How Smart Marketing Led to Adoption for Perdita — the ‘World’s Worst Cat’

Feb 11, 2020

“Perdita, we thought she was sick, turns out she’s just a jerk.”

Mitchell County Animal Rescue recently crowned Perdita the “world’s worst cat.”

The honorary title and accompanying Facebook post are of course the animal shelter’s clever attempts to drum up interest in adopting Perdita. They paid off.

A story about the Facebook post in the Charlotte Observer led to a lot more coverage, from Buzzfeed and The Cut to Time and the Associated Press. 

All those stories drove a lot of engagement. Perdita’s post has 10,000-plus reactions, more than 9,000 shares and 6,000 comments. The previous post, a more traditional adoption call for a pup named Edgar, received only a few dozen interactions.

Meet Perdita, not for the faint of heart. LIKES: staring into your soul until you feel as if you may never be cheerful…

Posted by Mitchell County Animal Rescue, Inc-North Carolina on Wednesday, January 22, 2020


In hindsight, it’s easy to see why the animal rescue’s tactic worked. But note this wasn’t the first time the organization had tried quirky pet profiles to boost interest in adoption. Executive Director Amber Lowery told Today other profiled pets like a “counter-surfing butter stealer” didn’t get nearly the infamy Perdita has garnered.

It’s a good reminder that even with the best marketing ideas, other conditions have to be right for something to catch on. A well-timed social share or luckily catching a reporter at their desk during a round of follow-up calls can mean the difference between a Perdita and an Edgar.

Ultimately, the story has a happy ending for Perdita, too. After more than 175 applications, she has found her new home with a very patient family. 

Long story short: With the right idea and execution, unconventional marketing ideas can have a major impact, but it doesn’t always happen on the first try. Often, you have to stick with the idea and wait for the perfect conditions for the media and your audience to adopt your message.

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