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A definitive ranking of former shelter cats that shot to fame on the internet



Social media may have its drawbacks, but scrolling through a feed of adorable cats isn’t one of them. These kitties have amassed thousands of loyal fans since being adopted by their owners and given their own Instagram accounts. Scroll through for our definitive ranking of rescue cats and let these lovable felines be your inspiration to adopt...


13. MONTY THE CAT


Owners Mikala and Michael from Copenhagen adopted Monty in 2013 and his shy demeanor among the other shelter cats convinced them to bring him home. Aside from his gentle nature, he is special because of his unique nose — he was born without a nasal bridge bone due to a chromosome defect.


12. COLE & MARMALADE


These two cool cats have more than half a million fans on Instagram. Cole was picked up off the street as a tiny flea-covered kitten in 2012. Marmalade, a cancer survivor, was adopted in 2013 after his two siblings died.


11. VENUS THE TWO-FACED CAT


What a beauty! Venus’s owners will tell you that she is zero per cent Photoshopped and one hundred per cent born this way. The half black and ginger tabby has been an inspiration for her almost two million followers ever since she was rescued in 2009.


10. HONEY BEE THE BLIND CAT


Honey Bee (front) may have a disability, but she never lets it get her down. She was adopted from Fiji and now lives in Seattle. This brave feline sees the world through her ears and often goes on outdoor hikes with her owners.


9. BRIMLEY


Life used to be pretty rough for Brimley. The fluffy white Persian was rescued from a breeder who had her eyes sewed shut after she developed problems rather than take her to the vet. Now she boasts more than 84,000 fans on Instagram and shares her adorable smile with the world.


8. NORA THE PIANO CAT


A star was born in 2004 when Nora, who gained fame for her expert piano skills on YouTube, was rescued from Camden, New Jersey. The internet quickly fell in love with the talented gray tabby.


7. DIDGA


Didga (short for Didgeridoo) is known for giving other cats serious FOMO. You can catch this thrill-seeking cat performing stunts like flipping, jumping and even surfing, all over YouTube. Didga is a certified beach bum and lives with his family in Australia.


6. SAM THE CAT


Sam became one of the most famous felines when the internet took notice of the black streaks of fur over his eyebrows that look like eyebrows. He was found in his owner’s neighborhood in 2012.


5. NALA


Nala has more than four million followers on Instagram, but she came from humble beginnings before internet stardom. She was adopted from a shelter on a chance encounter. Her current owner wasn't sure if she was ready to handle Nala, but now she has no regrets about the decision.


4. HAMILTON THE HIPSTER CAT


Hamilton was adopted from a shelter in Silicon Valley. His cat ‘stashe, a white strip of fur that runs along his top lip, has become his signature. This gray and white kitty has 800,000 followers on Instagram.


3. BENTO THE KEYBOARD CAT


The beloved Bento was sort of a metaphor for pet celebrities and is not, in fact, the original keyboard cat. He remade the classic Fatso video shot in the 80s and instantly shot to Youtube super stardom. Sadly, Bento died in 2009.


2. LIL BUB


Lil Bub was found in a tool shed in rural Indiana and adopted at just a few weeks old. Known for a cute little tongue that sticks out all the time, she is one of the internet’s most famous cats and boasts 2.2million followers on Instagram.


1. GRUMPY CAT


The cat that needs no introduction is, of course, Grumpy Cat. Real name Tardar Sauce, this scowling kitty sadly died in May 2019 of complications stemming from a urinary tract infection, but not before amassing a $100 million fortune. Grumpy Cat leaves behind millions of memes and merchandise, and will always have a place in our hearts.



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Home Magazine: A definitive ranking of former shelter cats that shot to fame on the internet
A definitive ranking of former shelter cats that shot to fame on the internet
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