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Nyan Cat

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Nyan Cat

Nyan Cat is a YouTube video uploaded in April 2011, which became an internet meme. The video merged a Japanese pop song with an animated cartoon cat with a Pop-Tart for a torso flying through space and leaving a rainbow trail behind. The video ranked at number five on the list of most viewed YouTube videos in 2011.[1]


Animated GIF

Original Nyan Cat doodle

On April 2, 2011, the GIF animation of the cat was posted by 25-year-old Christopher Torres of Dallas, Texas, who uses the name "prguitarman", on his website LOL-Comics.[2] Torres explained in an interview where the idea for the animation came from: "I was doing a donation drive for the Red Cross and in-between drawings in my Livestream video chat, two different people mentioned I should draw a 'Pop Tart' and a 'cat'." In response, he created a hybrid image of a Pop-Tart and a cat, which was developed a few days later into the animated GIF.[3] Nyan Cat was based on a real cat: Torres' pet cat Marty, who died in November 2012 from feline infectious peritonitis.[4][5]


The original version of the song "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!" was uploaded by user "daniwell"[6] to the Japanese video site Niconico on July 25, 2010.[7] The song features the Vocaloid virtual singer Hatsune Miku.[failed verification] The Japanese word nya (にゃ) (wikt:にゃん) is onomatopoeic, imitating the call of a cat (equivalent to English "meow").[1] The song was later included in the rhythm game Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA F, released by Sega in August 2012.[8]

On January 30, 2011, a user named "Momomomo" uploaded a cover of "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!" featuring the UTAU voice Momone Momo.[9][10] The voice source used to create the Momone Momo voice was a Japanese woman named Momoko Fujimoto.[11]

YouTube video

YouTube user "saraj00n" (whose real name is Sara June)[12] combined the cat animation with the "Momomomo" version of the song "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!", and uploaded it to YouTube on April 5, 2011, three days after Torres had uploaded his animation, giving it the title "Nyan Cat".[1][3] The video rapidly became a success after being featured on websites including G4 and CollegeHumor. Christopher Torres said: "Originally, its name was Pop Tart Cat, and I will continue to call it so, but the Internet has reached a decision to name it Nyan Cat, and I'm happy with that choice, too."[3]

In March 2019, ownership of the YouTube channel hosting the original Nyan Cat video was transferred to Means TV, a worker-owned video streaming service.[13]

In November 2023, the original Nyan Cat video ceased to be available on the saraj00n YouTube channel, and its new location was given as the YouTube channel NyanCat.[14]

Sale as an NFT

In February 2021, it was reported that the GIF's original creator, Chris Torres, had created an updated version and sold it as a non-fungible token (NFT) for 300 ether, the equivalent of US$587,000 at the time of sale.[15]


The Nyan Cat music video reached ninth place in Business Insider's top ten viral videos of April 2011, with 7.2 million total views.[16] The original YouTube video has received 205 million views as of May 3, 2023. Nyan Cat won a Webby Award in 2012 for "Meme of the Year".[17]

Due to the video's popularity, many new remixes and cover versions have been made, some several hours long. There are also ringtones, wallpapers and applications created for operating systems and devices, including a progress bar substitute for Windows which would show up in various places such as the file transfer progress indicator in Windows Explorer, following a request on the subreddit "Somebody Make This".[18][19][20] Video games were developed for iPhone, iPad,[21] Symbian,[22] Android,[23] Windows Phone,[24] and HP webOS,[25] and a variety of flash games such as "Snake" replicas using the cat's rainbow tail.[26] "Nyan Cat Adventure", by 21st Street Games, is an officially licensed game.[12][27] An officially licensed cryptocurrency entitled "Nyancoin" with the domain name nyanco.in (later nyan-coin.org) was launched in January 2014.[28]


Christopher Torres initially criticized the website www.nyan.cat, which originally featured a similar-looking cat with the pop tart replaced by a slice of toast,[29] and the same background music. The site, which uses the .cat sponsored top-level domain, was described by Torres as "plagiarized".[30][31] Since 2012 the website has been operated by Torres, and shows the authentic version of the cat.[12]

Temporary DMCA takedown

On June 27, 2011, the original YouTube video was taken down from the site following a Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaint from someone claiming to be Torres. Torres immediately issued a statement on his website LOL-comics denying that he was the source of the complaint, and contacted Saraj00n and daniwell, who hold the copyright for the video and the song, in order to file a counter-complaint to YouTube. During the period that the video was unavailable for viewing, Torres received numerous abusive e-mails from people who wrongly believed that he had filed the DMCA complaint. On June 28, 2011, the Nyan Cat video was restored to YouTube.[32]


In May 2013, Christopher Torres and Charles Schmidt, the creators of Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat respectively, jointly sued 5th Cell and Warner Bros. for copyright infringement and trademark infringement over the appearance of these characters without permission in the Scribblenauts series of video games. Torres and Schmidt have registered copyrights on their characters and have pending trademark applications on the names.[33][34] Torres released a statement saying that he had tried to obtain compensation from 5th Cell and Warner Bros. for commercial use of the character, but was "disrespected and snubbed" multiple times.[35][36] The suit was settled in September 2013, with Torres and Schmidt being paid for the use of the characters.[37]

