KITTENS

How to Make an Origami Cat: And a Brief Guide to Understanding the Art of Origami

Image of an origami cat face on a table
Steve Corelli
Written by Steve Corelli

We all love how adorable cats can be. Their cuteness can sometimes be too overwhelming to be described with words. In case you believe in expressing your love through action and not words, the art of origami can be the perfect channel. But trying to find reliable instructions on how to make an origami cat can be a tiring process. We know how scrolling through different websites just to find the right instructions can take so much time—and that’s why we’ve done all the legwork for you.

In this particular article, we have decided to tackle a few topics related to origami—specifically how to make a cat-shaped origami. You may wonder why you should make an origami cat. The common shapes are frogs, cranes, and planes, sure, but don’t you think it would be fun to try different things sometimes? Origami is a fun and soothing pastime—it is similar to cats in that regard. With that said, combining the two would make the end result doubly fun and soothing, don’t you say?

Two origami cats on a table

This article is a brief guide to understanding the art of origami. It is an also a step-by-step instruction on how to make origami cat designs. We promise you that by the end of this article, you will not only master two unique origami cat designs, but you will also gain a deeper understanding of this ancient art form.

How to Make an Origami Cat

Before you start making your own origami cat, let’s take a quick look at the history of it. Origami is a paper folding art originally from Japan. In Japanese, “ORI” stands for “to fold” and “KAMI” means paper. When combined, they stand for “paper folding.” For many generations, this art has been passed down from parents to children in the Japanese culture.

fluffy-origami-cats on a table

Origami always involves the folding of paper into a shape that resembles something in real life. The inspiration for the designs could be masks, geometric shapes, toys, puppets, flowers, and of course, animals. Origami cat has been categorized as one of the easiest designs in paper folding. Anyone of any age can make an origami cat.

We know that you are here in search of easy instructions on how to make your own origami cat. Herewith we present to you a step-by-step guide on how to magically turn a piece of paper into something that conveys your feelings of love for your cat in no uncertain terms.

Choose the Type of Origami Paper

As we all probably already know, there are special papers made only for origami. These can be plain-colored or with a solid color on one side of the paper. There are fancy origami papers as well that come with a “holographic” vibe. As time passes by, manufacturers begin expanding the range of origami papers to cater to the need of enthusiasts.

Origami Paper #1: Duo Paper

It has two different colors—a solid color on the top and a plain color at the bottom. This is the most common type of origami paper.

Origami cat made of duo paper

Kids are usually taught how to fold origami using this paper. This paper is widely available in most office supplies stores or stationery stores.

Origami Paper #2: Foil Paper

One side of this paper is shiny and metallic like the aluminum foil whereas the other side usually comes in a plain white color. This one develops crease marks easily, so it’s not all that suitable for beginners. You have to be able to envision the end result clearly before you begin to fold it. Be very cautious not to make any mistakes when using this type of origami paper.

Origami Paper #3: Washi Paper

In Japanese, washi means “Japanese paper.” When compared to the other types of paper, washi is softer, and it has a texturized look.

Origami cat made of Washi Paper

It is made of plant fibers. You can find many different kinds of washi paper in the stores.

Origami Paper #4: Chiyogami Paper

This type of paper comes with traditional Japanese imagery already imprinted on each side. Even though nowadays most chiyogami and washi papers are machine-made, back in the days they were handmade one by one.

Origami Paper #5: Mini Origami Paper

If you want to try creating designs that are smaller, mini origami paper is a perfect choice.

Mini cat origami in a persons hands

This isn’t a good pick for beginners, though, because folding small papers is much more difficult than folding bigger ones.

Origami Paper #6: Circular Origami Paper

Mostly used in Kirigami art, you can also use circular paper for the more traditional origami designs. Certain models may require complex units and folding a circle out of rectangular origami paper isn’t an easy task, so these circular papers can come in handy at times.

