10 Most Famous Internet Cats
Cute, cuddly, and sometimes downright ugly, internet cats are a part of our popular culture whether we like it or not. From the earliest days of YouTube and GIFs, cats have always been a part of the internet. In fact, the images and videos of cats are some of the most viewed content on the web, and in 2015, it was reported that on YouTube alone, there were more than 2 million cat videos with an average of 12,000 views per video.
The likely reason for the popularity of internet cats likely goes back to the historical relationship between humans and cats. Even in film, the first instance of cats being in the movies came in 1894 in the movie “Boxing Cats” and then the films “The Sick Kitten” and “Harry Pointer,” followed soon after.
Cats have also been shared via email since the internet began to be a household utility, and the first cat video was uploaded to YouTube in 2005. This video, called “Pyjamas Playing with a Rope,” was uploaded by Steve Chen, the co-founder of YouTube. In 2006, the YouTube video, “Puppy vs Cat” was the first viral video featuring a cat, and it has more than 16 million views.
Of all of these thousands of internet cats, some of these fancy felines have really risen to the top. These cats are famous for different reasons, of course, but all of them have something unique or interesting about them. Here are the 10 most famous internet cats:
Pudge the cat is a social media superstar. She is an Exotic Shorthair cat, and what makes her stand out is her adorable little white mustache, that is quite distinct against her black and brown fur. This mustache makes her look much like a dignified man, but her owner, Kady Lone, claims that Pudge is very much a lady.
Pudge gained her fame on the internet in 2011 when Lone began uploading pictures of her kitten on her Instagram page. Pudge has about 360,000 followers on Facebook and more than 641,000 followers on Instagram. In addition to all of this, Lone and Pudge have a YouTube channel where they teach fans how to make cat-themed crafts. Pudge also has a merchandise empire with her image printed on mugs, shirts, cell phone cases, and more. She also donates part of her profits to rescue groups and animal charities, which help fellow felines that are not as fortunate as she is.
Pudge’s rise to fame came after her owner began posting pictures of her precious kitten on the internet as a way to preserve her kittenhood. People began to notice Pudge’s unique look, and the rest was history. In fact, Lone was able to quit her job as a designer, and now manages Pudge’s career, full-time.
9Snoopy the Cat
When most of us think of Snoopy, we think of the lovable beagle from the Peanuts comic series. However, there is also a very famous cat named Snoopy, too, and this Snoopy has become a worldwide phenomenon.
Snoopy is a male, exotic shorthair who lives in Sichuan, China. Known for his large, brown eyes and short snout, Snoopy came from a show pedigree and was part of the cat show circuit. Snoopy’s owner, Miss Ning, created a Weibo page for him, China’s version of Twitter, and he became an almost instant celebrity. She then launched an Instagram account and blog back in 2012, which allowed her to share her fluffy feline with the world.
Snoopy’s distinctive look comes from his parents, an American short-hair and a Persian. He has small, droopy ears that make him look quite innocent at all times, and often has a saddened expression on his face. Snoopy’s owner takes pictures of him almost every day, and she often dresses him in accessories, such as ties, hats, necklaces, and other fixtures.
Photos of this fluffy kitty have taken the internet by storm, and have been shared on numerous blogs and websites including Paw Nation, PBH2, Complex, Love Meow, Cutest Paw, and Buzzfeed.
Fame hasn’t changed Snoopy’s life too much. He does have to deal with a wardrobe and a growing fan-base, but overall, he lives a typical cat life. He enjoys napping, posing for photographs, and occasional bubble baths. Overall, Snoopy is a fashion-forward phenomenon who other cats and their owners look to when choosing the seasons latest styles.
8Hamilton the Hipster Cat
These days, being a hipster is a “thing,” and this thing is not only limited to the world of humans. Some cats are hipsters, too, and there is no more famous hipster cat than Hamilton.
Hamilton’s life was very different from most of the other cats on this list. He was a feral cat who was rescued from the mean streets of San Jose, CA, and was a very frightened and skittish kitty who luckily found some humans who would bring him into their home. After working with a behaviorist and spending the first couple of months of his new life in the bathroom, which is where he felt the most comfortable, he slowly made his way back into the world. These days, Hammy, as his owners affectionately call him, is a fun-loving, playful, active cat, who has taken the internet by storm.
Hamilton is one of those cats who is almost instantly recognizable, and he is best known for his epic curled mustache. This mustache, which is white against his gorgeous dark gray fur. He also has a white chest, which gives him the look of a dignified gentleman attending a white tie event.
Hamilton has his own Facebook page and Instagram accounts, where he has more than 120,000 and 624,000 followers, respectively. He also has his own merchandise, which is available on his website, including shirts, mugs, totes, and calendars.
Hamilton is estimated to only be a few years old, and he is in very good health, so he will surely grace our computer screens for many years to come.
