Cat Photo Contest For Money 2018 – Where to Enter & How To Win

Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t thought about entering my cats in cat photo contest for money. Like, hellooo?! Nala & Charlie are so doggone cute. (That’s right – “dog gone”. Enter cat. Cat is the new dog!)

Does it make me a horrible Pageant Mom exploiting my cats to make money? Is there a Toddlers & Tiara for cats…?

But if no cats are harmed in the making of the cat photo contest, then why not try to make a few bucks? So, here is my research on how to enter cat photo contests for money, and if my readers benefit from it, then I’m happy to share.

How to Enter Cat Photo Contest For Money

Okay, so it’s pretty simple. After looking at a few cat photo contests out there, most don’t have any rules. You just take a gosh darn cute photo of your cat and enter the contest. I never realized how many contests there are out there.

This is what you need to enter cat photo contests.

First, you need to know WHERE to enter. I’ve searched the depths of the internet, and I’ve listed below all the cat photo contests I could find out there.

Second, you need to know how to win. And how to win is two-fold. Take GREAT photos and spread the word to get the votes. I don’t have Facebook, so I’ll spend most of my time on mastering the art of taking amazing cat photos.

Now, let’s get into how to take winning photos of your cat. And after all the photography tips are discussed, you’ll find the list of cat photo contests to get started on entering.

cat photo contest 2018

How to Take Winning Photos

I’m sure winning cat photos have something to do with the natural cuteness of your cat. But I think that most of it lies in how the cuteness is enhanced and captured in the photography technique.

So, whether you have a cute cat or an “ugly” cat (ugly is in quotes, because no cat is ugly, in my opinion), let’s take a look at how to bring out those cute features of your cat in photos to win in the contest.

Take Cat Photos with Intention

If you’re remotely close to being a cat lady like me, 90% of your phone’s data is occupied by photos of your cat(s), am I right? And, if you’ve gone the extra mile like me, you’re subscribed to extra photo cloud storage just so you can save and unload all the cat photos on your phone.

But scrolling through countless number of pics of my cats, I realize that probably only a handful are really photo contest worthy. The rest don’t highlight your cat’s best features that you know your cat to be.

Hence, I think I will take photos of my cats with more intention, following these tips.

Poses – Capture Their Personality

I think the best tip I’ve read online is to capture your cat at his/her cutest is to think about their personality. How do you capture their personality in a still photo?

Well, I’m not a professional photographer, so with the help of online photography tips, I learned that to take the best photos of your pet, a very smart tip is to think about what sets your cat apart from other cats.

For Nala, I would say she is very quick to learn and very athletic. She can do a cartwheel in the air up to 3 foot above ground. So, I’d want to capture her when she’s wiggling her butt ready to pounce or when she’s mid-air.

She’s also a beautiful cat. Honestly, from an objective point of view, her face is stunning for a cat. So, I’d ideally like to capture her face when she’s showing off her athletic prowess.

As for Charlie, he’s always hungry. He’s always pleading with me for more food. He’s also very cuddly and lazy. He would’ve done well living on a tropical island, living his chill life if it weren’t for his winter-ready coat!

So, I’d like to capture Charlie in a Hawaiian “shirt” or shades if I can get it on him when he’s sleepy. He’s always laid out horizontally, stretching out all four legs. So, this is a pose he’d look his best self in.

And you know what? Get creative and try different props!

cat photo contest for money

Background – Think About Context of Pose

If you think about what kind of pose would best represent your cat’s personality, then the background setting ideas should come to you naturally. If not, do some brainstorming.

For example, since I want to capture Nala as an athletic beauty, it would seem like a natural fit to take photos of her jumping and catching “prey” out in the green field.

Or, with a green screen, I can make her jump with her favorite toy, capture her mid-air, and then change the background to a track and field or a beachy sand.

It can also just be at home of Nala jumping onto the furniture or cat tree.

With Charlie being more of a chill, laid-back gentle giant, a cozy teepee, a bed with beautiful covers, or a plush velvet vintage chaise makes sense to me.

Or if I want to be a little outside the box and creative again, I can take a picture of him and photoshop him in a cabana on a beach!

Perspective – Up Close and Personal

Another great tip is to change your camera angle. Rather than always taking the photo from your perspective of looking down at your cat, get down to the floor and take photos of them looking up.

This means you’re going to have to get down and dirty, rolling around in the field or on your living room floor. But, it will be worth it to add different perspectives of your cat into your portfolio for various cat photo contests to enter into.

Lighting – Natural Light Is the Best

Ideally you want to take the photo with natural light for the photos to turn out the best. So, open up all the curtains and blinds and take the photo of your cat right by the window.

If you plan on taking studio photos at home when there isn’t too much natural light, then you could invest in a studio light if you plan on taking lots of pictures of your cats to enter into contests in the future.

Aperture – Fancy Way of Saying Blurry Background

Finally, getting close to the focal point and blurring the background is a very neat tool to make your cat stand out in the photo. This setting is called aperture. The effects of aperture include light exposure and how blurry the background is.

If you’re taking photos of your cat on a DSLR, then you know more about photography than I do, so I don’t have to tell you any more.

