Grumpy Cat's owner under fire for making millions

Dec 9, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. ET
Image: Adriana M. Barraza/

What would you do if you were the proud owner of an adorable cat with a permanently grumpy expression on her face? If you're like any other red-blooded American, you'd take your viral cat to the top – booking her in a movie and laughing all the way to the bank.

Grumpy Cat's owner is taking some heat because, as the wise Taylor Swift once said, haters gonna hate. You may recall that Grumpy Cat grew to viral fame after her owner posted the cat's cantankerous mug on Reddit in 2012, and thus, a star was born. Now Grumpy Cat can be seen in thousands of internet memes, making special guest appearances and in her own Lifetime movie.


On behalf of the frustrated feline, owner Tabatha Bundesen is cutting her check, and fans don't like it one bit. While The Express claims that Grumpy Cat has made Bundesen more than $100 million through viral fame in just two years, Bundesen insists her earnings are much lower. Regardless of the exact dollar amount, it's clear that owning a chronically unhappy pet pays off.

Critics are quick to question how ethical it really is to exploit Grumpy Cat for cash. In her "Free Grumpy Cat" post, Jessica Roy of New York Magazine calls the cat a "furry meal ticket" that has been "forced into servitude."

Some internet conspiracists — aka commenters — truly believe Grumpy Cat is being mistreated. In response to the New York Magazine post, KateA said, "Every time I see Grumpy Cat somewhere, I just feel bad for her. Her owners have been whoring her out for years and she probably just wants a rest."

Though Roy's rant is clearly tongue-in-cheek, it brings up an important question: What would you do if you had a famously grumpy cat living in your house? Well, for starters, it's clear a cat needs only so much to be happy — chronic grumpiness aside. After buying your grumpy cat a gold-plated food bowl and the best catnip in town, what are you supposed to do with the rest of your cold, hard cash?

Yes, it's OK to make an income off your pet, especially one that is so in demand. If someone wants to pay you to put your pet in a movie, then go crazy and enjoy the money while you're at it. Haters only hate because there's not enough Grumpy Cat to go around.

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