It's not just cat lovers who just can't resist those incredibly cute kitties on our electronics screens. Cat celebrities such as Nala, Grumpy Cat, and Morris keep the public enrapt with their hijinks, creating full-time income for their owners. Transforming your pet into a successful cat model involves more than looking cute, however. Getting your pet into the industry and creating a profitable brand is often a full-time job.
Discover your cat's brand
Run a Google search for famous cats, and you'll find a variety of feline personas that appeal to the masses. The beefy orange tabby, Morris, kindled our love affair with these furry screen stars through developing a reputation as "The World's Most Finicky Cat." Grumpy Cat's permanent scowl, and Lil' Bub's protruding tongue add the "awww" factor and make them relatable. Nala's often-surprised eyes led the Siamese-tabby mix to more than 2.3 million followers on Instagram.
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But not all famous felines got to the top by having chronically cute expressions. However, each of them has something that makes them stand apart from other cats. O'gringo has a permanent milk mustache. Bruno is super-fat. Make sure the pictures you plan to post of your pet all have a similar theme to let your followers know what to expect and look forward to.
Post on Instagram
It's fun to post pics of your kitty, but if you want to create a celebrity cat, you'll have to be strategic. Use hashtags when posting a pic, but don't overdo it. Take advantage of tags relevant to any current seasons or holidays such as #nationalcatladyday or #nationalhugyourcatday. On non-holidays, check out the most popular Insta-hashtags by entering "cats" in the search box — both #catsofinstagram and #cats have more than 100 million posts, while #catstagram has more than 61 million.
Submit your photos to some of the most popular social media accounts such as Cats of Instagram's website, and you might find your kitty peeking out at you from the famous account on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media venues. You must include a caption as well as your Instagram account name to get your photo posted. Although there's no guarantee of your cat finding fame, millions of people check out the account daily for cute kitties.
Commit to posting at least once a day five or more days a week. Set up photo-shoot days when you can spend time creating special moments with holiday themes, unique props, or backdrops. Use your high-quality digital camera on your smartphone — or keep a digital SLR camera at hand —to snap those oh-so-adorable slice-of-life pics. To streamline the process and make the most of your time, sit down and process your pictures once a week and line up posts for the following week or two.
By the time your cat's brand reaches 20,000 followers, chances are that small companies will reach out to you wanting to give you free product if your pet poses with it. Resist the urge to do so for free, advises an article in the Los Angeles Times. As large pet chains review your account and see that you'll work for free, they'll want you to do so as well.
Get an agent
If you live in or near a big city, you can take a more traditional approach and register your cat with an animal talent agency. Your agent will keep a file on your pet's attributes and abilities and notify you of any casting calls that suits your cat's talent.
Keep in mind that your cat's temperament and training are vital characteristics that will determine their success as a modeling talent, according to Hollywood Paws. Cats must be able to perform commands such as finding a mark or meowing on cue and do it reliably on the first command. Also, consider their personality when they are around stranger, or under adverse conditions. For instance, they should still be in a good mood after a potentially long car ride, hours spent waiting for the audition, and being handled under hot lights in new circumstances by strangers.
- Hollywood Paws Animal Agency: Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 Lives: Morris the Cat
- Instagram: The Real Grumpy Cat
- Instagram: Lil Bub
- Instagram: Nala Cat
- Instagram: O'Gringo Official
- Instagram: Bruno & Carlo Bartlett
- Cats of Instagram
- Los Angeles Times: How to Make Your Pet Instagram-Famous — And Make Money From It