With her adorable comics, GIFs, and stickers, Pusheen has taken over the internet and now has a growing fan base of around 9 million cat lovers on Facebook alone. From munching on pizza to being simply cute and lazy, Pusheen has captured everyone’s heart.
If you want to find out where Pusheen is from, read on as we share the origins of this charming tabby!
All About Pusheen’s Origin
Launched in May 2010, Pusheen is a webcomic character in “Everyday Cute” developed by illustrator Claire Belton and his artist husband Andrew Duff . The original comic depicts the normal lives of Duff, Belton, Pusheen, and their yellow labrador dog Carmen.
After starring in the “Pusheen Things” comic strip, in 2011, a spin-off site was launched, especially for Pusheen.
In 2013, Belton launched “I Am Pusheen The Cat,” and the bobby cat grew in popularity after Facebook chose Pusheen as one of their digital stickers for the chat feature.
Then, Pusheen was brought into the real world, from plush to vinyl toy merchandise.
Where Is She Originally From?
The real-life cat that inspired Pusheen is now living in Oregon, Illinois, with Belton’s parents. Often mistaken as an anime for its Kawaii vibe, Pusheen is neither from Japan nor China.
Despite its Asian look, the gray chubby tabby cat derived its name from the Irish word puisín, which means “kitten.” However, Pusheen is also not from Ireland since it is based on Belton’s childhood cat that they adopted when she was around 9 from a rescue shelter.
While Pusheen’s name is Irish, it is due to the millions of ancestry in the Prairie State. So technically, Pusheen is from Illinois.
But how old is Pusheen, really?
How Pusheen Became A Toy Empire
Pusheen As An Animated Cat
Born in 2010 as a fictional animated character, the gray, chubby, striped tail with tiny legs cat first starred as Belton and Duff’s pet in the comic strip Everyday Cute.
Belton launched a Tumblr page dedicated to Pusheen that instantly gained over 10,000 followers in just a few weeks, according to Pusheen Corporation licensing assistant Catherine Duff .
Since many cat lovers got hooked on Pusheen’s lovely character, Belton released two more comic strips, “Pusheen Things” and “I am Pusheen The Cat,” where she is seen sanitizing her tiny paws and playing with a thread as a real-life cat would do.
Pusheen As A Digital Sticker
From the comic strip, Pusheen was brought into the world of social media when Facebook reached out to Belton in January 2013 as they had chosen the animated cat for their digital sticker under the chat feature.
In July 2013, Pusheen instantly became a star overnight, and its fan base grew from 1 million to over 9 million on Facebook in just three years.
According to Duff, the Pusheen digital stickers are utilized over 10 million times per day.
Furthermore, with the development of GIFs, Pusheen fans keep growing since there are more selections to choose from of the lovely cat.
Pusheen As A Plush Toy
Originally, the first-ever Pusheen plush toys and gifts were made in 2011 and directly sold by Belton to Pusheen enthusiasts.
After garnering millions of fans worldwide, the 124-year-old plush toy company Gund made Pusheen into its physical form. In October 2014, Gund started selling Pusheen plush toys in two sizes.
Then, in January 2015, Gund launched its Pusheen line after the huge success of its first production sale. As of writing, there are over 40 variations of Pusheen plush toys produced by Gund.
Pusheen’s Characteristics That Made Her Famous
The happiness and smiles Pusheen brings to people worldwide made her become a true internet celebrity with her cute and funny digital stickers and GIFs on Facebook and Instagram.
Most of all, Pusheen’s popularity is based on her sweet, lazy, curious personality and her charming and chubby tabby features.
Aside from that, many fans love Pusheen for being an adventure seeker and her bean-like toes. This charming cat also loves dressing up, blogging, taking naps, and eating snacks, especially baked goods.
In short, Pusheen rose to fame for her human-like characteristics, allowing fans to relate to her.
Is Pusheen made in Japan?
No, Pusheen is not made in Japan. Although Pusheen has the most Japanese features, the adorable and adventurous feline is not made and born in Japan.
Nonetheless, Pusheen’s artistic flair may be influenced by Belton’s first freelance work experience with Amaranth Games, Tokyopop, and PlayStation Magazine. Thus, Pusheen features the charm of Hello Kitty.
Is there a real Pusheen?
Yes, there is a real Pusheen. The character is based on Belton’s rescued cat when she was around 9.
However, the real-life and childhood cat of Belton, where Pusheen was inspired, is living with her parents, while Carmen the dog is living with Duff’s parents since he has allergies.
So, Where is Pusheen From?
Since Claire Belton and her parents live in Prairie State, we can technically say that the real-life Pusheen is from Illinois.
On the other hand, if the Beltons have Irish ancestry or are immigrants in Illinois, Pusheen may also be adopted from Ireland, where their family name is relatively common.
But without further evidence, we can only rest on the case that Pusheen is from Illinois.
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