Can You Make Money From Cat Instagram?

Cat Instagram accounts have exploded in popularity in recent years. Pet influencers like Nala Cat and Doug the Pug have millions of followers. The @cats_of_instagram account alone has over 13 million followers and gets an average of 55,000 likes per post according to Hype Auditor. With this huge audience, many cat owners wonder if they can make money by creating Instagram accounts for their own felines.

This article will explore whether it’s possible to profit from cat Instagram accounts. We’ll look at success stories, examine monetization methods, and provide tips for growing your cat’s Instagram. There are certainly challenges, but some creative cat owners have managed to turn their pets into social media microcelebrities.

Examples of Successful Cat Instagram Accounts

Some of the most popular and successful cat Instagram accounts boast millions of engaged followers. For example, @nala_cat is the most followed cat on Instagram with 4.7 million followers as of February 2023 [1]. With adorable photos showing Nala’s big eyes and cute outfits, this account racks up over 30,000 likes per post. Similarly, @grumpycats has 2.5 million followers [2] and is famous for its photos of the grumpy-faced feline named Tardar Sauce. While the original Grumpy Cat unfortunately passed away in 2019, the account remains popular by sharing his memorable images.

Other top cat Instagrammers include @cobythecat with 1.8 million followers, @smoothiethecat with 1.5 million, and @venus_thetwofacedcat with 1.3 million [2]. These accounts feature adorable kitties in cute poses and outfits, funny videos of their antics, and beautiful professional photography. With engagement rates of 3-5% on average, the top cat influencers on Instagram can earn thousands of dollars per sponsored post.

Monetization Methods

There are several ways to monetize a successful cat Instagram account once you’ve built up a sizable following:

  • Sponsored posts – Brands will pay pet influencers to feature their products in posts and stories. Rates can range from $100 for micro-influencers to over $10,000 for accounts with hundreds of thousands of followers (source).
  • Brand partnerships – Forming an ongoing partnership with a brand can provide recurring revenue and free products in exchange for consistent promotional posts.
  • Merchandise sales – Many pet influencers earn income selling branded merchandise like t-shirts, mugs and calendars featuring their cats.
  • YouTube ad revenue – Posting popular cat videos on YouTube and monetizing them through the Partner Program can generate steady passive income.
  • Licensing cat photos – High quality viral cat photos can be licensed for use on merchandise, ads, blogs and publications for a fee (source).

With a large enough audience on Instagram, consistently implementing these monetization methods can generate a lucrative income from a pet influencer business.

Challenges and Considerations

Building a successful cat Instagram account that generates significant income comes with some challenges and considerations:

It requires consistent high-quality photo and video content. Cats can be fickle models, so producing fresh content daily takes time and effort. Having a good camera, lighting, and photo editing skills helps.

Building a large audience takes time and effort. Gaining followers is a gradual process that requires regularly posting engaging content, using relevant hashtags, interacting with others in your niche, and employing promotion techniques. Patience is key.

At higher followings, you may need to hire a social media manager to handle content creation and audience interaction. This adds overhead costs that cut into profits.

Instagram’s monetization policies are strict, so you need brand-safe content to qualify. This precludes edgy or controversial content.

As with any business, taxes and accounting paperwork add complexity. You’ll need to track income and expenses carefully.

Relying on a single social media platform carries risk. If your account is disabled or the platform’s algorithm changes, your income could disappear overnight.

Competition is fierce, as many aspire to monetize their pets online. Standing out with exceptional content and engagement is essential.

Tips for Growing Your Cat Instagram

According to Meowbox, one of the most important tips for growing your cat Instagram account is to post daily 1. Frequent posting keeps your content fresh and ensures your followers see your updates in their feeds. Using relevant hashtags also helps expand your reach. The Chicago Black Cat recommends using a mix of popular hashtags like #catsofinstagram along with more niche tags related to your cat’s personality or features 2.

Engaging with your existing followers helps build community and loyalty. Like, comment on, and follow back other cat accounts and your own followers. Nala Cat, Instagram’s most popular feline with 4.2 million followers, recommends being active and genuine in engaging with others 3.

Instagram Stories are also an excellent way to give followers a behind-the-scenes peek at your cat’s daily adventures and personality. Tagging and collaborating with other popular pet influencers can help cross-promote your accounts to each other’s engaged audiences as well.