But if you’re just going to take pics with your phone like me and still achieve the professional look, you’ll have to do a lot of photo editing afterwards.

On an iphone, the best way to achieve this if you don’t have the latest iphone which comes with the aperture function, is to make the background blurry using an app.

Most apps allow you to blur out the background. The free apps that I use are Snapseed, Tadaa and Moldiv. But these all don’t allow you to blur out the background precisely.

In order to blur out the background with a brush tool so that you can precision, I first like to use the app called Blur Photo to blur out the area touching the focal point. Then I use Snapseed to blur out the rest and make other lighting and saturation effects.

My photos by no means look professional, but the more I do it, the better I get. Which brings me to my next point.

cat photo contests

Practice & Get Instagram Famous

Continuing from the last point, practice taking photos and getting feedback from family, friends, and strangers in the same community.

The best way to do this is to make an Instagram or other Social Media account and try different photo techniques of your cat. You’ll see instantly from feedback whether you’re doing it right and what gets the most likes.

If you look at Instagram famous cats, there are a ton of pictures of them in different poses and backgrounds. And many, many of the same poses and backgrounds.

Up ‘til now, I haven’t really been paying attention to making my cats’ photos look amazing when I post them on Instagram. But from now, I’ll heed my own advice here and take better photos.

Share Link on Social Media to Get Votes

That’s enough time spent on how to make the photos look great. Now that we know how to do that, what else do we have to do to win the cat photo contests??

Well, some cat photo contests are judged by the people behind the contest. Some are judged by public votes. And if it’s the latter, share your cat photo page with family, friends, and on your Instagram page to get the votes rolling in.

Let’s now dive into where you can enter.

Where to Enter – Cat Photo Contests 2018

Some of the cat photo contests’ deadline has passed, but I’ve included them anyway, so that you can keep tabs on them to enter for next year. And it’s also a good idea to look at the past ones to see which photos won; i.e. scope out the competition!

Cat Photo Contest for MONEY or Value Prize

  1. Pet Parade, Deadline: August 31, 2018, Grand Prize: $150 value gift basket
  2. Pet Connection Magazine, Deadline: December 31, 2018, Grand Prize: Cash, gift cards, other prizes
  3. Purrfect Pals, Deadline: May 31, 2018, Grand Prize: GoPro Hero 6 camera
  4. Pet Vote, Deadline: September 1, 2018, Grand Prize: Hundreds of dollars
  5. Perched Kitty, Deadline: April 20, 2018, Grand Prize: $500
  6. FanArtReview, Deadline: September 24, 2018, Grand Prize: $100
  7. Purina, Deadline: September 5, 2018, Grand Prize: Free cat food
  8. King Pet, Deadline: September 11, 2018, Grand Prize: Hundreds of dollars
  9. Coventry Telegraph, Deadline: April 1, 2018, Grand Prize: £500 (~$650)
  10. Rescue Wine Label Contest, Deadline: July 31, 2018, Grand Prize: $100 gift card
  11. Animal Friends UK, Deadline: April 1, 2018, Grand Prize: GoPro
  12. Best Friends Photo Contest, Deadline: January 25, 2018, Grand Prize: $1,000
  13. Cap Region Pets, Deadline: July 20, 2018, Grand Prize: $200
  14. Shoot and Share (Category: Pets), Deadline: March 3, 2018, Grand Prize: Thousands of dollars
  15. RACQ, Deadline: July 30, 2018, Grand Prize: $5,000 gift card
  16. Aubudon, Deadline: April 9, 2018, Grand Prize: Cash prizes upto $5,000
  17. Arm & Hammer, Deadline: January 15, 2018, Grand Prize: Year’s Supply of Arm & Hammer cat litter
  18. Healthy Pet Magazine, Deadline: Rolling, Grand Prize: $50 gift certificate
  19. Petland Canada, Deadline: August 31, 2018, Grand Prize: $250 gift card
  20. Wildlife Photo Fail, Deadline: September 30, 2018, Grand Prize: Dream trip. (I included this because the entry photos are hilarious if anything else. This is a wildlife contest but in the case you capture your cat outside and there is some wildlife out there lurking in the background.)
  21. Canidae, Deadline: December 2018, Grand Prize: 6 months of dry food

Cat Photo Contest for Feature/Accolade

  1. Modern Cat, Deadline: Every week, Grand Prize: Featured on website
  2. Smithsonian, Deadline: Rolling, Grand Prize: Featured on website
  3. Pageaday, Deadline: Rolling, Grand Prize: Featured in calendar
  4. Cat Lovers Calendar, Deadline: February 1, 2019, Grand Prize: Featured in calendar
  5. Slice.ca, Deadline: December 31, 2018, Grand Prize: Featured on website
  6. Pet Supermarket, Deadline: May 31, 2018, Grand Prize: Featured in calendar
  7. Petsway, Deadline: July 29, 2018, Grand Prize: Photoshoot & featured in calendar
  8. Pet Valu Canada, Deadline: June 15, 2018, Featured in calendar

Also Enter Local Cat Photo Contest

I also want to mention that almost every local newspaper, radio, or your nearby pet shop has a local cat photo contest. I didn’t include these here if they were regional, but just google cat photo contest and your city name and see them pop up.

Finally, good luck!