And the Winners Are...
We here at Animal Planet collected a group of the foremost cat experts in our headquarters to narrow down the seemingly endless list of internet cats to our very favorites. We sorted through hundreds of Internet cats and memes to find the very best. We laughed a lot. We cringed a lot. We might have even started to purr. Then we sat down and voted for the cats most-deserving of Internet fame.
After a heated debate we have come up with our Top 10 Internet Cats of All Time. It was tough work, but someone had to do it. Did your favorites make the list?
10) I Should Buy a Boat Cat
“I Should Buy a Boat Cat” or “Fancy Cat” had his brush with fame far before he ended up as an Internet meme. Singer/Songwriter Bjork released the music video for “Triumph of the Heart” in January 2005 featuring a cat drinking coffee and reading a newspaper while dressed in a blue shirt. Seven years later, Redditor DrTango submitted a post entitled “I’ll just leave this here” to the public featuring a screen capture of the cat with the caption “I should buy a boat”. Soon after, the post acquired more than 12,000 up-votes and hundreds of submissions on Tumblr. So why is he on this list? Can you not see how cute that cat looks in a suit? We couldn't resist adding him to the list on that factor alone.
9) Long Cat
Our friend Long Cat comes to us all the way from Japan! The original photo of Long Cat, whose name is Shiroi (white in Japanese) appeared on the internet some time between 2004 and 2005. Since then, Longcat has become a wildly popular Photoshop meme with participants not only placing the cat into interesting places, but also by surroundings that show off her great length. She has even become a cartoon and sometimes appears with a black version of long cat. She appears on this list since she is one of the earliest examples of a successful cat meme. Plus, the longer the cat, the more kitty there is to love and hug, right? We're going to go with a resounding "yes!" on that one.
8) Business Cat
Business Cat features one image of a cat in a suit dolling out humorous business advice from a feline perspective. In early 2011, Something Awful forum user Apple Jax posted a photo of her boyfriend’s cat dressed up in a neck tie. A few days later, the photo made its way to Reddit under the caption “Business Cat” and the hyper-engaged community began submitting captions. Our favorites include “Get those reports to me. Right meow!” and “New office equipment has arrived. If anyone needs me, I’ll be in one of these boxes.” Plus, it's a cat. In a tie. Who can resist that adorable, professional cuteness?
We certainly couldn't.
7) LOL Cats
Dating back to 2005, LOL Cats have earned its place in kitty history as perhaps the longest standing cat meme in Internet history. The silly cat images with superimposed “lolspeak” gained popularity on the popular message board 4chan and the website I Can Has Cheezburger. Some believe that the precursor to LOL Cats dates back to the 19th century; inspired by Harry Whittier Frees, a photographer who produced nonsensical cat photography with humorous text overlaid on each print.
Whatever the origin, the clever text paired with these images never fails to make us laugh. Plus, who hasn't ever imagined what a cat might say if it could talk? Oh. Just us?
6) Nyan Cat
Nyan Cat is an 8-bit animation of a cat with the body of a cherry pop tart flying through outer space. The Pop Tart Cat animation was posted online by Chris Torres, also known as @prguitarman in April 2011. The original drawing was based on his own Russian Blue cat, Marty, after receiving two separate suggestions for a cat and a pop tart during a Red Cross charity drawing event. A few days later, YouTuber saraj00n posted a video titled Nyan Cat using Torres’ art and Nyanyan- yanyanyanyanya by Japanese artist Daniwell-P looping in the background. The video was an instant hit, gaining more than one million views in its first two weeks. Sadly, Marty succumbed to Feline Infectious Peritonitis in 2012.
5) If I Fits, I Sits
A clever play on the USPS slogan “If It Fits It Ships,” If I Fits, I Sits features cats sitting in unconventional household items. And a lot of boxes. This meme originated in March of 2012 and quickly rose up the ranks of Reddit where a series of “If I Fits” photos garnered more than 17,000 upvotes. Since cats love sitting in boxes, or really anything, even if they seem too tiny for the cat, this meme is particularly easy to re-create, meaning even you could take part in the meme.
We think this rose in the ranks due to the many cat-owners at Animal Planet who always send around photos of their cats in boxes. Just a hunch.
4) Chemistry Cat
Chemistry cat (AKA Science Cat) is an advice animal image series which consists mostly of scientific puns and a photo of a cat wearing a bow-tie and glasses. While the precise origin is a mystery, one theory suggests that Chemistry Cat is a stock photo of Russian origin.
We like this meme because it's smart. It takes a real Chemistry nerd to come up with the jokes and we give props to those who can recall all the chemicals in the Periodic Table of Elements. High School chemistry was a long time ago for some of us.
And it stars a cat wearing glasses. We want to know how they got those to stay on the cat. You know. For research.
3) Lil Bub
Lil Bub is truly a jack-of-all-trades. In her short life she has already written a book, starred in a movie and currently hosts the talk show Lil Bub’s Big Show on YouTube. Lil Bub is a “perma-kitten,” which means she will stay kitten sized and maintain kitten-like features her entire life. Lil Bub also has an extreme case of feline dwarfism. Despite Lil Bub’s genetic deformities she is considered by some to be the cutest cat on the Internet. In addition to being a superstar and an author, Lil Bub is an advocate for homeless and special needs pets. To date, she has raised more than $60,000 for various charities through her online store and celebrity appearances. It's impossible not to love this little cutie with a big heart.
2) Grumpy Cat
Known for her grumpy facial expression, Grumpy Cat is the star of her own meme series featuring an overly negative and sometimes evil outlook on life. Over the past two years, Grumpy Cat has taken the nation by storm and become arguably the Internet’s most famous cat. She has made appearance on the Today Show, Good Morning America and The Soup.
In addition to her nationwide media tour, Grumpy Cat was named MSNBC’s most influential cat of 2012 and currently has a book on NPR’s bestseller list. Her permanently grumpy-looking face is due to feline dwarfism, a genetic disorder that results in lack of normal bone growth and abnormal bone deformities.
1) Henri, Le Chat Noir
Henri, Le Chat Noir is a YouTube series based on the existential musings of a moody French-speaking cat. The first short film Henri was a film project by William Braden who was studying at the Seattle Film Institute. Braden was inspired by the American perception on French films viewing them as "very pretentious and self-involved. Braden thought to himself “what could be more self-absorbed and pampered than a house cat?” and thus, Henri was born.
Henri gained much attention when he was declared the winner of the first Internet Cat Video Film Festival. We love the styling and Braden's uncanny ability to capture the perceived sometimes-snooty attitude that cats exhibit.
Don't see your favorite? Discuss and share your favorite Internet cat in the comments below!