The Hidden World of Catfluencers. How Famous Felines Make Big Money on Instagram

Cat Instagram accounts have become increasingly popular in recent years. People love seeing cute and funny cat photos and videos on social media. Some cat Instagram accounts have gained millions of followers and become extremely influential in the process. These accounts showcase adorable cats doing silly things or just being irresistibly cute. The most popular cat Instagram accounts have developed huge followings and even celebrity status.

According to one analysis, there are over 200 cat Instagram accounts with over 100,000 followers each. The most popular account, @nala_cat, has over 4 million followers. These accounts allow cat owners to share their pets with a massive audience. For some accounts, it has even become a lucrative full-time business. Brand sponsorship deals and merchandise sales allow top earners to make six figures annually. The huge popularity of these accounts demonstrates that social media users just can’t get enough of adorable cat content.

Monetizing Cat Instagram Accounts

There are several ways for cat Instagram accounts to make money once they build a large enough following. According to this LA Times article, accounts usually need around 20,000 followers before they can start monetizing effectively.

the instagram profile page for the cat account @nala_cat

One of the most common ways is through sponsored posts. Brands will pay cat Instagram accounts to feature their products. The fees can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars per sponsored post, depending on the account’s follower count and engagement levels. According to this article from Jarvee, accounts with over 100,000 followers can charge around $3,000 per sponsored Instagram post.

Another monetization method is affiliate marketing. Cat Instagram accounts often include affiliate links in their profiles or posts, whereby they earn a commission if followers purchase through those links. Many cat accounts promote pet products like toys, treats, and accessories. Others link to online stores or their own merchandise (more on that next).

Selling merchandise is a lucrative monetization strategy. Once an account gains a loyal following, custom products like t-shirts, mugs, and calendars featuring the cat can provide ongoing passive income. As noted in the Jarvee article, merch sales combined with sponsorships and affiliates can result in cat Instagram accounts earning anywhere from $5,000 to $100,000 per month.

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts on Instagram are a great way for brands to promote their products and services to cat influencers’ engaged audiences. According to Dani the Explorer, a simple rule of thumb for digital rights and licensing is to charge a 20% fee for every 30-day period the sponsored content is published. The fees cat influencers can charge for sponsored posts generally depends on the size of their following and level of engagement.

As a rough guide, according to Impact:

  • Micro influencers with 10k-100k followers can charge around $200-$1000 per sponsored post
  • Mid-tier with 100k-500k followers can charge $1500-$5000
  • Macro influencers with 500k-1M followers can charge $8000-$20000
  • Mega influencers with over 1M followers can charge $45,000+

When setting sponsored post rates, cat influencers should consider their engagement rates, target audience, and overall brand alignment with the sponsor. Negotiating contracts and pricing to provide value for both parties is key.

Affiliate Marketing

One of the most popular ways for cat Instagram accounts to earn money is through affiliate marketing. This involves partnering with brands and earning a commission when you drive sales to them. The key is to strategically choose affiliate partners that align with your brand and audience.

a list of popular pet brands with affiliate links

Affiliate links allow you to earn a percentage of any sales you refer. For example, you could partner with a pet food company and insert your custom affiliate link in your bio. Whenever followers click and make a purchase, you receive credit for that sale. Many big brands like Chewy, Amazon, and Petco have affiliate programs cat influencers can join.

To get started, research affiliate programs in the pet industry and apply to join them. Once approved, you’ll receive a unique tracking link to promote products. Be sure to disclose affiliate links visibly according to FTC guidelines. Some top tips are to consistently link to products in your bio, create discount codes for followers, and integrate affiliate links into relevant Instagram posts and Stories.

With a sizable, engaged following on Instagram, affiliate marketing can become a significant revenue stream. But it requires carefully selecting products your audience will love and seamlessly integrating affiliate links into content.

Merchandise Sales

Selling custom branded merchandise to fans is a popular way for cat influencers to generate income. Many successful cat Instagram accounts open an online store to sell branded products like t-shirts, phone cases, mugs, and stickers featuring their cat’s image or catchphrases. Fans who follow a cat account and feel connected with the pet will often happily purchase this type of merchandise to show their support. Companies like Printful allow influencers to easily set up merch shops with no upfront costs. Popular cat merch items include t-shirts with the cat’s picture and funny sayings, phone cases with cute photos of the pet, and coffee mugs with the cat’s branding. As the Instagram account grows, branded merch becomes an effective passive income stream. According to this cat influencer, setting up a merch shop to tap into a growing follower base can become a significant source of revenue over time.

