If you thought the meme coin mania was just a pandemic-era fad, think again. The latest trend taking crypto markets by storm is an explosion of cat-themed digital tokens, many of which are built on the Solana blockchain.

From cute furry felines to ‘chonky kitties,’ this new breed of meme coins is leaving dog-inspired classics like Dogecoin and Shiba Inu trailing in their wake.

While it may seem like a litter box of speculative silliness, the cat coin craze is deadly serious for investors who have reaped some handsome returns from seemingly pun-derful assets.

One trader reportedly turned $6,000 into over $530,000 in hours by getting in early on the $MEW Token (“Cat in a Dogs World”). Another minted $90 million in a single day from the same coin by purchasing nearly 10% of the total supply. That’s not bad for a $9.6 million investment although the risks involved in that trade were nothing to scoff at.

Make no mistake, these feline cryptocurrencies walk a thin line and can go from endearing to absurd in a heartbeat. Read on to understand what’s driving the mania, potential risks, and if the latest cat coins to be released may still have some fuel on them for another meteoric push.

The Solana Blockchain Has Been Fertile Ground for Meme Coins like MEW

mew 30-day chart

While meme coins come in all shapes and may be supported by different blockchains, the vast majority of buzz-worthy cat tokens have been launched and built on the high-speed, low-cost Solana network. This list includes notable names like:

  • $MEW: The “Cat in a Dogs World” token that distributed 5% of its supply as an airdrop to doggy-themed meme coin holders. $MEW soared over 120% in a day to briefly reach a $470 million market cap, making it the biggest cat token by that metric. At the moment, MEW’s market cap stands at nearly $400 million.
  • $CHONK: Short for “Chonk The Cat”, this token referencing an obese feline meme saw an incredible one-day 299% price spike. Over the past week, $CHONK is up by around 168% in a stunning ascent.
  • $WEN: Depicting an impatient cat waiting for “wen” he can go outside, $WEN has jumped by over 100% in the last 30 days. With a market cap approaching $300 million, it’s one of the largest cat tokens by value.
  • $LMEOW: The goal of this token is to “shift the meme coin ecosystem from the barking dominance of dog-themed coins to the purring prowess of cat-themed currencies”. $LMEOW leaped by 147% from 29 March to 31 March and accumulated a 90% gain in the past week.

Those are just a few examples of the dozens of Solana-based cat tokens that have captured immense interest and trading activity in recent days.

Almost of all of the hottest newly launched trading pairs on Solana lately have been feline-themed, as per data from DEX Screener. The on-chain analytics website shows that CATINO, Volt, Snapcat, and Billcates have delivered gains of 138,000%, 25,810%, 24,158%, and 22,675% respectively in the past 24 hours.

To understand the cat token craze’s emergence on Solana, we need to look at the success of dog meme tokens like $BONK, $wif, and $BOME on the same network. Crypto enthusiasts believe that the cat coin mania was in part sparked by the incredibly lucrative early investment opportunities that these canine coins provided.

How to Traders Find These Coins Early? A Tale of Ansem’s Cat

You have likely heard many stories of traders making insane 100x or 1,000x returns on the silliest of coins but few actually reveal how they discovered these tokens. Turns out it’s quite simple. It’s gambling for the most part. Traders like to search for culturally relevant and funny names and concepts because they spawn more major winners than anything else.

Expert meme coin traders like to use tools like Photon and Unibot to snipe extremely new coins before they even show up on major DEX UIs. This is how 1,000x returns are made but it’s important to remember than a vast majority of these coins go to 0 within hours if not minutes. Only a tiny selection will make it to the big leagues, and most meme coin traders likely lose money.

One of the best recent examples of an opportunity for a big winner came from popular meme coin influencer Ansem’s Twitter. He has been associated with a bunch of extremely successful meme coins so anything amusing or interesting related to him is more likely to blow up.

Ansem posted a picture of his family’s cat on Twitter, asking his followers to guess the cats name. Instantly, meme coin developers started printing out meme coins surrounding the cat and the top guesses.

The meme coin community decided that this opportunity was so potentially lucrative that they dove into Facebook, searching through his family members’ accounts to try to find the cat’s name. Eventually, someone circulated a few Facebook messages that seemed to suggest the cat’s name is Steph so a developer instantly launched the coin “Ansem’s Cat” with the ticker “Steph.”

steph price chart

The coin skyrocketed 80,000% over the next hour before crashing 93% after the hype died down. So far, there is still no confirmation of whether the cat’s name is actually Steph. If confirmed, the coin could run up again. If he reveals that Steph is wrong, it will likely crash even further. Either way, it’s little more than a roll of the dice.

