Met Museum Scavenger Hunts: 9 of the Best Cats in Art History

Happy International Cat Appreciation Day!

Okay, fine, we made that up. But if you ask us, every day should be International Cat Appreciation Day. Running scavengers hunts at museums around the country for more than 20 years, we’ve encountered our fair share of feline artwork—and nowhere more than on our Metropolitan Museum of Art scavenger hunts.

Just for fun, we’ve combed through the Met’s vast collection to find some of the best cats ever painted, printed, sculpted, or sketched. So give your favorite feline friend a treat (they deserve it) and enjoy these nine excellent cats at the Met.

This Cat Who is An Actual War General

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Move over, war dogs. Make way for General Cat. While the Duke of Richmond is busy sleeping on the job, Major General Muffins is about to secure a decisive victory for God and Country. This cat deserves a promotion, stat.

This Very Sad Cat

Met scavenger hunts cat art

We love everything about this cat. The simple, minimalist title. The contrast of dark tears on ceramic fur. But will someone please give this cat a hug already—he’s been crying for 242 years!

This Fashionable Cat

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Two words: fashion icon. This cat is channeling the spirit of Iris Apfel a full 108 years before Iris Apfel was even born. Those signature round-framed eyeglasses? Iconic. And that statement necklace? Bold, trendsetting, chic. No wonder this cat was de La Tour’s favorite.

This Terrifying Human-Faced Cat

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Cats have nine lives, and this cat has gone through at least 10. What awful things has this uncanny, blank-faced child done to him? What horrors has he seen? What possessed John Bradley to paint a cat when he very clearly had never seen one before? We may never know.

This Very Relatable Cat

Click through to see this adorable little cat. Who among us has not found themselves lost in a daydream, thinking about what to have for dessert? If only we looked half as cute while doing it.

This Cat Refusing to Acknowledge a Ghost Child

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Look. If we were trapped in the grip of a shifty-eyed toddler, directly next to a spooky ghost child clutching a hammer, we would also refuse to make eye contact. Someone please save this cat from this whole situation, he deserves better.

These Incredible Netsuke Cat Toe Beans

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Has there ever been a happier duo? We love these cats’ dignified robes, and their soft, joyful faces. But our favorite part is definitely the paw pad surprise in that fifth photo. Look at those beans!

This Cat Who Just Wants Joseph to Stop, Already

Met scavenger hunts cat art

Joseph is in the midst of making Biblical history, and this cat could not care less if she tried. She is so over Joseph. She’s just furious that no one given her that rack of ribs that she so clearly deserves.

This Cat on the Brink of Revenge

Met scavenger hunts cat art

And finally, we would never condone violence. However! This cat has obviously been pushed to his breaking point by a pair of psychopathic children, and can we really blame him for what’s about to happen next? We’re rooting for you, Mittens.

Find More Fun—and Cats!

Discover some of those cats for yourself while hunting on one of our many Metropolitan Museum of Art scavenger hunts, or look for new ones on museum scavenger hunts near you.


Image credits: Lead photo by The Lucky Neko on Unsplash; all artwork in the public domain, via the Metropolitan Museum of Art