How To Be A Neko


You’ve seen us around… strange human-like creatures wearing cat ears and tails.  At first you found it rather odd.  But then you kept seeing more of us… maybe you got to know one of us, and something about our delicately twitching ears and sensuous tails began to mesmerize you.  Pretty soon you found yourself thinking, what the heck, I’ll give it a try… I can always take the furry parts back off, right?

…surrre you can… but don’t be surprised if you start feeling naked without them…

Yes my little Neko kitten (and curious human), this story’s for you… all of you who have been typing “how to be a Neko” into search engines in an attempt to find some sort of starter page, or Neko 101 class, or basic information about being a neko and maybe… just maybe… try Neko for a while…

…no commitments, no worries, of course you can always go back to being just… a human….

Components of Being A Neko in Second Life

Presented below are the elements of ‘being Neko’ in Second Life, listed in order from what I see most frequently (ears and a tail), to the less common elements such as striped skin, whiskers, and paw feet.

Don’t be overwhelmed by all the components, because outside of wearing ears and a tail, none of these are necessarily required.  Instead, consider this a menu of options from which you can pick and choose in order to develop your own feline personality and style.  Much like a cat, you get to decide what and how much.


tail– Ears and Tail –

At its most basic, wearing a pair of Neko ears and a tail will classify you as a Neko in Second Life circles. However there’s certainly no harm in wearing them part-time, in fact I love seeing how frequently fashionistas are pairing up our beloved furry parts with their outfits these days.  Choices of ears and tails abound, from smooth/short hair to fluffy, and most come with or without accessories (such as piercings, wraps, or prim decorations at the top of the tail).  Check out my Neko Ears and Tails page for more information and a list of stores.

hair1hair2Hair –

I’ve got one pet peeve, and its name isn’t Peevey. It’s human ears. If you’re gonna have lovely furry Neko ears, why in the world would you want those strange fleshy ones underneath to be visible? Okay, I’ll climb off my soapbox, but still, consider choosing hair that covers those things… you only need TWO ears on your kitty head. Here are a few hair recommendations for guys, and some for girls.

outfit-iustinian2outfit11Clothes for Nekos –

Much has been written on the topic of Neko fashion (not the least of which by yours truly), yet it’s still the area in which many Nekos differ in opinion. From casual, grunge, and goth, to cyberpunk, steampunk, and kawaii (think cute), as well as more dressed-up fashion, Neko outfits run the gamut.  (Photo at right, and the Neko eyes in the very top photo, both by the lovely Iustinian Tomsen of Second Life Male Style and Fashion; simply do a search for “Neko” on his blog).

Generally speaking, when I encounter a group of Nekos, the majority of them tend to wear a more grungy, alley cat look… including torn or messy clothes, heavy-duty boots or shoes, kitty or other grunge-like collars, face piercings, tattoos, and the ever-present legwarmers and armwarmers on girls (and guys sometimes).

But don’t feel locked into that clothing genre.  After all, cats are creatures with delicate sensitivities and many, if given the option, will choose a silken pillow over a dirty rag to sleep on. It’s up to you to create your very own Neko fashion statement.

Girls can get ideas from this blog’s past stories (almost every story I write features a Neko outfit); whereas guys can refer to the “Other Neko Posts and Blogs” in the right sidebar of this blog for selected outfits from male Neko bloggers.  Either way, you’ll find handy SLURLS to all sorts of Neko stores on this page.

beltarmbandAccessories –

This is one of my favorite aspects of “being Neko” — the range of imaginative Neko accessories.  The most commonly worn items are accessory belts, thigh straps, and arm bands, often bedecked with a variety of cat toys, fishbones, food, buckles, spikes, flexi bits, and unique prim objects ranging from humorous to combative.

legwarmbootsarmwarmerNext in line are legwarmers and armwarmers, which at their best, feature excellent knit textures and a variety of similar bits and bobs.

Don’t forget backpacks, as some Neko designers really pull out the creative stops with all sorts of useful and imaginary parts on these accessory items.

backpackcollarLastly are collars… from gritty to delicate, bloody rags to barbed wire, not to mention tinkly bells, leashes, and a variety of pendants.

To get an idea of the range of accessories available, I’d visit places like CatNip, Atomic Kitty, Moloko, Manna, Primitive Design, Blitzed, Kitty Scraps, Dirty Lynx, Bukka, and Gritty Kitty for starters (though these stores are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the range of accessories available at Neko stores around the grid).  Again, SLURLS for each of these can be found on my Neko Stores page.

eyeseyes41Eyes –

When Neko transformation really begins to take root, you’ll see avatars sporting eyes with vertical slits, colors, and textures that closely resemble cat eyes in real life.  (On left: SbZ Eye Fidelity Neko eyes in Dark Marble; on right: the free Neko eyes from Ephemeral). Here’s a handy Neko Eyes resource page for ya.

