Guess How Much Grumpy Cat Makes A Year

by Seth Millstein
Cindy Ord/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

A recent study on the financial earnings of cat celebrities found that Grumpy Cat’s YouTube channel may pull in as much as $42,400 in ad revenue every year. That’s about as much as a high school science teacher ($43,000), or video editor at Glenn Beck's news site, or someone who fixes guitars ($41,498) — all for being a cat who perpetually looks displeased. What's more, it is fully possible to earn as much as ten times that as a famous Internet cat, according to the Washington Post’s analysis.

On the one hand, these estimates may overstate the cats' earnings, since each is based on the upper-end of the salary range estimated by the Washington Post. On the other hand, these numbers only include YouTube revenues — profits from books, stuffed animals, acting roles and recording deals aren’t even included here — so many of them undoubtedly understate the cat in question's earnings.

No matter what, they’re impressive. How impressive? Well, that depends on the cat.

Tara the Hero Cat may make as much as $463,000 on YouTube views, which is well above President Obama’s official $400,000 salary. Of course, POTUS enjoys a lot of non-monetary benefits as well — but then again, so does Tara.

Maru the Cat’s potential $181,000 earnings, meanwhile, put her more in the ballpark of Senator Ted Cruz. He, and every other U.S. Senator, is given a $174,000 a year salary.

Nyan Cat isn’t technically an actual cat, but if it was, it would be making around $71,500 a year in YouTube ad revenue, not including revenue from unofficial videos and remixes. That’s around as much as nuclear power reactor operators, who make around $70,410 a year. The two talking cats also come in around $70,700; they could earn a similar living as radiation therapists, who make $70,010 a year. Stalking Cat makes $58,700 every year. That’s respectable for a cat — and for a court reporter, who can pull in $60,000 a year.

So, does anyone make less than Grumpy Cat? Yes: Poor Lil Bub only makes $19,300 a year, which is just a tad less than an In-N-Out cook’s 21,000 a year haul. Then again, Lil Bub has it pretty, pretty good; a lot of people would probably pay at least $19,300 a year to live the kind of life of Lil Bub lives, so the fact that she gets paid that much is a feat unto itself.

No matter how you slice it, being an Internet famous cat is a lucrative field.