Saying that NFT crypto art exploded in the summer of 2021 would be an understatement. The number of game-changing NFT art projects that launched between June and August was so extraordinary that it’s now known as “The Summer of NFTs.”
Among the projects that were released, few generative NFT collections have proved to be as valuable, adorable, and straight-up cool as Cool Cats.
Cool Cats, released in July of 2021, is a curated collection of 9,999 randomly generated NFTs minted on the Ethereum blockchain that has risen to become one of the top NFT collections in the world, earning a seat alongside major players like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club.
Founded by four friends with a love of crypto, digital art, and of course, cats, Cool Cat NFTs have been bought by celebrities, featured on major news outlets, and sold for hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars.
But what exactly are Cool Cat NFTs? How did the collection become so popular? And how can you get involved in the project? These are just a few of the questions we’ll be answering in the upcoming blog. Whether you’re new to the NFT space or you’re an OG brushing up on NFT history, Cool Cats is a pivotal NFT collection to know and understand.
The History of Cool Cats
On July 1st, 2021, the first generation of Cool Cats was released, consisting of 9,999 randomly generated non-fungible tokens of adorable cat drawings stored on the Ethereum blockchain. The original minting price was .06 ETH, which was between $125 and $150 at the time.
At first, the Cats were slow to take off, and only 360 NFTs were sold. However, the founders listened to their community members who were looking for a project to buy into at a cheaper price and quickly slashed the minting price to .02 ETH, or around $50.
After the adjustment, the remaining Cool Cat NFTs sold out within hours. As a sign of good faith, the team even refunded .04 ETH to the 360 initial buyers who bought in at the original price.
This decision to change the minting price paid off big time for Cool Cats, and it exemplified the founders’ ethos of paying attention to and caring about their community.
Within a week of launch, the floor price (the lowest price you could buy into the collection) reached one ETH and by the end of August 2021, the average selling price on secondary markets was 6.5 ETH. In September 2021, the floor price reached an all-time high of 14.5 ETH.
Today, the lowest price you can buy a Cool Cat NFT on OpenSea is 7.99 ETH (or around $32,000), the collection has done over 62.9K in total sales volume, and Cool Cat NFTs have been traded over 20,000 times on secondary markets.
In October of 2021, an extremely rare Cool Cat sold for 320 ETH (over a million dollars), marking the collection’s biggest sale to date.
In a short time frame of about six months, Cool Cats positioned itself as one of the major players in the NFT space, and according to their roadmap, the founders have many more plans in place to increase the value and utility of holding a Cool Cat NFT.
Who created Cool Cats?
The Cool Cats team is a group of four relatively unknown creators who describe themselves as follows: “We’re a team of four nerds who are passionate about crypto, art and makin’ cool stuff.”
The team consists of:
- CLON: the originator of the project and illustrator who created the blue cat design. Previously known as the “Catoonist.”
- ELU: the creative director who also helps with marketing and project management.
- Tom: the blockchain and smart contract expert.
- Lynq: the website developer and manager.
From the beginning, the creators of Cool Cats understood the importance of building a strong community. Their goal was to create a family-friendly NFT collection that was unique, accessible to anyone, contained utility, and had great digital artwork – and they succeeded in doing just that.
What inspired the Cool Cats collection?
Cool Cats is an original NFT, but there’s no doubt the founders were inspired by other generative art collections and borrowed some of the elements that made those collections successful. CryptoPunks (2017) and Bored Ape Yacht Club (April 2021) are two of the collections that likely inspired Cool Cats.
Listed below are some features that helped make Cool Cats the success it is today:
- Animal-themed avatars that can be used as profile pics on social media.
- The collection was algorithmically generated, and when someone minted an NFT they received a randomly generated NFT.
- Once minted, the ownership of the NFTs was transferred from the creator of the art to the “minter” or buyer.
- Every NFT in the collection is unique and can be sold individually.
- Every NFT in the collection can be ranked by rarity, which is determined by the combination of the NFT’s traits and attributes.
Cool Cats also borrowed from popular culture. The phrase “cool cat” can be traced back to the 1940s, when it was used to describe people who appreciated American jazz music. Lastly, human beings’ fascination with cats dates back to ancient Egypt, and there was even a Looney Tune character called “Cool Cat.”
In other words, people have always loved and appreciated cats, something the creators of Cool Cats considered before releasing their transformative NFT collection.
