Most famous cats and dogs of 2020

Olivia Benson, the feline partner (with others) of Taylor Swift
Olivia Benson, the feline partner (with others) of Taylor Swift. Olivia Benson is probably the most famous companion animal of 2020. Photo: Taylor Swift on Instagram.
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I have decided that the most famous cats and dogs of 2020 of those which have been the subject of Google search queries the most. And we know who those delightful animals and human celebrities are because a British retailer, Matalan, used Google search data to find out. I’m not sure exactly what data they used because I couldn’t find it. I don’t think it’s Google Trends but I will take the research as accurate on the face of it. This is the list:

  1. Taylor Swift’s cats: 979,200 searches
  2. Kylie Jenner’s dogs: 206,520 searches
  3. Ariana Grande’s dogs (and appear): 143,880 searches
  4. Paris Hilton’s dogs: 79,680 searches
  5. Kendall Jenner’s dogs: 72,000 searches
  6. Katy Perry’s dog: 53,640 searches
  7. Henry Carvill’s dog: 50,160 searches
  8. Ricky Gervais’cat: 41,760 searches
  9. Billy Eilish’s dog: 40,080 searches
  10. Tom Hardy’s dog: 38,400 searches

Taylor Swift is miles ahead and it doesn’t surprise me because she, herself, has been very high-profile and social media was flooded with pictures and news about her cats namely Olivia Benson, Benjamin Button and Dr Meredith Grey (I like Grey’s Anatomy by the way). Another reason why it doesn’t surprise me that she leads by such a distance is because she has 83.2 million Twitter followers and 140 million Instagram followers! Nobody can beat that.

Taylor Swift and Benjamin Button
Taylor Swift and Benjamin Button. Photo: Taylor Swift’s Instagram pages.

Ricky Gervais’s was in the news because both he and his fans were distressed about the passing of his cat Ollie. He’s adopted a new cat, Ricky, and he also fostered a cat, Pickle, who he has adopted as well. Ricky Gervais is a very important celebrity in terms of animal welfare. He is not afraid of making statements in support of animal welfare such as joining the campaign against declawing. He’s a great guy when it comes to animal welfare and he should be praised for it. It’s my contention that all high-profile celebrities who live with companion animals should use their influence to improve animal welfare whenever they can. Gervais is one of those guys. Taylor Swift could do a lot more in this respect.

In fact, you could argue she works against animal welfare slightly because she has adopted a Scottish Fold purebred cat and this breed has a rather poor reputation because the genetic mutation which causes the ears to fold down can cause major health problems. There are people who believe that the breed should not have been created in the first place for this reason. In Germany they’d call this breed an example of torture breeding. However, in her defence she is a genuine cat lover and she has described herself as a cat lady. She’s got to be good for cat welfare or at least I hope she is.

However, people in the cat fancy like to start new breeds and one way to do that is to latch onto a genetic mutation which causes an unusual appearance. The Scottish Fold is one such example. The fact that many Scottish Fold kittens have probably been quietly killed (euphemistically called ‘culled’) because of these major health problems without anybody knowing about it, is brushed under the carpet.

Another point that has to be made is that all but two in the list of 10 above are dogs. This is because human celebrities are adopting dogs more than cats. I don’t think it is necessarily the case that dogs are more popular than cats nowadays although it might be.


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