Cats in the 19th century

How ya doing, Amy? Has the family you live with in the 19th century found a new maid yet? All they found is a cat? And now you have to take care of it, huh. 
You don't think it likes you? It's kind of snarky?




Yeah, I see what you mean.






Maybe 19th century cats are a bit, shall we say, different.

Maybe 19th century cats are a bit, shall we say, different.

Early in the 19th century, cats, especially in England, legally had the right to not be abused or mistreated. An act of Parliament in 1822 solidified the cat as a domestic animal, and this was meant to protect animals from suffering. Although the maximum fees for such an abuse were rarely enforced, people convicted were subject to a fine, perhaps imprisonment, and were banned from ever possessing an animal.

In 1837 German minister Albert Knapp founded the first German animal welfare society.
In 1850, the Grammon Law prohibited the abuse of all animals in France.
In Canada, a federal animal cruelty act will be introduced in 1892.
In the United States, it will be many years until there is a national law to protect animals, although there are a number of states that will pass anti-cruelty laws in the 19th century.

Cats and other pets gained popularity at the start of the Victorian era, especially in the middle and upper classes of society. Women loved their cats and many felt their home was not complete without one (or two, or three).

By the end of the 19th century many Canadians will keep cats in their homes as companions, as well as for their work as mouse-hunters or "mousers".
The first cat show will be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1895. 
Although cats were always free to go outside and roam freely in the 19th century, this will gradually change in the 20th century with the invention of kitty litter as well as canned and packaged cat food. By the 1960s, many cats will remain indoors permanently, although their astute hunting abilities and unyielding curiosity will remain.
There are still, of course, the wild or feral cats out there who are not accustomed to being social with humans. These are the cats that will remain as wandering felines, still hunting for their own meals outdoors,  just like their ancestors. No doubt this will continue until the end of time. 

So you see, maybe all you need is some time for this cat to get used to you and the family you live with. Better not to rush things, I would say.