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It looks like a cat, but on a closer look, it's something completely different

is it a cat or a bag?
© nekoseisaku_pico - Instagram

A range of cat bags by a Japanese designer are so lifelike that some people are mistaking them for the real thing! The bags have racked up thousands of likes and shares on social media, leading to plenty of confusion among the cat loving community.

By Ashley Murphy, 25 Jun 2019

Some are amazed by the likeness, calling the kitty carriers a must-have fashion accessory.

Others are less enthusiastic. In fact, they're a little creeped out by the eerie resemblance.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 猫制作pico (@nekoseisaku_pico) on

Is that a cat or just a handbag?

A housewife turned artist Pico makes every bag by hand, using airbrushed acrylic paint to create each style. The faux feline carriers are complete with distinctive markings, whiskers, tails, and big, heart-melting kitty eyes.

Pico's designs include an all ginger tomcat, a classic black cat look, and a grey cat bag that resembles a British Shorthair.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 猫制作pico (@nekoseisaku_pico) on

Unfortunately for UK cat fans, the bags won't be hitting our high-streets anytime soon.

However, anyone who wants to get their paws on one of Pico's designs can contact the artist through her social media pages or website.

The furry carriers are also available through some auction websites, but expect to pay big money.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by 猫制作pico (@nekoseisaku_pico) on

The bags sell for around £600, while others fetch as much as £750.

Pico is currently working on a new line of pet-inspired products, like bedsheets, towels, keyrings, and brooches.

You can find all the info on forthcoming ranges on Pico's Twitter page.

You'll also see more pictures of the bags, including some side-by-side snaps with real cats! See if you can spot the difference!

A nation of cat lovers

Cats play an important role in Japanese culture. The Maneki Neko (or waving cat) figurine is thought be a sign of good luck and prosperity, while the island of Tashirojima is home to a large cat shrine.

The country was also the birthplace of the Hello Kitty brand.