For cat owners, every day is National Cat Day. Our cats always do what they want, whether it’s exploring the countertop looking for leftovers, scratching the side of the couch when they think nobody is looking, or snuggling with you on the bed. While cats spend their nine lives doing as they please, we humans only have one to spend with our beloved feline companions.
National Cat Day is when we can truly take the time to appreciate the lovable, quirky kitties in our life by dedicating an entire days-worth of activities to them. It’s also a day dedicated to raising awareness of the cats and kittens in need of a home throughout the world.
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What is National Cat Day?
Nearly 30% of Americans own a cat — or two… Or three… Cat owners will tell you that cats are like potato chips in that way. They’re intelligent, mischievous, affectionate, and always doing things that make us laugh. It’s hard not to fall in love with cats. And the people who don’t? They just haven’t had a cat of their own yet!
Everyone has a story of how their “cat-hating” parent or significant other changed their mind once they snuggled with a kitten just once. While cat owners will tell you that every day is National Cat Day, the holiday was actually created with a specific purpose in mind. Most cat owners spoil their cats, but sometimes we can forget about the cats and kittens at the shelter who crave that same love and affection.
National Cat Day History
National Cat Day was founded in 2005 by author and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige with the goal of “encouraging cat lovers to celebrate the cat(s) in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow upon us.” Cats are thought to have been domesticated over 12,000 years ago. The domestication process started in the Middle East, around present-day Israel and Iraq. This wasn’t a process that happened overnight.
The National Geographic actually states that cats lived with humans for thousands of years before they were domesticated. Around 4000 BCE there are signs of cats being worshiped by Egyptians, with many statues being discovered. Cats were also revered by the Song Dynasty in 500 BCE where they became a popular pet for the rich.
As you can probably guess from your cat’s own hunting prowess — whether it be bringing you mice from the backyard or the ease at which they catch toys mid-air during play — domesticated cats spread throughout the world when ancient sailors brought cats along to protect food storages by killing rodents. While cats still have an independent streak and some wild kitty habits, our cuddly companions have come a long way from the North African and Southwest Asian wildcats they evolved from.
National Cat Day Purpose
Three million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters each year. According to the Humane Society, 2.4 million of those pets are healthy and treatable and “could have been adopted into new homes.” National Cat Day aims to inform the public about these kittens and cats in need of a home. The official National Cat Day website states that “every cat should have a forever home where they are safe, warm, loved, cherished, and regarded as family.”
By adopting a cat you reduce the number of unwanted cats that overflow shelters and rescues every day. Cats are often overlooked at shelters compared to the dogs around them because they can’t be used for specific tasks like canines can. But National Cat Day wants to let people know that cats are just as important when it comes to companionship. Cats lower blood pressure and their purring is proven to help with joint mobility. Many cats are also heroes, saving children from dog attacks and detecting serious diseases.
National Cat Day posts will often raise awareness of the importance of fixing your cat and how to go about doing so. It’s important to spay and neuter pets to stop the overpopulation of cats around the world. According to the Humane Society, 87% of cats living in underserved communities are not fixed. Out of the 30 to 40 million stray cats in the US, only 2% are fixed. The percentage of new kittens born each year by these stray cat communities is 80%.
When is National Cat Day 2020?
National Cat Day “explodes the internet” with cat awareness posts on October 29, just four months after Hug Your Cat Day. But National Cat Day states that they educate millions on rescuing and adopting cats and kittens all year long.
What makes National Cat Day special? It’s also a day to recognize the importance and greatness of your own kitty. Buy them some catnip! Or you can get them some delicious treats! While the greatest way to celebrate National Cat Day is by adopting a cat from a local shelter, there are also a lot of ways to celebrate National Cat Day with the cats you already share your home with.
How to Celebrate National Cat Day in 2020
Adopt a Cat
Find a local shelter or rescue in your area. Visit them to see all of the kittens and cats that still need a home. When it comes to adult cats, the shelter volunteers will know their exact personality and quirks, so you can find the perfect cat for your personality and lifestyle.
Volunteer at a Cat Shelter
If you’re not able to adopt a cat, it’s okay! There are a few different ways you can help the kittens and cats at your local shelter. Spend National Cat Day volunteering by cleaning cages and litterboxes. Spend some time with the cats there who are looking for some extra company. Donate blankets, food, and toys to rescues, shelters, and animal welfare organizations.
Bake Tuna Cookies for Your Cat
All you need for tuna cookies is one egg, two cups of all-purpose flour, one small can of tuna, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, and a tablespoon of parsley. Mix all the ingredients together and then roll them into small balls of dough. Place the balls on a baking tray and put the oven to 200 degrees for 20 minutes. Now just let them cool off and serve them to your loving feline. If you’re not the baking type, try giving them some natural, vegan cat treats.
Share Photos of Your Cat
You probably have about 582 photos of your cat sleeping on your phone. Maybe 273 of them looking out the window. Well… Take some more! And this time, post them on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with a caption describing why you appreciate your cat. Encourage others to share their own cat photos back or make their own National Cat Day post.
Install Wall Shelves for Your Cat
Cats love to climb — usually on things they’re not supposed to. Boost their confidence and give them a high up territory of their own with cat wall shelves. This is especially important for cats that live with other animals and might want a peaceful escape. Wall shelves come in a variety of styles, colors, and materials, so you can easily blend it with your existing decor. You can also install window perches if your cat prefers to bask in the sun and watch the birds or traffic go by all day.
Buy Your Cat a Fun Toy
Time to head to the nearest pet store and pick out a new toy for your cat to toss around. Well, until they discover your hair tie or pen cap again. Get a toy filled with catnip to really get them excited, or get a toy that allows you to play together. National Cat Day is a great time to test out what your cat enjoys playing with the most, whether it be battery-powered mice or a tunnel to run through.
Give Your Cat a Massage
You’re probably thinking, “I pet my cat every day!” But there are a few sweet spots you may be missing. Each cat has their own petting preferences, but give some of these a try.
- Head: Rotate your fingers slowly around your cat’s ears for a few minutes.
- Shoulders: Massage the back of your cat’s neck by bringing your thumb and index finger together repeatedly. Slowly do this down their back area, following each shoulder blade’s contour.
- Tailbone: Massage this area with a big scratch. If your cat isn’t too sensitive, this is a very pleasurable petting zone.
- Neck: Finish with under your cat’s chin. Feel your cat purr as you apply a bit of pressure when you scratch their chin area.
Hang Out at a Cat Cafe
Give your cat some alone time on National Cat Day by venturing to a cat cafe. Grab your favorite book and order a drink while relaxing amongst an eclectic group of friendly felines. Many of the cats at cat cafes are up for adoption as well, so spending time at the cafe supports the shelter or rescue they’re from.
National Cat Day – Final Thoughts
National Cat Day, or International Cat Day, is when we celebrate cats all over the world. This includes the ones in our home and the ones at shelters looking for forever homes of their own. While we definitely spoil cats every day, this is a chance to go the extra mile while also spreading awareness of the importance of adoption. To see more click here.