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Hello Kitty to feature in doghouse

Do you think if a dog will like Japan's cutest cat that will be cushioning it when the canine's owner buys a 3.9 million yen (US$31,660; EUR210) doghouse set to go on sale later this month.

The one-of-a-kind fancy residence, large enough for a lapdog like a chihuahua or terrier, features a pillow adorned with 7,600 crystal beads in the shape of Hello Kitty's face, Sanrio Co., the company behind the feline character, said in a statement Friday.

The luxury product was created especially for a sales event at a Tokyo department store and designed in collaboration with a maker of high-end pet goods, it said.

"There's been a boom in luxury couches for larger dogs, so we thought there might be room for something new," said Sanrio spokesman Kazuo Tohmatsu.

Products created in previous years for the weeklong sales event aimed at adult Kitty fans include a Kitty-themed "i" minicar from Mitsubishi Motors Co. and a Hello Kitty Fender Stratocaster electric guitar, which sold last year for 2.52 million yen (US$20,460; EUR15,000), he said.

Lots will be drawn in the event that more than one person offers to buy the doghouse, according to the company's statement.

Hello Kitty has been popular for years with children and young women, but the cat has begun to appear on electronic gadgets, guitars and expensive jewelry.

Tohmatsu declined to speculate on whether the doghouse might help ease often fractious relations between cats and dogs.

"It's not something we really had in mind," he laughed.