In the Sanrio universe, Hello Kitty is a British school-age girl named Kitty White who is part of a family of anthropomorphic cats. She has a mother, father and a twin sister named Mimmy. She and her family are modeled after Japanese bobtail cats, which is why Hello Kitty's tail appears short, as a bob, rather than long like most cat breeds.

Hello Kitty was first introduced to Japan in 1974 in the United States in 1976. When she was first introduced as a character on a vinyl coin purse, Hello Kitty's personal mythology hadn't yet been developed, and she was known simply as 'the white cat with no name.'