A young girl in 1920s Volendam, Netherlands, poses in traditional dress with a cat in her arms.
A young girl in 1920s Volendam, Netherlands, poses in traditional dress with a cat in her arms.
Photograph by Donald McLeish, National Geographic

Cat Day: Nat Geo’s archival pictures of felines

Any day is a good day to celebrate cats.

Although known for their coy, contrarian nature, cats have proved themselves to be the most photogenic of creatures. Cat curiosity is not just a product of the digital age; the photos in this collection show that cats have been popular photographic subjects for decades.

In celebration of International Cat Day, we hope you enjoy these pictures of felines from our archives.

Also check out some of our favorite stories about cats:

This story was originally published in October 2014. It has since been updated. 

Read This Next

Can science help personalize your diet?
Hogs are running wild in the U.S.—and spreading disease
Salman Rushdie on the timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet