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Do you feel the need to hug every cat you see (and wonder why they won’t let you love them when they run away from you)? Do you collect kitties left, right and centre like there’s no tomorrow? Do you like cats more than you do people?
Well, have you ever thought about turning that (un)healthy obsession with cats of yours into an actual job? Whether you’re considering a complete change in career direction or you need a little help with finding the perfect career, you’ve come to the right place.
Here are 9 purr-fectly awesome jobs for crazy cat people like you and me!
1. Cat trainer
I know what you’re thinking: ‘You don’t train cats; they train you’. And sure, you won’t quite be able to get your feline friend to play dead or roll over on command like you would a dog, but training kittens is possible – at least to do basic things like use the litter tray and not bite people.
If you’ve somehow (miraculously) managed to train your own clowder (that’s what you call a group of cats, by the way), then you might want to consider training other unruly felines for a living. While there are no formal education requirements to enter this profession, and searching for ‘cat training certification’ on Google will return few results, gaining relevant experience can help you greatly.
Earnings potential: You’ll get to set your own rates, at an average of $100 (£70) per hour.
2. Catnip seller
Known as the drug dealer of the cat world, this job entails growing and selling catnip for a living – a perennial favourite of cats everywhere. Unlike cocaine, however, catnip is perfectly legal. (That said, it is technically illegal to sell catnip in the UK thanks to the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016, a law which came into effect in May 2016 that bans the production, sale and supply of psychoactive substances. Nepetalactone, one such substance just happens to be a chemical compound of catnip.)
So if you live outside the UK, you can buy a bag of 200 catnip seeds for as little as $6.95 (£4.85) and start your own catnip-selling business in your back garden. You could sell toys and pouches filled with dried catnip leaves on websites like Etsy or even approach your local pet store to stock your products.
Added bonus: all the catnip plants in your garden will attract your neighbourhood’s entire cat population. So even if you’re unsuccessful in getting your business off the ground, at least you’ll have adopted another 100 kitties.
Earnings potential: Varies, though you can potentially make about $60 (£42) selling a box of catnip toys to a store.
3. Professional cat catcher
I’m sure all you cat owners can agree that getting Mrs Whiskerson into her pet carrier for her annual check-up is much like conquering Mount Everest: life-threatening. After all, our furry friends are renowned for their innate ability to go from cute, fluffy fur angels to demonic ninja warriors in 0.001 seconds – and you have the scars, both physical and psychological, to attest to that.
But if you consider yourself to be an expert at safely coaxing cats into carriers (by ‘safely’, I mostly refer to your own wellbeing), you might want to take a page out of Jordana Serebrenik’s book and consider doing it professionally. After realising she had a knack for catching troublesome cats through her volunteer work at rescue and adoption centres, Serebrenik decided to quit her job as a lawyer in 2010 and start her own cat-catching service, aptly named Catch Your Cat, Etc.
Earnings potential: Varies, though Serebrenik usually charges $80 (£56) for her services.
4. Cat social media guru
The late Terry Pratchett once said: ‘In ancient times, cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this’ – quite fitting for the 21st Century, considering how cats basically rule the internet.
Thanks to the speed and reach of social media, there is a fair few amount of feline celebrities out there, including Maru, Monty, Lil Bub, Colonel Meow and Tardar Sauce (aka Grumpy Cat). And, of course, there’s always room for more.
So, if you have a knack for Facebook and Instagram, and have a cat or 12 (like @12catslady) to spare, then you could become your fur-baby’s talent agent and make her the global sensation she deserves to be.
Earnings potential: Varies. You’ll make the most of your earnings from product placements, advertising deals and merchandise sales – Grumpy Cat’s mama reportedly made £64 million over the course of 2 years! CAT-CHING!
5. Cat sitter
If you have cats of your own, which I’m assuming you do, you’ve probably accepted the fact that you’re at Kitty’s beck and call 24/7, feeding her, cleaning her litter tray (while she looks on), playing with her and holding doors open for her (only to change her mind 10 minutes later). You’re basically her personal butler (with superb built-in can-opening capabilities) but, alas, without pay. As a professional cat sitter, you’ll get to do all that – and get paid for it!
While there are no specific qualifications needed to become a cat sitter, having experience looking after someone else’s pets or having owned felines of your own is essential. You’ll generally also need to have a clean criminal record.
Assignments can range from (often multiple) daily visits to your clients’ homes to check in on their pet cats, to looking after their fur babies in the comfort of your own home or even house sitting while the owners are away on holiday. And gigs aren’t always local, which means you might get to do a bit of travelling, too – sometimes internationally!
Earnings potential: You generally get to set your own prices, with the average pet sitter cashing in about £29,843 per year. If you provide your services through a cat sitting agency, though, you’ll get charged a commission fee for every booking, which typically ranges between 10% and 20%.
