Chinese cat model Mao Mao is said to be China’s first celebrity cat and probably makes more than you do for a day’s work.
The British shorthair, whose name means “Fuzzy Fuzzy,” earns thousands a day just to sell cars and pose with beautiful women.
According to the Telegraph, Mao Mao’s rise in popularity started during the pandemic when more people were adopting animals, especially cats.
The big bucks
Now Mao Mao earns more than some human models. And he doesn’t even have to shake his little tush on the catwalk.
He usually just lays around looking adorable. Mao Mao typically makes between 5,000 to 15,000 yuan, which is about $700 to $2,100, per photo shoot.
Cats have become in high demand in China with people moving out of the city and looking to pets to relieve loneliness.
It is estimated that over a million people in China watch pet-related live streams each day. Some cats have as many as half a million followers on Weibo.
But Mao Mao doesn’t really do too much online stuff. His owner Zheng Zhi says that Mao Mao conducts his business in more traditional means. Mao Mao models for luxury car and jewelry brands.
“A car model earns 800-1500 yuan (£80-150) modeling one day, but Mao Mao is paid 2,000 yuan (£200) for half a day,” Zheng said.
When it comes to brand partnerships, Mao Mao will earn 5,000 to 15,000 yuan for showing up at an event and posting about it on his social media page.
When on the job, Mao Mao usually is asked to wear cute outfits. Sometimes he’ll even wear makeup.
He’ll be asked to sit on top of or inside a car at a mall or a showroom, sometimes with other human models.
“When I placed Mao Mao in the car on display, he was three times more popular than those two beautiful car models,” Zheng said.
In May 2021, Mao Mao had done three shows in the previous month and had 10 more that were booked.
Even though Mao Mao gets paid the big bucks to appear in ads for big-name brands, he only had about 6350 fans on his Douyin account, a Chinese version of TikTok, last year.
Zheng makes sure to keep his working guy happy. Mao Mao has several huge beds, five scratching posts, and three cars.
But Mao Mao didn’t set out to become a big star. It kind of just happened after Zheng saw how much attention he was getting at an auto show when everyone was snapping his picture.
But Mao Mao is definitely enjoying the celebrity lifestyle now.