Anthropomorphic cat art has become popular during the last few decades. Indeed, anthropomorphic cats have graced cartoons, paintings, musical theater, and movies, of course.
If you want to give an original gift, consider anthropomorphic cat art. You will surely find a piece that will delight all your cat loving friends. Below you will find a few suggestions to help you in your search. But before we start, let’s learn a bit more about this form of art.
What is anthropomorphic art?
Anthropomorphism ascribes human characteristics to animals, abstract concepts, natural phenomena, plants, and inanimate objects – among many other subjects. This process is very common in cartoons, art, film, and literature. We’ve all seem movies or read stories in which trees and animals talk.
It seems that this trait of attributing human emotions and characteristics to things and creatures is as old as mankind itself. Anthropologists, archeologists, and historians have found ancient artifacts and texts that suggest humans were already humanizing animals since early times.
Anthropomorphism has also played an important role in religion, mythology, music, and literature, even in ancient times.
The reverse is also true. Ancient cultures gave their deities a human appearance with animal traits and powers. For instance, the gods and goddesses of Ancient Egypt were depicted as having human bodies with animal traits. Bastet, the Egyptian goddess of fertility and childbirth, was portrayed as a woman with the head of a cat. Mafdet and Sekhmet were also depicted as having a human body with the head of a cheetah and a lioness respectively.
In my opinion, you can categorize anthropomorphic cats in two groups: The first group is comprised of cats that look like felines but have human traits. These cats, for example, walk upright, talk and have very human emotions.
The other type of anthropomorphic cat is portrayed as a human but with feline characteristics. The above-mentioned Egyptian goddess Bastet is a perfect example.
Human-like cats in literature and pop culture
In literature, cats displaying human traits include the Cheshire cat (from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll), the world-famous folk tale character Puss in Boots, and Dr. Seuss' The Cat in the Hat.
More recently, cartoons have been a fertile field for anthropomorphic art. Some of the most popular cartoons have been animals. And as a matter of fact, cats have been a very popular subject for many cartoonists. Felix the Cat, Garfield and Heathcliff all display very human traits.
The following are some examples of anthropomorphic cat art showcasing cats with very human traits. Needless to say, these works make fantastic gifts for cat lovers.
Drawings and Prints. Louis Wain (1860-1939) was an English artist who painted lots of anthropomorphic cats, including Anti-German Germany Represented as a Rampaging Feline Runs Wild Amidst a Barrage of Shell Fire. You can find his work on many online art stores. Here are a couple of Wain's works:
Another artist who drew anthropomorphized cats was Bernard Kliban. His cats sing, dance, exercise and do lots of "human" activities. Kliban works make great cat lover gifts.
Cartoon Cats. Again, cats have been the inspiration of many cartoonists. And cat cartoons have been all the rage for quite some time: Felix the Cat, Krazy Kat, Garfield, Heathcliff, The Thundercats, Eek The Cat, Crazy Johnny… and many others.
You can find many cartoon related gifts, including posters and prints, DVDs, dolls, books, keychains, and calendars.
Cats! The Musical. Based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, this highly entertaining musical is about anthropomorphic felines who dance and sing. This is what I would call anthropomorphic cat art with lots of rhythm.