Origami Paper #7: Animal Print Origami Paper

Very famous among children due to the images of animals printed on them. However, if you want to create a specific, realistic shape like an origami cat, it can be hard to achieve it with this paper.

Animal Print cat Origami on a table

This is because sometimes the patterns do not match up properly when folded.

Origami Paper #8: Holographic Paper

This is the biggest paper used in the art of origami. Usually, you have to buy them in rolls. Afterwards, you can cut them into the sizes and shapes you need.

Choose the Kind of Origami Cat You Want to Make

We have come up with two sets of cat origami instructions for you to practice your skills on.

Type #1: Origami Cat Face

One of the most sought-after origami designs, anyone of any age range should be able to handle folding an origami cat face with no problem.

Image of an origami cat hear

Kids love it because it resembles their favorite animal.

  • Start with a square origami paper of 6-inch x 6-inch (15cmx15cm) with the colored side down.
  • Fold on one part diagonally. Crease it well before unfolding it. This is to mark the center point of the paper.
  • Fold the square paper over on the other diagonal axis as well. But always keep the center point marked with the crease.
  • Later, fold the top tip of the paper all the way down to meet the center point. Then, going over the crease’s center, fold it again.
  • Fold both the tips on the right and left to meet at the center tip, facing downwards. The paper should resemble a smaller square or a diamond at this point.
  • To form the origami cat ears, fold both the right and the left tips upwards.
  • Then, the top tip should be folded downwards to meet the center.
  • You can flip the paper over. Take the bottom tip and fold it upwards halfway.
  • Now, from the folded bottom tip, fold down just a small area of the top tip to form the cat’s nose.

And you are done with the origami cat face! All you have to do now is draw the eyes and the whiskers.

Type #2: Sitting Origami Cat

The steps involved in folding a sitting origami cat isn’t all that different from those you followed while folding the origami cat face.

Sitting origami mother cat and kitty

This one is more like a continuation of the origami cat face.

  • Repeat Step 1 to 6 from the origami cat face instructions. Then, once you are done with the head, you can move on to make the body.
  • Start with the same 6-inch x 6-inch (15cmx15cm) origami paper with the colored side facing down.
  • Fold one side diagonally. Before unfolding it, make sure you crease the center well.
  • Then, fold both sides of the origami paper towards the crease’s center.
  • Now, fold the paper in half.
  • We are going to work on the origami cat’s tail. Rotate the paper and make a fold at a 120-degree angle. Crease it well and unfold it.
  • Now, make another fold vertically. Do not forget to crease it well.
  • Unfold the origami paper. You can now bring the right tip of the paper all across to the left side by using the two creases that you made earlier. Squash it down.
  • The tail should now look like a diamond-shaped kite. Now, fold the tail upwards.
  • In order to complete the body, all you have to do now is fold the tail in half. This can be done by bringing the right side over to the left side.

Attach the origami cat face from the first instruction to the body and your origami cat is officially complete!

Expand Your Horizons

Learning paper folding can be a fun way to kill time. Origami art is also able to distract you from emotional and mental stress. The motions of folding paper allow your brain to be completely focused.

easy origami cat faces on a table

If you like the way origami helps you concentrate yet you’re getting a bit too good at the basic stuff—so much so that it doesn’t have the same effect on you anymore—you can expand your horizons by learning other origami art styles. It’s a big world out there.

We have compiled 6 of the most famous origami art styles. There are actually more than what we have listed. However, these are the ones that most learners would opt for.

Origami Art #1: Wet Folding

Just as the name stated, wet folding origami-style is done by moistening the paper before it is folded. The result of this technique allows the design to be a lot softer and evenly textured.

Black Origami Little cat

Those who are into wet folding often say that it is a cross between sculpting and origami. Akira Yoshizawa—the legendary origami artist—pioneered the technique of wet folding. Try the wet-folding technique on your usual origami cat step-by-step folding to achieve an entirely different result.

