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The richest animals in history

© Telekhovskyi/Shutterstock

By Daniel Bettridge, Espresso

We’ve all been envious of our animals at one point or another. But even the most pampered pets can’t compare to the world’s richest animals, a collection of cash-rich critters who have amassed the kind of fortune you and I could only ever dream of earning. So from millionaire mutts to famous felines, join us as we look at 20 of the richest animals in history.


Grumpy Cat

© JStone/Shutterstock

One of the most enduring memes to ever hit the internet, Grumpy Cat made the most of her five minutes of fame by booking a string of ad appearances, speaking engagements (yes, really!) and even her own TV movie. All of which adds up to a lot of dough, with the curmudgeonly kitty said to have earned almost $100 million over recent years.


Gunther IV

© Unsplash



Tommaso

© Unsplash

Tommaso is one lucky cat. Previously owned by Maria Assunta, the wealthy widow of an Italian property tycoon, this cash-rich kitty inherited a staggering fortune of 10 million euros (approx. $12 million) when his human died in 2011. The kitty, who had been rescued from the streets of Rome when he was younger, now owns a property portfolio that includes luxurious homes in the Italian capital as well as Milan and Calabria.


Gigoo

© Unsplash

Want to feel depressed? This chicken is richer than you will probably ever be in your life. Yes, Gigoo became a multimillionaire in 2002 when its owner Miles Blackwell died, leaving it the $15 million he’d been sitting on thanks to a successful publishing career.


Blackie

© Unsplash

Recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as one of the richest cats in the world, this fortunate feline inherited $12.5 million in 1988 when his reclusive millionaire owner died. Blackie was the last surviving member of 15 cats that Ben Rea was said to have lived with, and so took sole charge of the staggering fortune that was left to him.


Conchita

© Unsplash



Boo

© Instagram @buddyboowaggytails

With more than 500,000 followers on Instagram, this fluff ball is more of an influencer than you and I will ever be. Dubbed the world’s cutest dog, this adorable Pomeranian has apparently amassed more than $8 million thanks to sponsorships, appearances and merchandise sales. That’s a lot of bones!


Bart the Bear 2

© HBO

Another animal that’s amassed their own fortune, Bart the Bear is a bona fide star who has appeared in everything from Game of Thrones to Evan Almighty. During that time, the Alaskan bear known as Little Bart has banked a reported $6 million—not bad considering he probably spends half the year hibernating.


Toby

© everydoghasastory/Shutterstock

When American heiress Ella Wendel died in 1931, she set off an eccentric chain of events that has led to Toby the poodle being one of the richest pets on the planet today. Toby is the great-great-grandson of the original Toby, who was left a $15-million fortune that has been passed from mutt to mutt over the years, swelling to some $90 million in the process.


Trouble

© LovelyColorPhoto/Shutterstock

This Maltese pooch lived up to its name when, in 2007, it became embroiled in controversy surrounding its fortune. Previously owned by billionaire real estate tycoon Leona Helmsley, Trouble became rich after her owner died, leaving behind a $12-million nest egg to ensure her lapdog lived out her days in luxury.


Choupette

© Instagram @choupettesdiary

The beloved kitty of Chanel supremo Karl Lagerfeld, Choupette has amassed more than 100,000 Instagram followers and was reportedly paid £2.2 million ($2.8 million) for modelling gigs that have included makeup brand Shu Uemura and car manufacturer Opel.


Sadie, Sunny, Lauren, Layla and Luke – Oprah's dogs

© Instagram @oprah

Oprah, of course, needs no introduction, but her beloved dogs maybe do. Among her horde of hounds are Sadie, Sunny, Lauren, Layla and Luke, who are reportedly set to benefit from a trust fund worth more than $30 million in the event of Winfrey’s demise.


Frankie, Ani and Pepe

© Okssi/Shutterstock

These millionaire pets live in a $15-million mansion in San Diego, where they are cared for by Lenise Patrick, the lucky devil who was bequeathed $14 million to care for his affluent neighbour’s nearest and dearest after his demise.


Pontiac

© Instagram @bettymwhite

This beloved pup is owned by American actress Betty White. A star of shows like The Golden Girls, White has amassed a fortune said to be in the region of $240 million. According to reports, she has earmarked $5 million of that sum to ensure that her beloved golden retriever lives out his days in the comfort he has become accustomed to.


Moose

© NBC

Unlike some of the other animals on our list, this Jack Russell terrier earned every dime of his fortune. Cast as Eddie the dog in the hit ‘90s sitcom Frasier, Moose reportedly took home $10,000 an episode and left behind a fortune of $3 million when he died at the ripe old age of 15.


Tina and Kate

© OlgaOvcharenko/Shutterstock

These two collies became rich b**ches in 2002 when their devoted owner died aged 89. With no heirs, she left most of her estate, namely £450,000 (nearly $600,000), in trust to care for her beloved pets, stating in her will the money was to be used “for the maintenance of any dog or dogs which I may own at my death for the period of 21 years from the date of my death or until the death of my last of my dogs if earlier.”


Majel Barrett Roddenberry’s pets

© Chendongshan/Shutterstock

Like her husband, the widow of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry was a renowned animal lover. And so when she died in 2008, it was no surprise that her pets would boldly go where few pets had gone before, by banking a whopping $3.3-million inheritance.


Kalu

© mlorenz/Shutterstock

Like us humans, some animals have amassed small fortunes, only to tragically lose it all before enjoying the fruits of their labour. One such pet is Kalu, a Congolese chimp who would have been worth £40 million ($50 million) had his aristocratic owner not lost all of his loot before he could inherit it.


Samantha

© Shutterstock

When he died of a heart attack aged just 60, Sidney Altman, who had made his millions selling upscale bathroom fittings, left quite a fortune behind. That money wasn't bequeathed to his 32-year-old girlfriend Marie Dana, however—instead the $6-million inheritance was left to his beloved cocker spaniel Samantha, with Altman’s former lover named as the dog’s legal guardian.

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