

  5. Jerry, you posted the “Chihuahua in a cat suit” (as you called it) video already, in September 2012. I remember having to hide the name of your website from my fundie sister while I played the video for her.

    But it’s so good that I’m glad to see it again. And, it’s so good, no wonder you posted it again. Did you forget, or did you mean to?

  6. L.O.V.E.L.Y ! Incredibly lovely !

    Ms Koboto’s son, as a little one, is so, so ON to something: From many, many women, it has oft been stated before = there is nothing s.e.x.i.e.r. than a dude with a k.i.t.t.e.h.

    With a kitty close to his heart !


  7. Trigger warning for animal cruelty.
    These shirts remind me of something I saw while at Uni: I looked out my apt window after hearing squealing tires. I saw my downstairs neighbor backing up over some kittens. I rushed downstairs screaming every obscenity I knew (quite extensive in 4 languages). She explained that she had accidentally run over the mama cat while rushing to work and decided it would be best to “finish off” (in her words) the kittens. I scooped up the remaining 2 kittens (out of a litter of 9) and rushed upstairs while my roommate called the cops (she denied doing it on purpose and wasn’t charged). Sick excuse for a human being.

    Anyway, making a long story short, we raised up the kittens to be 2 beautiful healthy cats who lived a long life. But while they were teeny tiny, I didn’t want to leave them home alone. So I would plunk them into the breast pockets of my field jacket and would walk to campus with them peeking out, darn cute they were too. Pro tip: If you want to meet cute coeds, try this.

    So these shirts remind me of my two babies, but also of the cruelty that can be rendered by morons.

    1. I’m glad you were there to rescue them! I really hate cruelty to animals. I have a hard time even watching dramatizations of such.

Leave a Reply