How To Make A Keyboard Cat?

The Keyboard Cat meme originated in 1984 when Charlie Schmidt filmed his cat Fatso “playing” an organ. He later posted the video to YouTube in 2007, where it went viral and became an internet meme. The meme typically involves editing Fatso’s performance into blooper or fail videos as if the cat is “playing off” the subject in a lighthearted way. This guide will provide step-by-step instructions on how to make your own Keyboard Cat costume for a pet as well as tips for filming, training your cat, editing, and sharing your own Keyboard Cat meme video.

The original Keyboard Cat video was filmed in 1984 by Charlie Schmidt and featured his cat Fatso wearing a blue shirt and “playing” an organ. It was posted to YouTube in 2007 and quickly went viral, launching numerous remixes and parodies (1). The meme is now considered an iconic part of internet culture.

(1) “Keyboard Cat.” Know Your Meme,

Materials Needed

The main materials you’ll need for a keyboard cat costume are:

  • Toy cat or stuffed animal – This will be the “cat” that plays the keyboard. Choose a stuffed animal that can sit up on its own. You want one that is cute but not too big.[1]
  • Miniature piano keyboard – Look for a small, toy piano keyboard or just a row of keys. You want one that the cat can place its paws on.[2]
  • Camera and tripod – You’ll need these to film your keyboard cat. Make sure the camera can record video.

Optional items include costume details like a piano bench, piano lamp, sheet music, glasses, hat or tie to dress up your cat. Get creative with the costume!

Making the Costume

The most important part of making the keyboard cat costume is attaching the piano keyboard to a base or stand so that it can be positioned upright. Here are some tips for securing the keyboard:

– Use a thick piece of cardboard, plywood, or plexiglass as the base. Cut it into a rectangle or square shape slightly larger than your keyboard.

– Attach the keyboard to the base using strong adhesive, screws, or a hot glue gun. Apply the glue or screws to the bottom of the keyboard and press it onto the base.

– For extra support, attach L-brackets, corner braces, or wooden blocks to the sides of the keyboard and base using glue or screws.

– Consider propping up the back of the base on blocks or books so the keyboard is angled slightly upwards.

– Paint or decorate the base to blend in with the keyboard or make it fun and colorful.

To attach the cat toy or stuffed animal, position it centered on top of the keys. Secure it using:

– Hot glue on the paws or body. Let dry completely.

– Narrow strips of velcro tape on the paws and keys.

– Fishing line or clear thread tied around the body andkeyboard.

– A cardboard scratching post attached to the back of the keyboard for the toy to sit against.

Make sure all attachments are secure so the costume moves as one unit when played.


When filming your keyboard cat video, there are a few key things to focus on in order to achieve high quality footage:

Set your camera settings appropriately. For video, you’ll generally want a frame rate of 24, 25 or 30 fps. Shoot at the highest resolution possible – at least 1080p HD, but 4K if your camera allows. Make sure you’re recording in a horizontal/landscape orientation rather than vertical.

Proper lighting is essential. Position your cat near a brightly lit window for natural daylight. Or use artificial lighting like soft boxes or LED panels pointed at your cat from multiple angles to prevent shadows. Avoid harsh overhead lighting. The key is diffused, even lighting.

Frame your shots correctly. For a standard keyboard cat shot, position the camera at your cat’s eye level on a tripod, centered on the keyboard. Get fairly close so your cat is the main focus rather than too much background. Vary your angles – straight on, from the side, low shots looking up, etc. for visual interest.

Check out this helpful video on DIY filming tips: Professional Video Filming at Home

Training Your Cat

Clicker training can be an effective way to train your cat to sit still on the keyboard prop. According to this article from Hill’s Pet Nutrition, clicker training utilizes a conditioned reinforcer, like a clicker device, to mark desired behaviors immediately. The click signals to the cat that they will receive a reward. This allows the trainer to precisely mark when the cat demonstrates the wanted behavior.

To start, you’ll want to build an association between the clicker sound and receiving a treat. Offer your cat a treat immediately after clicking the device. After consistent repetition over multiple training sessions, the cat will start to recognize the click as a reward signal. Now you can start clicking when the cat engages in desired behaviors like sitting still on the keyboard prop. Follow each click with a treat reward. With regular training, the cat will learn that sitting calmly on the keyboard leads to click and treats.

