cat png

Cat PNG: The Evolution of Cat Memes

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If man’s best friend is a title that dogs own, cats are Internet royalty. When it comes to memes, our feline friends tend to make it to the top of the list more often than any other animal. Although the occasional dog, panda, or even llama garners attention, cats are a constant viral figure. And while we at The Furry Companion love all animals, it’s hard to resist any form of a cat PNG.

So where did it all start? And what kitty memes might I have missed? Let’s look at where the trend began and some other memorable memes that came after.

Early Beginnings of Cat PNG

Source: Wikimedia

Before the word “meme” made it to our dictionary, cats were already a popular subject of blog posts and forums. They were especially popular in the Japanese community where users would share photos of their furry friends.

Outside of Japan, one of the earliest blogs dedicated to these pets was MyCatHatesYou, which sadly, is no longer active. Additionally, it was also common to include a cat PNG in email chain networks.

LOLCats

As for the cat memes we’re familiar with today, most would consider LOLCats to be the first. These imagines featured cats with superimposed text in lolspeak—a form of “broken” English. LOLCats originated from 4chan in 2006. They would continue to rise to fame a year later through other websites such as I Can Haz Cheezburger.

Source: Wikimedia

This form of the cat PNG even had a dedicated day of the week: Caturday. Forget looking forward to parties during the weekend; people now wanted their internet macros with a full heaping of kitties.

Source: Wikimedia

Although the above image isn’t the original “Cheezburger” meme, other versions have filled various internet forums and blogs.

Source: Flickr

Don’t worry, kitty, you’re still the Internet’s #1.

Long Cat

After the rise of LOLCats, cat PNG continued to spread throughout the web. Now and then, a photo would go viral, one of which was Long Cat.

The photo featured a white cat hanging from its owner’s hands, appearing to be exceptionally long. People wasted no time photoshopping the kitty onto hilarious situations.

Source: Flickr

Serious Cat

There are some cases wherein a caption or superimposed text isn’t even necessary. Cats can be funny by merely existing. Case in point: Serious Cat.

This meme is essentially a white cat making a weird face.

Source: Instagram

Henri, Le Chat Noir

Sometimes, cats can be fancier than us. Henri is a tuxedo cat whose videos have gained considerable attention. He’s known for a series of 11 short films that writer William Braden also directs and produces. These videos feature Henri in black and white, with a French voiceover narrating Henri’s musings and woes.

The second short film, entitled Paw de Deux, is his most famous. The video records at over 10 million views to date and even won “Best Cat Video on the Internet.”

Although Henri retired in 2018, his legacy lives on through shared videos and cat PNGs.

Spaghetti Cat

Spaghetti Cat was a happy accident and a blessing to the Web. In 2008, on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, a segment was suddenly interrupted by a cat PNG. The photo was of a black cat sitting in front of a plate of spaghetti.

Although it was already funny then, it became a running joke on E!’s show, The Soup, after they spoofed it. The show would continue to use it, and it gained the Internet’s attention.

Just like Long Cat, people took to editing the black kitty into popular culture.

Maru

Let’s face it: cats are liquid and not solid. As they say, “If I fits, I sits.” These furry companions are devoted to fitting even into the most inconvenient places. Exhibit A: Maru.

Source: Flickr

This tabby went viral after a video of him fitting his “chonky” body into a tiny box was uploaded online.

The Japanese cat would continue to feature in other videos. Maru would eventually land a Guinness World Record for being the “Most Watched Animal.” For some time, Maru was the Internet’s most famous feline.

Maru continues to charm the internet alongside his sibling, Hana.

Source: Instagram
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どっちが本物?Which is the real Maru?

A post shared by Maru&Hana (@maruhanamogu) on

Source: Instagram

Keyboard Cat

Another one of the more notable cat memes is the keyboard cat: an orange tabby in a blue shirt “playing” the keyboard. The video, now entitled “Charlie Schmidt’s Keyboard Cat – The Original!” currently has over 55.7 million views on Youtube.

The original video was from 1984, and the renowned cat, Fatso, has now passed away. His owner has since adopted another similar-looking cat. This new kitty then featured in a recreation of the old video as well as several other new ones.

An artist’s rendition of the keyboard cat is shown below to commemorate our beloved Fatso.

Source: Flickr

Surprised Kitten

If anything’s cuter than cats on the internet, we at The Furry Companion believe that it’s kittens. So it’s no wonder to us why Surprised Kitten took over the Web. The viral video features a tiny black kitten receiving belly rubs and then holds its paws, looking surprised. The cat PNG has been a popular choice when reacting to posts online.

Boozecats

Source: Instagram

Everybody loves cats, but not everyone loves drinking. Sometimes, you want to share a photo of you and your friends. Then you realize—there are bottles of alcohol in the background or your hand. How do you share this without your grandmother, parents, or other relatives getting worried? By turning it into a cat PNG, of course!

Source: Instagram

Boozecats is an internet trend where people Photoshop cats in place of bottles, cups, or glasses of alcohol. This way, your photos stay rated PG.

Source: Instagram

Pusheen

A viral cat PNG doesn’t have to be one of a real cat. Animated kitties are also a big deal on the Web. One of the most notable drawn felines is Pusheen, a gray cat who is featured on several online comics.

Source: Instagram

Pusheen also has her own dedicated blog and line of merchandise. If she looks familiar, it’s likely since you’ve used Pusheen stickers on Facebook and Messenger.

