How To Monetize Your Kitten

Now that you brought home your new cat, it’s time to take this to the next level and develop a business model. No industry has seen larger growth than the viral online cat business and you are sitting on a goldmine. To take but one example, Grumpy Cat became an Internet superstar after a couple of Reddit photos. His celebrity lead to endorsement deals, desk calendars and a Lifetime Christmas movie. As a result, Grumpy actually out-earned Oprah in 2014.

The Viral Cat Industry has been written up in many business publications but we can break it down to five basic principles. Understand, making your cat into a celebrity is one of its primal instincts. Despite outward appearances your cat WANTS you to exploit it. Like hunting for mice and birds, cats are happiest banging away at a keyboard or getting stuck in some tight-fittting tube.

Owning a computer. It cannot be stressed enough that this initial investment is a key component to making YOUR cat a hot property. Get a Go camera or a high-end smart phone. If you don’t know how to use it, at least learn the video portion.

Establish your kitten’s online presence. This means setting up a website, Facebook account, Instagram page, Twitter feed, YouTube and Pinterest board. Make sure your kitty’s website has options to book appearances or contact representation (this means being your cat’s agent until his or her career gets traction). You may need to fund this through a Kickstarter campaign to gather investors, until a revenue stream begins from Google ads and book deals. Most Internet cats sign with agencies within the first year of starting their blog and this will be crucial in managing any fashion line, tricky movie deals or coffee mugs.

Do your homework. Google ‘cute cat’ or other synonyms and you will come up with millions of photos that would take days to scour through. This is both your competition and your education. Take notes and take note of the stats. Learn trends. Ex., cats don’t become stars coughing up hairballs or playing poop hockey.

Lights, camera, action. Look around the house. What looks dangerous but not so much so you are actually endangering your kitten. A Lazy Suzy or kitchen faucet sprayer can be the inspiration for your directorial debut. Consider accessorizing your cat with a hat or horse head or whatever.  And don’t forget to add a bird, chipmunk or duck into the mix.  Whatever it takes to make your pet look ridiculous.

Managing expectations. One does not get a million Likes and followers overnight. It can take a whole weekend. But it can be one little thing that tips the scales. A cat standing up like a human can go from feral to viral with a well-placed red bow tie. In Japan they have a cat that can climb into a box and then climb out of it. 8 million views. The box is very small making the escape even cuter. The devil is in the details.

It’s important to know that becoming a Hollywood parent is not just for kids. As long as your cat can get it’s head stuck in a tissue box or is willing to be flung off a treadmill, then you and your cat can become ridiculously rich and famous.