There are some celebrities that are so famous, everyone within their orbit gets a bit more famous. Sometimes, that fame even spreads to those within their non-human orbit as well. While it’s easy to get noticed by appearing on a celebrity’s Instagram, it takes a lot more than that to truly become a celebrity pet. These are the companions that have graced magazine covers, had songs written about them, and starred in movies. Some of them even have their own mansions — and a few are even rumored to have $30 million in the bank in case anything happens to their owner.
While it’s easy to get noticed by appearing on a celebrity’s Instagram, it takes a lot more than that to truly become a celebrity pet. These are the companions that have graced magazine covers, had songs written about them, and starred in movies. Some of them even have their own mansions — and a few are even rumored to have $30 million in the bank in case anything happens to their owner.
These are the pets who have become just as famous as their owners — and a look into the fabulous lives they live.
1. Taylor Swift’s Cats
Not many pets can boast that they’ve appeared in music videos alongside Kendrick Lamar, Zendaya, and Cindy Crawford, but two of Taylor Swift’s cats can — kind of!
Ellen Pompeo and Mariska Hartigay, the actresses known for playing the namesakes of the “Shake It Off” star’s cats, Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson, respectively, appeared in Swift’s “Bad Blood” video as a wink to the famous cats.
One can only wonder whether that means Swift’s newest cat, Benjamin Button, will inspire Brad Pitt to pop up in a video some time soon…
2. Paris Hilton’s Pups
Celebrity culture for a time was defined by the sight of Paris Hilton, with her chihuahua Tinkerbell riding around in her purse, striking a pose on the red carpet. The world first met Tinkerbell in 2003, when he appeared beside Hilton on The Simple Life. MTV once called Tinkerbell the “first true canine companion of reality television.”
Though Tinkerbell passed away at the age of 14 in 2015, Hilton still maintains a menagerie of pets who enjoy a life of luxury most of us can only dream of — including their own doggy mansion.
3. Miley Cyrus’ Pets (Both Living and Dead)
A quick scroll through her Instagram will reveal that Miley Cyrus has many pets — dogs, birds, cats, fish — but none as famous as her pet pig Bubba Sue. Bubba Sue even appeared with Miley on the cover of Paper magazine.
While Bubba Sue may be the most famous of Miley’s pets, plenty have gained their fair share of attention, whether on songs, like “Pablow The Blowfish,” off the aptly named Miley Cyrus and Her Dead Petz, or by inspiring her most famous video of all time, “Wrecking Ball,” where the tears flowing down her cheeks were caused by the passing of her beloved dog, Floyd.
4. North West’s Dog
North West is arguably the most famous 6-year-old on the planet, so it’s no surprise her pet Pomeranian, Sushi, is just as famous as the rest of the Kardashian-Jenner family.
West’s mom, Kim Kardashian-West, finally gave into North’s pleading for a dog after deciding that caring for a pet would be a good way to prepare North to be a big sister. While Sushi has even achieved the level of fame that sees internet death hoaxes swirling about the pooch. But, as seen in a recent photo in Vogue, Sushi is still rolling happily with North.
5. Priyanka Chopra’s Dog
Chopra adopted Diana after meeting the pup on the set of a BuzzFeed video in 2016, and since then, the two have been inseparable.
In the three intervening years, Priyanka has married Nick Jonas and supported her friend Meghan Markle through her wedding to Prince Harry, and Diana has been along for the ride, posing with Priyanka on the cover of Elle and documenting every step on the journey on her own Instagram account — with over 100,000 followers!
6. George Clooney’s Pig
While Miley Cyrus’ pig may be her most famous pet, Bubba is not the most famous pet pig on this list. That honor goes to George Clooney’s 300-pound Vietnamese pot-bellied pig, Max, who passed away in 2006. Originally a gift Clooney gave to one of his ex-girlfriends, Max became a constant companion for the Ocean’s Eleven star throughout the ‘90s and early ‘00s.
It’s even been said that Clooney remained a notorious bachelor for as long as he did because he shared his bed with Max — something that could easily put off many a prospective girlfriend, even for George Clooney. We’ll let Clooney respond in his own words here: “I always say, ‘Love me, love my pig.’ What can I do?”
7. Karl Lagerfeld’s Cat
The late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld was a man whose talent and eccentricities made him famous. One of those eccentricities was his attachment to his fluffy white cat, Choupette.
Sure, an attachment may not sound eccentric, but Karl took his devotion to Choupette to…unusual heights. During an interview with CNN, Lagerfeld talked of his sadness at not being able to be closer to the feline. “There is no marriage, yet, for human beings and animals,” he said. “I never thought that I would fall in love like this with a cat.”
While the pair never did get married, Choupette’s fame, which began at the designer’s side and spread throughout the pages of countless fashion magazines, lives on. She even has an Instagram fan page with nearly 300,000 followers.
