120 Years of Valentines With Cats

The Victorians began a vogue for Valentines with cats and every generation since has placed their own mark with wit or wisdom.  I collect vintage ephemera and some of these images were repaired and/or enhanced.

At the turn of the century, Valentines graphics were frilly and ornate. Kittens were often paired with young girls.

vintage cat Valentines-girl

vintage cat Valentines-gray cat

During the Edwardian era and into the 20s graphics turned less ornate with sentiments of true love and purity but

vintage cat Valentine

they could just as easily be satirical or slyly suggestive especially those printed in England like this one.

vintage cat Valentines-edwardian

Long before the Internet, TV or radio, letters were the lifeline of communication and expression.

vintage cat Valentines-letter

Oh dear, I’m not sure what to say except: We’ve come along way, baby!

vintage cat Valentines-COUPON

The themes of girls and cats continued into the 20s and beyond. Black cats, considered lucky in the U.K. were favored.

vintage cat Valentines-girl black cat

The expression “a cat’s whiskers” as someone hot or attractive sprang out of the “roaring twenties”. The color red became brighter and the color to symbolize Valentine’s Day.

intage cat Valentines-big bow tie

From the 30s into the 40’s the cute Kewpie doll face emerged. Cards were shifting to a rounded, more cartoonish childlike form.

vintage cat Valentines-gypsy

vintage cat Valentines-fortune teller

In the 50s and 60s brightly colored cartoons with funny play on words were popular and appealed mostly to kids.

vintage cat Valentines-looking eyeglasses

The mid century modern style into the 60s had a distinctive look with cleaner graphics.

vintage cat Valentines-60s

Nothing is more emblematic of the 70s to 90s than the Kliban cats.

alentine  cat chocolates Kliban

With the advent of the Internet and LOL kitties, Valentine cats have come full circle.  Now every style and sentiment of Valentine cat cards is available. In over 120 years, styles and fashions have changed but the love of cats endures. Which of these cards is your favorite?

funny valentine kitteh

26 thoughts on “120 Years of Valentines With Cats”

  1. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, nonetheless I truly thought you’d have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of crying about something you could possibly fix if you weren’t too busy searching for attention.

  2. Those are adorable! TW has a scrapbook of old postcards from her grandma that she’s now inspired to look through. There might be Valentine cards in there too since there are Christmas and Easter cards.

  3. Love old Valentine’s cards…..so much personality and such SWEET artwork. We like the Kliban “modern day” card but also quite like the “Cat’s Whiskers” one too!

    Hugs, Pam and Sam

  4. Love them all- The Kliban is my favorite followed by the 20’s Cat’s Whiskers card. What a fun collection- thanks Layla.

  5. I love this website. I love cats very much and love the pictures and special thoughts.

  6. I tried to post a comment earlier and your blog told me I was SPAM. I am not SPAM, so I hope this gets through to you this time because I loved these Valentine Cards and wanted you to know it. Fingers crossed …

    Andrea @ From The Sol

  7. We love them all but the LOL cats are usually so on the mark.

    Luvs
    skeeter and Izzy and the Feral Gang + Twig & Peanut & Romeo >^..^<

  8. L; One is my favorite; it reminds me of my grandmother…weezer…when she
    was a little girl; hair cut and all !! ♥ L

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    doodz & “N”….heerz two a mustard eel & marlin kinda week oh end ♥

  9. Wow, incredible post, Layla. Absolutely incredible. Thank you so much for all your hard work. These are all delightful. I have always loved Victorian decor the most, but all are wonderful.

    Thank you and hope you have a great V day and a wonderful eight days leading up to V day.

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