Cats Taking Over TikTok. Why Felines are Going Viral on the Video App


TikTok is a wildly popular video-sharing social media platform that has exploded in popularity over the past few years. As of 2023, TikTok reports having over 1 billion monthly active users worldwide[1], making it one of the most visited and engaged with social media apps today. TikTok allows users to create short videos set to music, edit them with a variety of creative tools and effects, and share them with followers.

With pets and animals being common video subjects across social media, many TikTok users are drawn to funny, cute, or silly pet content. This raises the question – how popular are cats on TikTok? Cats are historically one of the most beloved pet animals, with countless viral cat videos across the internet. But with TikTok offering a new video platform to showcase them, are cats gaining an increased fandom there as well? This article will explore the prevalence of cats across TikTok, examining key trends, popular accounts, and the special brand of feline-focused comedy and creativity taking place.

Brief History of Cats Online

Cats became an internet phenomenon in the late 1990s and early 2000s with the rise of early social networks and content sharing sites. According to the Wikipedia article “Cats and the Internet”, one of the first popular cat memes was created in 2007 with the I Can Haz Cheezburger website, featuring the famous photo of a grinning cat with captions ( This helped launch the popularity of LOLcats and cat memes being shared virally online.

Some of the earliest viral cat videos appeared on early video platforms like YouTube as well. An article from The Dodo states that the first ever viral cat video was titled “Puppy vs Cat” and was uploaded to YouTube in 2006 ( Another early viral hit was the Keyboard Cat video from 2007, featuring a cat appearing to play a keyboard, with over 100 million views to date.

Popularity of Pets on TikTok

Pets are incredibly popular subject matter on TikTok, with animal-related posts frequently going viral. According to a 2022 BuzzBingo analysis, pet videos average 4 billion views per month on TikTok [1]. Some individual pet accounts have become bonafide superstars on the platform, amassing millions of followers.

One of the most popular pet celebrities on TikTok is Doug the Pug, a cute little dog with over 18 million followers. Doug’s silly antics, cute costumes, and signature tongue-out smile have won over millions of fans. Other popular pets include lumpynoodle, a lazy cat who loves boxes; jiffpom, a bubbly and energetic Pomeranian; and marniethedog, an adorable Shih Tzu. Videos featuring these photogenic pets regularly receive hundreds of thousands or even millions of views [2].

Famous Felines of TikTok

Some of the best-known cats on TikTok include Smoothie the Cat, Mr. Bubz, and Lisa and Lena.

Smoothie the Cat has over 4 million followers on the platform. This fluffy orange tabby is known for cute facial expressions, silly antics, and starring in recreations of popular memes or videos. Smoothie’s silly personality and photogenic nature make the cat a perfect fit for TikTok.

Mr. Bubz is an Iranian cat who has gone viral multiple times for his unique personality. His signature move is dramatically reacting to small annoyances with loud howling or yowling. Mr. Bubz has over 1 million followers on TikTok, with fans loving his funny over-the-top responses.

The cat duo Lisa and Lena have accumulated over 3.5 million followers through their synchronized dancing and posing videos. Their owner trains them to dance, jump through hoops, and strike poses on command. Fans love their adorable choreography and seeing the two cats perform together.

What makes these famous felines go viral is their naturally funny or cute personalities combined with their owners capturing engaging videos that play well on TikTok. The short video format allows their quirkiest behaviors to be highlighted and amplified for the platform. Overall, cats like Smoothie, Mr. Bubz, and Lisa and Lena earn their TikTok fame by being photogenic, expressive, and having outgoing personalities that shine through on camera.

Cats as TikTok Memes

Cats have become popular subjects for memes on TikTok. Some of the most well-known TikTok cat memes feature cats vibing or dancing along to music. One of the most famous examples is the TikTok meme featuring a cat bobbing its head to the beat of a street performer’s music (source). This TikTok video went massively viral in 2019, sparking many similar videos and cementing the cat’s status as a TikTok icon.

What makes these dancing and vibing cat memes so shareable is their creativity and humor. TikTok users take videos of their cats naturally moving or reacting and edit them to make it appear as if the cat is deliberately dancing and enjoying the music. The juxtaposition of the aloof, usually uninterested cat against the human desire to see them engage with music and dancing is funny and highly entertaining for viewers.

These edited cat videos speak to what makes cats so amusing – their stubborn yet endearing personalities. By remixing cat behaviors into funny memes, TikTok users fully lean into celebrating all the quirks and charms of cats. The fact that these cat memes frequently go massively viral points to just how compelling this feline content is to the TikTok audience.

