Feline friends become fad for flocks of young females

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Feline friends become fad for flocks of young females

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A girl and her cat. [JoongAng Ilbo]

Among the generation of young, hip Korean females, there’s nothing cooler these days than having a cat.

Even the popularity of cat-themed items such as illustrations or fashion accessories have been on the upswing.

“Carrying my cat Choco and dressing him up in the most stylish clothes makes me stand out from the crowd more than any trendy it-bag,” said Kim Mi-young, 28.

Without question a cat is a fashion statement these days.

The image of cats as “ice princesses” derives from their independent character, which seems to fit the owners.

Most of these kitty-lovers walk around the Apgujeong-dong and Samcheong-dong areas ostentatiously carrying their pet cats.

“Cats are careful to keep a certain distance from their owners, which symbolizes the individualized lifestyle of younger Koreans nowadays,” said another cat devotee, Lee Ji-hyoung.

Unlike other pets that are more loyal to their owners, cats demand a more equal relationship with humans, allowing them to be treated as friends instead of pets.

The contrast between the softness of the cats’ fur and the sharpness of their teeth and claws is what attracts the feline fanatics.

Experts say that the “cool” characteristics of cats are a natural fit to create unique fashion brands.

There are an increasing number of young adults designing their own cat icons which differentiate them from existing brands like “Hello Kitty” or “Snowcat” to decorate Web pages or to make T-shirt logos.

Indeed it appears that cats are the new symbol of having a cool life.

The trend for cats as accessories is fueled by trendsetting celebrities like Lee Hyo-ri, Gong Hyo-jin and Horan.

On their blogs, these female stars upload pictures of their cats as if they are posing with luxury brand-name goods, showing off how stylish it is to have a cat as a fashion accessory.

People thinking about having cats might want to visit a cat cafe before deciding to buy one, however.

Understanding and learning about cat habits is well-advised to reduce the difficulties and frustration that may occur when actually living with one.

At the two most famous cat cafes, Giocat and Persiancat, customers can observe and play with various breeds of cats.

Giocat is located in Bongcheon-dong, southeastern Seoul, (www.giocat.com), and Persiancat is located in Hwagok-dong, western Seoul (www.persiancat.co.kr).


By Sim Young-gyu JoongAng Ilbo [estyle@joongang.co.kr]
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