If you're a typical pet owner, you spend a good chunk of money on your fur, feather, or scale baby, knowing that the only thing you'll get in return is unconditional love (plus the occasional hairball or chewed shoe). Alas, it's unlikely that our companions will ever make the list of the world's richest pets. My own cat might make a Laziest Pet list, but that's about it.
It seems weird to think that an animal could possibly be a multi-millionaire. I mean, we're talking about dogs, cats, birds, and wild beasts. They have no concept of money. They don't think of themselves as "rich" or others as "poor." They don't get to do their own shopping. These are creatures who lick their genitals and poop outdoors.
Yet a handful of animal companions do make it big. Some of them are social media stars whose endearing faces have earned them book deals and product endorsements. Others are trained performers whose star style translates to box-office bucks. Still others are fortunate enough to be heirs to their owners' fortune. However it happens, these pampered animals will never want for food, shelter, or luxuries.
The British pet insurance company Compare the Market has compiled a list of the richest pets in the world. All of these lucky pooches, kitties, and other animals have earned more than the average human can hope to see in a lifetime. Here are some of the top-earning animals on the list, in case you want to live vicariously before you go back to your own lovable-but-poor pet.
The wealthiest animal of all time is a very lucky German Shepherd, who's living off the $375 million in riches of the late German countess Karlotta Leibenstein (as did his dad before him, Gunther III). Not only does he have his own servants and eat like a king (no store-bought kibble for him), Gunther also owns several mansions. Yes, the dog is a homeowner.
Sadie, Sunny, Layla, Luke, & Lauren
"You get 6 million! And you get 6 million!" Maybe she doesn't put it quite that way, but Oprah Winfrey reportedly plans to set aside a $30 million trust fund for her five dogs, according to HuffPost.
Why should dogs and cats have all the fun? British publisher Miles Blackwell remembered his pet chicken, Gigoo, in his will before he died. Gigoo is now living off $15 million — hardly what you'd call chicken feed.
The meme-inspiring cat (whose real name is Tardar Sauce) has parlayed her sour puss into mega-wealth. Her social media account, public appearances, merchandise, and book sales have earned her a staggering $99.7 million.
Her romantic relationships haven't always been easy, but Taylor Swift's love for her Scottish Fold cat is rock-solid. Olivia, named after the iconic Law & Order character, is as wealthy as her owner, and her ads for Diet Coke and Keds have earned her $97 million.
Heiress Gail Posner made sure that her beloved Chihuahua would want for nothing after her death. The $11.3 million left to Conchita in Posner's will means that the pampered pooch will enjoy spa treatments and expensive outfits for years to come.
Bart The Bear 2
Some pets work hard for their money. Bart, a trained Alaskan brown bear, is a veteran actor who's appeared in such movies and TV shows as We Bought a Zoo, Evan Almighty, Doctor Dolittle, and Game of Thrones. His performances have netted him about $6 million.
Coming in at #11 on the Pet Rich List is Betty White's 13-year-old Golden Retriever. The veteran actress, well known for her love of animals, established a $5 million trust fund for her fur baby, according to MSN.
Street Cat Bob
A true rags-to-riches kitty success story, Bob was a homeless tabby when street musician James Bowen found him huddled in the doorway of his London apartment building. The friendship that developed helped support Bowen's recovery from drug addiction and gave him a new purpose in life. It also spawned a book, A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life, which has grossed some $5 million for Bowen and his fur friend.
Who says black cats are bad luck? The Guinness Book of World Records listed this fellow as the wealthiest cat in the world (although this was long before Grumpy Cat entered the picture). The last surviving cat of antiques dealer Ben Rea was bequeathed $15 million in the will as part of a donation to several cat charities.
The Shiba Inu who goes by the social media handle Menswear Dog has earned the title of "Most Stylish Dog in the World." Bodhi's modeling appearances earn him up to $15,000 a gig, making him worth about $990,000 now.
Missy, who hails from Canada, is a champion show cow whose body structure has been called ideal. Her winning looks have earned her some $1.2 million. Talk about moo-la.
Hamilton The Hipster Cat
Hamilton is another social media sensation whose mustache markings are a thing to behold. His sponsorship appearances have earned him close to $827,000, but that doesn't mean caviar dinners and designer scratching posts. Hamilton's owner donates all his earnings to charity.
Karl Lagerfeld's winsome Birman cat is a model who's appeared in Chanel ads. She's earned about $3.5 million from her work, per Compare the Market, and her devoted designer dad also treats her to maid service.
Doug The Pug
The richest Pug in the world has earned some $500,000 from social media promotions and merchandise sales. Doug has 12 million followers, a bestselling book, and numerous TV appearances.