A brief introduction to

12 Photos That Show Cats Have Always Been Cats

Here's a selection of photos from our archive to celebrate all things cats!

For International Cat Day, here’s a selection of historic photographs from our archive to celebrate all things cats!

Which one is your favourite?

Leaving the rat race

A tabby cat in Lombard Street, City of London
A tabby cat in Lombard Street, City of London, probably 1960s © Historic England Archive | AA077785

If I choose to tear them down, it’s none of your business

A cat on a brick wall in front of a house and a line of washing, 1964 - 1973
A cat on a brick wall in front of a house and a line of washing, 1964 – 1973 © Historic England Archive | AA080027

Someone give her a tablet

Portrait of a young girl cuddling a cat while reading a book, December 1960
Portrait of a young girl cuddling a cat while reading a book, December 1960 © Historic England Archive | AA080123

It’s lockdown and I haven’t seen anyone in days

Cat lying on a country road verge in front of a bridge with a brick parapet, looking towards a cluster of houses in the distance, 1950 - 1952
Cat lying on a country road verge in front of a bridge with a brick parapet, looking towards a cluster of houses in the distance, 1950 – 1952 © Historic England Archive | AA081690

I would’ve asked but there seemed plenty to go around

A cat with a milky tongue beside a pail of milk, 1950s - 1960s
A cat with a milky tongue beside a pail of milk, 1950s – 1960s © Historic England Archive | AA076241

High five!

Portrait of a ginger cat lying on a chair in a garden, 1955 - 1965
Portrait of a ginger cat lying on a chair in a garden, 1955 – 1965 © Historic England Archive | AA086297

Mine’s a nice slice of mice

View looking out through the window of Claire's cake shop in Padstow, with finished cakes on display in the foreground and a cat resting on the window sill outside, 1956
View looking out through the window of Claire’s cake shop in Padstow, with finished cakes on display in the foreground and a cat resting on the window sill outside, 1956 © Historic England Archive | AA086802

Working from home

A black shorthair cat stands on papers on top of a desk, taken inside an unidentified house on the Isle of Wight, 1960s
A black shorthair cat stands on papers on top of a desk, taken inside an unidentified house on the Isle of Wight, 1960s © Historic England Archive | AA092291

Too many dreamies

A cat sunbathing in the George Inn Yard in front of the 17th century galleried coaching inn from which the yard takes its name, 1960 - 1969
A cat sunbathing in the George Inn Yard in front of the 17th century galleried coaching inn from which the yard takes its name, 1960 – 1969 © Historic England Archive | AA099523

The original Grumpy Cat

A cat on an armchair, 1950s
A cat on an armchair, 1950s © Historic England Archive | AA099577

I like driving in my car, it’s not quite a Jaguar

A British shorthair cat is sitting on the bonnet of a mini parked in Pond square, behind another cat is sitting upon a brick pier in front of a house, 1969
A British shorthair cat is sitting on the bonnet of a mini parked in Pond square, behind another cat is sitting upon a brick pier in front of a house, 1969 © Historic England Archive | AA084423

Putting the cat before the horse

A horse with a cat sitting on it in the stable courtyard at Minley Manor, October 1903
A horse with a cat sitting on it in the stable courtyard at Minley Manor, October 1903 © Historic England Archive | BL17971/014

Which is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

Further reading:

12 comments on “12 Photos That Show Cats Have Always Been Cats

  1. The cat on a horse, definitely.

  2. Diane Cartwright

    Too many dreamies – great cat – great building.

  3. Meryl Hayward

    The original grumpy cat made me smile

  4. Books, Computers, Tablets, and Phones… The more it changes, the more it stays the same.

  5. Rob Belcher

    ‘Working from home’ cat for me! Seems appropriate.

  6. Lee Sharpe

    Now living in a retirement flat, I do miss having a cat, so love the photos you have found. Thanks for sharing …

  7. Mrs D E SMEED

    Cat on the horse – brilliant!!

  8. Martin Saunders

    These are great, thank you. ‘Mine’s a nice slice of mice’, because it hints at sustainable food packaging (paper bags just out of shot)

  9. The photo of the city cat in Lombard Street is my favourite – great artistic composition.
    And how I wish the the car with the number plate CAR had been CAT!

  10. Cameron Gill

    The cat on the mini is my favourite

  11. Girl, cat, book, comfy chair: Happy me for most of my life.

  12. Louise Freedman

    Cat on the horse’s back is dreamy

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: