There aren’t many forces more powerful on the world wide web than celebrities and animals. And when those forces cross paths, watch out.
Celebrity pets don’t just have pics and videos to comprise their web presence. They have Twitter accounts, Instagram profiles, blogs and, in some extreme cases, their own staff of cleaners, pamperers and caregivers. With owners that are remarkably wealthy, these privileged pets are treated to the finer things in life (all nine of them, in some cases).
Our fascination with the furry friends of the famous extends beyond cute pictures that turn up in Google Image searches. They offer a window into the lives of celebs, showing off a human element to our favorite stars while also revealing something about them in their preference of pet. Some are cat people, some are dog people and some, as you’ll see from this list, are something else entirely.
Dating back to Elvis Presley‘s kangaroo and Michael Jackson‘s chimp Bubbles, stars have long been drawn to exotic, non-traditional animals that you can’t find at your local pet store. With cash to burn, stars are free to buy their way into their very own donkeys, pigs, snakes and kinkajous (see #3 for an explanation).
Here are 10 celebrity pets that you kind of hate yourself for knowing about, as well as some off-the-wall pets befitting of their celebrity owners:
10. Honky and Tonky (Reese Witherspoon)
A long-time animal lover, the Best Actress Oscar winner (Walk the Line, 2005) has amassed an impressive and varied collection of pets. She is presently a mother to two pigs, three goats, 20 chickens, three dogs, and her very own pony. And that doesn’t even include Honky and Tonky, her adorable but troublesome donkeys. Since getting the pair, whom she endearingly refers to as her “badonkadonks,” in 2010, Witherspoon has had her hands full with the noisy duo. US Weekly reported that neighbors of the actress wrote her a letter to complain about all the braying that they were hearing late at night.
9. Hannah (Britney Spears)
Search “Hannah Spears” on Twitter and you will find a popular profile (@HannahSpears) with nearly 60,000 followers despite just over 1,200 tweets. More impressively, the profile belongs to a dog. Specifically, it belongs to Britney Spears‘ Yorkshire Terrier, Hannah, who made her Twitter debut in 2012 and has been growing more and more popular ever since. Hannah’s account, which includes a personal bio that reads “I’m Britney’s Bitch” (get it?), is used to plug Brit-related promotional items while also sharing some #DogProblems and gabbing with an impressive list of celebrity friends that include Miley Cyrus and the Kardashian clan. Not bad for a two-year-old pup!
8. Max (George Clooney)
George Clooney once referred to his friendship with Max, the actor’s pot-bellied pig who passed away back in 2006 at age 18, as “my longest relationship to date.” Tongue-in-cheek or not, the duo was described as “inseparable” by the celebrity press and reportedly cost the former People’s “Sexiest Man Alive” more than one female companion. French model Celine Balitran allegedly didn’t get the response she was hoping for upon giving Clooney an “it’s me or the pig” ultimatum. Max had it pretty good in the company of Clooney, roaming around on-set during production of his owner’s films, spending time in the two-time Academy Award winner’s master bedroom and even being invited along for the ride on John Travolta‘s private jet.
7. Moby and Sheba (Nicolas Cage)
Believe it or not, Nicolas Cage‘s albino king cobras aren’t the strangest animals that the oddball actor has ever owned. That distinction would go to the octopus that he briefly provided a home for, before realizing the potential damage of the vicious, anti-social, eight-tentacled creature. Still, Moby and Sheba, who cost the Ghost Rider star a reported $250,000 (no wonder the guy is in all kinds of financial trouble), are still plenty bizarre to merit a spot on this list. Lest you think that Cage is an irresponsible pet owner, at least he has also purchased an antidote serum against cobra bites for himself and anyone who comes into contact with Moby and Shera.
6. Choupette (Karl Lagerfeld)
“Choupette” doesn’t exactly sound like a brute mutt, and German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld‘s beloved red point Birman cat seems to embody all the prissy, high maintenance traits that her name suggests. Since being given as a gift to Lagerfeld by French model Baptiste Giabiconi in 2011, Choupette has been given the red carpet treatment. This “spoiled pussy” is waited on by two maids, Françoise and Marjorie, boasts her own Twitter account (@ChoupettesDiary) with 45,000 followers and has been ‘interviewed’ by numerous fashion mags. Her owner, meanwhile, is so enchanted that he spoke openly to CNN about wishing he was able to marry his feline friend.
5. Floyd (Miley Cyrus)
Miley Cyrus fans got to know her Siberian husky Floyd quite well through countless pics and videos, including his prominent place as part of her Bangerz Tour. It was no surprise, then, that his passing on April Fool’s Day of 2014 was a blow to not only the singer, but also to her loyal fan base. During a show in Boston immediately after the pup’s death, Cyrus struggled to keep it together when discussing what Floyd had meant to her and how hurt she was that he was gone. Since then, she has guaranteed that he will remain a part of her, getting a picture of him tattooed – at a house party, no less! – on her side.
4. Pigeons and Tigers (Mike Tyson)
Perhaps the least surprising celebrity to have some strange pet preferences is Mike Tyson. The boxing legend and noted wackjob owned three white Bengal tigers for a year (which cost a reported $300,000) and now raises (and reportedly trains for racing purposes) about 350 pigeons in Paradise Valley, an upscale suburb of Phoenix. While the tigers gained worldwide recognition in a memorable cameo alongside Tyson in The Hangover, Part I, his love of pigeons is represented in the cult hit Adult Swim series, Mike Tyson Mysteries, where a mystery-solving Tyson is aided by a wisecracking pigeon, voiced by Norm Macdonald.
3. Baby Luv (Paris Hilton)
Baby Luv is hotel heiress Paris Hilton‘s pet kinkajou. What is a kinkajou, you might ask (I know I did)? They are nocturnal rainforest mammals that come from the raccoon family, so while they are awfully cute, they don’t always make the greatest pets. Hilton has learned that the hard way on two occasions, getting a warning from the state of California about housing an exotic, illegal species (no evident follow-up actions have been taken) and then being bitten by Baby Luv in 2013, which required a trip to the hospital for a tetanus shot. Previously, Hilton has raised two Chihuahuas and a ferret.
2. Bo and Sunny (Barack and Michelle Obama)
Bo, the older brother of the two Portuguese Water Dogs, came to the White House as a gift from Sen. Ted Kennedy and is known as the First Dog of the United States. Sunny, meanwhile, joined the clan a few years later, as announced on First Lady Michelle Obama’s Twitter account. While the Obamas had initially looked into the adoption of a shelter dog, they were limited by the hypoallergenic needs of daughter Malia. The photogenic dogs have spent their formative years growing up in the White House, making for some messes of a different kind to tend to at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
1. Kitty Purry (Katy Perry)
Really, it’s all in the name here. Attention to all you pet owners out there: you can’t top “Kitty Purry,” so don’t even bother trying. Kitty emerged in the spotlight with a cameo appearance in her owner’s “I Kissed A Girl” video, but Perry also gets bonus points for making the cat such a prominent part of her live show. Kitty’s on-stage persona has been represented by a large inflatable decoration (Hello Katy tour), a dancing, costumed, purple mascot (California Dreams tour) and as the star of a mid-show animated cartoon (Prismatic tour). Kitty is a popular regular presence during post-show meet-and-greets, often getting nearly as much attention as the star, herself!