Bobby Joe is a kitty on a mission to make you smile.
He’s already making over 1.1 million people smile on a daily basis on TikTok.
The Siberian Forest cat is a TikTok star with over 17.5 million likes on the video-sharing platform.
Whether it’s Bobby Joe just chilling in a swing with his trademark yellow anorak or going for his daily stroll, his upbeat vides will give you a lift.
As one of the most famous felines on TikTok, we wanted to catch up with Bobby Joe and his parents to learn more about his success.
1) Can you tell us how you ended up with Bobby Joe?
We adopted Bobby Joe locally here in Portland, OR. We recommend ALWAYS going to your local shelter first but we got Bobby Joe specifically because I am super allergic to cats and his breed (Siberian Forest Cat) does not cause allergies for most people!
2) What is Bobby Joe’s personality like?
Bobby Joe acts more like a dog than a cat. He is extremely outgoing, friendly, and loves to go on walks. He is also still very cat like and can have his stubborn and mischievous moments. From the moment we brought him home we knew he wasn’t like other cats as he quickly adjusted to his new home. In general, he adapts very quickly which is why we are able to take him on so many fun adventures.
3) What is a typical day like for Bobby Joe?
Bobby Joe’s morning starts usually at 3-4AM when he yowls for food. After he gets fed, he ends up snuggling up with me in bed until it is time to wake up. We start our day with a walk around the neighborhood and then we come back home for lunch at work. Bobby Joe goes out for at least 3 short walks a day. Before COVID-19, he would also come to work or out shopping with me, but currently we are limited to short walks in our neighborhood. He also loves going for car rides and will come with me in the car to pick up his Dad from work at night!
4) How does Bobby Joe get along with other pets, including dogs?
Bobby Joe loves all animals except for other cats, he can get territorial. He grew up with lots of dogs and his best friend is a dog named Penny! They love to play and go on walks together. Bobby Joe also has an older brother, Boots the Millipede. He loves to sit there and watch Boots in his cage.
5) How much does Bobby Joe like his yellow anorak?
Cats are very smart. Most people don’t know this but cats are actually a lot more intelligent than dogs, and their brains are very similar to humans. They are just more stubborn and aren’t trained to please so even when they understand you they don’t always listen. Bobby Joe loves his yellow raincoat because he has learned that it protects him from the rain and allows him to enjoy the outdoors even during winter and fall! We live in the PNW so it is rainy here 4-5 months out of the year.
6) What are the common questions you get asked about Bobby Joe?
The most common question we get asked is how we came up with the name Bobby Joe! I found the name by googling “Traditional Southern Boys Names”. I wanted him to have a name that sounded both formal and cute and Bobby Joe stood out and rolled off the tongue perfectly.
People also always ask us how we trained him to walk on a leash so we actually just created a video tutorial teaching other people how. What we always remind people is that each cat is unique and different. Bobby Joe just happens to be a naturally outgoing and fearless cat so going outside on adventures is something he enjoys. If he ever stops liking it, we won’t take him out places anymore. Some cats are naturally more shy and prefer to stay home so we always remind people to never force their pets to do something just in an attempt to gain clout or fame.
7) How does it feel to have over 1.1m million followers on TikTok?
We still cant believe that many people follow and love Bobby Joe! We get dozens of messages a day of people telling us how Bobby Joe cheers them up when they are feeling sad or lonely. We are so glad that people enjoy our wholesome family friendly content and can follow along on Bobby Joe’s adventures as he grows up.
8) What inspired you to start a TikTok for Bobby Joe in the first place?
I started the TikTok just for fun to see what the platform was about. I didn’t want to put myself in the videos and I’ve actually never appeared in any of the Bobby Joe videos, just his dad. One of his videos of him running and jumping into a stroller ended up going viral so after that I wanted to see if we could replicate the success. After some trial and error, we were able to quickly grow our page to over 1M followers.
9) What is your favourite video or your most popular video that you’ve posted of Bobby Joe?
Our most popular videos have been the Shy Cat series. This was a parody on POV videos. A lot of teenagers will make TikTok videos where they play multiple different characters acting out a scene. We did this with Bobby Joe where he would play the characters of Popular Cat and Shy Cat. These videos talked about teenage bullying and standing up for others an ended up going viral outside of TikTok and onto Twitter and Facebook. This video in particular was the end to the series and features a fun cameo by another famous TikTok cat.
10) What are the advantages of TikTok over Instagram?
TikTok is a great place to discover untapped creativity because it isn’t about how professional or fancy your content looks, it is about how good you are at telling a story. Some of my best performing Bobby Joe videos have shoddy camera work or are blurry but they still performed well because the story resonated. You can also grow your audience much faster on TikTok vs Instagram as it is still a growing platform.
11) Do you prefer to plan out your videos or do more spontaneous content?
A little bit of both! What most people don’t realize is how hard it is to make videos when your primary subject is a cat! Bobby Joe does what he wants so a lot of times it can even take a whole week of shooting footage just to cut it down to a 15 second video. We have created over 173 videos in the last 9 months and it has taken a lot of effort but has been so much fun.
12) Has TikTok opened any other doors or created any cool opportunities for you and Bobby Joe?
Yes! Bobby Joe has done numerous sponsorships with record labels and big brands. Our favorite opportunity was when he was invited to visit OMSI, which is the largest museum here in Portland. He was able to take a private tour of the museum before the opened and the video we created about his experience generated over 1M+ video views. We got a lot of comments about people who hadn’t been to OMSI in years but were now going to go so that made us really proud that we were able to inspire kids to get involved with science and technology.
Prior to COVID-19, Bobby Joe was planning on getting certified as a therapy cat so he could visit nursing homes and sick children, but we’ve had to place that on hold for now.
13) What other TikTok accounts do you draw inspiration from or recommend to our readers?
We love Lola, Professor Pouncey, Uno, Potato, and Eloise the Fluff Cat. We are all friends in real-life and will share tips and feedback with each other.
14) What are the pros and cons of TikTok?
Maintaining a TikTok page once you get popular is a lot of work and it can be stressful trying to outdo your past videos. My advice to aspiring TikTok stars is to remember to have fun with it and don’t take yourself too seriously. Also, you have to remember that many TikTokers are young children, so please be responsible with the content you are putting out there.
15) Tell us your funniest Bobby Joe story please.
Bobby Joe is truly like a small child in a lot of ways. One of his favorite places to go is the local park where he loves being pushed on the swing. People are always shocked when they see a cat in a raincoat being pushed on a swing like a toddler and it makes everyone crack up and laugh.
16) Finally, for someone to start a TikTok for their pet, what three bits of advice would you offer them?
Hook your audience in the first 3 seconds. If you don’t hook them from the start, they will simply swipe onto the next video. Also, be true to yourself and don’t try to copy others. Use your unique voice to tell your OWN story.