World’s Richest Cat?

How would your cat spend millions of dollars? Fill the house with custom cat furniture? Buy expensive jewelry and flush it down the toilet?

Last year, a 94-year old Italian heiress passed away and left her entire $13 million fortune to her cat, Tommaso. The heiress, Maria Assunta, was widowed and childless when she adopted Tommaso, a flea-ridden stray cat roaming the streets of Rome.

In gratitude, Tommaso became her loving and devoted companion. Thus, when Ms. Assunta died, she apparently felt Tommaso deserved her entire estate. Italian law, however, forbids passing on one’s wealth directly to an animal, so Ms. Assunta named her nurse, friend and fellow cat lover, the trusted overseer of Tommaso’s care and estate.

Now the nurse and Tommaso live with another cat in the Roman countryside, in an undisclosed location, in order to avoid fortune hunters and con-men.

Tommaso might be the richest cat, but before Tommaso became a millionaire, a German Shepherd named Gunther IV reportedly inherited $124 million from a countess in Germany. Bubbles, a chimpanzee, inherited $2 million from Michael Jackson and a hen named Gigoo inherited about $15 million from publishing mogul Miles Blackwell back in 2002.

I have mixed feelings about this trend to leave obscene amounts of money to one or two pets. If someone wants to leave a trust to ensure their pet’s welfare after their own death, that is not only entirely understandable, it is also responsible. But to leave millions? Ridiculous. Especially when so many animals — and people — suffer from a lack of resources and proper care.

What do you think? Do you plan to leave a trust for your pet? Do you think it should be legal to leave vast sums of money to one animal?

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Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen1 months ago

Thank you

Sandra Vito
Sandra Vito2 months ago


Fi T.
Fi T.2 months ago

They're so rich to enrich our lives

Valentina R.
Valentina R.2 months ago

Leaving some money to your pets so they can keep living a good life is perfectly fine (as long as someone checks that the caretakers don't use the $$ or €€ for themselves) - but giving them an exaggerated amount is just nuts. How about the homeless cats and dogs waiting for a family, in a cage or in the streets? She could have given at least half of her fortune to non-profit organizations, paying for very much needed things like mass sterilizations, food, behavioural rehabilitation, surgeries, new facilities... Unlike most (all) countries, in Italy we don't kill adoptable pets in shelters, and that's a good reason to support - not only adoption-wise but financially - those non-kill shelters! Rich people are often crazy, demanding, self-centered wackos.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen2 months ago

Thank you

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

Care2, please stop advertising a petition to 'repeal sexist anti porn laws in the UK'. Do you not think that porn exploits women? Do you not think porn is actually very sexist indeed? Do you actually agree with the picture on this petition, which shows a woman's legs as she lies down with a vulnerable pose, fishnet stockings, shoes that look impossible to walk in and would be designed to thrust her pelvis forward, and a chain binding her ankles so she genuinely can't walk? Is this an image of women you wish to propagate?

Clare O'Beara
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

Interesting. Probably a better idea would be to leave money to a responsible shelter or sanctuary. However, don't forget that a cat charity in UK lost a fortune in the Icelandic bank collapse. It had taken millions donated to the charity and lodged it in a bank in Iceland to get a better rate of interest. This is not how donors envisaged their money would be used. Maybe the answer is to spread around smaller sums of money to many small groups in order that it will get put to use.

Elisabeth H.
Elisabeth H.2 months ago

Thanks for the story!

Nina S.
Nina S.2 months ago


Lisa M.
Lisa M.2 months ago

Thanks for sharing.