8. The Obama Family Dogs
Sunny and Bo — the Obama family’s Portuguese water dogs — became a part of the First Family while Barack Obama was president, and they became just as dependable through the Obama Era as the president’s “ums” and “ahs.”
How much more famous could a pair of dogs get than accompanying a First Lady on her final walk through the White House?
9. Chrissy Teigan and John Legend’s Dog
Chrissy Teigen and John Legend have hurled themselves to the upper stratospheres of fame by peeling back the curtains into their lives on social media, making them relatable enough to inspire a new BuzzFeed listicle with each new tweet. With that kind of social media presence, it should hardly be a surprise that their brood of pups are just as famous as they are.
Last year, their beloved English bulldog Puddy passed away, but for 10 years, Puddy was a constant presence on the famous couples’ social feeds — including Puddy’s “wedding” to their other pup, Pippa, where Legend serenaded them with his hit, “All of Me.”
10. Audrey Hepburn’s Yorkie
Much like her character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s and her cat called Cat, Audrey Hepburn had a cherished Yorkshire Terrier companion whom she brilliantly named Mr. Famous.
Mr. Famous appeared with Hepburn on many of her film shoots, even appearing with Hepburn in a scene in 1957’s Funny Face. The pair are even credited with making Yorkshire Terrier’s trendy in Hollywood circles, igniting the lap-dog craze that Paris Hilton eventually inherited.
During the filming of The Children’s Hour, Mr. Famous was struck by a car and killed, leaving Hepburn heartbroken. Her husband at the time, Mel Ferrer, bought her another, named Assam of Assam, to bring her comfort.
11. Elvis Prestly’s Chimpanzee
Elvis Presley is famous for many things — his iconic musical style, his distinct dance moves, his appetite for both women and food — but not as well known for his love of animals. Presley had dogs, birds, horses, and even a pet chimpanzee!
Scatter, as the chimp was known, got his celebrity start by appearing on television in Memphis, and eventually found his way into Presley’s life. Scatter lived with Elvis at Graceland and was known for being quite the troublemaker. The chimp was famous for his mischievous habit of pulling up the skirts of any ladies visiting Graceland, among other pranks.
Eventually, Scatter’s behavior became too much for even the wild Elvis Presley to contain, and Scatter was banished to a climate-controlled room within Graceland where eventually passed away.
12. Oprah and Her Dogs
Oprah loves her dogs — two golden retrievers, Luke and Layla, cocker spaniel Sadie and springer spaniels Sunny and Lauren — so much that she refers to them as her “fur children.” Oprah’s pups have graced the cover of her magazine alongside her, as well as appearing frequently on her Instagram.
What puts these pooches over the edge, celebrity-wise, other than living with Oprah, is the rumor that Ms. Winfrey has set up a $30 million trust for them, should anything happen to the Queen of All Media.
13. Ariana Grande’s Dogs
While Ariana Grande may have gotten famous wearing a pair of bunny ears, she’s also very clearly fond of dogs too. Grande currently has seven: Coco, Toulouse, Cinnamon, Strauss, Lafayette, Pignoli and Myron.
Her dogs are so famous (and her fans so devoted) that she once challenged a fan to name all of them, which the fan promptly did. The fan’s only error was not knowing that she had just given one away to live with her mother. She ultimately gave one other to her mother and another that was not getting along with the others to a friend.
The pups frequently go on tour with the “Thank U, Next” singer and are a constant presence on her Instagram (with over 158 million followers).
14. Tippi Hendren’s Lion
Very few celebrities have taken pet ownership to the extremes that Tippi Hedren has. Perhaps most famous for starring in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, Hedren has established a lasting legacy as a conservationist as well, advocating for big cats through her Roar Foundation.
However, Hedren’s commitment to conservation veered into strange territory when she began living with Neil, the 400-pound mature lion who also occasionally slept in the same bed as her 14-year-old daughter, actress Melanie Griffith. That’s the sort of lifestyle that will make you think twice about saying your house “looks like a zoo!”
15. Chelsea Handler’s Dogs
During her time as host of E!’s Chelsea Lately, comedian Chelsea Handler’s dog Chunk became nearly as famous as the star herself. He frequently trotted across the stages of her TV shows and even appeared on her book cover for Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang.
Both Chunk and Handler’s other beloved dog, Tammy, were rescued from kill shelters, and died within months of each other in late 2017 and early 2018. Following their deaths, Handler rescued two new dogs, Bert and Bernice, just as she vowed to following Tammy’s death.
16. Mariah Carey’s Dogs
While Mariah Carey’s dogs may not be as famous by name as some of the other pets on here (she does have 8, after all), they are certainly famous by lifestyle.
