There was quite a bit of interest in our earlier story about Choupette, pet and muse to late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
While Choupette was left a large slice of Lagerfeld’s reported $200 million fortune — usually pegged at about $13 million inheritance — as well as the services of a private jet, a chef and minders to see to her needs, she’s not the wealthiest feline on the planet.
Nala Cat: Estimated net worth $100 million
Nala Cat has 4.4 million followers on Instagram, her own line of cat food, and a website that sells Nala-themed shirts, phone cases, coffee mugs, plush toys, pillow covers and even COVID masks. With her gigantic social media following, which has earned her an official Guinness World Record, Nala has enormous earnings potential, taking home five- and six-figure sums for sponsored posts hawking products like topical cream for pets and milk alternatives.
Olivia Benson: Estimated net worth $97 million
Unlike her celebrity ex-boyfriends, Taylor Swift’s cats don’t provide her with sad breakup material for new songs, but they do give her plenty of material for social media and additional opportunities to make money. (Because let’s face it, she needs it: The singer has amassed a paltry half-billion dollars so far.)
Swift named her most famous cat Olivia Benson, which we’re told is the name of a character on Law & Order. (Apologies but once you watch The Wire, there is no going back to network TV cop dramas where the detectives are always righteous and neatly wrap up their cases in 42 minutes.) Since she was purchased by swift in 2014, Olivia Benson has gone on to star in commercials for Coke and Keds, make guest appearances on Ellen, and cameo in Swift’s music videos.
Buddy the Cat: Estimated net worth $3.67 (dollars, not millions)
While Choupette rides the skies in a private jet, Nala cat has more fans than most celebrities and Olivia Benson is feted by talk show hosts, Buddy the Cat is no slouch either: The silver tabby is chauffeured around in style in a Honda Civic, boasts an extensive food and treat cabinet that can keep him in turkey for like three weeks, and is the proud owner of a really cool cardboard box. (Not as awesome as Olivia Benson’s boxes, obviously, but still pretty cool.)
However, Buddy also has something none of the other cats on this list have: His own site with near-daily updates chronicling his adventures, attesting to his ever-growing meowscles and expanding on his legend with every post.
Most importantly, he has the love of his Big Buddy. (Awwww.) Asked what he’d do with a fortune if he suddenly became a hugely popular catfluencer, Bud said he’d buy a Roomba to ride.
Blackie the Cat: Estimated net worth $12.5 million
Blackie belonged to Ben Rea, a millionaire antiques dealer from the UK. According to press reports, Rea was estranged from his family when he died at age 82 in 1988, so he left millions to Blackie.
Rea had some self-awareness at least — reports say he left millions, representing the bulk of his fortune, to three animal charities of his choosing. He also left a house to a close friend and willed money to his housekeeper, gardener and plumber. (Dude really didn’t like his relatives, apparently.)
Unlike the others on this list, Blackie was certified as the wealthiest cat by the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s not clear when Blackie died or what became of the remainder of his fortune. Unless he had an outrageous catnip habit and blew millions on attractive Calico escorts, it’s safe to say he didn’t burn through all $12.5 million in his remaining time on Earth.
Tomasso the Cat: $13 million
In a true rags to riches story, Tomasso was a stray living on the streets of Rome when he was adopted by a lonely widow in her 90s. The woman, Maria Assunto, had no children of her own and treated Tomasso like a son.
When she died in 2011 at the age of 94, Assunto left Tomasso and all her money to a nurse named Stefania.
Stefania had befriended Assunto and Tomasso a few years earlier after meeting them in a public park. The nurse would bring her own cat over to Assunto’s home to play with Tomasso, and cared for Assunto as her health declined. As Assunto began to fade, she asked Stefania to care for Tomasso once she was gone.
Stefania had no idea Assunto was worth millions and was shocked when the late widow’s lawyers approached her.
“I promised her that I would look after the cat when she was no longer around. She wanted to be sure that Tommaso would be loved and cuddled. But I never imagined that she had this sort of wealth,” she said at the time. “She was very discreet and quiet. I knew very little of her private life. She only told me that she had suffered from loneliness a lot.”
Perhaps it was because Stefania had cared for Assunta and Tomasso out of the kindness of her heart that the latter chose her as her sole beneficiary.
“She had become very fond towards the nurse who assisted her,” Anna Orecchioni, Assunta’s attorney, told Italian newspaper Il Messaggero. “We’re convinced that Stefania is the right person to carry out the old lady’s wishes. She loves animals just like the woman she devoted herself to right up until the end.”