Hello Kitty
An employee of Japanese character goods maker Sanrio displays a Hello Kitty shaped cheesecake, produced by Japanese confectioner Koizumi, at an exhibition of Sanrio's products at their headquarters in Tokyo on Febrauary 3, 2014. Sanrio will celebrate the company's main character Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary this year.Getty Images

Sanrio, the company behind Japan's globally loved icon and one of the most famous exports, says Hello Kitty is a little girl, and not a cat, reported Los Angeles Times.

The revelation was made when Christine Yano, an anthropologist from the University of Hawaii requested Sanrio to fact-check captions for an exhibition she was curating to mark the 40th anniversary of Hello Kitty.

"That's one correction Sanrio made for my script for the show. Hello Kitty is not a cat. She's a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat. She's never depicted on all fours. She walks and sits like a two-legged creature," said Yano quoting a Sanrio spokesman.

Yano has spent a lot of time researching into the Hello Kitty phenomenon. She has also authored the book, 'Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty's Trek Across the Pacific.'

"I was corrected — very firmly," added Yano.

Sanrio also confirmed the news. "It is a 100-percent personified character. The design takes the motif of a cat, but there is no element of a cat in Hello Kitty's setting," a Sanrio spokesman told AFP News in Tokyo.

Who is Hello Kitty?

Her full name is Kitty White and she was born on 1 November. She's a Scorpio and blood type A, and lives in a London suburb.

She also has a twin sister, Mimmy White and father George White and mother Mary White.

Kitty White also has a pet, a cat named Charmmy Kitty.

Kitty White's complete biography and family tree can be accessed here: Hello Kitty - Sanrio Town