Origami Art #2: Modular Origami

Modular origami is also known as the unit origami. It is mostly done by connecting more than two identical folded units. The tension of the folding process tends to be able to hold the units together. However, while making more complex designs, enthusiasts would use tape or glue to connect the joints if needed.

Image showing a modular origami cat

The most famous example of modular origami would the Japanese medicine ball called “kusudama.” It is made by gluing or sewing multiple units together. Later, these units will form a blooming spherical shape.

Origami Art #3: Money Origami

It is similar to the traditional origami art, but instead of using regular origami paper, it involves the folding of currencies. Most of the time, it is also called dollar bill origami. The two most popular money origami designs are the heart and the bunny. But you can also use the origami cat instructions above to make your own version of the dollar origami.

Origami Art #4: Fabric Origami

Fabric isn’t as easy to fold into shapes as the paper is. In order to help the creases hold their shape better, the fabric is usually pressed with an iron.

Origami cat made of fabric

Fabric origami is pretty famous in the jewelry-making industry. Flower earrings made of fabric origami is one of most common ways to showcase this model.

Origami Art #5: Towel Origami

You can easily find towel origami on cruise ships or in fancy hotel rooms. The technique used involves the act of folding bath towels or washcloths into creative shapes. Towel origami is also often presented as a gift during housewarming, anniversary, or wedding. Some of the most famous towel origami designs include the elephant, the swan, and even the origami cat.

Origami Art #6: Napkin Origami

Napkin origami is a great way to spice up any party. Whip your plain old napkin into fun shapes such as bows and pleats, then place them on the plates to surprise your guests. Your party will be fancier than ever.

Wrap Up

The art of origami is highly respected in Japan. It is even said that origami can make wishes come true—although the traditional belief circles around crane origami instead of cat origami. The story was popularized through Eleanor Coerr’s book, “Sadako and the 1,000 Paper Cranes.” The story is about a young girl named Sadako who developed leukemia. Her illness was a result of her exposure to the radiation from the atomic bomb that the United States dropped at the end the World War II.

While she was in the hospital, her friend came to visit her. She brought with her an origami crane. Later, she told Sadako that the crane is a symbol of health. She went on telling Sadako that if she could make 1,000 origami cranes, she would be well again. Her friend taught Sadako how to make an origami crane. After she had mastered the art, Sadako went on to make more paper cranes.

origami cat group made of different colors

Through the process of making the cranes, Sadako attracted the attention of hospital staffs, visitors, and even other patients. She taught other patients how to make origami cranes. In doing so, she also spread a message of peace. Sadako’s health began to improve, and she was eventually allowed to go home. However, her illness came back, and she grew even weaker than before. With less than 700 cranes completed, she passed away after lapsing into a coma.

Her classmates found out that she was not able to complete her 1,000 origami cranes. So, they decided to complete the task for her. Her story spread all over Japan. With donations pouring in from all corners of the country, her classmates successfully built a monument in Sadako’s name to spread her message of peace.

The Japanese government found out about her story, and after learning about her message, they decided to rename a park in Hiroshima to Peace Park. A replica of Sadako was also erected at Peace Park. The statue holds up a giant crane as a message of peace.

One orange origami cat and one black origami cat

Looking back on that amazing story, it’s no wonder why making origami is considered a therapeutic act by most people. It is the perfect way to wind down after a long day at work. Besides, origami is not an expensive hobby at all. All you need are pieces of origami paper and a couple of other things like glue, tape, pens, pencils, markers, or other decorations such as beading to make your origami cat even cuter.

Do you plan to make the origami cat face only, or will you fold the cat’s body as well? Are you interested in learning other origami styles, such as the wet-folding style? Let us know how you did by sharing a comment in the section below! We also welcome tips and tricks if you know other ways to fold an origami cat.

About the author
Steve Corelli
Steve Corelli

Steve Corelli is a Pet Nutrition Expert from Allentown, Pennsylvania. He is the author of many nutritional strategies for different breeds and a member of some Pet Food development teams. His Maine Coon Stephan, as you might guess, is always well-fed.

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