Mao Mao is riding a wave of popularity for felines boosted by the pandemic.
Often surrounded by glamorous women, regularly perched on the bonnet of an expensive car, and earning thousands of pounds a day in front of the cameras... but Mao Mao isn't your regular catwalk model.
The two-year-old British shorthair whose name translates as “Fuzzy Fuzzy", can lay claim to being China's first celebrity cat that's branched out into the lucrative world of modelling. In a country already in the grip of a cat craze, Mao Mao has elevated the luxury feline economy to the next level - and now earns as much as human models for his work, claims his owner.
A product of a nation increasingly obsessed with cats, Mao Mao is riding a wave of popularity for felines boosted by the pandemic. When he's booked to lounge on the bonnet or dashboard of a sports car or SUV, he rakes in between 5,000 to 15,000 yuan (£550 to £1,650) per photo shoot. Mao Mao has also been known to model for jewellery brands.
In recent years, China has witnessed a rise in pet influencers that earn money through advertisements promoting pet supplies through social media. Some felines have as many as half a million followers on Weibo, China's Twitter, while over a million Chinese people tune in to pet-related livestreams every day.
But as Zheng Zhi, Mao Mao's owner, explains that his cat works on a more traditional business model.
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