Headless cats take first prize in Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022

Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022
Overall winner - Boom Boom (Image credit: Kenichi Morinaga)

The overall winner of the Animal Friends Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022 goes to Kenichi Morinaga for his photo of a white and ginger cat, sitting cheek-to-cheek on a fence and both looking like they've lost their heads.

More than 2,000 images were entered into this year's competition but only one could come out on top and be awarded a £2,000 (approximately $2,150 / AU$3,300) cash prize, £5,000 ($5,375 / AU$8,250) to donate to an animal charity of their choice, plus a bespoke trophy to take pride of place on the mantelpiece. 

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Japanese photographer and lover of cats Kenichi Morinaga was also awarded the prize for best cat photo. Kenichi’s love for feline photography started when he would visit the small islands around Japan, which are home to lots of street cats, but it wasn’t until he got his own pet cat that his passion for them really started. 

Smokin' Alpaca - Winner of other creatures (Image credit: Stefan Brusius - Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022)

"Suddenly, I became fascinated by the antics of cats out in the street and had to photograph them,” he says. “When I returned to Japan, I continued to seek them out, they really cheer me up, especially after the last two years of the pandemic – they are so funny, even when they are doing something serious. 

"This amazing competition reminded me that such gestures from all animals are recognized as being hilarious, cute, and heartwarming – not only in Japan but all over the world."

This year's competition was the closest yet with just ten points separating the top six places. Altogether seven different countries represented the category winners, making it one of the most international competitions. 

Nilo's love for water - Winner of best dog  (Image credit: Jose Bayon - Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022)

José Baynon from Spain came first place in Best Dog, for his portrait of his pooch Nilo playing with a garden hose. Radim Filpek placed first in the Horse category for a touching photo of a mare and her foal, while a smoking alpaca taken by Stefan Brusius was the overall winner in the Other Creatures category. 

Other noteworthy winners include nine-year-old Freya Sharpe, who took a photo of a family cat, Jack after he got stuck in a hedge; Marko Jovanovic received the People's Choice Award for a photo of his dog bounding through snow; and Chauffeur Dog by Mehmet Aslan from Turkey won the Comedy Pet Team Favorite. 

To keep up with all the funniest pet pictures, follow the Comedy Pet Photo Awards on Instagram or head to the website to view all the winning images.  

Jack the cat stuck in a hedge - Winner of Junior category (Image credit: Freya Sharpe - Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022)

Happy Happy Horses - Winner of Best Horse (Image credit: Radim Filpek - Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022)

Dave and Dudley - Winner of Pets Who Look Like their Owners (Image credit: Judy Nussenblatt - Comedy Pet Photo Awards 2022)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.