The Sad Death of an Internet Sensation. How Grumpy Cat Passed Away


Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, was a female cat who became an internet celebrity for her permanently “grumpy” looking facial expression. She was born on April 4, 2012 in Morristown, Arizona and was owned by Tabatha Bundesen.

Grumpy Cat’s unique grumpy appearance was due to feline dwarfism and an underbite. Images of her were first posted to Reddit in late 2012 and went viral, spreading across social media and garnering millions of views. She soon became one of the world’s most famous cat memes and internet celebrities.

Grumpy Cat appeared on various media outlets including Buzzfeed, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, and Vogue. She also starred in a Lifetime holiday movie, a music video, television commercials, and had her own merchandise line. Her popularity spawned many memes, gifs, and image macros using her photo.

Her Health Issues

Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, had a form of feline dwarfism that caused her unique grumpy appearance. According to Walkerville Vet, Grumpy Cat’s dwarfism was caused by genetic mutations that resulted in her undersized stature, flattened face, and underbite. These physical characteristics led to her permanently grumpy facial expression.

Grumpy Cat struggled with infections throughout her life due to her dwarfism. As reported by IFLScience, her squashed face shape made her prone to sinus infections. Her owners also mentioned that she had frequent urinary tract infections. Despite her health issues related to dwarfism, Grumpy Cat became an online celebrity and phenomenon known for her unique grumpy look.

The Event of Her Passing

Grumpy Cat passed away on May 14, 2019 at the age of 7 due to complications from a urinary tract infection. Her owners announced her death on May 17th via social media, stating “Some days are grumpier than others.” Tardar Sauce, as Grumpy Cat was known to her family, lived in Morristown, Arizona with her owners Tabatha Bundesen, Bryan Bundesen, and their daughter Chrystal.

The announcement of Grumpy Cat’s death led to an immense outpouring of tributes from fans across the world. As one of the internet’s first viral memes and sensations, Grumpy Cat had built up a massive global fanbase during her lifetime. Her frowning face had become a symbol of relatable grumpiness and cynicism. Fans expressed their sadness on social media using hashtags like #RIPGrumpyCat and sharing their favorite memes and moments from her prolific career. Grumpy Cat was an online cultural icon, and her passing marked the end of an era for many.

After her death, Tabatha Bundesen said “Grumpy Cat has helped millions of people smile all around the world – even when times were tough. Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.” She was laid to rest in the pet cemetery in her hometown of Sun City, Arizona. A public memorial was held on May 19th so that fans could pay their respects. Grumpy Cat leaves behind an immense cultural legacy and millions of fans who loved her unique scowling face.

Official Cause of Death

Grumpy Cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, died at the age of 7 due to complications from a urinary tract infection according to her owners. As reported on TIME, urinary tract infections are unfortunately common in cats, especially those with underlying kidney or bladder problems. The infection led to complications that her body was unable to overcome. Grumpy Cat passed away peacefully at home in the arms of her owner Tabatha on May 14, 2019.

Urinary tract infections occur in an estimated 1-3% of cats every year. While they can often be treated with antibiotics, recurrent infections or an infection that spreads to the kidneys can become life-threatening. Cats with other health issues like kidney disease are at higher risk. Given Grumpy Cat’s young age, it’s likely she had an underlying condition that made her prone to the infection that ultimately led to her untimely passing.

Owner’s Thoughts

Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen, shared her thoughts on Grumpy Cat’s passing in a statement, saying “Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.”

Bundesen also reflected on Grumpy Cat’s life, sharing “Her spirit will continue to live on through her fans everywhere.” According to an article on Newsweek, Bundesen was proud of everything Grumpy Cat accomplished in her brief but impactful life, bringing joy and laughter to millions of people worldwide.

Ongoing Legacy

Grumpy Cat’s fame and image continue to live on even after her passing. According to, Grumpy Cat has cemented herself as one of the most iconic memes of all time. Her frowning face can still be found captioned with funny, ironic text across social media. Many popular meme accounts continue to pay tribute by posting classic Grumpy Cat images or creating new memes using her photos.

