These artworks were made by Utagawa Kuniyoshi (1797-1861), one of the last great Japanese masters of the ukiyo-e style were really a novelty of its age. Kuniyoshi started to use cats instead of humans in satirical kabuki prints in the early 1840s.

Cats Enjoying The Evening Cool, 1839-1842

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via Tokyo National Museum

Engaged in Various Activities, 1840

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via Matome

Practicing Their Music, 1841

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via Wikimedia Commons

Dancing, 1841

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via Livedoor

Three cats at an indoor party, playing a game of ken, 1841

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via Suttonde

Two cats as sumo wrestlers in a famous scene from the kabuki theater

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via Kuniyoshiproject

Cats imitating the tenth chapter of the novel The Tales of Genji, 1842

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via Kuniyoshiproject

Cats' kabuki with some degatari chanters, c. 1842

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via Kuniyoshiproject

"Six Immortal Poets" or "Six Cats with Fur of Different Colors" (the title is a pun, so both are correct), 1843-1846

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via Tokyo National Museum

The view of Yoshiwara, 1846

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via Living Lets