You might not recognize the name Sam in the world of internet cats, but you have surely seen this distinctive kitty on the pages of the internet. What makes Sam stand out among the rest? His eyebrows, of course!
Sam is an all-white cat with a black tail and black eyebrows, which are permanently set high on his head. This constantly gives this brown-eyed, handsome guy a look of shock or surprise.
Sam has an interesting story, too, and it seems as if he was abandoned by his first owners. His new owners found him in their neighborhood near an empty cat carrier. He was skittish and wouldn’t eat or drink, so the new owners took him in to the vet. They found that Sam’s paws were not calloused, the typical sign of a house cat, and he had been neutered. The family decided to keep Sam after attempting to get him adopted, and they ultimately turned Sam into an internet celebrity thanks to his distinct look.
His owners opened up an Instagram account for Sam, and his internet fame began to grow. Currently, he has more than 210,000 followers on Instagram and almost 500,000 followers on Facebook. He has been featured in magazines and newspapers across the globe, and almost always puts a smile on the face of his fans.
When not showing himself off to his devoted fan base, Sam still has a number of interesting hobbies. For instance, he loves to eat tomatoes, and his favorite place to hide is on top of his refrigerator.
6Cole and Marmalade
Cole and Marmalade are the purrfect pair, and these adoptive cat brothers found their calling as YouTube celebrities thanks to their hilarious antics.
Cole and Marmalade were both adopted by their owners, Chris and Jess, though they came to the household at different times. Cole came first, and got his name as a combination of Coal, because he is black, and Poole, which is Chris’ last name. he is described as the “sweetest cats ever,” and he is often used as an example against the superstition that black cats are bad luck.
Marmalade came to the household a bit later, and he took to his new cat brother very quickly. In 2014, Marm was diagnosed with cancer, but after successful treatments, which, of course, were documented on the cats’ social media pages, he was deemed cancer-free. He went on to win the Star Cat contest through Modern Cat magazine, and he was featured on the cover. His brother’s pictures were featured inside, too, and this publicity caused their popularity to sky-rocket. Cole and Marmalade have their own online retail store, and they donate the proceeds of their sales to help other cats. They are also involved in the awareness of big cat rescues, thanks to their human, Chris, being a former employee of the Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL.
Cole and Marmalade have more than 1.3 million followers on Facebook, 187,000 followers on Instagram, and 12,000 followers on Twitter. Their YouTube page is where these cat brothers really shine, with more than 400,000 subscribers and 100 million views.
Colonel Meow is the only cat on our list of the 10 most famous internet cats who has passed away, but he certainly was one of the most famous felines of all time. Colonel Meow was only two years old when he passed away in 2014.
Like many of the cats on our list, Colonel Meow was a rescue kitty, and was actually adopted by his owner, Anne Marie Avery, at a PetSmart adoption event. Though his life was short, he was extremely well-known thanks to his human posting pictures of him looking angry to her Facebook and Instagram accounts. His scowling, angry face soon became viral, and Colonel Meow gained hundreds of thousands of fans. In 2014, he was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the cat with the longest hair.
Between the hair and the face that Colonel Meow displayed proudly, his fans, known as “minions,” imagined the cat to have visions of world domination. He even assumed control of BuzzFeed’s offices when he visited, and appointed himself the organization’s CEO.
His owners described Colonel Meow as enjoying walks on his leash, and he had a taste for scotch, of course, Johnnie Walker Black being his favorite. During his life he also enjoyed butt scratches, trolling other famous internet cats, and staring at objects until he fell asleep.
Known as “Instagram’s Most Famous Cat,” Nala has more than 2.3 million followers on the social networking site. If you have seen any cat on the internet, the odds are high that it was her.
Nala doesn’t have the distinguished mustache that Hamilton has, nor does she have the flowing mane that Colonel Meow was known for. Instead, she is a fairly normal looking cat who has big blue eyes, and a shocked expression when she opens her mouth in play. Nala is also a shelter cat, but it’s not believed that she had a rough life before she found her current owner. Though Nala is healthy, she does have short little legs, which adds to her cuteness.
As an internet darling, Nala has millions of followers around the world. Her Facebook page has more than 2.4 million followers, she has almost 20,000 YouTube subscribers, and her Instagram has more than 3.6 million followers.
Nala’s owner, Varisiri Mathachittiphan, makes sure that Nala lives a life meant for a star. Though she never meant to adopt a kitten when she found Nala in the shelter, once she picked the kitten up, she knew their relationship was meant to be. Since Mathachittiphan lives in Los Angeles, and her family lives elsewhere, she started her Instagram account to show her distant family her sweet cat. Soon, however, Nala’s photos started to go viral, and the rest was history.
