‘Fat Cats’: 4 Steps to Make Millions Off a Feline

Photo (cc) by RyanAlldread

“Tardar Sauce” is the real name of an undersized cat that appears to be constantly frowning, likely due to feline dwarfism, according to her website.

Yes, she has a website. Tardar Sauce is the world-famous feline better known as “Grumpy Cat” — and media reports suggest the 3-year-old is worth untold millions.

Her official Facebook page has more than 7.5 million fans. Her books, “Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book” and “The Grumpy Guide to Life: Observations by Grumpy Cat,” are New York Times’ bestsellers. Her face appears on an array of merchandise, even an iced coffee — “Grumppuccino.”

Grumpy Cat’s owner, Tabatha Bundesen of Arizona, told the British publication Express that she quit her job as a waitress “within days” of Grumpy Cat’s first appearance on social media.

If you’re wondering how to turn your pet into a cash cow, wonder no more. CNN Money has researched how Grumpy Cat and Chinese feline sensation Tsim Tung Brother Cream, aka “Brother Cream,” found financial fortune.

Step 1: Build a massive online following

Social media and psychology expert Karen North, a clinical professor of communication at the University of Southern California, tells CNN that it’s “a way of getting entertainment in the hands of audience members who become evangelists of the content, and spread it wider than the originator ever dreamed.”

Grumpy Cat went viral after her photo was posted to the website Reddit, her website states. When it was suggested that the photo was altered with the software program Photoshop, her owner posted a few YouTube videos, and Grumpy Cat shot to Internet fame.

Step 2: Consider registering a trademark like “Grumpy Cat”

Marty Brochstein of the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association makes this suggestion, and also urges you to consider hiring an agent.

Grumpy Cat and Brother Cream both have managers.

Step 3: Monetize your pet

Options include product endorsements, licensing agreements and original merchandise.

Brother Cream might live in a Hong Kong convenience store, but he’s done promotions for U.S.-based brands like Xbox, CNN reports, and his face appears on merchandise like handbags, stickers and folders.

Personal appearances are another option. Lil Bub, a famously runty cat whose tongue constantly hangs out like that of a dog, does appearances.

Step 4: Consider sharing the wealth

Part of Grumpy Cat’s fortune goes “directly [to] shelters that help save animals,” according to her website.

CNN reports that Brother Cream’s owner, Ko Chee-shing, started a nonprofit to fund animal rescue and food aid programs, for example.

What’s your take on famous cats? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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