How to Make an Instagram Reel of Your Cat that Could Go Viral — with Examples!

Admit it—you have an Instagram account for your cat.

We all do (here’s mine).

There’s just something so enjoyable about posting those adorable pictures of our pets, befriending other furbabies, and scrolling through endless viral cat reels. Catstagram is one of the best places on the internet.

While many cat guardians are content earning just a couple of likes on their posts, others will use Instagram as a way to make their kitties famous, raise awareness for animal rights, or spread pawsitivity in their communities.

Purrsonally, I use Instagram as a fun way to share the blankets I crochet for senior shelter cats—and my own cute kitties at home, of course! 

If you’re someone who wants to grow your cat’s Instagram, follow the steps below to create a reel that has the potential to go viral (because let’s face it, these short-form videos are the best way to increase reach and gain followers on Instagram—even for cats).

Tips for making a viral Instagram reel with cats

Keep Your Camera Nearby

Cats are unpredictable. We all know this. That’s why it’s important you always have your phone nearby to capture video of yours. If your cat has the zoomies, record a video. If your cat is sunbathing, record a video. If your cat is purring, record a video. There is no such thing as too many cat videos saved to your phone—the thousands on mine are proof of that.

This impromptu video of Belle purring turned into one of my favorite reels of all time:

So is this one of Rainbow stealing a banana from our kitchen!

Have Good Lighting

Instagram has stated in the past that the quality of the video you upload is a determining factor in how well it performs (or how many people their algorithm pushes it out to in the first place). One of the best ways to ensure a high-quality video is to use good lighting. Natural lighting is best, but more than anything, make sure your videos aren’t too dark.

Reels of cats lounging in the sun can be a great option—not only does the video look awesome, but your cat will be happy in it!

Talk to Them

If your cats are anything like mine, they like to respond to you when you talk to them. This response can be eye kisses, a meow, or simply a look in your direction. Try talking to your cat to get their attention—and capture it on video! Their response could be the next cute cat action that breaks the internet. 

If you’re not comfortable talking on camera, don’t worry, you can always edit out your voice later by muting it or adding a sound over your video (more on that later). That’s what I did with this reel:

Give Them Treats

Being Insta famous is hard work! Reward your kitty by giving them their favorite treat after you record a video—or even during. Treats can be a great way to encourage your kitty and for you to get a great video of them licking their lips in satisfaction!

Cats eating their favorite treats can also be a great reel on its own:

Add Trending Sounds

Trending sounds, whether funny voice overs or popular music, are another purrfect way to enhance your reels and make them more discoverable on Instagram. The platform actively recommends reels made with trending sounds to its audience, helping you to be found by a brand new group of people—which greatly increases your chance of going viral. 

You can find trending sounds by browsing through the sound option as you edit your reel, or by saving sounds you like as you scroll through your homepage feed. Over on Pawsitive Purrpose, I love using trending sounds like this one:

Use Hashtags

We all know #catsofinstagram but did you know that other hashtags can help you be found and go viral? It’s true. Instagram recommends using 3-5 relevant hashtags per post, and I have found this to work the best for my own cat profile. Try using a mix of popular hashtags like #catoftheday and a few hashtags specific to your video itself like #littermates.

Can you say #cute?

Have Patience

There is no one secret to going viral on Instagram. If there was, every single purrson would have millions of followers and an engaged community. Try not to get too caught up in the numbers game, and instead, have patience. Enjoy the process of creating fun videos and the time you spend with your cats making them. Some of my favorite reels I’ve ever made have gotten almost zero views, while others I barely put any effort into got tens of thousands. There’s not a lot of good that can come from obsessing about your own stats—simply follow the few best practices outlined above, jump on trends quickly, and have fun! 

This reel of mine fizzled fast, but I absolutely love it!! I mean, who doesn’t love a good Disney song with cats?

Do you make reels of your cats on Instagram? I want to see them! Drop your profile in the comments below.

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