At the start of the series, a young girl named Ichigo Momomiya attends an endangered species exhibit with her 'crush' and future boyfriend, Masaya Aoyama. After an earthquake, Ichigo and four other girls are bathed in a strange light. A cat appears before Ichigo, then merges with her. The next day she begins acting like a cat and, after meeting Ryou Shirogane and Keiichiro Akasaka, learns that she was infused with the DNA of the Iriomote Cat. Ryou and Keiichiro explain that this allows her to transform into Mew Ichigo, a powerful heroic cat girl. She is ordered to defeat chimera animals—alien parasites—which infect animals and turn them into monsters. Ryou and Keiichiro instruct Ichigo to find the four other girls from the exhibit—the remaining Mew Mews. They are Mint Aizawa, a spoiled, wealthy girl who is infused with the genes of the Ultramarine Lorikeet; Lettuce Midorikawa, a meek but smart girl who endures constant bullying and absorbs the genes of the Finless Porpoise; young Pudding Fong, who receives the genes of the Golden Lion Tamarin; and Zakuro Fujiwara, a professional model infused with the genes of the Gray Wolf.