Building a Large Following

To grow a successful cat Instagram account, it’s important to build a large and engaged following. Here are some tips for doing that:

a person taking a cute photo of their cat

Post consistently high-quality, cute, and entertaining cat photos and videos. Use captions that showcase your cat’s personality. Engage your audience by asking questions and responding to comments (Source 1).

Follow and engage with other cat accounts. Like, comment on, and share their posts. This helps build relationships within the cat community (Source 2).

Use relevant hashtags like #catsofinstagram, #instacats, and #catstagram. Join “follow trains” where accounts share and follow each other’s followers (Source 3).

Run contests and giveaways to incentivize followers to like, comment, tag their friends, and help spread the word about your account.

Leverage Instagram ads to target cat lovers and promote your account to potential new followers.

Creating Quality Content

When creating content for a cat Instagram account, it’s important to focus on the types of posts that followers respond well to. Some of the most popular content themes include:

  • Cute photos and videos that capture the cat’s personality – These should be high-quality and well-composed to grab attention.
  • Funny or meme-style images that are relatable for cat owners.
  • Behind-the-scenes looks at the cat’s daily life.
  • Photos of the cat in cute outfits or with props.
  • Content with high engagement, like polls, questions, and challenges. Ask followers to tag their cat or share similar photos.
  • Educational content about cat care and health.
  • Holiday-themed posts.
  • Photos with inspirational or motivational quotes.

The most popular cat Instagram accounts like @nala_cat mix up these content styles to keep followers engaged. Posting daily with high-quality, visually appealing images and videos that show off the cat’s personality is key.

Influencing As a Career

Some cat influencers have been able to turn their Instagram fame into a full-time career, quitting their day jobs to focus on creating content. For example, Coline Doebelin was working as an analyst when she started posting photos of her cat Nala on Instagram (This is how you become a cat influencer). Within a year, Nala had over 50,000 followers and Coline decided to leave her job to put all her efforts into growing the account. However, becoming a full-time influencer comes with many challenges. It can be difficult to earn enough from brand sponsorships and merchandise sales in the early stages. There is also the constant pressure to keep creating engaging content and growing your audience. For many, it takes years of hard work to build their account large enough to sustain themselves financially. Some may need to juggle influencing with part-time work or savings initially. But for cat lovers who enjoy creating social media content, becoming an influencer can be a rewarding career that allows them to turn their passion into a profession.

Top Earning Cat Instagram Accounts

the instagram profile picture for famous cat nala
Cat influencers on Instagram have the potential to make significant income from their accounts, with the top earners raking in tens of thousands of dollars per sponsored post. According to The Pet Rich List report from, the highest-earning cat on Instagram is Nala Cat, who makes around $14,419 per sponsored post with her 4.1 million followers.

Other top earning cat influencers on the platform include Choupette Lagerfeld, owned by the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, who earns approximately $9,834 per post. Cat brothers Luzmila and Luzma are estimated to make $7,576 per sponsored post with their 1.3 million followers. Famous gray cat Lil Bub earns around $3,786 per post for her 2.9 million follower account.

According to data compiled by The Street, other high earning Instagram cats include Manny the Frenchie, who rakes in $12,000 per post and Pudge the Cat, earning around $7,891 per sponsored content post. Gimo, a British Shorthair cat, is estimated to make $2,882 per sponsored ad. Clearly, with large followings and quality content, cats have proven they can find success as influencers on Instagram.


In summary, there are several effective strategies that cat Instagram account owners can utilize to monetize their influence and turn their pets into bonafide internet stars. Sponsored posts allow brands to tap into a cat account’s existing audience by having the pet showcase or endorse their products. Affiliate marketing works similarly, whereby the account owner earns a commission for directing their followers to purchase specific products through special links. Creating and selling custom merchandise featuring the cat’s image or likeness is another great way to generate revenue from a loyal fanbase.

However, building a sizable following and consistently creating engaging, high-quality content is essential for any of these monetization methods to be viable. It takes time, effort, creativity, and a deep understanding of what resonates with the target audience. Even for those who are able to cultivate a popular cat Instagram account, maintaining relevance, dealing with competition, and adapting to constant platform changes can prove challenging.

The potential rewards make the efforts worthwhile for those able to tap into what makes their furry companion truly special. For cat lovers with a creative eye and social media savvy, converting pet popularity into profit is an exciting opportunity. With the right mix of skill, luck, and clever cat content, lucrative internet stardom awaits.

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