The Private Life of a Cat

The Private Life of a Cat

1944, Nature  -   44 Comments
Ratings: 7.95/10 from 66 users.

A male cat courts a female cat and they raise a family together. We see the kittens being born and nurtured by mother, while an interested and proud dad lends his support.

Beautifully photographed and executed. With subtitles, no dialog, and a refreshing absence of human beings on screen.

Very touchingly realized by Alexander Hammid, whose collaborations with Maya Deren I had prior acquaintance with, and also highly recommend.

Directed by: Alexander Hammid

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44 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Robert

    Great film, simple and absorbing till the end.

  2. Tec

    The film is from 1944....I thoroughly enjoyed the little film. I think that cats and kittens are so much fun. I have a 5 yo Turkish Angora male he is an orange tabby and I have an 18mo old female DSH she too is an orange tabby...great companions...

  3. Jayjay

    Sadly, too often these situations don't end well and divorce is frequently an option taken too soon.

  4. Emma-Lena Lizard

    Yes, this short film will do in times of cat shortages.

  5. James Tod

    cats get kittens up to 2 times in one year . so be-careful . for to many cats running around in or out of your house .

  6. Carola Alvarado Cadavid

    this was just beautiful <3

  7. andymilonakis

    yea well the vets seems not to complaint.the little kittens seems healthy,the mother left it somewhere we felt wasn't hundred per cent safe

  8. andymilonakis

    we took a cat from his mum at five days i wonder if we are wrong for that

    1. Alexander Ross

      yes thats wrong. Thats something you only can do if its important for the cats survival. In sweden where i live we have laws for that, here you are breaking the law if you take an kitten from hisher mother before the kitten is 12 weaks.

    2. andymilonakis

      yea well the vets seems not to complaint.the little kittens seems healthy,the mother left it somewhere we felt wasn't hundred per cent safe

  9. jameshand

    how old is this film..all these little kittens are dead now..hope they had a happy life...

    1. Rolf_copter

      Thats nice

    2. Kasper Rudstedt


    3. David Dieni

      I was thinking the same thing : )

  10. Alexandra Jane

    Lovely video, but as others have said. Spay and neuter.

  11. matthew m

    That was a cute little film.

  12. Katherine Cunningham

    I adore this. Beautiful, wonderful :)

  13. Miss Kristen

    I'm sure the male & female (Mom & Dad) here were probably brought together as kittens and never fixed - allowed to breed. Adult domestic cats are pretty much not this way with each other unless they are brought together as kittens or were litter mates. What an AWESOME film!! God is sooo brilliant and cats are so the most amazing little creatures!

  14. Anna Simpson

    i m so lucky i've seen this all live! however kittens' dad was never there or he was aggressive...

  15. HereHere2

    Cutest box of chips I've ever seen! I noticed that their eyes were opening at 2 weeks. Also, at this time, their neck muscles were not strong enough to support their large heads, this is also typical.
    As a foster parent of many pregnant and nursing cats, and some orphans, I've noticed that any other cat that is on good terms with the mother (if there is one) will be interested in the birth of the kittens as well as their development. They groom and play with the kittens. You still have to keep a very close eye on them, just in case.
    I know some people want to show their children the 'miracle of life' and so do not spay their cats promptly. I think this is utterly cruel, as chances homes will not be found for all, and homes that are found will displace adoptions by shelters (which as of 2011 are still killing millions of cats per year). So, as a previous poster said, please spay and neuter! Help someone who can't afford the fee if you can, or drive someone who needs a ride to the clinic and back. It really makes a big difference. Nowadays, the better (in my opinion) veterinarians will do pediatric spay/neuters as early as 8 weeks and 1 Kg (sometimes a bit younger even). This should be done before adopting out any kittens to ensure that there won't be any multiplication of the family; there are too many kittens killed at shelters, as well as their older selves. But we can do something to prevent many deaths, and spay/neuter programs are tops.

  16. melloyeyo

    This is so beautiful! Cats are wonderful creatures.

