In an age of manic celebrity and 15 minutes of fame (an Andy Warhol expression) the question in the title has some meaning to some people. There’s money in those cats, you know, after seeing the soaring success of Grumpy cat and others.
The answer to the question is quite straightforward but success will not be as straightforward. In fact, I’d be surprised if anything other than a bit of pocket money flowed from registering your cat as a model. But don’t be put off by that.
It does not necessarily follow that your cat has to have spectacular good looks. However, I’d have thought a cat model has to look attractive and interesting or quirky and unusual. Most of the cat celebrities have very unusual appearances due to congenital ‘defects’. In addition, your cat will have to be in good health and look healthy for most gigs. Although it cannot be said that Grumpy cat looks, or indeed is, healthy.
Also, he or she will have to have the right character. This must mean laid back and confident around strangers and in strange places. Let’s say he has to be manageable by the photographer and his assistant.
Better still, a cat who is trained to do ‘tricks’ on command would be more desirable to a modelling agent. I suppose a cat who is trained like a dog would be ideal. This is where the commercialisation of a cat might get in the way of the welfare of a cat. Making money from a cat is not the cat’s choice. It will be all downside for a cat who’d prefer to be at home in familiar surroundings.
You’ll have to put together a portfolio of photos. I am sure there will be a local photographer who can do that for you. They’ll have to be professional quality photos: cute, interesting etc..This is the investment in time and money. It is a risk because there is no guarantee ‘profit’ will come from it.
Then you’ll have to traipse around the modelling agencies specialising in animals. In the USA, a big animal actors agency is Animal Actors International. There are many others. An internet search will find them.
When you have selected an agency (provided they have also selected you and your cat!) you’ll need to sign an agreement. The agreement should be read and thoroughly understood. That goes without saying. You’ll have to avoid being ripped off. I don’t know how trustworthy animal agents are but agents in general are possibly not the most trustworthy professionals in the world.
For a cat owner who simply wants a bit of celebrity for their cat and not a modelling career, there are online competitions such as Wellness Pet Food’s ‘Pet of the Month’ (note: at the time of writing this the website is stated as being ‘untrusted’ by Firefox browser!).
Anyway there will be competitions and they are fairly easy to find using a search engine.
I suppose a chat with a pet model agent before you start doing any of these things would be sensible. It would provide a reality check on what is involved. The idea of getting a modeling gig for your feline is attractive. It sounds like fun with some money thrown in. However, it is diving into the world of business and commerce and if you don’t know that world you’ll possibly find it disappointing and your cat will certainly find it less good than being at home.