According to Daily Paws, clicker training sessions should be short, consistent, and always end on a positive note. Keep sessions brief, about 5-10 minutes, and train frequently throughout the week. And make sure to reward good behavior generously with treats, pets, and praise. With regular practice, your cat can learn to sit perfectly still on command while wearing the keyboard costume.


Once you have all the footage you need of your cat playing the keyboard, it’s time to edit it together into a video. Use a video editing program like Shotcut or Adobe Premiere to import your video clips.

You’ll want to trim down the clips to just the best moments of your cat playing – cut out any extra footage at the beginning or end. Select the moments where your cat’s paws are on the keys for the best effect. You can even split clips to just use a few seconds that work best.

Add your music track and line it up so the cat’s “performance” matches the melody and rhythm. Adjust audio levels so the music is loud enough to hear but doesn’t overpower the video. Fade the music in and out for a smooth transition.

Watch through your edited video and make any final tweaks to get the timing and cuts just right. The editing is key to making a funny and effective keyboard cat meme!

Creating the Meme

Once you have the footage of your cat playing the keyboard, it’s time to add the text captions that will make your video go viral. The captions are the funny, clever, or sarcastic phrases that help tell the story and make the meme humorous and entertaining.

Open your video editing software and load the keyboard cat footage. Determine where you want text to appear by watching the video and identifying the moments where a caption would work well. For example, you may want a caption when the cat first sits down at the keyboard, when it starts hammering on the keys, or when it gives a look to the camera.

Add the text overlays one at a time, choosing short phrases that quickly convey humor. For inspiration, browse popular keyboard cat meme captions that others have used successfully. Consider puns, song lyrics, sarcastic remarks, or any funny saying that fits your cat’s personality.

Fine-tune the timing and placement of the captions so they appear at just the right moments. Allow a couple of seconds for viewers to read each one. When finished, export the video in a shareable format like MP4.

With hilarious captions added to your cat’s keyboard antics, you now have a meme that is ready to delight and entertain internet audiences everywhere!


Once you’ve created your hilarious keyboard cat video, it’s time to share it with the world! Uploading the video to popular social media platforms is a great way to get a lot of eyes on it quickly. Sites like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter allow you to easily upload and share videos. When posting on social media, make sure to use relevant hashtags like #keyboardcat and #funnycats so people can find your video more easily.

You can also embed the YouTube or Facebook version of your keyboard cat video on your own website or blog to share it with your existing audience. Most blogging platforms make embedding videos simple with just a copy and paste of the embed code. The video will then show up seamlessly integrated into your site. Embed your keyboard cat near the top of relevant blog posts to give readers a good laugh right away.


Bringing your keyboard cat costume and video to life will likely involve some troubleshooting along the way. Common issues that may arise include costume malfunctions and the need to re-shoot scenes.

If parts of the costume fall off or become damaged, you’ll need to fix or replace them. Use strong adhesives like hot glue or fabric glue to reattach pieces like the keyboard or hat. Sew repairs when possible. Have backup costume pieces ready in case something isn’t salvageable. Test the durability of the full costume before filming.

You may need to re-shoot scenes if there are issues like bad lighting, background noise, or cat behaviors not going as planned. Make sure to get multiple good takes of each shot and scene to have options in editing. Film in a quiet space without interruptions. Use treats to encourage the best cat performance. Check each take and redo any shots that don’t capture the keyboard cat magic.

For more tips, see this video on troubleshooting video production and this article on solving common video issues.


The original Keyboard Cat meme featured Charlie Schmidt’s cat “Fatso” wearing a blue shirt and “playing” an upbeat rhythm on a keyboard. This video went viral after being uploaded to YouTube in 2007 by Schmidt. It became one of the earliest and most well-known internet memes (source: Keyboard Cat’s YouTube channel).

Since then, people have created many creative variations on the Keyboard Cat meme using new costumes, keyboards, animals, and songs. However, the classic fat gray tabby cat in a blue shirt “playing” simple, upbeat tunes on a keyboard remains the most recognizable format.

When making your own Keyboard Cat video, it can be helpful to watch some of the original videos as well as new interpretations to get inspiration for your own creative twist.

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