Source: Wikimedia

Nyan Cat

Another famous animated cat PNG is Nyan Cat. The 8-bit Poptart-shaped feline was first seen online as a GIF. It was much later when Youtube user Sara combined the animation with a song. This led to the boom in popularity of the rainbow-trailing kitty.

Source: Flickr

This cat meme became so renowned that it won the Webby Awards’ Meme of the Year. The cat PNG has also found its way to stores in the form of plush toys, shirts, and other merchandise.

Chemistry Cat

Nerdy fans will enjoy this next cat PNG. If you’re into science and chemistry jokes, Chemistry Cat should be your cup of tea.

Source: Flickr

The meme makes use of a photo of a cat in round glasses and a bowtie (perhaps a nod to Bill Nye?). It then features jokes specific to the field of science. Readers will be unable to get the humor unless they have an understanding of general chemistry or science concepts.

Source: Instagram

So make sure you make it to your chemistry classes, or you won’t get to be part of the fun.

Source: Instagram

Anxiety Cat

We all overthink and worry sometimes, and anxiety cat captures this perfectly. This trend is part of the Animal Advice series of memes. All images feature a color wheel background and an animal in the middle. Similar macros include Advice Dog (the first of the group), Socially Awkward Penguin, and Philosoraptor.

Source: Instagram

As the name implies, anxiety cat showcases all the paranoid thoughts you have over almost any situation. The cat PNG thus became very relatable and is a favorite of many users online.

Source: Instagram

Cat Breading

No, we don’t mean “breeding.” Cat breading became a trend after a Reddit user shared a photo of their cat with bread around its head. Others took to copying the original post by trying it out with their cats.

Source: Wikimedia

Some cats appear to be quite docile, while others are not as amused.

Source: Flickr

As a disclaimer, know that no cats were harmed during the making of this cat PNG. As for the bread, that’s another story.

Source: Instagram

Kitten Covers

Many of us had posters of our favorite albums or movies up on our dorm walls. How do we improve this? Yes, with a cat PNG.

Source: Instagram

People have taken to recreating famous album covers or film posters with cats standing in for people.

Source: Instagram

No matter how iconic the album is, cats are sure to do them justice.

Source: Instagram
Source: Instagram

Some are even an improvement on the original if you ask us.

Source: Instagram

Lil BUB

Another feline celebrity comes in the form of Lil BUB—yes, stylized in all caps. She rose to fame due to her seemingly permanent kitten appearance and her tongue always sticking out.

Source: Instagram

Lil BUB’s features are due to an extreme form of dwarfism in cats and a short lower jaw. Her condition intrigued geneticists, who were later able to fund a study to sequence her genome.

This kitty first caught our attention through a YouTube video, which the owner quickly followed up with a Tumblr blog. We’ve been obsessed with this little cat since then and can’t stop ourselves from looking at just one cat PNG.

Given her celebrity status, Lil BUB has been the subject of a variety of merchandise and even her own film. Moreover, much of the money they make from these ventures go to animal rescue groups. It’s no wonder we’re hooked.

Source: Instagram

Grumpy Cat

If the world had a Most Popular Cat, many would agree that such an accolade would go to Tardar Sauce. We know this feline more by her nickname, Grumpy Cat. She is easily recognizable by her permanent “grumpy” face brought about by feline dwarfism, similar to Lil BUB.

Source: Flickr

She gained popularity after her owner’s brother posted a cat PNG on Reddit. This caught the attention of meme creators, and the rest was history.

Source: Flickr

In May 2019, Grumpy Cat passed on due to complications from a urinary tract infection. This event deeply affected many of her fans, leading to tributes around the globe.

Source: Flickr

R.I.P. baby Tardar Sauce, know that the people at The Furry Companion will miss you dearly.

Bongo Cat

Back to the more musical side of memes, Bongo Cat is an animated kitty that looks to be playing the bongos.

Source: Wikimedia

The original video features the actual cat banging on an empty desk. However, the Internet, as always, has come up with different versions with different instruments, songs, and other gimmicks. The cat PNG lives on through several derivatives.

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#bongocat plays a fan favorite theme song #harrypotter

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Smudge the Cat

If you aren’t fond of vegetables, Smudge can relate. You probably know this cat PNG more as half of a different meme: Woman Yelling at Cat.

Source: Instagram

Since the rise of the meme, other photos of Smudge have surfaced. The tiny meme lord is actually quite adorable, even more than his original picture.

Source: Instagram

The rising star has a few items of merchandise, including mugs and stickers.

Source: Instagram

Mr. Sandman Cat

If there’s a new social media platform, you can be sure that cats are going to rule over it eventually. In this case, the video app TikTok was no exception.

High school student Jade Taylor-Ryan uploaded a video of her cat dancing along to The Chordette’s version of Mr. Sandman. Using the 9-frame filter produces a kaleidoscope-like sequence that had us all charmed.

And as usual, viewers have taken to producing their versions, with some even recreating the video with dogs.

Our Life With Cat Memes

From LOLCats to musically-inclined felines to animated kitties, a cat’s online presence is hard to resist. Whatever cat PNG you find as your favorite, our lives seem to be somewhat better. In a world that’s full of bad news and tragedy, memes are a way for us to find some happiness.

Sometimes even these images can cheer us up as much as an actual furry companion can at home. Thankfully, it doesn’t look like the Internet will run out of cat-related content any time soon.

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