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Talking Twin Babies, Nyan Cat among YouTube's top videos of 2011". Los Angeles Times. December 20, 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-06-05. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  2. ^ prguitarman (April 2, 2011). "Pop Tart / Nyan Cat!". LOL-comics. Archived from the original on September 6, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  3. ^ a b c "POP Profile: The Guy Behind The Viral Phenomenon "Nyan Cat"". Pop goes the Week. April 19, 2011. Retrieved October 28, 2011.
  4. ^ "RIP Marty --The Inspiration for Nyan Cat". mashable.com. November 2, 2012. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  5. ^ "From Meme To Memory: RIP Marty, Nyan Cat's Inspiration". petslady.com. November 2, 2012. Archived from the original on May 31, 2022. Retrieved November 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "daniwell" is variously credited on the web as daniwellP and Daniwell-P; the account that uploaded the song "Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!" uses the name daniwell.
  7. ^ ニコニコ動画(原宿).【初音ミク】Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!【オリジナループ】. From nicovideo.jp Archived 2011-06-06 at the Wayback Machine July 25, 2010. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "Watch The Nyan Cat Song In Hatsune Miku Project Diva f". Siliconera. 9 August 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2020.
  9. ^ Nyan Cat hit 10M views Archived 2011-06-20 at the Wayback Machine Vocaloidism, May 22, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  10. ^ 【UTAU】Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya!【桃音モモ】【ミクカバー】 ‐ ニコニコ動画(原宿). From nicovideo.jp Archived 2011-04-26 at the Wayback Machine, January 31, 2011. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
  11. ^ Fujimoto, Momoko; Oyamano, Mayo (6 August 2011). "これがソラリスの海か! "音源系女子"ガールズトーク" [This is the ocean of Solaris! A Girl's Talk with the "Sound System Girls"]. ASCII.jp [ja] (Interview) (in Japanese). Interviewed by Yotsumoto Toshimi. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011.
  12. ^ a b c "Profiles in Geekdom: Chris Torres, Creator of Nyan Cat". PCWorld. February 4, 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-03-08. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  13. ^ "Means TV, with a boost from the Nyan Cat, launches a post-capitalist streaming service". Theintercept.com. March 21, 2019. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  14. ^ "Chris @PRguitarman on X". X.com. November 11, 2023. Retrieved November 11, 2023.
  15. ^ Stanley, Alise (19 February 2021). "Remastered Nyan Cat Gif Sold for the Equivalent of $587,000 in a Crypto Art Auction". Gizomodo. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  16. ^ "Top viral videos of April: What's A "Nyan Cat"?". Business Insider. May 3, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  17. ^ "Special Achievement: Meme of the Year: Nyan Cat". webbyawards.com. Retrieved 13 December 2019.
  18. ^ Brandrick, Chris (2011-07-13). "Nyan Cat Invades Windows 7, Dances Along Progress Bars". PCWorld. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  19. ^ Robberts, Eric (12 July 2011). "Nyan Cat Progress Bar". EKM.CO. Retrieved 19 April 2022.
  20. ^ "[SMT] A Nyan Cat loading bar UI mod for Windows". 19 June 2011. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 2022-04-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link) (June 19, 2011)
  21. ^ Dredge, Stuart (May 14, 2011). "Apps rush: Nutkin, Nyan Cat and more". The Guardian. London. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  22. ^ "Nyan Cat on the Nokia Cell Phone". Pdadevice.com. 2011-07-02. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  23. ^ "Nyan Cat: Lost In Space". Retrieved April 10, 2015.
  24. ^ "Nyan Cat strays into the Marketplace". wpcentral.com. Archived from the original on October 19, 2014. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  25. ^ "Nyan Cat for HP webOS". Developer.palm.com. Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-07-04.
  26. ^ "nyake" – Internet Archive
  27. ^ "Nyan Cat Adventure (Xbox 360 – Indie Game) Review". thegamerplex.com. Archived from the original on April 6, 2012. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
  28. ^ Sharwood, Simon (January 23, 2014). "Cryptocurrencies now being pooped out by cartoon cat". The Register. Retrieved January 24, 2014.
  29. ^ Non-Stop Nyan Cat! The original nyan.cat, archived by the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 19 January 2014.
  30. ^ nyan.cat Archived 2011-05-31 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  31. ^ "Huy Hong: so tremendously humbled, thank you. Lies and thievery". prguitarman.tumblr.com. Archived from the original on April 26, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  32. ^ "I did NOT file a Youtube Copyright Complaint". prguitarman.com. June 27, 2011. Archived from the original on July 26, 2012. Retrieved November 13, 2011.
  33. ^ "Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat creators sue Warner Bros". BBC News. 2013-05-02. Archived from the original on 2013-05-04. Retrieved 2013-05-02.
  34. ^ Adi Robertson (2013-02-12). "Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat creators sue 'Scribblenauts' studio for using their memes". The Verge. Archived from the original on 2013-05-05. Retrieved 2013-05-03.
  35. ^ "Nyan Cat Creator Comments on Warner Bros. Lawsuit". GamePolitics. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  36. ^ Phillips, Tom (2013-05-03). "Warner Bros. and 5th Cell targeted by Keyboard Cat, Nyan Cat lawsuit • News •". Eurogamer.net. Archived from the original on 2013-06-25. Retrieved 2013-06-27.
  37. ^ Van Syckle, Katie (2013-09-26). "Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat Come Out Ahead in Lawsuit Against Warner Bros". Nymag.com. Archived from the original on 2013-09-30. Retrieved 2013-10-02.

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