The “We Belong Together” songstress is said to spend over $50,000 per year on grooming alone for her pets. But that’s nothing — Carey also allegedly sent her brood to a luxury getaway in the U.K. for nearly $200,000.
What kind of luxury awaits Mariah’s pups? Well, when they arrive, they’ll be “washed, groomed, taken on day trips, sleep in their own hotel beds and the chef will cook them personalized meals, according to the menu plan Mariah’s sending over.” That sounds like more pampering than most people get on vacation!
17. MJ and His Chimpanzee
While many of the celebrity pets on this list may be famous enough to have starred in movies, few have achieved the same level of fame as Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee, Bubbles, who even has his own Wikipedia page.
Bubbles lived with Jackson at Neverland Ranch, sleeping in a crib next to the “Thriller” singer’s bed, eating candy in the Neverland movie theater, and even had his own bodyguard. Jackson and Bubbles’ relationship fueled to the media frenzy surrounding the “Wacko Jacko” persona, sparking insane rumors in the press like Prince sabotaging his rival, Jackson, by using ESP to make Bubbles crazy.
During his time with Jackson, Bubbles traveled to Japan during the Bad tour, enjoying tea with the Mayor of Osaka. He also once accompanied Jackson to tea with Elizabeth Taylor!
While his life with Jackson was certainly fabulous, Bubbles became pugnacious as he reached maturity and eventually was sent to the Center for Great Apes in Florida, where he’s lived ever since.
18. Mike Tyson’s Tiger
Few celebrity pets have had the honor of a cameo in an iconic comedy like The Hangover, but then again, few celebrity pets are Mike Tyson’s tigers.
Tyson himself recalls his car dealer making an offhand comment about trading cars for horses, which made the former champion, a car enthusiast, realize he wanted tiger cubs.
He eventually had to give up the white Bengals, but owning not one but three tigers is just one of the many things that made Tyson such an eccentric personality. Why settle for a house cat when you’re Mike Tyson?
19. Mike Tyson’s Pigeons
How do you maintain your place on lists of Weirdest Celebrity Pets after you’ve had to get rid of your tigers? Start keeping pigeons and training them to race, of course!
While Tyson has been keeping pigeons since the ‘90s, he’s opened up about his connection to the birds recently and it’s… certainly something: “I don’t know why this is like this. I feel ridiculous even trying to explain it. What we love about these pigeons is their loyalty. And that’s what the connection is with them. You find out they’re so much like people.”
20. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne’s Dogs
While Ozzy Osbourne’s reputation with animals is not the kind you’d want to see on a list of pet owners — including killing all of his family’s cats at the height of his drug addiction and biting the heads off of live bats and doves — the Osbourne family has too many famous pets to exclude from this list.
Sharon, in particular, was rarely ever seen without her Pomeranian, Minnie, throughout the filming of the MTV series The Osbournes. The series gave attention to many of the family’s pets, including Maggie, Lola, and Pip.
21. Tori Spelling and Her Chicken
If you ever happen to run into Tori Spelling while out shopping, don’t be surprise to see a chicken along her. That’s Coco Chanel, her pet chicken!
The Beverly Hills, 90210 star likes to carry Coco around with her while running errands, and even feeds her human treats like scones!
22. Kristen Stewart’s Wolf Dogs
While Kristen Stewart may be most famous for playing The Twilight Saga’s lovestruck heroine Bella Swan, torn between vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black, the actress is decidedly on #TeamEdward in real life. Stewart was likely completely at ease during the filming of the Twilight movies, as she grew up with wolves!
While none of them have achieved individual fame, we’re holding out hope that at least one of them is called Jacob.
Kristen’s pet choices really make the staff at Truly Brainy wonder if deep down she’s on team Edward. What do you think?
23. Nicolas Cage’s Octopus
Nobody has ever accused Nicolas Cage of being ordinary, so it should come as no surprise that the same qualities that make Cage unique extend to his taste in pets.
Cage used to own a pet octopus, which he claimed helped him as an actor because he was observing something so different from the human form. Well, okay then!
Cage ultimately had to get rid of the octopus — which allegedly cost the National Treasure star $150,000 — when his spending caused financial problems that prevented his ability to keep it.
24. Nick Cage’s Cobras
The exotic animals that Cage keeps as pets is not just limited to cephalopods — the star also owned two king cobras, Moby and Sheba, priced at $276,000.
We’re beginning to see how Cage could have money problems. Just like his octopus, the cobras helped Cage’s acting career. He claimed Sheba, who apparently hated him, helped inspire his character in Ghost Rider.
25. Steven Tyler’s Raccoon
The Aerosmith frontman takes his pet raccoon fishing with him everyday — by carrying him on his shoulders!
Contrary to what many believe, raccoons are not inherently rabid creatures determined to attack humans — they can be bought legally, and even trained to use a litter box!