The History of the 5 Most Famous Internet Cats

Cats are popular on the internet. There’s no doubt or questioning that, and almost anyone who’s gone on YouTube could probably admit to being suckered into the world of cat videos.

And although cats are highly amusing and we love them unconditionally, not all cats are equal online. On the internet, their popularity is measured by how viral their video, or meme, or GIF is on various social media and sharing sites, like Facebook and Reddit.

Which cats are deemed supurrior by humans? Here are the most famous felines who ever graced the web. Though we only took the 5 most famous internet cats, we did link to extra resources where you can satisfy your feline frenzy. Purrfect…

Nyan Cat

A few years back, someone thought putting a cat in a pop tart would look great as an avatar. Well, turns out he was right. The Pop Tart Cat (otherwise known as “Nyan Cat,” but we’ll get to that in a second), created by Christopher Torres, is an animated GIF of a cat in a pop tart with a trail of rainbows behind him (pooping rainbows?) as he flies through space. Torres created the GIF for a Red Cross charity he was involved in.

Nyan Cat, as the Pop Tart Cat is popularly known, is perhaps one of the most famous cats to hit the Internet. The cat became popular thanks to two YouTube users known as Saraj00n and the song creator daniwell when they uploaded the video on April 2011. As of this writing, the video has received more than 120 million views. Pawsome!

For more info about this internet cat-sensation, watch this investigative video from KnowYourMeme.

On its official site, you can pick from among the many different flavors like reggae, jazz, and Pikachu versions. Be pawpared and cationed as the site plays the GIF accompanied by an 8-bit track non-stop.  Nyan Cat video that plays for 600 minutes.

Nyan Cat is based on Torres’ deceased grey cat Marty. He wanted his GIF to exude a carefree and happy attitude and thus the flying, rainbow-pooping animated cat was born. “Well, of course a cat would do something like this!” he said.

Grumpy Cat

Who is Grumpy Cat? That’s a question no netizen would ask. I mean how could you not know Tardar Sauce? She’s (yes, she’s a female feline) basically internet royalty raking in about $100 million. She has had endorsement deals, a book and even a movie, not to mention dozens of items with her ever-scowling face on them.

Her picture was originally uploaded in Reddit in 2012. The image then received the Photoshopped parody meme treatment and her fame has skyrocketed from thereon.

If you just can’t get enough of that always frowning face, then follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and her official website.

Keyboard Cat

In the mid 1980s, Charlie Schmidt took a video of his cat, Fatso, playing the keyboard; though he waited until 2007 to upload the video to YouTube. And it took a couple more years for Keyboard Cat, or Fatso, as he’s more popularly known, to become an internet rock star.

Fatso started to be noticed when Brad O’Farrell used the video, with Schmidt’s permission, to append the end of blooper videos in vaudevillian style. This use became popular and Fatso was re-birthed to the internet as the “Play Him Off, Keyboard Cat.”

Fatso is now dead. But fear not, you keyboard-playing cat lovers, for new cats have followed in his pawprints. Here’s a site that is dedicated to Fatso videos, with other cats as the feature.

Maru, the Master of Boxes

From the land of the rising sun comes the master of boxes, and Maru is his name. His Japanese owner indulged this Scottish Fold’s love for fitting in boxes and trained him with astounding results.

If you’re wondering why Maru loves boxes so much, read LoveMeow’s interview with him. Here’s the gist of their conversation:

Amy: Why do you like boxes so much?
Maru: I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to stop going into a box when I see one. It just gets me so excited!
Amy: What else do you like besides boxes?
Maru: I love hanging out on top of a cat tree, by the window and in the bathroom.
Amy: Do you prefer big boxes or small boxes?
Maru: When I nap, I like a small box because it is snug and fits me just right. However, when I play, I prefer a huge one.

Lil Bub

You may have heard this famous cat’s name pop out among the guests in the Everything is Festival that’s coming to Portland later this month. The festival starts on May 28, but you can catch Lil Bub live on May 29th and May 30th in a meet-and-greet fundraiser for the Oregon Humane Society, and during Lil Bub’s Big Fund for special needs pets.

If you don’t know who she is, Lil Bub is a very special cat. First of all, she is a “perma-kitten,” which means, “she will stay kitten sized and maintain kitten-like features her entire life” due to dwarfism. In addition, she is also a polydactyl cat, which means she has extra toes on her paws. But none of these hamper the cat’s positivity as she is described as a “healthy, happy cat” by her owner. Learn more about Lil Bub here.

Although she may be considered the runt of her litter, Lil Bub has won over millions of hearts (take that, siblings!). Aside from her appearance in Portland, she has more lined up for her fans, followers and supporters of her charity. Check out her scheduled appearances here.

Picking only five of the most famous internet cats was hard work, so go easy on us. We know there are other famous cats we may have failed to mention, and no doubt there will be new cat sensations to hit the interwebs soon.

We’ll leave you with this very informative short on the history of cat videos and hand over the pen to you. Let us know which famous internet feline is your favorite!


Who is your favorite internet cat? Let us know in the comments!

Additional images: Flickr



Juvy Garcia
Juvy Garcia
Juvy is a freelance proofreader, copy editor and writer. A nice little nook with a good book would be ideal. But concocting plans for her next drawing or DIY project will suffice while she's still busy babysitting two daughters. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Google+.