Custom Cat Portraits: Complete Guide

Image by Gundula Vogel from Pixabay 

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A new type of cat lovers gift idea has entered the market and it’s called the custom cat portrait. If you’ve been looking at custom cat portraits but aren’t sure where to get started then this article is for you.

We’re going to provide you with the answers to common questions that custom cat portrait shoppers ask. We’re going to cover where to get started, what size you should get and how much a custom cat portrait costs.

We’ll also be providing other information like where you can find the best deals on these unique gifts, but keep reading for now so you can get an idea of what a custom cat portrait even is.

What is a custom cat portrait?

Custom cat portraits are an artist’s interpretation of you and your cats. They can be similar to, or radically different from, traditional portraits. The idea behind them is that they take the place of family photos; instead of using old pictures of your cats you take new ones, put them together in a collage, and use them in your home decor.

Custom cat portraits come in a variety of price ranges, from hundreds to thousands of dollars. The more money you spend on a custom cat portrait the greater the quality of the product, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that cheap images will look bad. In general, if you have one or two good shots of your cats you can have a nice portrait made at a relatively low cost.

What are Your Options for Furry Pet Portraits?

There are plenty of options when you’re looking for custom pet portraits of your furry friend. You can go with a traditional painting, get a caricature drawn, or even have a custom plush made of your pet.


A traditional painting is the most classic option for pet portraits and it’s perfect for those who want something that will last for years. The artist will use acrylics, oils, or watercolors to create a beautiful portrait of your pet.


A caricature is a great option if you want something that’s unique and fun. The artist will create a cartoon-like portrait of your pet that will be sure to make you laugh.

Custom Plush

If you’re looking for a unique and cuddly gift, a custom plush is just what you need. The artist will create a stuffed toy version of your pet and it will be super soft to the touch!

Digital Custom Cat Portrait

If you’re looking for something that’s affordable and easy, a digital custom cat portrait is a perfect choice. You can get them in any size or style that you want and they usually take less than one day to complete.

What is a Digital Custom Cat Portrait?

A digital custom cat portrait is an image that has been drawn specifically for you. There are no stock images involved; your pet(s) are the only subjects in the portrait. The artist may be drawing, painting, or taking digital photographs and then creating the portrait digitally.

Digital portraits require less time than traditional ones because there is no need to wait for the paint to dry. They also offer a wider range of customization: You can change the background, add or remove objects, and so on.

How much does a custom cat portrait cost?

The price for a custom cat portrait varies widely depending on the artist’s skill level and the size of the painting. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $500 for a digital portrait, and anywhere from $200 to $2,000 for a traditional one. As with anything, you can always spend more if you want the best quality.

Where can I find a custom cat portrait?

There are a few different ways you can find custom cat portraits. One is to go through an artist’s website or online gallery. This is a good option if you want a specific artist to do your portrait, or if you want to see examples of their work before making a decision.

Custom cat illustrations: Are they the same thing as a custom cat portrait?

No, they aren’t the same thing. An illustration is a drawing or painting of a character or scene, not a photograph of a specific person or pet. While an illustrator may be able to create a good likeness of your cat, they won’t be able to capture their personality in the same way that a portrait artist can.

Will my cats sit still for a custom cat portrait?

Some cats will sit still for a portrait more easily than others. The best thing to do is get someone to help you if needed and make sure the subject of the portrait will be comfortable in their surroundings. You can also try using treats or catnip as rewards to keep your pet(s) focused on sitting still for a little while.

This is why it’s highly recommended that you use a website to order custom cat portraits, such as Porter Reid. They can take your cat photo and put it into a custom cat portrait with ease. This is a fun and unique way to portray your beloved kitty without forcing them to sit still while someone attempts to paint their actual portrait.

What size should I get for my custom cat portrait?

This is a difficult question to answer without knowing more about the artist and their style. Some portraits are very small, while others take up an entire wall. A good general rule of thumb is to get whatever size you think will be the most appropriate for your home.

If in doubt, ask the artist what size they would recommend. They will be able to take your home decor into account when making their recommendation.

Can I add objects or scenery to my custom cat portrait?

Yes, you can often add objects or scenery to a digital portrait. This is done by working with the company to come up with a concept for your portrait that includes whatever objects or scenery you want to see in it.

An illustrator may also be able to add some extra details on request, but keep in mind they are more limited by what they can draw than a digital portrait artist who has the ability of photo manipulation. This is why we highly recommend going with a digital portrait artist; they can offer more options to create a custom cat portrait to your specifications.

