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LOL CATS, The Victorian Influence?

Updated on November 4, 2014

The Long Love Affair

In the Victorian era, the cat earned a new and valuable ranking in the household. Out from the barn and into the parlor, the Victorian cat became a novelty and a passion to be desired. Not only did cats fill the home but they also took center stage as images of decoration for new mass-produced objects on the market. Trade with the Orient brought paintings and prints of cats from around the world. The Victorian fan was a favorite item featuring painted images of cats. In fact cat items of all types became the rage: needlework, appliques, ceramics, metalware, inkwells, umbrella handles, spoon handles, advertising, matchboxes, postcards, cigarette containers, cut-out dolls, clothing, candy boxes, stationary. Well, you get the idea. Even collectors today will pay good money for nice Victorian cat memorabilia.

The Anthropomorphism of the Cat


No period in the history of mankind has exploited the anthropomorphism of the cat like the Victorians. Treating cats like people, and dressing them up in human clothes made the cat even more domesticated.

The Victorians felt the need to create a sense of security and protection against the unknown. What better animal could reflect this character? The cat is driven with curiosity and vested in courage while never forgetting its manners.

The cat not only took on the physical but character traits of humans. They could symbolize the distinctions of intelligence, class and morality.

Victorians' Love for the Humorous Depictions of the Cat - LOL Cats, The Victorian Way

The Victorian cat became like a crazy-quilt, representing all the interests and fascinations of the times. Cats became a method of entertainment and education for young children. A slew of illustrated children's books appeared on the market. "The Owl and the Pussy-cat", became a favorite of all time, while hundreds of other classic cat stories were also gaining in popularity. The illustrations in these books were spectacular. Ingenious three -dimensional pop-ups and overlays that could be moved to change the scene.

Cats Cats Cats Get A Good Laugh

There have been many artists throughout history from the Victorian era to present day that have shared their love for the cat. We have the Victorian era to thank for the domestication of the household cat that brought the life of cats to our walls, books, clothes and just about every product around us.

Who can believe that there is no soul behind those luminous eyes!

Theophile Gautier

Dressing Up Your Pets

Not everyone has a cat, so for all of you who have favorite pets this question is for you too.

Do you like to dress up your pet in clothing attire?

See results

Nine Lives Each Cat May Measure; May Yours Be Nine Times Filled With Pleasure. c. 1875

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    • profile image

      audymay 5 years ago


    • RosaMorelli profile image

      RosaMorelli 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens :) I studied Victorian Lit in uni, but this is the first I've heard of their fondness for cats - amazing stuff (though like others, I'm not sure at all about the dead cat helicopter...!)

    • EbooksFreeWeekl1 profile image

      EbooksFreeWeekl1 5 years ago

      Nice lens with great illustrations...I don't know what to think of the cat-helicopter.

    • realestatevanco profile image

      realestatevanco 5 years ago

      Great lens! Thanks!

    • profile image

      jondar 5 years ago

      Hello I like your lens. Keep it up.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Awesome lens - keep up the great work! Gotta love LOL cats. Blessed by a SquidAngel. :)

    • profile image

      dream1983 5 years ago

      Excellent lens, gret job! Squidlike

    • profile image

      shelala 5 years ago

      I just lost my wonderful cat, Hunter. Loved your article because I love cats.

    • profile image

      What_to_Know 5 years ago

      great cats

    • Diane Cass profile image

      Diane Cass 5 years ago from New York

      Cute! I love these Victorian cat pictures. If I dressed my cats up in costumes, they would disown me. LOL!

    • CNelson01 profile image

      Chuck Nelson 5 years ago from California

      Interesting...I wasn't aware of the Victorian cat connection.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I always knew cats were cool! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This so interesting! I love reading your articles.