STEPH wasn’t the only coin created to try to profit from this Tweet. Tons of developers inundated Solana with silly guesses, trying to make a quick buck. Some of these performed well for a few minutes or hours but most have since crashed down to $0.

https://Twitter.com/blknoiz06/status/1774858570896486891?s=20

Setting the Trend: $BOME and $SLERF

The Book of Memes ($BOME) token pioneered the massively successful “send crypto to a wallet” presale model, where investors simply transferred Solana (SOL) to the developers’ digital wallet to purchase the new meme token.

This brilliant and unorthodox fundraising tactic allowed $BOME to quickly launch with $2.4 million in upfront capital. After its minting, $BOME tokens soared to a stunning $1.4 billion market capitalization following a coveted Binance listing.

Not to be outdone, another Solana meme coin called $SLERF (Sleepy Sloth Relaxing Fund) raised $10 million by having users send SOL to a wallet.

The developers then accidentally burned those funds before the token launch. However, that ultimately didn’t matter as the community rallied around $SLERF, pushing the coin to over $500 million in market cap once it hit exchanges like Binance.

The viral success stories of $BOME and $SLERF were huge inspirations for both meme coin creators and opportunistic investors who sought to replicate those returns by pouring money into new tokens.

Enter the Cat Coins and $SLOTH

While some cat tokens were floating around in low orbit, the cat coin craze didn’t truly take off until the launch of $MEW in late March. $MEW not only tapped into the zeitgeist, airdropping 5% of its supply to other popular dog coins, but it executed a stunningly successful “send to wallet” presale just like $BOME and $SLERF before it.

sloth meme coin logo

Also read: Meme Coins Keep Getting Dumber and Dumber

$MEW’s momentum and solidly meme-able concept as a “cat in a dog’s world” led to several copycats emerging within days, each with their own quirky cat-related theme. Soon, the flurry of ‘kitty coins’ trading activity overtook the dog tokens in total market value and hype.

The $SLOTH presale reportedly raised over $5 million in just five days from its pioneering “send to wallet” model. Crypto influencers are now openly touting $SLOTH as having the potential to become the “next Dogecoin or SHIBA INU” based on their experience riding the uptrend of other successful Solana meme coins.

Investors have demonstrated an immense appetite to get in early on the next potential 10x and 100x meme cryptocurrency before it hits the exchanges. And, for now, cuddly kittens are where the action resides.

Risks and Drawbacks of Investing in the Crypto Kittens Frenzy

Of course, it would be naive to ignore the manifest risks and downsides associated with investing in cat tokens and other meme coin crazes, like the following:

No Underlying Value: Unlike asset-backed cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) or smart contract platforms like Ethereum and its native token Ether (ETH), meme coins have no utility, use case, or technological innovation underpinning their value. They are purely momentum plays based on their ability to go viral among crypto enthusiasts.

Extreme Speculation: If a token’s value is derived entirely from fleeting market sentiment, it means that astronomical rallies can be quickly erased if investors lose interest or the next shiny meme object captures the market’s attention.

Rug Pull Potential: Since meme tokens largely start as centralized projects controlled by an anonymous team, the ever-present risk of a “rug pull” scam where developers dump their holdings on unwary investors is very real. New cat coins are birthed en masse, with varying degrees of legitimacy and, mostly, zero audits.

No Fundamentals: Unlike traditional stocks or well-established cryptocurrencies, meme coins lack fundamentals like earnings, revenue, product roadmaps, or strategic plans to deliver sustainable ecosystem growth.

Questionable Liquidity/Listings: Many of these cat tokens suffer from low liquidity and trading volumes, with only a handful of them being listed on reputable centralized crypto exchanges. This adds additional risks for retail investors who may try to enter or exit positions during times of turmoil only to find out that there’s no one to turn to on the other side of their trade.

While some would never justify gambling on highly speculative assets with no underlying intrinsic value or use case, clearly others are willing to take that gamble. The market has spoken and millions are being made and lost daily over the simple amusement and entertainment value of flipping cat-themed cryptocurrencies.

At its core, the zero-to-hero rags-to-riches allure of getting in early on the next viral sensation is the key draw for this new breed of meme coin enthusiasts.

So, while the inherent risks of the cat token casino are clear as day, crypto’s cool cats aren’t backing away from the meme coin limelight anytime soon. Whether that gamble ultimately becomes the cat’s meow or leads to another lifeless fad scratched into the history books remains to be seen.