Friday, April 20, 2012

Could your Pet be the Next Facebook Sensation?

By Julia Williams

One cannot help but notice the growing popularity of pets on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Given the number of pet lovers in the world, it shouldn’t be shocking to discover that some pets have more fans than many celebrities. But did you know some pets are even more popular on Facebook than prominent media organizations? Last year, social media news blog Mashable compared the fan bases of some popular internet pets to major media outlets, and the pets trumped CNN, FOX News, ESPN, the New York Times, Current and People Magazine!

Some of the most popular pets on Facebook gained notoriety first, and their large Facebook following came later. However, many were unknowns who somehow managed to captivate the masses. Perhaps most telling of all, the popular pet pages on Facebook are purported to be managed by the pets themselves. According to the Daily Telegraph online newspaper, “One in ten of all UK pets have their own Facebook page, Twitter profile or YouTube channel…” Some pets even have all three!

Further, legions of people seemingly buy into the notion that cats and dogs are capable of using a computer and thus, are managing their own Facebook pages and interacting with their fans. Ok, seriously…they know pets can’t type but prefer to look the other way for the sake of the fantasy. At least, I hope that’s what’s happening here. LOL.

As a pet lover, I understand. So many times, I’ve been caught up in the ‘voice’ of a particular Facebook pet that I find myself believing that what they said actually came from them and not their human servant. Well, not really…but almost. I liken it to that thing in the movie industry called the suspension of disbelief. A moviegoer knows certain things are just not possible, but they suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. Certainly, many tales become far more interesting told from the point of view of a pet, so we play along.

Given that ordinary housecats and unassuming canines have managed to amass large numbers of fans on Facebook, I’d venture to guess that any pet owner with the desire and the time could achieve the same with their own furry friend. Until then, here is a look at some of the pets who are Facebook superstars.

Popular Cats on Facebook: 

Cooper the Photographer Cat (88,560 fans) strolls the neighborhood wearing a cat-cam and returns with stunning photos.

Maru (51,300 fans) rocketed to stardom because of the adorable way he slides into boxes. I’m not positive, but I think Maru may have been the inspiration for the term “boxhab,” as in, a cat that needs rehab for its addiction to boxes.

Joey the Garden Cat (17,500 fans) is a once-feral kitty who made the THV Weather Garden in Little Rock, Arkansas his home and subsequently adopted the entire News staff and viewers as his family.

Luna the Fashion Kitty (11,500 fans) is a Himalayan/Persian with a large wardrobe. Luna is billed as “the ultimate top kitty model.”

Sockington (9,200 fans) aka Socks, is a witty feline who lives in Massachusetts. Though he doesn’t have a ginormous fan base on Facebook, Sockington is probably the most popular cat on Twitter.

Homer the Blind Wonder Cat (7,530 fans) has a bestselling book about what life is like as a blind cat.

Nora the Piano Playing Cat (4,065 fans) became a Celebricat as a result of her uncanny ability to tickle the ivories.

Popular Dogs on Facebook: 

Boo: when I wrote about this impossibly cute Pomeranian less than a year ago, he had about one million Facebook fans. Now he has more than 4 million fans! Whoa. It’s highly unlikely Boo will ever be usurped as the most popular dog on the planet. But what I find especially interesting about Boo is that his popularity comes from just one thing: he’s cute. Unlike many other dogs and cats on Facebook who “work the crowd” to increase their popularity, Boo doesn’t even interact with his fans. I’ve never seen Boo respond to any of the gazillion posts on his page or answer any of their questions. In fact, I even emailed him a polite request for an interview last year and was completely ignored (sniff).

Beast (525,700 fans) is a Hungarian Puli owned by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Giant George (118,000 fans) is the World’s Tallest Dog according to Guinness.

Surf Dog Ricochet (100,000 fans) inspired millions with her touching YouTube video, and is now a successful canine fundraiser for various charities.

Stacey Mae (16,460) is a Greater Swiss Mountain Therapy Dog who started the Teddy Bear Project to collect stuffed animals for kids in hospitals and seniors in nursing homes.

Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog (5,000) was the first canine to help teach fire safety to children.

I’m sure there are tons more popular pets on Facebook. Who have I missed?

Cat photo by Paul Sapiano 
Dog photo by Alan Levine

Read more articles by Julia Williams


  1. I can believe it, since my dog managed her own blog! I can;t wait to check out some of the more popular fb pages too, I am sure they are hilarious!

  2. Our cat is 20 to 22 years old and bless her heart, she use to not show her age but all of a sudden she is looking old poor baby!!

  3. My cats have always had blogs and they have Twitter accouts..even Admiral (Lady Bianca) still has her Twitter account. She Tweets from the Rainbow Bridge occasionally.

    I think that the voices we hear on blogs and Twitter are the very best of what is inside the pet pawrents.

  4. The day Austin gets his own facebook page is the day I give up the internet!, lol

  5. We are taking over the world or at least the internet!

    Your pal, Pip

  6. We are much more interesting than the news. Therefore it makes perfect sense that we are popular!

  7. I doant gotz a facebook and I don't think I ever will. The Human had a facebook but she deleted her account so now I just have my blog and she gots nuffing. Ha ha ha!

  8. We all have a Facebook page, blog and Twitter account - we use ours to help find homes for unwanted pets. And to have fun!

  9. I love Henri - he has some wonderful videos :)!/henrilechatnoir

  10. What a fun post! It's pretty amazing how quickly something can go viral and turn a pet into an internet celebrity.

  11. Oh yes... my cats mastered social networking far earlier than I ever did. While I was fighting technology and rebeling against change, they were busy gathering friends on their facebook page. To this day, they still have far more friends than I do...

  12. Amazing, but it shows how many animal lovers there are out there!

  13. I'm still chasing an interview with Chopper the biker dog.

  14. We have a page on Facebook and one day...we're gonna be as famous as those other cats! Or at least we hope so. ;)

  15. Yep, it's a wonderful and wacky world! Fun post! Go Island Cats!

  16. The Fire Safety Dogs would like to thank Julia and our friends at Canidae for including Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog's Facebook page on this blogpost.

    Sparkles' followed many wonderful canines who have shared fire safety over the years and she had an amazing life helping keep children and their caregivers safe.

    We are so thankful to all those who still follow Sparkles' page and the work of Tango the Fire Safety Dog and Siren the Fire Safety Dog, both also on Facebook.

    Thank you Julia and everyone at Canidae for all you do to help us keep pet parents and their pets safe! We love what we do and we are so very grateful to you!

  17. One of your own!


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