Where do I find a company that offers custom cat portraits?

If you are ready to order a custom cat portrait you need to find a company that offers this service. We’ve found the top 5 custom cat portraits companies below to help guide you forward with selecting the best company that offers custom cat portraits.

Top 5 Custom Cat Portraits

1.      Porter Reid

2.      Paint Your Life

2.      West & Willow

3.      CustomCat

4.      Happy Cat Corner

5.  Crown And Paw

What are the steps involved in ordering a custom cat portrait?

Now that you know what a custom cat portrait is, let’s break it down into easy-to-follow steps:

1.      Pick out a picture or two of each cat you want to be included in the portrait.

2.      Email the pictures to the artist.

3.      Work with the artist to come up with a concept for the portrait.

4.      Receive a proof of the portrait and make any changes you want.

5.  Pay for the portrait and receive it in the mail.

Those are the simple steps of getting a custom cat portrait, but what about all of the steps that occur behind the scenes? There are other things to consider, such as how to take the best cat photo for a custom cat portrait.

How to Select a Cat Photo for Custom Cat Portrait?

Because your cat is the one who will be on display in a custom cat portrait it’s important to make sure they look their best. This means you may need to retake some pictures, and this also means picking out photos can be difficult; how do you choose? How do you make sure your cats look the way they should in a custom cat portrait?

Below are some things to consider when selecting the best photo of your cat:

Lighting is Important

Make sure your cats are well lit in the pictures you select. This will ensure they look their best in the finished product.

Backgrounds can be Distracting

If there’s a lot of clutter or a busy background in your pictures it can be distracting in the final portrait. Try to pick pictures with simple backgrounds.

Pets don’t Always Cooperate

If your cats aren’t used to being photographed they may not cooperate very well. This means you may need to retake some pictures or select pictures that were taken when your cats were being especially cuddly.

Avoid flash

Flash can sometimes ruin a picture, even if it isn’t visible in the finished product. If possible, try to select pictures taken outside rather than inside, because natural light is typically preferable to artificial light.

Sharpness is Important

Make sure all of your cat’s features are in focus in the pictures you select. Blurry pictures will not look good in a custom cat portrait.

How to Get Your Cat to Sit For a Photo

If your cats aren’t used to having their picture taken, getting them to sit still for a picture can be difficult. Here are some tips on how you might get your cat to cooperate when you want to take pictures:

Be prepared.

If you know you’re going to try taking pictures of your cat, make sure they’re well-fed and sleepy and have a toy on hand they like to play with.

Reward good behavior.

If your cat makes even the slightest effort to sit still when you’re trying to take their picture give them a treat or praise, as this is an important first step in getting cats used to having their picture taken. This will help them associate sitting for pictures with good things.

Take pictures slowly.

Start by taking pictures of your cat from across the room, and work your way closer to them over time until you’re able to take close-up shots without them running away. This will help minimize their discomfort when having their picture taken.

Be patient.  

Once you get used to taking pictures of your cats, be patient and don’t get discouraged if they don’t cooperate the first few times. With time and patience, you’ll be able to take some great photos of your cats.

Now that you know how to select photos for your portrait, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of portrait you want.

How to Choose a Custom Cat Portrait

When choosing a custom cat portrait, here are some things you might want to keep in mind.

Price is Important

First of all, price is important because it affects which style of portrait you can afford. Don’t spend more than you have to for your cat’s portrait.

Medium Matters

Second, the medium used for the portrait is important. If you want a large, detailed portrait it will be more expensive than a small, simple one.

Style of Portrait Matters

Third, the style of the portrait matters. Some people prefer realistic portraits while others might prefer something more whimsical or abstract.

Think About What You Want

Fourth, it’s important to think about what you want from your custom portrait. For example, if you’re planning on hanging the portrait in a prominent place, you might prefer something realistic. If you plan on giving the portrait as a gift, choosing a more abstract style might be appropriate.

Find Something You Love

Fifth and finally, find something you love. The best portraits are those that capture the personality of the pet in question, so find a photo you absolutely adore and have the artist create a portrait based on that photo.

How to Shop for Custom Cat Portraits

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start shopping for your custom portrait. Here are some tips to help you find the right company:

Look Online

First of all, look online since this is typically where most artists who specialize in custom portraits will be found. If possible, try finding reviews or testimonials written by other customers to get an idea of the quality of the artist’s work.

