Pusheen is a female cartoon cat who is the subject of comic strips and sticker sets on Facebook. Pusheen was created in 2010 by Claire Belton and Andrew Duff for a comic strip on their website, Everyday Cute. More recently, the Pusheen character has been used in social media posts and on the Pusheen blog.
On the official Pusheen website Pusheen is described as being a female domestic shorthair which is grey and tabby. The original comic strip series included characters modeled after Belton, Duff, their dog named Carm (short for “Carmen”), and Pusheen, a chubby grey tabby cat based on Belton's cat that now lives with her parents in Oregon. Pusheen's name stems from the word puisín, which means kitten in Irish. Pusheen is sometimes seen with her sister, Stormy and her brother, Pip. Occasionally Pusheen and Stormy are drawn in different themes, such as Pusheenasarus Rex, where Pusheen is a dinosaur and Stormy is in a dinosaur egg. She can also be a Pusheenicorn, Purrmaid, and many other themes. Pusheen has a mom, dad, husband, a sister named Stormy, a brother named Pip, and two kids.
Pusheen first appeared in May 2010 in the comic strip "Pusheen Things" on Claire Belton and Andrew Duff's website, Everyday Cute. In 2011, Belton and Duff launched a spin-off site dedicated to Pusheen. In 2013, Belton published I Am Pusheen The Cat, a collection of comic strips featuring Pusheen.
Pusheen has become well known for appearing in sticker sets on Facebook, which are images that can be attached to personal messages or comments. The feature, including a set of Pusheen stickers, was introduced to Android in April 2013, and added to the main website in July of the same year. In an article for PC Magazine on emoji and unicode, Sascha Segan referred to Pusheen as Facebook's "proprietary emoji", being used as a form of vendor lock-in.
In April 2017, the Pusheen Corporation acquired office space in the Park Ridge suburb of Chicago. The offices are used as a workspace for artists and photographers.
Pusheen is an example of the popularity of cats on the Internet. An exhibition at the New York City Museum of the Moving Image examined the phenomenon, highlighting Pusheen alongside other celebrity cats such as Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. The Facebook page for Pusheen has over 9.2 million fans as of February 2019. The brand has expanded with merchandise including an app. Pusheen has expanded and moved beyond just Facebook and now takes part in multiple social media platforms such as: Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. This cartoon cat also has many fan pages within the platforms and blogs dedicated to celebrating the comic. Its popularity has even allowed the Pusheen Corp to create an app that is an expansion of their sticker collection that started on Facebook. Within each social media account that is officially owned by the creators of Pusheen the cat has gained over a million followers and counting. Due to this rise in popularity the company has started releasing GIFs on their website several times a month.
The Pusheen corporation started selling Pusheen merchandise after the popularity of the cat took off in July 2010. The first Pusheen merchandising was sold on the Everyday Cute website as a charm keychain, and necklace. From there the Merchandising expanded and now Pusheen Corp have teamed up with many brands to create and sell merchandise in stores such as Barnes & Noble, Hot Topic, and Petco. They expanded their merchandising to the website formerly known as Hey Chickadee, which was rebranded as The Pusheen Shop in April 2019. The website features merchandise collections dedicated to the cartoon cat, which range from plush toys by manufacturer Gund, clothing, accessories, knick-knacks, blind boxes, and much more. They even have a quarterly subscription box, called the Pusheen Box (which is a popular trend within online shopping) that is filled with Pusheen Products. The latest place to buy pusheen merch is shop.pusheen.com.]