Humans aren’t the only ones capable of being famous. Everybody knows that by now. I mean, who can resist liking and following the cutest, quirky little faces on the internet? Check out these 7 Insta-famous pets and their stories! And no, they’re not ALL cats and dogs.
Lionel the Hedgehog (139k followers)
Starting off the list is our cute and spikey friend, Lionel. His owner Anna Mathias was about to get a dog when her sister called, saying that a boy she knew at College of Charleston was giving away a hedgehog. Mathias drove down the next day and she has been taking care of Lionel ever since.
The adorable hedgehog had 1,000 followers in a week and 27,000 followers in less than six months after Joe Jonas (yes, from the Jonas Brothers) reposted the photo of him above. Besides internet fame, Lionel was also featured on television, People, and Forbes magazines. He even has his own fashion brand, Lionel The Hog. Oh, the Jonas Brothers met the celebrity hedgehog, too!
Hamlet the Pig (390k followers)
Hamlet, or Hammy for short, came into her family’s life when her owner Melanie got sick. Melanie’s husband wanted to bring a friendly pet home but he was allergic to dogs and cats. That’s when they discovered pigs as pets!
Hamlet started as Melanie’s therapy pig from Nashville before becoming a viral sensation. Full of joy and a bit of an attitude, Hammy has become a pet fashion icon and even has her own clothing brand on Etsy.
Jill the Squirrel (631k followers)
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Every morning Jill oversees the making of the bed. . #petsquirrel #squirrel #squirrels #squirrellove #squirrellife #squirrelsofig #squirrelsofinstagram #easterngreysquirrel #easterngraysquirrel #ilovesquirrels #petsofinstagram #jillthesquirrel #thisgirlisasquirrel #littlehelper #makethebed #meerkatmonday
Jill reportedly had fallen out of her nest during Hurricane Isaac in 2012, Louisiana. The squirrel was rescued and taken care of by her human mommy to recuperate. It was supposed to be temporary, but Jill ended up staying and becoming friends with the family’s other pets.
According to her owner, Jill has a cage but she’s usually allowed to run and jump around the house unbarred. She is also apparently trained to use a garbage can as her bathroom!
Pumpkin the Raccoon (d. 2019, 1.4m followers)
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It is with a heavy and broken heart that I share with you the news that our beloved Pumpkin has passed away. Two weeks ago today we had to say goodbye to our beautiful girl. I am so completely ruined that I can barely see what I am typing as there are so many tears pouring down my face. My husband said it perfectly, she is now forever dreaming of avocados, eggs, and sips of my leftover tea. Her passing came as a complete shock to us and we are still trying to come to terms with it. Our house is so much quieter. I keep looking up to the cupboard to see her little face, have called her name to come inside for dinner, and hold back tears when I see Toffee sniffing around for her to come and play. Pumpkin changed my life. And not from her social media presence. This little raccoon literally fell into my life when I was going through a tough time. She gave me purpose and gave me confidence. She helped me get out of a dark hole on more than one occasion. Anyone that has ever had a pet knows the power these little creatures can have on you. For the past five years this little girl was always by my side, through happiness and tears. I like to think she helped prepare me for motherhood. I would always joke that having a raccoon was like having a permanent toddler, I wasn't completely wrong. When I had my daughter and was struggling to breastfeed I would go into my room and cuddle with Toffee and Oreo and just cry. Pumpkin would lick the tears from my face and it would make me laugh and smile. She did this so many times. I will continue to keep this account. The format will change but It is important to me to honour our girl Pumps and use this incredible platform for something good. I know how much you all loved and adored her. She is going to be one missed raccoon. I love you my darling Pumpkin. We miss you so much. xox
Like Jill the Squirrel, Pumpkin was also nursed back to health by a family. They found her in their backyard with a broken leg upon falling out of a tree. The local Humane Society was reportedly unable to take her in so the raccoon ended up getting comfortable at their home.
While the family knew her natural habitat is the wild, the baby raccoon would not have survived out there even after healing. Jill’s owners responsibly had her spayed and vaccinated, deciding to keep her as a pet since it wasn’t illegal in the Bahamas. The playful raccoon lived with a loving human family and constantly cuddled with the family’s two rescue dogs before passing away in October.
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This is the last photo I took of my girls together. Pumpkin was full of life and it was the day before everything changed. They played on the sofa, cuddled, and just had a lovely time together. This is how I will remember our beautiful Pumps. I cannot thank you all enough for all of your messages and comments. My husband and I have been overwhelmed with emotion. So many of you have shared how much our girls have brightened your days, gotten you through dark times, and just used her page to bring a smile on your face on a Monday. Your love and support has not gone unnoticed. Thank you thank you, you are making this awful time a little less painful. ❤️
Juniper Fox (2.9m followers)
Meant to be bred for her fur, Juniper was adopted by Jessika Coker, an advocate who runs an animal sanctuary for rescued and abused animals. She happily lives with a red-fox named Fig, albino-fox Elm, and malamute pooch Moose. There are also other reptiles and marsupials under the Coker roof.
Jessika shares the reality of living with a fox — ripped up couches, minor bites and scratches, and lots of indoor peeing. However, the rescuer is passionate about animals and she admits that she wouldn’t have her life any other way.
Nala Cat (4.2m followers)
Meet the most famous cat on the internet, Nala! This adorable tabby cat is best known for her slight cross-eyes and unrealistic, cartoon-like beauty. She keeps her fans updated on the cutest and silly parts of her everyday life with a firsthand account, a relatively new thing on Instagram before her fame.
Nala was just 5 months old when she was surrendered by her owners to an animal shelter. Her fur parent, Varisiri Mathachittiphan, explained how she visited the shelter with a cousin just for fun: “Even though I never really intended to adopt a kitten that day, when I saw her, I just knew it was meant to be. The reason I started posting her Instagram photos was to share her with family and friends back home.”
Jiff the Pom (9.6m followers)
Last but not least, the most Insta-famous pet is a multi-talented Pomeranian! Jiff is known for setting the Guinness World Record for the fastest dog to walk on two legs and living a lavish celebrity life with a reported net worth of $6 million.
Don’t judge him yet; all the fame and money for this canine was purely from talent! Thanks to his adorable face and incredible wit, he has been cast in movies, appeared in commercials with Target and Banana Republic, invited to huge events like Mark Zuckerberg’s 2018 F8 conference, modeled for numerous pet and fashion brands, internationally nominated and awarded, and featured in Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” music video. That’s not even ALL of his accomplishments. Even the city of LA declared August 20th as “Jiff Day” in his honor! How amazing is this cutie? No wonder everyone wants to take a picture with Jiff — EVERYONE.