Today, the internet serves as the medium of choice to host humanity’s infinite admiration of felines, but the following five furry celebrities have published books, made movies, and even potentially grossed more income than some of the hottest Hollywood stars. Behold the most famous cats of 2014.*
5. Sparta the Mean Kitty
In 2007, Cory “Mr. Safety” Williams of SMP Films created a hilarious music video, “The Mean Kitty Song,” to tell his friends and family about his new bitey kitten friend. Since then, the handsome tabby named Sparta has pulled in over 80,500,000 views on the original Youtube video and over 74,651,000 views for additional videos.
Shironeko, whose name translates to “white cat” in Japanese, is also known as the “Basket Cat” and “Zen Cat.” Shironeko has been smiling in photos, blissfully calm in baskets, trees, and shower caps, since 2006. He has over 175,000 likes on Facebook and more than 7,000 high resolution photos.
3. Lil Bub
Lil Bub is literally one in a million. She has a combination of rare genetic abnormalities that keeps her body permanently kitten-sized. The world held its breath as the 1-year-old Bub overcame immobilizing osteoporosis and learned to walk and jump like never before. Her online store, books, and movie have raised over $200,000 for special needs pets in shelters.
The aptly named Scottish fold called Maru (“round” in Japanese) is the biggest domestic cat star on Youtube. Since 2008, adorable videos in which he tries to sit in comedically small boxes have attracted more than 274,945,000 viewers and 437,800 subscribers.
1. Tardar Sauce the Grumpy Cat
A frowning underbite and underwhelmed eyes are what make Tardar Sauce better known as the Grumpy Cat. Since first appearing in a meme only 2 years ago, it has been speculated that she has grossed over $100 million. In 2014, this top cat starred in the Lifetime movie Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever, voiced by the delightfully cynical Aubrey Plaza.
*This ranking has been calculated using social media reach and engagement by Friskies 50, accessed December 23, 2014.
Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.