Fans have also created public memorials and tributes for the influential feline. A bronze statue of Grumpy Cat now sits in her hometown at the Bricktown Brewery in Morristown, Arizona, letting people leave flowers and take photos with the memorial. Additionally, pop culture conventions have held memorial panels to reflect on Grumpy Cat’s impact on internet culture over the past decade.

Overall, Grumpy Cat’s legacy lives on through continued sharing and enjoyment of her meme. She likely will remain an iconic internet figure for years to come.

Media Coverage

Grumpy Cat’s passing was widely covered by major media outlets. The New York Times published an article titled “Grumpy Cat, Internet Celebrity With a Piercing Look of Contempt, Is Dead at 7” that highlighted her fame as “the ubiquitous scowl that launched a thousand memes.”

NBC News also reported on Grumpy Cat’s death in an article called “Grumpy Cat, the face of thousands of internet memes, has died.” The article noted that her unique facial expression of displeasure “resonated with millions and inspired countless memes.”

Overall, the media portrayed Grumpy Cat as an early internet celebrity who pioneered the viral meme format and brought joy to millions with her perpetual frown. Her impact as an online cultural phenomenon was widely acknowledged in remembrances and tributes after her death.

Fan Reactions

Grumpy Cat amassed a huge online following during her lifetime, so when the news of her passing hit, there was an outpouring of grief and commemoration across social media platforms. Fans who had followed her jokes and antics for years were devastated to lose such an iconic internet celebrity. Many shared their favorite Grumpy Cat memes and images as a tribute. Others posted thoughtful messages about the joy she had brought them and how they would miss her unique scowling face.

On Twitter, users reminisced about how Grumpy Cat had become a staple of internet culture over the years. “Rest in peace Grumpy Cat, you brought a smile to my face so many times,” one fan tweeted. Another Twitter user wrote, “So sad that Grumpy Cat passed away. She was a true internet legend and brought us so much laughter.”

On Instagram, loving fan art and photoshops of Grumpy Cat poured in to honor her. One popular image showed her floating peacefully through the clouds in heaven with angel wings. The caption read, “Fly high Grumpy Cat, the internet will never forget you.” Another artistic tribute featured a cartoon Grumpy Cat surrounded by hearts and the words “We’ll miss you!” Overall, fans made it clear through their social media mourning that Grumpy Cat had left an indelible mark on internet pop culture.

Cats Like Grumpy Cat

Grumpy Cat became famous for her unique grumpy appearance caused by feline dwarfism and an underbite. There have been other internet-famous cats that also went viral due to their unique looks.

Lil Bub is another famous cat that has a unique appearance due to genetic anomalies that give her a permanently kitten-like look and dwarfism. She has extra toes on all four paws, an extremely short lower jaw and a shortened tongue. Her unusual appearance and friendly personality made her an internet celebrity. (Source)

Colonel Meow gained fame as the cat with the longest fur. According to Guinness World Records, his fur reached 9 inches in length. He went viral on the internet due to his fluffy and unique appearance. (Source)

Other cats like Grumpy Cat that have gone viral include Venus the Two-Faced Cat, Sam the Cat with Eyebrows, and Lil BUB’s friend Miley the Tongue-Out Cat. They all captured public fascination due to their unusual and distinctive looks.


Grumpy Cat’s journey to internet fame was an unlikely one. She went from being an unknown cat with a genetic condition, to becoming one of the most popular memes and cats on the internet. Her permanently grumpy facial expression resonated with people worldwide, and helped her gain a massive following across social media. She leaves behind an enduring legacy as one of the most famous felines of the internet age.

The story and popularity of Grumpy Cat signifies the power of memes and viral content in internet culture. In an era where cute animal photos are constantly shared online, Grumpy Cat managed to capture the public’s imagination and stand out from the crowd. She demonstrated how a single photo, with the right dose of charm and personality, can launch an animal to international celebrity status. Even after her passing, Grumpy Cat lives on through the joy and amusement she brought to millions of people. Her legacy will continue to influence internet culture for years to come.

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