It’s easier to get through a tough day when a photo or video of fluffy animals doing cute things appears on your social media feed.
Cats are the undisputed champions and an exhibition entitled How cats took over the Internet in NYC’s Museum of the Moving Image analyses the importance of cat-related content.
A quick search on Instagram returns plenty of accounts dedicated to our pets in Australia. Take a look at some of the cutest:
@abbeys_guineapigs: It’s hard to resist the overwhelming urge to say “Awww” when you stumble upon these two guinea pigs enjoying a snack. The account has just over 500 followers and chronicles the lives of six guinea pigs and their canine companions Ben and Pippa.
@homerpugalicious: Homer enjoys playing dress up and has a passion for food. When he’s not posing for the camera, Homer helps his mum with their blog and raises money for animals in need. Check him out on Instagram where he has 58.6 thousand followers.
@hannahhuntcorgi: Hannah the Corgi lives in the Sydney suburb of Newtown. Her account has over 4000 followers and follows her adventures around town. She organises catchups with her corgi pals at #sydneycorgimeet.
@adventuresoflittleben: Ben the black Lab belongs to Sydney fashion blogger Sara Donaldson. He’s been on Instagram since early 2015 and has a following of over 20,000 people. Follow the escapades of Ben and his pal, fellow black lab, Bundy.
@Jacknluna: Jack and Luna are a brother and sister team who found international Insta fame. It all started when their human wanted a way to share their daily lives without crowding her friend’s Insta feeds with cat photos. These two are unique and shot to stardom with the #nakedcats tag (referring to cats with little or no hair) when @cats_of_instagram shared one of Jack and Luna’s photos to 1.8 million followers.
@milkteabuns: Yuki and her friend Kookie have their own blog and YouTube channel and 50,000 Insta fans. These bunnies dedicate their time to providing the human parents of other bunnies with tips on how to keep bunnies happy and healthy.
@charliemadchops: Charlie is a long-haired Persian, one of Sydney’s best groomed felines. His account has 34000 followers and over 100 photos, which mostly document his meticulous grooming regime, helped along by his people who seem to like to put him in the bath.
And finally, we have quokkas. While not a pet, these Rottnest Island natives have amassed a huge Insta following — the tag #quokka as over 300,000 posts.
Pets in Australia
Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world, involving 63 per cent of households. There are at least 25 million pets in Australia: that’s 19 dogs and 15 cats per every 100 people plus 10.7 million fish, 4.8 million birds and 2.2 million small animals and reptiles.
Owners are opting for more expensive food, toys and gifts for special occasions.
Pet owners are spending big on professional photographs of their animal companions. For some of us, our pets are more important than the human members of our family, as they provide a sense of friendship and stave off feelings of loneliness.
Our pets are often so important that we consider their wellbeing before our own.
The Victorian Government recently announced it will fund shelter for pets of domestic violence victims as part of its “Safe Steps” family violence program. This initiative was introduced because victims had sometimes not sought help due to violent threats being made against pets, and refuges would not accept pets.
Over the next four years, $100,000 will be spent working with animal welfare agencies, such as the RSPCA, to provide for the pets.
Sometimes, pets even become a matter of national security. The “war of terrier” was a tale fit for the silver screen between Johnny Depp’s Yorkshire terriers, Boo Radley and Pistol, and the Department of Agriculture and made international headlines . The issue arose when Depp’s dogs arrived on a private jet and avoided quarantine. They were ultimately sent back to the US.