6. Cat café owner
For cat lovers with an entrepreneurial spirit, opening a cat café might just be right up your alley.
The first cat café opened in Taiwan in 1998 under the premise of offering people (who cannot own cats themselves, whether due to rental property no-pets-allowed policies or lack of time to look after a pet) a place where they can hang out with furry felines. By 2004 the concept had spread to Japan – today, cat cafés can be found in all four corners of the world, from Tokyo to London and Mumbai to New York City.
Before you set out to open your own cat café, you’ll first need to create a business plan outlining all aspects and details of the business, including startup and operational costs. You’ll also need to carefully research any local regulations and restrictions, apply for the appropriate licenses, look into partnerships with local cat rescue organisations, as well as set up a website.
Earnings potential: Cat cafés typically charge patrons an entrance fee, or cover charge, usually hourly. So, if you charge £10 per person, for example, just 10 visitors can generate £100 in an hour. This, of course, does not take into account expenses such as operational costs (including electricity and worker salaries).
7. Cat photographer
If you’re anything like me, your Instagram is basically a tribute to cats, both your own and random strays. But if you’re really passionate about photography (as much as you are about cats), perhaps you should think about turning your hobby into a successful business.
If you haven’t already invested in a good camera, now’s a good time – the Nikon D5600 DSLR camera is a great choice for beginners. You should also consider completing a course in animal photography, preferably specialising in pets, though many photographers are self-taught. Still, learn as much as you can about different shooting techniques and the way your camera works, and it’s also a good idea to practise photographing friends’ kitties (as well as your own) before you’re expected to start delivering highly professional shots.
Earnings potential: Pet photographers generally set their own rates and earn about $44,000 (£30,860) yearly from taking photos of cats and dogs (and other pets) in a studio or clients’ homes. You can also upload your photos to stock photography sites like Shutterstock and 123RF where you’ll earn a commission (typically 20%-60%) every time one of your photos is downloaded.
8. Cat blogger
If you’ve decided to start a blog but you’re not quite sure what to actually blog about, the answer is staring (read: judging) you right in the face. That’s right: you can combine your love for semicolons and the Oxford comma with your obsession with cats, and share your expertise and advice with other crazy cat lovers all over the world.
You can write about all sorts of things, from hand-rearing an orphaned kitten to building cat furniture, and dealing with aggressive behaviour to reviewing cat products – the possibilities are truly endless.
Successfully completing a blogging course is not necessary but a good place to start, as you’ll learn about all the ins and outs of writing for the web, including search engine optimisation (SEO) and link-building practices. (Our article on blogging tips might prove useful, too.) You should also have an excellent grasp of English (or language of choice) grammar and mechanics.
Earnings potential: Monthly earnings of bloggers can range anywhere from under $10 (£7) to, in extremely rare cases, more than $1 million (£701,370), depending on the blog’s size, reputation, traffic and overall success. Monetising your blog is essential, and you can do this by placing banner ads, offering consultations and publishing sponsored posts. You may be able to guest post on other blogs, too, and get paid for it.
9. Cat cuddler
For us animal lovers, it’s often quite a challenge to suppress our inner Elmyra Duff (the overenthusiastically affectionate red-headed girl in the animated shows Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs, famous for squeezing potential pets – and oblivious to any pain or discomfort she causes them in the process – while saying things like: ‘I’m gonna hug you and kiss you and love you forever’). But what if there was a job where you didn’t have to suppress your affection for cute, adorable and fluffy (and not-so-fluffy) kitties in public?
Well, there is – yes, that’s right: cuddling cats for a living is a thing. In fact, you must have heard about the Dublin-based vet clinic that posted a job ad in May 2017 looking for a ‘crazy cat person’ with lots of ‘cattitude’ to pet and stroke cats and calm the nerves of feline patients!
Earnings potential: Varies. The Huffington Post estimated the salary for the Just Cats vacancy at €20,000-€25,000 (£17,500-£21,900). Meanwhile, a Craigslist ad from 2012 offered to pay $15 (£10) an hour for a ‘feline lap surrogate’.
If you can see yourself working as a catnip seller or a professional cat catcher but you’re sceptical about changing careers, don’t be. I mean, so what if it means throwing a decade’s worth of medical training down the drain? You’ll get to spend quality time with cats – for a living!
Which of these purr-fect jobs takes your fancy? Join the conversation down below and let us know! Also, if you can think of any other ways you can make a living by working with cats, we’re all (virtual) ears!
Not much of a fan of cats? (Hiss!) Why not check out our list of barking jobs for dog lovers?
Salary information is based on data compiled and published by various online sources, including Indeed and PayScale. Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 2 February 2018.