Cool Cats: Collection Traits and Attributes
Generative art NFT collections rely heavily on different traits and attributes appearing randomly throughout the collection. That is because when you receive an NFT that has a rare mix of traits, the NFT will be ranked higher in the collection, which creates value for that particular NFT.
The first generation of Cool Cats was randomly assembled from 100 traits that could be combined to make 300,000 possible combinations of unique Faces, Hats, Outfits, and Bodies.
One thing that differentiated Cool Cats from other NFT collections from the beginning was how the Cats are ranked. All Cool Cats are worth between three and ten points, with ten being the rarest. The cats are classified into four groups: Cool, Wild, Classy, and Exotic.
Common items such as a Hat or Beenie are worth fewer points than rarer items like an Ape Outfit or Computer Head. Although all Cool Cats are cool, some are admittedly cooler than others.
Listed below is the Cool Cats ranking system:
- Cool. Three points: 1,999 Cats. Four points: 2,600 Cats.
- Wild. Five points: 1,750 Cats. Six points: 1,250 Cats.
- Classy. Seven points: 1,000 Cats. Eight points: 750 Cats.
- Exotic. Nine points: 500 Cats. Ten points: 150 Cats.
The Exotic Cool Cats are the rarest and therefore the most valuable and sought after. The points can be used to participate in contests and raffles put on by the Cool Cats team and will also be important for breeding the next generation of Cool Cats, a feature that is anticipated to be arriving soon.
Here are some other stats about Cool Cats:
- There are 66 “super rare” Cats.
- There are nine special Cats that are 1/1 and tied for first place in rarity.
- Cats who have fully assembled costumes (such as a pirate costume) are considered to be cooler and more rare than Cats who have a random assortment of features.
- On release, four Cats were reserved for staff members and 100 for future airdrops and contests.
- Most Cool Cat owners hold one Cats, and there are nearly 5,000 unique addresses currently holding a Cool Cat NFT.
To get a better idea of how Cool Cats are ranked in rarity, you can visit Rarity Sniper Cool Cats breakdown and see how each NFT in the collection is ranked.
What makes Cool Cats special?
Cool Cats launched at a time when the NFT market was flooded with new projects, and on release, it looked like the project might get drowned out by all the noise. However, once the minting price was lowered, Cool Cats began to take off and has never looked back.
Listed below are some of the elements that make Cool Cats so special:
- $MILK token. Cool Cat holders soon can passively earn $MILK utility tokens and an egg for Cat health. The $MILK tokens gamify the project and can be used to buy food and toys for the Cats, as well as potentially bringing more value to Cool Cat holders.
- Breeding. Cool Cats’ Generation 2 release plans include breeding, where holders of two or more cats will be able to create a new NFT that contains traits from the parent Cats.
- Future airdrops. Every month, Cool Cat holders receive limited edition Cool Cat-related NFTs.
- The community. 20% of all ETH raised from primary and secondary sales is stored in the community wallet and then given back to the community through events, prizes, contests, and raffles. The Cool Cat community also consists of 70,000-plus Twitter followers and nearly 45,000 Discord members.
- Ownership. When you own a Cool Cat, you own a non-exclusive license, meaning you can do whatever you want with your digital asset. Some Cool Cat members have created merch and fan art from their NFTs, which they can sell if they wish.
- Other perks. The Cool Cats website also features a banner builder, which can be used to make a banner with your Cats. There is also a Cool Cats’ Town Hall and a Lofi Cool Cats radio station on YouTube.
From the beginning, the Cool Cats’ team has found ways to bring community members together. They’ve also always had the goal of collaborating with other brands and creating a Cool Cats ecosystem that can provide members with a place to interact, grow, and be rewarded for their participation in the community.
The Success and Top Sales of Cool Cats
Many people consider Cool Cats to be a “blue chip” NFT in its early stages of development. As Cool Cats plans for the future and their second generation of NFTs, it will be interesting to see if the floor price continues to rise and what kind of sales numbers the collection produces.
In the meantime, let’s look at the top five Cool Cat sales of all time:
On October 5th, 2021, Cool Cat #1490 sold for 320 ETH ($1,091,139). The Cat is classified as Exotic with 10 points. It is a Zombie and one of nine unique Cool Cats with no generative art traits. Interestingly, the seller used the money from the sale to start an animal shelter called “Cool Animals.” The Cat is currently on sale for 850 ETH.