Estimating Potential Earnings

Pet influencers on Instagram can generate income from sponsored posts, merchandise sales, YouTube ads, and more. According to The Ultimate Pet Rich List, the highest earning cat on Instagram in 2019 was Nala Cat, with estimated earnings of $14,419 per sponsored post and 4 million followers (1). Popular pets with over 1 million followers on Instagram can command $3,000-$10,000 per sponsored post (2).

For accounts with 20,000-100,000 followers, common rates for sponsored posts are $100-$500. Once an account reaches 500,000 followers, earnings of $2,500-$5,000 per sponsored post are realistic. At 1 million followers, rates of $5,000-$10,000 per post can be expected (3).

In addition to sponsored posts, merchandise like t-shirts, mugs, and calendars featuring the pet can provide income. Pet influencers commonly earn 20-40% royalties on merchandise. Channels featuring pet videos on YouTube can also monetize content through ads, with average earnings of $3-$5 per 1,000 video views (3).

Turning Pro: Building a Brand

When your cat Instagram starts gaining popularity, you may want to consider turning it into an actual business. Here are some steps to take it to the next level:

Register your cat Instagram as an official business by switching your personal account to a business account. According to Instagram’s help center, you can do this by going to your profile, tapping the menu icon in the upper right corner, selecting Settings > Account > Switch to Professional Account, and then selecting Business.

Consider trademarking your cat’s name or brand to protect your assets. Registering a trademark prevents others from using your cat’s name or branded merchandise.

As your account grows, consider hiring a social media manager to handle content creation, engagement, and advertising. This allows you to focus on your cat’s modeling and brand partnerships while delegating the actual Instagram management.

Case Studies

Nala Cat (@nala_cat) is one of the most popular cat Instagram accounts with over 4.4 million followers. According to Guinness World Records, Nala’s owners focused on creating high-quality content and using relevant hashtags to grow their audience. They were able to monetize the account through partnerships, merchandising, and Nala’s own premium cat food brand, Love Nala. The account owners say consistency was key – posting 1-2 times per day and using Stories to give followers a behind-the-scenes look into Nala’s life.

The Chicago Black Cat (@chicagoblackcat) has over 100,000 Instagram followers. According to the owner’s blog post, she grew the account by optimizing hashtags, participating in “follow loops,” and leveraging Instagram ads. She monetized the account through partnerships, affiliate marketing, and her own merchandise line. Engaging with followers through contests, Q&As, and polls also helped increase exposure. She emphasizes creating content that shows off your cat’s personality.

Pros and Cons

There are several potential pros of monetizing a cat Instagram account:

Creative outlet – Instagram can provide a fun, creative outlet for cat owners to share photos and videos of their beloved pets. The creative process of capturing entertaining cat content and building an aesthetic feed can be fulfilling.

Enjoyable hobby – Managing a cat Instagram can simply be an enjoyable hobby for those who love their cats and like engaging with an online community. The tasks involved like taking photos, writing captions, and interacting with followers can be a fun side project.

Profitable – With monetization methods like affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and merchandise sales, a popular cat Instagram account can generate part-time or even full-time income. Top pet influencers earn thousands from their content.

However, there are also potential cons to weigh:

Time commitment – Producing regular, quality content requires an investment of time. Between photography/videography, editing, caption writing, engagement, and advertising, running a monetized account can become a major time commitment.

Pressure – The pressure to continuously produce engaging content on a regular posting schedule in order to maintain account growth and income may reduce some of the enjoyment.

Dealing with fame – While many seek it, internet fame isn’t always fun. Receiving negative comments, harassment, or having followers invade your privacy are downsides of a large public platform.


As we have seen throughout this article, transforming a cat Instagram account into a profitable venture is possible but involves significant time and effort. The key points to remember are:

  • Building an engaged following of cat lovers is essential, which requires consistently posting high-quality, cute and entertaining cat content.
  • There are several monetization methods to leverage once your account grows, including affiliate marketing, sponsorships, merchandising, and paid partnerships.
  • Turning professional requires registering as a business, understanding tax implications, and treating your account like a brand.

Overall, while launching a profitable cat Instagram may seem like a fun and easy way to make money, it requires immense dedication over months or years to see meaningful returns. The small income generated may not justify the time investment for most people. However, for passionate cat lovers who enjoy creating content and interacting with an online community, it can become a fulfilling side hobby and potential career path.

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