Mathachittiphan is using her cat’s fame for good, fortunately, and using Nala to bring awareness to the plight of shelter animals. She said that so many people adopt puppies and kittens and then end up being unable to care for them. She also makes sure that people know the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.
Maru is an extremely popular cat from Japan, who is known for playing in boxes and being a true YouTube star. As of January of 2016, Maru’s videos have been viewed more than 300 million times, and he has graced the cover of magazines and appeared on television across the globe.
Unlike the other cats on this list, Maru’s owner is almost never seen in the videos. She does appear in a couple of videos, however, such as “Maru’s Ear Cleaning,” which appears on YouTube. All of Maru’s videos have title cards in both English and Japanese, and these cards describe the events that take place in the video. Many of Maru’s videos also feature a cardboard box. Why? Because his first video was “I Love a Box,” and playing with boxes is one of his favorite activities.
In August of 2013, Maru got a new friend, a two-month-old cat named Hana. His owner adopted Hana from a veterinarian and documented the budding friendship on Maru’s YouTube’s page. Maru’s owner gave the felines a two-week period to get to know each other, and since they got along so well, Hana became part of the family. These days, Hana and Maru are often seen together in both YouTube videos and in photographs.
Since Maru is an internet star, it shouldn’t surprise you that he has his own blog and social media sites, including Facebook.
Lil’ Bub is an extremely well-known celebrity feline who is recognized thanks to her unique appearance. With big eyes, a short lower jaw, and osteoporosis, Lil’ Bub is certainly not a normal cat. Her tongue tends to stick out all of the time and instead of walking, she sort of waddles. She is also quite small, less than 4 pounds, but this little cat is big in personality.
Lil’ Bub was the runt of the litter, and Mike Bridavsky, her owner, adopted her when his friends were frantically seeking out a home for the kitten. She first appeared on the internet in November 2011 on Tumblr, and then was featured on Reddit. She eventually go her own Facebook page, which has almost 3 million followers. On this page, her owners post her photos and news about their kitty, and she also often appears with both human and feline celebrities, such as Jack Black and Colonel Meow. She has also appeared in her own documentary, Lil Bub & Friendz, which premiered in 2013 at the Tribeca Film Festival. The film one the festivals award for Best Feature Film. She has her own line of merchandise, of course, and the proceeds go to help shelter animals.
Though Lil’ Bub is certainly adorable, her health problems do cause a few problems in her life, but her owner, Mike, does all he can to ensure that she stays healthy and comfortable. Because of her unique health status, she is currently being studied by a group of scientists who are working to create her genome.
It should be no surprise that Grumpy Cat tops our list of the top 10 most famous internet cats. Though she is known as Grumpy Cat, her real name is Tarder Sauce, and she is well known for her permanent grumpy expression. This expression, however, is caused by a combination of feline dwarfism and an underbite.
Tarder Sauce became Grumpy Cat thanks to a photo that the brother of Tabitha, her owner, posted to Reddit. It was just a matter of time before parodies and GIFs began popping up with Tarder’s likeness, and Grumpy Cat was born.
Grumpy Cat has appeared on most of the major television networks, and she has also written a book…with the help of a ghost writer, of course…and appeared on radio programs, magazines, and books. She even has her own feature-length film, “Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.”
As the spokescat for Friskies, Grumpy Cat has appeared in several episodes of the Friskies game show, “Will Kitty Play With It,” which appears on YouTube. When she was named the spokescat, she was given a first class ticket from her home in Arizona to New York City, a private hotel room, chauffeur, personal assistant, and bottled water…in other words, the star treatment.
Grumpy Cat also has a merchandising empire, with her likely appearing on everything from t-shirts and mugs to plush toys and keychains. She has her own official book, too, which peaked at #7 on the New York Times Bestseller list, and even a video game that is playable on Facebook, PCs, and tablets. According to BuzzFeed, Grumpy Cat’s empire is worth about $100 million.
Internet cats are certainly here to stay, so we might as well keep celebrating them. Whether your favorite is the cute, small Lil’ Bub or the funny, frolicking brothers, Cole and Marmalade, all of the cats on this list deserve a round of applause. After all, these cats live lives that are greatly different than most cats. Though these owners do their best to protect their precious pets, the flashing lights, stranger touches, and constant attention just isn’t something that cats like, whether they are famous, or not. Even the most famous cat, Grumpy Cat, is only allowed to be in the public eye for two hours a day, which is a rule from her owner.
Cats are cute, they can be sweet, and approximately half of the people in the world are ‘cat people,’ and simply adore these animals. This is what makes internet cats such a phenomenon, as they are contently getting attention, and none of us can say, ‘cat person’ or not, can say we have never seen these cats online. Most of us could easily pick out two or three of these famous cats, and cat fans can certainly pick out most of them from a lineup. What we do know, is that these fancy felines are not only making more money than most of us, they are also here to stay.