Meet the wealthy Instagram pet influencers boasting millions of followers

Footballer Daniel Sturridge’s dog Lucci has become an unlikely Instagram star – racking up a whopping 36,000 followers.

The Pomeranian was stolen from the ex-Liverpool striker’s Hollywood home in 2019, but was reunited with him after the footballer offered a £30,000 reward.

And he’s since gone on to net the sizeable number of online fans thanks to a series of cute pics.

But lovable Lucci has got some way to go to match the success of the top dogs, cats and even foxes who are Instagram’s biggest “petfluencers”. Here Nadine Linge looks at 10 of the most followed pets…

1 Jiff Pom

Jiff the Pomerian

Instagram followers: 10.1million

More teddy bear than dog, Jiff is the most-followed animal on social media with more than 30million fans. And that has translated into cold hard cash – one source estimated his worth at a mind-boggling £44million, while he can earn more than £32,000 per sponsored Instagram post.

He has appeared in Katy Perry’s Dark Horse video, and has world records for the fastest 10m run on hind legs and 5m run on front paws.

2 Nala Cat

Nala Cat
Nala Cat

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Instagram followers: 4.3million

This Siamese/tabby mix was adopted by Varisiri Methachittiphan from a shelter in California when she was five months old. Student Varisiri says: “I couldn’t resist her big blue eyes.”

Now 11, Nala has a Guinness World Record for most followers on Instagram for a cat, a business empire including her own cat food and merch, and she can rake in £14,000 for a sponsored post. She also has her own agent.

3 Doug the Pug

Doug the Pug with Shakira
Doug the Pug with Shakira

Instagram followers: 3.9million

Adorable Doug has posed for pics with stars including Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber and Shakira. He appears at music festivals, meet and greets and movie premieres.

Known for dressing up in cute costumes, Doug is also an actor, “voicing” in 2021 Netflix film The Mitchells Vs. The Machines, has starred in music videos by Katy Perry, the Jonas Brothers and Fall Out Boy and has a bestselling book. Worth around £1million, this pug’s no mug.

4 Juniper the fox

Juniper the fox
Juniper the fox

Instagram followers: 3million

The lone fox to make the list, Juniper lives in a home full of rescued exotic animals after being born in captivity on a fur farm.

Dubbed “the happiest fox”, she has inspired a book and has products fans can buy such as jumpers and badges.

It’s been estimated she can make up to £10,000 per post.

5 Tucker Budzyn

Tucker the Dog
Tucker the Dog

Instagram followers: 3million

Golden retriever Tucker lives in Michigan, US, with his owners Linda and Mike Budzyn. He’s got two YouTube channels and an app and features in videos where he plays, dresses up and generally proves he’s a very good boy.

Tucker was only born in 2018 but can already earn around £7,000 for a post.

6 Grumpy Cat

Jennifer Lopez with the iconic Grumpy Cat
Jennifer Lopez with the iconic Grumpy Cat

Instagram followers: 2.4million

The sour-faced social media star- real name Tardar Sauce – might have died in 2019 but she’s still petfluencing from beyond the grave.

Everyone from Jennifer Lopez to Hulk Hogan wanted a selfie with this moggy, worth an estimated £79million before her death thanks to TV, adverts, books and merch.

7 Maru Taro

Maru is a Shiba Inu pup living in Japan
Maru is a Shiba Inu pup living in Japan

Instagram followers: 2.5million

Maru is a Shiba Inu pup living in Japan who models and also has his own online shop featuring clothing, accessories and homeware.

Shinjiro Ono found the loveable pooch at a pet shop. Pics of Maru helped spread love and happiness after the 2011 earthquake which hit Japan. An Insta post from Maru is reckoned to be worth around £8,500.

8 Bulldog blogger

Bulldog blogger
Bulldog blogger

Instagram followers: 2.2million

Russia’s most famous dog never looks very happy at the wild array of colourful costumes that he regularly sports on social media.

But his hangdog looks have attracted followers from all over the world and he has earned deals to promote Russian products, working out around £7,150 per post.

9. Tuna


Instagram followers: 2million

Tuna might not be cute in the traditional sense but fans love this pup’s toothsome looks and his followers include Lady Gaga.

The chihuahua dachshund crossbreed was abandoned by his original owner
and adopted in Los Angeles by Courtney Dasher in 2010. She has since used his celebrity status to raise money for animal rescue groups.

Tuna – who could charge around £7,000 for a post – has been the subject of a photo book, appeared on This Morning and you can purchase a personalised video message from him on celebrity site Cameo.

10 Venus the Two-Faced Cat

. Venus the two faced cat
Venus the two faced cat

Instagram followers: 2million

While you might think all cats can be a bit two-faced, Venus really takes the biscuit!

The amazing American tortoiseshell has one half solid black with a green eye, and the other half tabby with a blue eye.

Adopted by a US couple as a stray in 2009, she has been described as a “chimera” – a mythical creature made up of parts of different animals.

But it’s not hurt her earning power, which stretches to £7,000 per post.