Ever since the photo-sharing app Instagram first appeared on computer monitors and cellphone screens in 2010, users have been sharing cherished images of their pets.
As the site’s popularity grew, Instagram celebrities began to emerge – including several of the furry variety. The 10 critters in this post achieved internet fame to become 2017’s top non-human personalities. Each has followers in the millions!
Loki and his adventure-loving dad, Kelly Lund, have been “breaking hearts” on Instagram since 2012. Together they traverse the western USA, seeking new thrills and snapping photos with the goal of “inspiring others to get outside with their pups.”
Loki is described as a Husky/Arctic Wolf/Malamute mix. In addition to their massive Instagram following, the pair also operate a website selling collars, leashes and harnesses as well as prints of some of their most loved images.
9. Lil Bub @iamlilbub, 1.7 million followers
The now-famous kitty with the buggy eyes began her life in a chilly shed belonging to a friend of her owner, Mike Bridavsky. The runt of her litter, she was diagnosed with dwarfism, a shortened lower jaw, teeth that never grew in, and four extra toes.
None of these setbacks have stopped Lil’ Bub from becoming one of Instagram’s most famous faces! She has more than 3 million followers across social media and her own online store where a portion of the proceeds benefit the ASPCA. Bub’s mission is to spread awareness about adoption, special needs pets, and proper animal care.
This 7-year-old rescue Chiweenie describes himself as “the underdog with the overbite” – and what an overbite it is! Tuna became famous by accident when Instagram shared one of his adorable photos on their homepage in 2012. Now that he is a nationally recognized personality, Tuna is using his fame to advocate for rescue groups and remind the world that “true beauty comes in all forms and radiates from within.”
7. Juniper @juniperfoxx, 2 million followers
The only non-traditional pet on our list, Juniper’s mom Jessika got her when she was just 5 weeks old. She says the snaggle-toothed fox comes from a line of animals bred for their tameness by fur traders. Despite her relatively calm behavior, Juniper is still a sassy, nippy, often-smelly wild creature! Jessika runs a website educating others about domesticated foxes and also sells cute Juniper gear in her “fox shop“.
6. Marnie @marniethedog, 2.1 million followers
The famous Marnie was already a 10-year-old senior when she was found matted and filthy on the streets of Connecticut in August 2012. Her signature head tilt, abnormally long tongue, and story of rescue and redemption have won the hearts of millions. She has even been photographed with celebrities like Bob Saget, Jack Black, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jonah Hill! Marnie’s website reads:
“Senior rescue dogs are known for being especially grateful and loyal to their new owners for giving them a second chance on life, and Marnie lives every day exemplifying this joy and gratitude.”
5. Grumpy Cat @realgrumpycat, 2.4 million followers
Grumpy Cat, the master of memes, isn’t really grumpy at all! According to her website, Tardar Sauce (her real name) is “a super cute and cuddly kitty and loves to be held and rubbed.” Her fame began in 2012 when a photo of her famously frowny face appeared on Reddit. Her parents shared videos of her via YouTube to prove she was real and the rest is history!
A portion of the proceeds from her massive line of products are donated directly to shelters to help pets in need.
4. Maru @marutaro, 2.6 million followers
Maru the Shiba Inu always appears to be smiling and his name means “round” in Japanese – how cute is that? These endearing qualities, along with his cuddly, playful nature, have led him to be known as “the world’s dog“. Maru lives in Japan with his owner, Shinjiro Ono.
3. Doug the Pug @itsdougthepug, 3.1 million followers
Doug the Pug‘s superstar status was recently confirmed when he was photographed as Eleven along with the boys from Stranger Things. Need further proof of his major celebrity ranking? Check out his 2017 Year in Review video!
2. Nala @nala_cat, 3.5 million followers
Nala was rescued from a hoarding situation and adopted by her mom, Varisiri Mathachittiphan, in 2010. She was one of the first cats on Instagram and is now considered the site’s most famous cat. Nala uses her notoriety to spread the word about the unfortunate plight of shelter pets. Her website reads:
“The truth is that kittens and puppies alike are helpless and rely on their human companions to care for them. In shelters, 75% of them are killed due to over population, so it is really important to spay or neuter your pets. Another disturbing truth is that there are people who want them only in the beginning and don’t take care of them later on. If you want to adopt a kitten or puppy just because it’s cute, don’t, but if you plan on taking care of them and giving them a happy home for the rest of their lives, then please do.”
1. Jiff @jiffpom, 7.4 million followers
Instagram’s top dog looks more like a teddy bear! The meticulously groomed Pomeranian is the most famous animal in the world with over 24 million followers across all of his social media pages. Jiff even set the Guinness World Record for most Instagram followers by an animal in 2017.
H/T to People
Featured Images via Instagram/@marniethedog & @iamlilbub