On October 7th, 2021, cat #5635 sold for 99 ETH ($353,129.04). Another Exotic Cat with nine points total, this Cat features a white TV Head and TV Face with No Signal, as well as a Green Sweater and Chain.
On August 19th, 2021, Cat #3330 sold for 110 ETH or $345,930. This Exotic 10-Point Cat is one of nine hidden Cats and is extremely rare because of its Robot Hat, Shirt, and Face, and Blue Cat Skin. The hidden Cats were created by Clon and Tom without the rest of the team’s knowledge.
On October 6th, 2021, Cat #3271, another Exotic 10-Point Cat sold for 69.69 ETH ($250,683) The Cat features a rare Black Crown, a Mummy Face, and Custom Frog T-shirt.
On August 7, 2021, Cat #5280 sold for 80 ETH ($249,134). The Cat also belongs to the Exotic tier with 10 points earned through its Blue Cat Skin and Demon Hat, Face, and Body.
While these remain the top sales to date, there have been several other sales that exceed $200,000. Over 23,000 Cats have been sold on secondary markets and the collection has generated a whopping $195,758,133 in total sales volume at the time of writing.
Cool Cat Collaborations and Celebrities with a Cool Cat
In August of 2021, Cool Cats collaborated with TIME Magazine by creating 400 new NFTs with four different designs; all of the cats are depicted reading TIME. The idea came from TIME president Keith Grossman, who tweeted that he pursued the collaboration with Cool Cats because:
- The community exudes positivity and optimism.
- The collection is family-friendly and connects people cross-generationally.
- They love the cats!
The four hundred NFTs were awarded to eight winners of a Cool Cat meme competition, and the remaining 392 were auctioned off to Cool Cat holders. The collaboration with the media giant brought more attention to Cool Cats and increased the utility and value for members who held Cats.
Another boost for Cool Cats came on July 9th, when Mike Tyson made his profile picture a Cool Cat, garnering nearly 9,000 likes and 1,800 retweets.
NFT Projects like Cool Cats
If you’re interested in the Cool Cats NFT collection but the floor price is too high to buy into, there are several generative NFT projects with similar themes and concepts.
Although these collections have not seen the same meteoric rise that the Cool Cats collection has enjoyed, they may be a good option for folks looking to get involved with similar cat-themed NFT collections.
Listed below are a few NFT collections that might be worth giving a look:
- Stoner Cats. This collection of 10,420 Stoner Cats centers on an adult animated short series that revolves around five house cats who mysteriously become sentient by smoking amazing flower. With a Stoner Cat purchase, you are granted access to exclusive content from the Stoner Cats animation team, which includes the likes of Mila Kunis. Current floor price is .195 ETH, around $750.
- Gutter Cat Gang. This 12,000-piece NFT collection on Ethereum boasts Gutter Rats, Pigeons, Dogs, and Cats. Owning an NFT doubles as a membership card to the underground Web 3.0 social club the Gutter. Current floor price on OpenSea is 6 ETH, or around $23,000.
- EtherCats. This cat-themed card collecting game uses Chainlink VRF for pack mints. It was limited to 500 packs (2,500 Cats total) and sold out in March 2021. The current floor price on OpenSea is .005 ETH.
- Dope Cats. This collection of 3,333 Dope Cat NFTs has quality artwork and aims to become a top collection on the Solana blockchain. Owning a Dope Cat grants you access to exclusive events, giveaways, competitions, free airdrops, and other future utility. The Dope Cats can also serve as playable avatars on Solana Town.The current floor price on Magic Eden is .80 SOL, or around $160.
Every day, hundreds of new NFT collections are released, and who knows, if you get lucky maybe you’ll discover the next Cool Cats blue-chip NFT. The best way to find upcoming NFT collections is by visiting one of the many sites that rank NFTs and feature upcoming collections.
How To Get Involved with Cool Cats
Because the floor price of Cool Cats is so high, not everyone can buy into the collection at this point. However, there are still several ways to get involved with the project.
One way is to join the active Cool Cat Discord community, as well as follow Cool Cats on Twitter. By doing so, you can hear about upcoming events and any new projects that might be released from the creators of Cool Cats in the future.
How to Purchase a Cool Cats NFT
However, since purchasing a Cool Cat is such a big investment, make sure you take the time to review the rarity of the Cat you purchase and only risk money you are willing to lose.