Tag Archives: cats on film

Dr. Fox Animal Series: Cat Care (1987)

Distribution: Maier Group Communication
Collection: Private

Other titles: CAT; Dr. Fox Series: Cat Care; Cat care: a video guide to successful cat care;
Running time: 43m 00s
Source: VHS; color; sound
Year: 1987
Production: United Media Production; Selluloid Video
In Cooperation with: Actors and Others For Animals

Cast: Dr. Michael Fox


Before there were YouTube tutorials and Pets WebMD (yes, it’s a real thing) people had video guides (often produced on VHS) and could learn just about any skill in the comfort of their own living room in front of their trusty VCR. From swing dancing to gardening, odds are your local library was (and still is!) a treasure trove of analog-based know-how.

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The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton’s) (1894)

Watch on Library of Congress

Institution: Library of Congress
Collection: Inventing Entertainment: The Early Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings of the Edison Companies

Other title: Boxing cats
Running time: 00m 22s
Source film: 35mm; b&w; silent
Year: 1894
Director: William K.L. Dickson
Cast: Henry Welton
Production: Thomas A. Edison; Edison Manufacturing Co., Black Maria Studio
Photography/Camera: William Heise


As far as inventor loyalties go, I’ve always considered myself part of Team Tesla rather than Camp Alva Edison, but one can’t argue the progress made at Edison’s Black Maria Studio in the early days of the moving image. (Ignore the fact that the earliest motion picture camera was likely engineered not by Edison, but by his employee, William K.L. Dickson; while you’re at it, strike Eadweard Muybridge from your memory too). In just a year’s time after the studio’s construction in West Orange, New Jersey, Edison and his cohorts were pumping out films of dancers, sneezes, and even cockfights, all of which clocked in at well under 60 seconds. Among these early films was 1894’s The Boxing Cats (Prof. Welton’s) — known more simply as Boxing Cats — which modern media outlets have come to recognize as “The Film Demonstrating That Our Freakish Obsession with Cat Videos Transcends Time and Space.”

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It’s a Cat’s Life (1957)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 10m 57s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: ca. 1957
Director: Emily Benton Frith
Production: Frith Films; Cinesound (sound)
Photography/Camera: Emily Benton Frith
Narration: George Barclay


Let’s face it. Historically, cats have sometimes had a bad rap. Sure, some civilizations have worshipped them – but others have associated them with the devil or witchcraft, shunning them (or worse). Their occasional disinterest in, or independence of humans is bitterly qualified as aloof or detached. As though a pet not constantly concerned with lavishing attention on humans (looking at you, dogs) is kind of a jerk. But if you want to soften any person’s heart towards the feline variety, all you really need to do is give them ten straight minutes of baby kittens frolicking. And It’s a Cat’s Life (1957) does just that.

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