Grumpy Cat has graced coffee bottles, starred in a terrible Christmas movie and inspired her very own bestselling book. So when a British tabloid declared — with no attribution, math or anything else resembling actual evidence (!) — that the ugly lil cat had amassed a $100 million fortune, the Internet pretty much bought it wholesale. I mean, this is Grumpy Cat. What can’t she do?
As you will see from the chart below, however, the idea of Grumpy making $100 million, even with her astounding range of branded merchandise, is patently absurd. There is no way some cat makes more money than Oprah. (Caveat: The earnings data in the chart comes from Forbes and is an estimate for June 2013 to July 2014. We do not know if Grumpy Cat amassed her alleged earnings during that same time period, but just as a demonstration of absurdity, the approximation should suffice.) Grumpy Cat’s owner confirmed as much to the Huffington Post on Monday afternoon, when she called the British report “completely inaccurate.”
So, what kind of money is Grumpy Cat making? Alas, both her owner and manager have consistently declined to say. When we considered the question last June, however, we pegged her YouTube earnings at roughly $5,100 to $42,400 annually, plus whatever all that merch is making.
It’s not exactly Oprah money, sure — but there wasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of that, anyway.