The cat is making money. Highest earning pet influencers on Instagram
Face it: Grumpy Cat is a celebrity, and guess what? She probably makes more money than you do!
Grumpy Cat is part of an elite group of furry animals around the globe who have shot to Internet fame in recent years. These fuzzy creatures sign book and movie deals, do photo shoots, and act as "spokesanimals" for ad campaigns -- netting piles of cash for their owners.
Experts say the phenomenon is made possible by the rise of social media, which is changing how we interact with lovably fuzzy creatures.
Social media "adds a personal connection, so if you're interested in a character like Grumpy Cat, then either people will send you more anecdotes or videos, or you can go and seek it out," said Karen North, a social media expert and professor at the University of Southern California. It's "a way of getting entertainment in the hands of audience members who become evangelists of the content, and spread it wider than the originator ever dreamed," North said. It all starts with building a massive following online.
Viral pet owners can also consider registering a trademark, whether it's a name or a distinctive feature, to help protect against any copycats, said Marty Brochstein of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association. The look has entranced millions of web followers, leading to Grumpy Cat designer apparel, a New York Times best-selling book, a movie and a coffee brand -- Grumppuccino.
The licensing and merchandising deals have translated to buckets of cash for Grumpy Cat's owner, Tabatha Bundesen.
And yes, Grumpy Cat has a manager, as does Hong Kong's own celebrity cat, Brother Cream, a chubby white and tan feline who lives in a local convenience store. Brother Cream has thousands of social media followers, and fans who visit from around the globe want to know about everything from his bowel movements to public appearance schedule, owner Ko Chee-Shing said. Ads featuring his image are plastered across the city's public buses, airport baggage carts and subway stations.
Groupies can buy handbags, stickers, books and folders with his image. Related: Big dogs suffer as Hong Kong status symbols Brother Cream has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for his work, padding out a stellar five-page resume.
1. Make Money With Your Cat’s Instagram Page
So much money has flooded in that Ko started a non-profit to dole the cat is making money out for charitable purposes, including animal rescue and food aid programs. His fame has even helped bring more customers to Ko's shop, one of the few remaining independent convenience stores in a market dominated by international chains 7-Eleven and Circle K.
Brother Cream, who initially did nuzzle a hello to this reporter, later declined to answer any questions in favor of a nap -- in true celebrity fashion.