The oldest cat video of all time

February 18, 2012 • 5:44 am

Courtesy of The Atlantic, we have an ancient film of felid pugilism. It’s a bit cruel, but I present it as a historical curiosity (if the movie doesn’t work on this site, see it here):

This 1894 film, one of the earliest produced by Thomas Edison’s movie studio, features two cats boxing — but it’s not actually the first recording of a cat in motion.

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Rumor has it that a famous secularist has a cat named after a famous boxer, and that this cat not only likes to be “misted” daily (sprayed with a plant-misting bottle), but also uses a human treadmill for exercise and has learned to turn it on.  Perhaps if there’s enough acclaim here, we can persuade said secularist to send us the videos.

And here’s the earliest photograph of a moving cat:

But is this the first recording of a cat in motion? That credit, it seems, goes to Eadweard Muybridge for his animal locomotion studies, which include this 1887 motion study of a cat running, below. Muybridge pioneered motion capture by inventing a setup of multiple cameras in sequence, which recorded continuous movement, frame by frame.

7 thoughts on “The oldest cat video of all time

  1. I thought it was going to be a horrible experience, like the bloody gore of dog fighting or cock fighting I’ve heard too much about. Watching the two cats in the ring, though, I see they are actually wearing boxing gloves, held on by shoulder harnesses. That’s very nearly cute! Even the occasional biting is more threat than physical injury. No blood, no gore. Still not cute, because of the real anger, but not horrible.

  2. The motion capture serial photos is beautiful! Reminds me of gait studies in humans, but so much more elegant and artful in cats.

  3. I seem to recall seeing a faded old print of just that action. Hah. I think a prehistoric sabre-tooth cat may have tried to ride a dinosaur. (with not much luck, I’m thinking)

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