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A cat meme offering four dabloons
A cat meme offering travellers four dabloonsVia Instagram/@catz.jpeg

What are dabloons? A guide to TikTok’s new favourite meme currency

Welcome traveller, why not rest a while and find out what TikTok’s obsession with a fake feline economy is all about

Economists are getting all hot and bothered about a deepening recession that’s forecast to plunge the UK into financial ruin for more than a year, and biting their nails about the “dangerous” slowing of the global economy, but actually they’re overlooking the real issue: dabloon hyperinflation. Sources tell us that a cup of stew used to be, like, four dabloons, but now people are asking for up to 16. 16 dabloons for a single cup of stew!

Yes, dabloon inflation is a thing, and it presents a great economic risk to the scrawny cats who manage TikTok’s growing dabloon economy – one can only imagine what might happen if prices get any higher, and they can’t keep track on their cute little paws.

But wait, maybe your algorithm isn’t tuned in to TikTok’s latest roleplaying obsession, and you have no idea what I’m talking about. Honestly, neither do I. Let’s figure this out together, shall we?


Dabloons can be traced back all the way to 16th-century Spain, where they used a currency called doubloons up until the mid-19th century, during which time the gold coins became famous due to their association with pirate tales. Of course, TikTokers aren’t actually trading historical coins.

The TikTok trend can seemingly be traced back to a meme shared by @catz.jpeg in 2021, which shows a kitten stretching out its white fluffy paw as if it’s counting, with the caption: “4 dabloons.” A more common variation of the meme, however, shows a dark grey cat doling out dabloons. Like most ~quirky~ memes, this cat seemingly migrated to TikTok via Tumblr, hauling its stash of treasures along with it.


Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to get started. You just have to wait, and hope that the TikTok feed is scrolling in your favour, bringing a generous dabloon cat along to spread the wealth (note: their gifts are supposed to be limited to 100 dabloons at a time, but you might find more if you’re willing to dabble in the black market). Presumably, interacting with dabloon posts will then encourage the algorithm to bring more dabloons your way, just as the rich get richer in the real world.

This is also the key to spending your hard-earned dabloons. Once you’ve acquired a little pocket money of your own, a cat might pop up saying something like: “Hey traveller, you’ve been travelling for a long time. It’s cold out there. Why not come inside and rest a while?” From these hospitable kitties, you can buy things like hot soup, water, blankets, and warm clothes, but it’s gonna cost you.


For the most part, the internet is a deeply divided place. Every now and then, though, it’s brought together in brief yet blissful harmony – usually, this revolves around a single person who we’ve all collectively decided to hate for a couple of days, or a particularly cute animal video. Dabloons are another example.

In lieu of an official token, like the “real” meme cryptocurrency Dogecoin, dabloons rely on users keeping track of their own balance in their head. When a cat pops up offering you four dabloons, you add those dabloons to your stash. When you buy a three-dabloon can of Stella in dabloon Wetherspoons, you subtract the cost accordingly. It’s a system based on trust, an oasis of honesty in the cynical wastes of the internet.


Unfortunately, yes, there is a dark side to dabloons. Partly thanks to lawless cats flooding the market with illegal quantities of dabloons, the economy is in shambles, with inflation pushing the prices of dabloon stores way over normal rates. What does this mean for you, the average adventurer? Well, as in times of economic uncertainty in the real world, wealth disparity has only increased amid the crisis, with many being plunged into debt while a few dabloon fat cats hoard their wealth.

Hardship breeds desperation, and desperation breeds crime. Dabloon robbers have started stalking the streets, and they’ll take you for everything you’ve got. That’s if the dabloon IRS doesn’t take a hefty chunk first. “This trend is a perfect example of why our generation will suck at being in charge,” says one TikTok user. “In less than 24 hours, we have created extreme poverty, people with infinite wealth, and robbers stealing everything.”


Of course, role-playing on the internet is nothing new, and neither is the internet’s obsession with cat memes. It’s hard to say what’s caused dabloons to blow up in the last few days. Maybe we’re all collectively yearning for a cute little adventure, where the money we acquire can be spent on things that actually warm and nourish us – like blankets and hot stew – instead of skyrocketing rents and student loans we’ll never actually repay. Maybe we’ve all just collectively lost our minds. Either way, it’s important to remember that, while a big stash of dabloons may be impressive, the real victory is the feline friends you made along the way.