Check out Portfolio Pages

Second, take a look at the artist’s portfolio pages. This will give you a good idea of the range of their artistic abilities and what kinds of styles they offer.

Contact the Company

Third, contact the company if you see a portrait you love. Find out how much they charge and if there are any special offers going on, such as discounts for buying in bulk.

Compare Prices with Other Companies

Fourth, it’s important to compare prices with other companies so you can get a better idea of who offers the best value for your money. Don’t just choose the cheapest option because you might be sacrificing quality.

Make Sure the Company is Reputable

Finally, it’s important to make sure the company you choose is reputable. Check out their website and if possible look for reviews or testimonials written by other customers so you know what kind of service they offer. Also, keep in mind that since custom cat portraits are fairly new, you might not find many reviews or testimonials written by other customers.

Where to Hang a Custom Cat Portrait

Once you have your custom cat portrait, it’s time to decide where to hang it. Here are some ideas of places you might want to hang your portrait:

Hang on the Wall

You can always just hang the portrait on the wall. A lot of people choose this option because they don’t want their cats or portraits to get damaged.

Hang in a Frame

You can always hang the portrait in a frame and then hang that on the wall. This way your cat will be safe since the glass won’t break and it also allows for easy cleaning.

Hang in Your Car

If you love your cat very much and don’t want to be parted from them even when you’re driving, you can always hang the portrait in your car. This is a great option for people who commute to work or school.

Put it on Your Desk

If you spend a lot of time at your desk, you might want to consider putting the portrait on your desk. This is a great way to show your love for your cat and it will also help you stay motivated during long work hours.

Give it as a Gift

Finally, you might want to consider giving the portrait as a gift. This is a great option for pet lovers who have friends or family members who also love cats.

What is the best pet portrait company?

We feel that Porter Reid is hands down the best pet portrait company out there. They make the ordering process simple, and you can choose to get a custom dog portrait, custom cat portrait, or any custom pet portrait of your choosing done.

With just a few clicks and an upload of a high-quality pet photo, they get your custom cat portrait completed in a reasonable timeframe.

When having a custom cat portrait made, what material should be used to best preserve the photo?

There are various materials that can be used when having a digital portrait printed. However, not all of them will last over time. The two most common materials used are canvas and photo paper.

Canvas is a popular option because it gives the pet portrait a classic look and it is more durable than photo paper. However, some people don’t like the canvas option because if their cat has long fur, pet hair might get stuck on the canvas.

Photo paper tends to be more affordable than canvas, but it doesn’t give off that nice professional look that makes pet portraits look so appealing.

What are the most popular custom pet portrait styles?

When it comes to custom pet portraits, there is no limit to the styles available. However, we did some research and found that five different types of styles seem to be very popular: photo-realistic, sketched, watercolor, cartoon, and comics.

Photo Realistic

Photo-realistic custom cat portraits are very popular because they are so lifelike. The artist takes the time to paint every single detail over a period of several hours to days. This kind of pet portrait is usually made using photo paper or canvas, which makes it fade-resistant and durable.


Sketch-style pet portraits have a cartoon-like appearance and the outlines of the portrait are done in a dark pencil or charcoal color. Then, once the outline is complete, the artist uses all sorts of colors to make it look great. These types of pet portraits usually last for a long time if they are properly cared for.


Watercolor custom cat portraits are done by using wet paint mixed with water which is then applied to the paper. This is a very smooth process that doesn’t involve any toxins or chemicals. The end result looks like it has been painted in one sitting.


Cartoons are usually made for events or holidays and they tend to have more of a grainy appearance. The artist uses watercolor or ink to complete the portrait and they draw out almost every detail. For example, you can get a cartoon pet portrait of your cat to celebrate Halloween.


These types of custom pet portraits have a comic book-like appearance but they are still very detailed. The artist might use markers, pencils, or paints to create this look. Comics are generally used for humorous effect and they make great gifts.

When ordering a custom cat portrait, what should I consider?

First and foremost, you should consider the price of the portrait. Custom pet portraits can be expensive, but it all depends on the size, material, and style of portrait that you get.

In addition to the price, you should also consider whom you are buying the portrait for and how long they will be keeping it? If your cat is very old or has a short lifespan then a photorealistic portrait of him or her might not be a good idea. On the other hand, if your cat has a long life ahead of it, then a photorealistic portrait would be the perfect gift.

Why Go with a Digital Custom Cat Portrait?