  17. kat_3

    i know i will enjoy this film

    1. knowledgeizpower

      I know right!
      I wished it could have been longer... this is the cutest film I have ever viewed on this site I have to say :)

  18. Tammy Cantellia

    I really enjoyed watching this short film... It is incredible how powerful a film can be when the music and distractions are not included, thank you for sharing..

  19. SpookyCheese

    They're such squirmy little things <3 I just wanna snuggle them

  20. Anjie

    So sweet (!) but as usual, the attentive and wonderful meowmy does 99% of the work while, after the initial act, tom-dad pretty much just stands by as the bemused spectator at best. This also makes me sad as I see the hardship and suffering that animals go through to give birth and caring for their young. Though they don't know it, the future is hard for their brood as millions of unwanted cats/kittens/animals are abandoned in the US to die in "shelters" each year. This film is great but please neuter/spay your animals.

  21. eetwo

    Brilliant. And Randy? What a great guy!!
    We all need to be more like Randy.

  22. Jim Jones

    Charlie Chaplin of cat movies. Even more scared of cats, then I all ready was.

  23. Chyrch

    "I was hoping it was going to be longer!"

    I was hoping that is was going to be longer too (funny how that phrase haunts me).

  24. Sean

    Brilliant documentary, I was hoping it was going to be longer!

  25. KG

    Very moving little film and a great departure from the usual heavy hitting media. From the looks of things this film was made back in the late 40's or early 50's. Does anybody know for sure? I've already sent it to dozens. Thanks, Karl

  26. nhk

    Thanks for sharing your awesome story Randy :)

    This doc is beautiful also, and dammit I miss my cat now :(

  27. AS

    Great video. I definitely am going to watch this more than once and will recommend it to my friends

  28. Randy

    My wife corrected me, it was actually 2002 when all of this happened.

    My life is a blur, sometimes...

  29. Randy

    Halloween, 1998, I was dressed up as Marilyn Manson with the white contact lenses and everything... my downstairs neighbor was walking out as we were on our way to a party and she mentioned, (after getting over her shock at my make-up) that she was taking a cat to the pound.

    The cat, she explained, was wandering around her school yard, the woman being a teacher, and it was skinny and kids were picking on it, so she grabbed her and put her in the car for a trip to the animal shelter.

    I said, "Um no... you are giving her to me, you christian weirdo..." and I went to her car and gathered the little black bundle of bones into my arms. She began purring instantly. (The cat, not the christian neighbor....)

    Well, it was love immediately. All black and sleek and on Halloween! We named her "Isis" and she is still with us.

    However, what we found out later, once we took her to a vet for her shots and check-up and such... she was pregnant.

    That's right... by christmas we had 5 more cats, and that is 4 too many!

    Well, watching her give birth and watching her nurture them was an amazing experience, but, after they were weaned, we tried to find homes for the kittens.

    Isis was bereft. We gave two away and each time she howled and cried all night for each kitten. It broke our hearts so badly that we kept the last 3.

    So now, I have four cats in my house. Isis, the Queen, Pywackett her princess, Fat Tony, the gangster cat, and Doodle the only black and white, (all the others are black).

    They are a tight knit family, actually. People don't realize how social domestic cats actually are. Isis still grooms and protects these kittens, even though they are huge and like 7 years old, now.

    Anyways, that was a very dork-tastic and boring story and I am very sorry to have burdened you with it.

    Please move along... nothing to see here...

    1. BeardHero420

      Yeah, dork story, but your point at the end was a great one. Mommy cat still looks after her middle-aged kids. Just like humans :)

    2. Emma-Lena Lizard

      AWEH! I thoroughly enjoyed your story, Randy.

    3. Emma-Lena Lizard

      Is there somewhere I can read more of your musings?

  30. Andrea

    Very beautiful and sweet.

  31. calderposse

    lovely ideas

  32. D-K

    Beautifully done, and quite baffeling how this doc is unique in it's kind. Heartwarming and intimate, everything I expected it to be.

  33. K.X.

    Very nice though silent.
    How old is this film?

  34. Liz Vayne

    truly, a touching masterpiece that demonstrates undeniably how animals experience emotions and existential circumstances very similar to our own.

    A great story for all, specially those with poor notion or perception of the value of animal

  35. flooty

    OMG! Another virgin birth