skin11skin2Skin –

Nekos come in a variety of genetic variables, which influence what type of skin is worn.  Some of us look very nearly human, the only difference being our lovely ears and tails.  Sometimes however, the scrappy alley cat genes come through, as evidenced by the occasional scar, scratches, black eye, or bloody lip on our human skin.  Other Nekos are further along in their transformation, and prefer skins that come complete with tiger stripes, calico spots, furry bellies, or other more “Neko”-like markings as shown in these photos.  Here is a page that lists just about every Neko skin store (as well as Human skins that would be appropriate for Nekos) in Second Life.

aoao2AO / Animation Overriders –

Unless you’re new to SL, you’ve probably already got some form of AO (animation overrider) active on your avatar, which makes you move more smoothly and naturally.  If you want to take your Neko look one step further, visit this page to get a list of Neko AO stores where you can purchase cat-like movements such as a “crouch” landing, scratching, or paw-licking, or maybe a Neko HUD with various Neko sounds and gestures just one menu button away.

whiskers21whiskers1Whiskers –

Strangely enough, I don’t see too many Nekos wearing whiskers (though I’m not really sure why, a fine set of flexi whiskers is rather adorable). Here is a page listing the places that I know of to find them, if you’re so inclined.

pawfeet2pawfeet1Paw Feet –

Probably the least common element I see on Nekos in Second Life are large kitty paw feet. These are typically worn as shoes/boots (some of them even leave slowly fading kitty paw prints as you walk). Sometimes they come packaged with an outfit, some are available as part of a skin/shape package at Neko skin stores, and some you can buy individually (like shoes or boots). Check out my page of Neko Paws and Paw Feet for a list of stores where you can buy these items.

…careful… if you’ve read this far, you’re dangerously close to developing a fatal Neko attraction….

Ready to Jump In With All Four Paws?

Aside from everything listed above, being Neko in Second Life is as much about attitude as it is about pixel parts.  The fact that you were curious about how to be a Neko means you’ve already got one important kitty attribute under your accessory belt.  All you need to do is start hanging out with others of your kind to observe the behavior. Join an online Neko community.  Visit a Neko club.  Join a Neko group.  Brush up on your Neko history.  Type “Neko” into the “Events” tab of your Second Life search window.

And never hesitate to ask… When you see a tail or a backpack or some cool paw boots on a fellow Neko, greet them with a friendly purr.  It’s possible you might get scratched, but most kitties I’ve met are more than happy to help out a new kitten.  Me included…

© Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko in Second Life – 2008


~ by Stacia Villota / Virtual Neko on December 6, 2008.

12 Responses to “How To Be A Neko”

  1. Terrific post! I’ve been a calico neko for almost a year (after being various other types of neko, furry, and *gasps* human. The “hair hiding the human ears” trick is a biggie if you’re going for “realistic”.

  2. […] Check it out if you are curious (human or wanna-be Neko), and let me know whatcha think: How To Be A Neko Virtual Neko in Second Life (Yeah, yeah, I know, some of you think Neko is weird… s’okay, I can handle the pressure, lol) […]

  3. […] Check it out if you are curious (human or wanna-be Neko), and let me know whatcha think: How To Be A Neko Virtual Neko in Second Life (Yeah, yeah, I know, some of you think Neko is weird… s’okay, I can handle the pressure, lol) […]

  4. Since more than a year I’ve worn whiskers from Temenos Island (where you also find the Jungle Voodoo neko skins): they come in a large package with a lot of colours and both versions with or without eyebrows. They are the most natural looking I’ve found so far, but that’s just my two cents.

  5. Kattung make a nice set of sold seperate whiskers, a little different than most as they include eyebrow whiskers and are colour changable by a Hud included with them … they are also touchable and give cute emotes out .

  6. Here I go shopping again. Imso will get my skin…No, wait, it’s no transfer!

  7. TOTK (tale of two kitties) has a great neko ao and hybrid also has whiskers

  8. It is so refreshing to read a useful, all-inclusive neko post—one that takes into consideration everything from neko-as-cute-accessory to neko-as-lifestyle. (Four ears bother me to no end as well. I think the sign of a true, invested, convincing catperson is just one set of properly placed furry ears.) it’s also great to see someone talk about neko style outside of just grunge— I’m a longtime catgirl who wears ears, tail, whiskers, slit eyes, and whatever else she pleases, including pretty dresses and good old jeans.

    Wonderful post all around. =^.^=

    I did want to mention: Gritty Kitty also wells whiskers, both cheek only and cheek and brow, and they’re quite nice.

  9. can i actually dress up on this place?

  10. I am a furry (basically a neko but not limited to cats) on a website called IMVU, and also was on my previous account. Furrys/nekos are (in my opinion) the best thing that has happened to site like these.

  11. Hi guys! I have a question. I’m searching for some information about Nekos in german. The problem is: i can’t find anything… My english is not the best, so i don’t understand everything what stands here… Is there maybe someone who can explain it to me in german or an “easier” english? 🙂 Or even in german? 😀 Would be happy about an answer or mail 🙂 Thanks!

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