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Have a pet? Celebrity status may await you online.
It’s a brave new world of social connectivity that we occupy. Being “Instafamous” is a real thing (achieving follower fame on Instagram) and “viral” has connotations far beyond a flu strand.
People enjoy social media almost as much as they adore their beloved pets. Combine the two and you get Facebook and Instagram feeds chocked full of Chiweenies with trademark overbites and crabby-faced cats converted into internet memes.
With their pets as their chief accessory, people go to great lengths attempting to achieve online stardom. Staging photos of your pet taking a "selfie" or visiting a landmark is not uncommon. And dressing your dog or cat in a different themed costume daily or establishing social media accounts for your hedgehog or bearded dragon are certainly not out of the question.
Instagram, in particular, promotes pet-inspired social media usage with its “#WeeklyFluff” – a popularity contest of sorts by which the social media site highlights one pet each week, often catapulting that animal to minor social celebrity status.
Virtual fame knows no bounds. When a dog or cat owner achieves millions of followers on Facebook or Instagram, it opens up a world of celebrity opportunities for both owner and pet. In the most notable instances of social media stardom, day jobs are quit and replaced with lifestyles featuring celebrity appearances, book deals, pet-centered product lines, and support of causes like pet rescue organizations.
It’s time to roll out the virtual red carpet. Without further adieu, here’s our top eight pet social media celebrities.
Our Favorite Cats
Name: Grumpy Cat
Breed: Snowshoe Siamese
Largest Following: 8.2+ million Facebook fans
Why We Love This Pet: A pioneer of pet social media celebrities, Grumpy Cat is known for her trademark permanent grumpy-looking facial expression, which reportedly is the result of an underbite and feline dwarfism.
Name: Lil Bub
Largest Following: 2.3+ million Facebook fans
Why We Love This Pet: The runt of a feral litter found within a tool shed in rural Indiana, Lil Bub has blossomed into a wide-eyed, tongue-displaying social media superstar.
Name: Nala Cat
Breed: Siamese and Tabby mix
Largest Following: 2.4+ million Instagram followers
Why We Love This Pet: Nala is a rescued cat that uses her fame to support cat shelters and rescue foundations.
Name: Pudge The Cat
Breed: Exotic Shorthair
Largest Following: 501k Instagram followers
Why We Love This Pet: As Pudge states on her social media sites: “I’m a girl and my mustache is better than yours.”
Our Favorite Dogs
Name: Doug The Pug
Largest Following: 3.0+ million Facebook fans
Why We Love This Pet: Born in Ohio and currently residing in Nashville, Tenn., Doug is renowned for his clever video parodies.
Name: Marnie The Dog
Breed: Shih Tzu
Largest Following: 1.8 million Instagram followers
Why We Love This Pet: Another rescued pooch, Marnie’s a senior dog (13-years-old) with plenty of spunk and a tongue that can’t be contained.
Largest Following: 1.6 million Instagram followers
Why We Love This Pet: This fellow sports an exaggerated overbite and a wrinkly neck – features that have inspired many fans to create Tuna-themed artwork.
Breed: Border Collie
Largest Following: 465k Instagram followers
Why We Love This Pet: Taking a page out of Where’s Waldo, owner Andrew Knapp challenges followers to #FindMomo within their various travel scenes.