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to get a digital custom cat portrait, there are some great reasons why you should go for it. First of all, they are super affordable and usually cost much less than traditional pet portraits. Secondly, they can be completed in as little as one day which is great if you’re looking for a last-minute gift. Also, you can get any size or style that you want which is awesome.

How to Wrap a Custom Cat Portrait for a Gift

If you’ve decided to order a custom cat portrait as a gift, you’ll need to know how to properly wrap it. The wrapping method needs to protect the portrait from damage and it should also make the gift look great. Here are some suggestions on how you can wrap your custom cat portrait for special occasions or holidays.

Christmas Wrapping Paper

Christmas wrapping paper is always a popular choice when it comes to gifts because it’s festive and bright which makes it stand out. In order to make a custom cat portrait look good when it’s wrapped in Christmas paper, you should cover up all of the other sides except for one corner. Then, use a scissor to cut off an inch away from the edge and fold the two flaps towards each other. Secure them together with tape or glue and then add a bright bow.

Holiday Ribbon Wrapping Paper

If you’d prefer to wrap your portrait in a festive ribbon, that’s okay too. To create the look of wrapped paper using a ribbon, you’ll want to place the portrait on top of it then use tape or glue to secure them together. Next, cut off an inch from all four sides of the ribbon and fold them inwards. Use a hot glue gun to attach a nice bow to the top and you’re done!

Gift Bag

If you don’t want to wrap your portrait in paper or ribbon, you can always put it in a gift bag. This is a great option if you want the recipient to be able to reuse the bag. Just place your portrait inside of it and use tape or glue to seal it shut. Then, add a nice bow to the top so that it looks extra festive!

What Holidays Can I Gift Custom Cat Portraits?

There are a number of different holidays that you can gift a custom cat portrait. Here are just a few of them:


Christmas is definitely the most popular time to gift custom cat portraits. Most companies and artists have a backlog of orders around this time and the prices are usually a bit higher. If you’re looking to order a portrait before Christmas, make sure to do so at least two months in advance.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is another great time to gift a portrait. You can either choose a traditional style or go with a more humorous comic book look. Some companies mention that you should get a portrait for Valentine’s Day two months in advance while others say four. It all depends on how popular the artist’s custom cat portraits are.

Easter & Mother’s Day

Easter and Mother’s Day are both times when you might want to give a portrait as well. Easter is great if you have an animal dressed up in bunny ears or a chick costume. For Mother’s Day, you could choose a portrait of your cat with flower crowns or sleeping in a baby’s crib.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day is also a great time to gift a custom cat portrait. You can choose one of your father’s favorite cats or get a funny portrait with the father and son duo. If you’re a cat lover, it’s also a great time to gift a portrait of your cats together.


Halloween is another option if you want to give someone a custom cat portrait as a gift. You can choose one that looks like the animal is in their costume or have them wearing their usual clothing and looking scared.


You can also gift a portrait for someone’s birthday. You could either choose one that looks like the cat is making a funny face or having fun at their age.

There are plenty of other holidays that you could gift a custom cat portrait to, these are just a few examples. No matter what holiday it is, it’s always a great way to show your loved ones how much you care.

What Type of Photo is Best for Custom Cat Portraits?

There are a variety of different photos that you can choose to use when creating a custom cat portrait. The most popular types include:

Simple Portrait

A simple portrait is an excellent option if you want something that’s relatively simple but still looks nice. These work the best with female cats and show their full face.

Scenic Photos

If you want to go with a more scenic photo, there are a few different options. You can choose a photo of your cat in their natural environment or one with them sitting in front of a pretty background.

Action Shots

Action shots are great if you want to show your cat’s personality. These can be either posed or candid and can include a variety of different actions.

Group Shot

A group shot is perfect if there are multiple pets in the family. It can include as many cats or other animals as you’d like and can be a great way to show off your furry friends.

There are a number of other types of photos that you can use, these are just a few examples. Be sure to choose the one that best represents your cat and its personality.

Can I Order a Custom Cat Portrait for a Pet I Don’t Own?

You can order a custom cat portrait for any pet, whether you own them or not. This is a great option if you know someone who has a pet and you want to get them a special gift. You can choose any photo that you’d like and the artist will work to create a portrait that looks just like their pet.

In conclusion, when it comes to custom pet portraits, there are many different styles and materials to choose from. Depending on your personal taste and how long the portrait will last, you should decide what type of portrait would be best for you. If you’re undecided, we recommend going with a digital custom portrait because they are affordable, quick to make, and come in a variety of sizes and styles.

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