Challenges Featuring Cats

Cats have become popular participants in many TikTok challenges, with their owners getting creative to showcase their curious kitties. One such challenge is the catwalk challenge, where owners try to get their cats to strut down an imaginary runway like models. It’s entertaining to see felines tentatively take steps as if on a catwalk, prompted by treats from owners. According to The Wildest, this challenge allows cat owners to “show off your cat’s natural grace and beauty” (source).

Cats also get incorporated into more general TikTok challenges not specifically designed for pets. For instance, in the stacked toilet paper challenge, owners stack toilet paper rolls and film their cats jumping over the tower. As Hypebae reports, this activity tests a “pet’s agility to jump over a stack of toilet paper that piles up with each successful jump” (source). Cats seem intrigued by the toilet paper obstacle course, batting at the rolls as their owners cheer them on.

No matter the challenge, people enjoy seeing cats react to silly situations. The curiosity and unpredictability of cats make for entertaining TikTok content.

Creativity and Comedy with Cats

Cats have always been a source of entertainment and creativity for their amusing personalities and unpredictable behavior. TikTok allows people to showcase their creative comedy skills using cat content in new and entertaining ways. Two popular tropes with cats on TikTok are reaction videos showing cats getting startled by things like cucumbers, and funny cat conversations where owners use voiceover to give hilarious dialogue to their cats.

Cats getting scared by random objects has been a popular meme for years, with the iconic cucumber prank terrifying felines when they least expect it. TikTok allows users to capture the hilarious surprised reaction of their cats when startled by a cucumber and share it with the world. The absurdity of a feared vegetable makes for comedic viral content.This TikTok video compilation shows just how funny cats’ reactions can be to finding an out-of-place cucumber.

Another creative trend is using voiceover and editing to have conversations with your cat or give them a funny inner dialogue. The pets’ oblivious expressions coupled with the absurd dialogue makes for laugh out loud videos. This popular TikTok video shows a perfect example of using clever voiceover for comedic effect with clueless cats.

By showcasing their pets’ silly antics and using clever editing, TikTok creators demonstrate new ways to make comedy gold out of feline quirks and habits. The creativity of cat content keeps audiences amused and engaged.

Cats Compared to Other Pets

When it comes to pet popularity on TikTok, cats have some stiff competition from other animals like dogs. According to TikTok’s #DogsVsCats channel, videos with dogs receive nearly double the views of those with cats – 481.7 million for dogs compared to 666.9 million for cats.

There are a few reasons cats may not be keeping pace with dogs in popularity on TikTok:

  • Dogs are often more energetic, interactive, and responsive on camera than cats.
  • Training dogs to perform tricks or challenges makes for engaging video content.
  • Cats can be finicky, aloof, and less cooperative for filming videos.

However, cats hold their own with their cute, quirky, and often hilarious antics. Independent and unpredictable, cats deliver comedy and cuteness that is uniquely feline. While dogs may edge out cats in sheer volume of posts, cat videos go viral for their humor and surprise factor.

Beyond dogs, other pets like rabbits, hamsters, birds, and even farm animals draw viewership on TikTok. But cats remain in the top tier of favored furry friends on the platform.

Why Cats Connect on TikTok

Experts have theorized that cats appeal to TikTok users and go viral for several reasons. Some studies suggest humans are naturally drawn to content that stimulates our innate hunting instincts. According to Washington Post (, the erratic and unpredictable movements of cats on TikTok trigger our orienting response. We feel the need to pay attention and track their movement, the same way our early human ancestors needed to closely watch prey in the wild.

There’s also evidence that the playful and curious behavior of cats activates our nurturing instincts. We subconsciously perceive cats as being similar to human babies or children and therefore cute and endearing. TikTok’s short video format is ideal for capturing those brief moments of whimsical cat behavior that humans find fascinating. Watching these moments of feline fun is known to trigger the release of dopamine, producing a pleasure response in our brain.

Additionally, cats are somewhat mysterious creatures to us. Their expressions and motivations are not as readily discernible as those of dogs. This ambiguity again engages our orienting response, as we closely watch their videos trying to interpret cat behaviors that seem eccentric or human-like to us.


In summary, cats have become extremely popular on TikTok for a variety of reasons. Their cute, quirky, and entertaining antics make for viral video content. Famous felines like Venya the Cat, Kittisaurus, and Suki Cat have millions of followers captivated by their daily adventures and funny personality quirks. Cats also make for great video memes and challenges, sparking trends like the ‘I’m Already Tracer’ meme and the ‘Meowing at my Cat’ challenge. TikTok allows cat owners to showcase their pets’ creativity and comedy in a way no other platform has before. The short-form video style is perfectly suited for capturing a cat’s brief silly or cute moment. While dogs are also popular on TikTok, cats seem to have an edge when it comes to humor and virality. Ultimately, cats have found a perfect home on TikTok where their antics can be shared with millions of admiring fans.

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