Faux Paws

This week, I’ve been on a silly quest: How instafamous can I make my cat? We have all heard of them, the Grumpy Cats of the world – pets made wildly successful through Instagram, earning their owners the big bucks. Although I haven’t completed my kitty quest quite yet, I’ve learned much along the road, and I’m acquiring an average of 50+ new followers daily following a few simple rules.

Here are some dos && don’ts of creating a petstagram:


– Make sure your account is public, not private. While you may be super private on your own instagram, your petstagram should be public, so anyone and everyone can view your content. If someone lands on your petstagram and can’t see your posts, they will be onto the next famous pet-to-be. If you really want an instafamous animal, let go of your fear of internet murderers for the moment and allow us all to peep your pet.

– Come up with a cat-chy profile name. Before creating your petstagram, browse to make sure there aren’t several similar sounding pets already out there. Your name doesn’t have to be super avante-garde, but you don’t want to be the thousandth “HiImFluffy” out there. That doesn’t mean it can’t be simple – mine is (@muppet_the_persian), but the search query is still unique. 

– Pick the purrfect profile photo of your pet (not you.) Find a picture that shows exactly how cute (or ugly) your little love’s face is up close and use it. Don’t post a picture of you (or you with your pet) because it is more likely to be overlooked. People aren’t perusing these instagrams to see humans, after all. There are also many pet illustrators on instagram ready to create digital art of your pet. Having an interesting illustration is a way to add mystique to your petstagram.

– Create a silly bio, but keep it short. Your bio is the first thing people see and an indication of whether or not your posts will be interesting and clever. Use a few emojis to enhance what you’re saying. Keep it simple and showcase your (pet’s) personality. Don’t prattle on in your bio or drown us in emojis.

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– Post creative snapshots. Post each image with a purpose. Try to find places in your home that will create a nice backdrop and unique photo, so your pet can stand out in the sea of cute mugs. Some can be funny; some can be cute. Don’t post pictures back to back in the same setting because they will all start to look the same and be less interesting. If your pet is naturally unique, showcase the quality that makes them special. If your pet is rather ordinary, find situations that are extraordinary to highlight what makes them unique.

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– Caption each photo creatively, yet simply. Try to be punny and funny with each post. The more clever your caption, the more captivating your kitty. Use emojis sparingly and intentionally.  Don’t post lengthy captions or spam emojis. People don’t want to read a novel, just a quick, quirky character count.

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– Don’t forget the #hashtags. Hashtags are the best way to get your content out into the instaverse. Start by using the hashtags with the most posts, and work your way down from there. Once you get a basic following/interest, find the Instagrams with a few thousand followers that feature certain pets every day. Learn what hashtag will get you featured on their Instagram, and use it on your best posts. Also, post a couple of hashtags for accounts with a much larger following (10k plus). Although it may be much more difficult to be noticed, it’s not impossible and can lead to the jackpot of followers.

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– Post daily, but not too often. Try to keep interest in your pet alive by providing new, quality content each day, a snapshot into the life of your pet. Be careful not to over-post, however. If your followers’ feed is clogged with your kitty, your count will drop like flies. Post a few moments throughout the day. We all know our pets are the cutest pets in the world, and sometimes it’s tempting to show each cute moment, but not everyone appreciates our pets like we do, and, believe it or not, they will get annoyed. The key to kitty obsession is to keep them guessing when your next post will come along, stringing them along like a kitten to yarn.

– Connect with the Catmunity. There is a give and take in the petstagram world. You can’t be the type to post and leave, then expect to gain a following. You have to take an active part in the community – like others’ posts, comment occasionally, follow others, and always respond to comments, no matter how silly. Being courteous to the community is the catwalk to insta-fame.

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As with anything, there is a learning curve to making your pet insta-famous. I’m still new to this and learning about the petstagram  faux paws. I’m going back and tweaking things daily to make my content more engaging and streamlined. You may think I’m cuckoo bananas, (and, well, I am surely on my way to being a crazy cat lady) but the petstagram universe is alive and well for good reason. I read the other day that there are people who make $15,000 a month based on the advertising on their catstagram. Now, I’m not expecting to hit the petstagram lottery and retire to hangout with my kitties, but I might get a free can of catfood or two. Regardless of profit, I am having a great time with this right meow.

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