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Felis Silvestrus Catus is a small furry ball of cute that will utterly destroy any human being’s ability to act like a mature adult – a phenomenon which has been shown to become stronger with proximity. Intelligence of the subject seems to be inversely proportional to the distance between it and the nearest member of this species. 

People who love cats know what they’re like. They rule human lives as furry little gods, and have been cherished members of the family since long before the days of the Pyramids.

National Cat Day is just the right time to learn about, embrace and celebrate everything to do with cats. Although most cats, if they could talk, would probably say that humans should have this attitude every day of the year and not just on National Cat Day!

History of National Cat Day

National Cat Day was first created by Colleen Paige, who has been a strong animal welfare advocate over the years. She created the day to bring attention to the plight of the domestic cat, particularly those who don’t live in happy homes. Paige is also responsible for creating other important animal related days, such as National Dog Day in October 2004, and National Puppy Day in March 2006. 

Cats are closely tied to humans, whether as pets or as feral animals ranging about throughout the cities and towns of almost every continent on the planet. As pets, these feline creatures are dearly loved and have brought joy and laughter to millions of people around the world. Not only that, but they have also been the source of some of the most ridiculous memes on the internet!

National Cat Day was first celebrated in 2005. Shortly after its inception, National Cat Day was adopted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an organization also centered on getting people to adopt pets into forever families. The organization works hard to bring attention to the number of animals that have to be rescued each year and particularly to the growing problem and possible solutions to feral cat colonies.

National Cat Day Timeline

1233

Black cats are considered bad luck

An official church document, called the Vox in Rama, is released by Pope Gregory IX stating that black cats are declared an incarnation of Satan.[1]

1600s

Public image of cats rallies 

Often considered to be connected with demonic activities, eventually the superstition around cats diminishes and cats begin to take their cherished place in society again.[2]

1888

Cat tombs are found in Egypt 

In an unexpected turn of events, archaeologists discover at least 80,000 mummified cats and kittens dating back as far as 2000 BC in a place called Beni Hassan.[3]

1969

First Morris the Cat commercial airs 

An icon in American pop culture, Morris the Cat is featured in 9 Lives cat food commercials for 9 years, starring in 58 commercials, and making one of the most successful advertising campaigns in television history.[4]

1973

Burt Reynolds shares the screen with a Cat 

During his golden years, Morris the Cat finds himself on the silver screen playing the role of a feral cat who hangs out with private detective McCoy in the movie Shamus.[5]

How to Celebrate National Cat Day

Hug and pet your furry overlord if you have one, that’s the easiest way to start your celebration of National Cat Day. Other ideas for enjoying and observing the day might include some of these:

Adopt a Cat

If you don’t have one (or hey! Don’t have enough) then go out and get a new fuzzy little cat to dominate your family and home with their cuteness. Of course, pets are for life, so be sure when bringing it home that it is a good fit–to keep from perpetuating the cycle of cats and kittens without homes.

If it becomes clear that it is time to get yourself a new feline loveball in your life, make sure to go down to the local shelter to adopt a cat. Remember, kittens are easy to get adopted, so go for an older cat or one who doesn’t have a perfect health markup if possible. These cats can be adoring and loving partners, they just aren’t always the prettiest or simplest to care for, but this kind of activity will help to reduce the number of homeless felines in the world.

Learn and Share Some Facts About Cats

This is the perfect day to not only learn a few things about the plight of cats, but also to let others know as well. Start with some of these important pieces of information:

Take Care of Your Cat

Take your cat out to get a professional grooming or just used this day as a reminder to schedule a trip to the veterinarian if it’s been a while. Of course, there’s no such thing as taking TOO good care of a pet. Maybe this means buying that cat a new scratching post, upgrading his or her pet food or simply offering a little extra scratching behind the ears. Let National Cat Day be an important reminder of whatever your particular cat likes or needs in order to be well cared for. 

Make a Donation to a Pet Shelter or Charity

For those who don’t have a cat, or who want to take things a step further and broaden their reach, making a donation to a local or national charity that helps cats can be a nice way to feel good about the activities of the day. In addition to your local pet shelter, here are some of the top cat charities to consider:

  • Alley Cat Allies. This nonprofit group works throughout the globe to advocate for the humane treatment of cats and protect their lives. The have a strong focus on Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programs. 
  • EveryCat Health Foundation. This worldwide charitable organization is the only one that is specifically about feline medicine and research, making sure cats are healthy and happy. 
  • National Cat Protection Society. For more than 50 years, this society has been taking care of cats through shelters, advocacy and educational resources. 
  • International Cat Care. This worldwide nonprofit organization works to offer tons of different resources and help for cat owners and those who are trying to protect them. They initiate many campaigns on behalf of their feline friends. 

Watch a Movie About a Cat

Sure, cats can be illusive. But as much as they may try to stay out of the limelight, cats have often been the topics of stories in books and movies. This is the perfect day to curl up on the couch with your cat and watching one of these interesting cat stories: 

  • A Street Cat Named Bob (2016). Based on a true story, this biographical British film was based on a book of the same name, authored by James Bowen. The most important “actor” in the story is the cat, Bob, who plays himself who, sadly, died in June 2020.
  • Cats (2019). Featured as the longest running musical show (18 years) in Broadway’s history, this show is mostly about the music and costumes. After its final New York performance in 2018, a film was made starring Idris Elba and Dame Judi Dench.
  • Puss in Boots (2011). Based on an Italian fairy tale character originating as far back as the 1500s, this film retelling is a computer animated comedy and is a prequel spinoff of the Shrek franchise.
  • Kedi (2016). While thousands of cats roam freely in the ancient Turkish city of Istanbul, this unique documentary film showcases the story of seven different cats and received wide critical acclaim and was listed as one of the Top Ten Films of 2017 by Time Magazine.

Help Take Care of Feral Cats

Finally, celebrating National Cat Day might just be the motivation needed to start an important community program. Help to organize a Trap-Neuter-Release program in your area, which helps to reduce the number of homeless cats by capturing cats and removing their ability to make new colonies. Many times these kinds of drives can be organized in conjunction with local pet shelters or veterinarians who will volunteer their services as a good deed for the community and the feline population.

Spaying and neutering helps to slowly reduce the number of homeless cats while still letting them live out their full lives. Too many feral cats go to shelters only to be euthanized when they don’t get adopted, so this reduction in population is a super start to help eliminate the problem.

Volunteer at a Pet Shelter

One great way to share an ongoing love of cats and make a difference all throughout the year, and not just on National Cat Day, is by volunteering to help at a local pet shelter. Whether filling out paperwork, cleaning, feeding pets, or assisting with the rehabilitation of traumatized animals, important tasks are waiting to be accomplished.

Some shelters require an ongoing commitment of two to four hours per month of volunteer time. Typically, there is a small training process to be accomplished before beginning as a volunteer. But it’s a kindness that the animals will appreciate, even if they can’t thank you personally.

National Cat Day FAQs

How long do cats live?

While domestic cats can live for up to twenty years, the typical lifespan of a house cat is around 10-15 years.[1]

How long are cats pregnant?

Expecting some little kitties?! Cats have a relatively short gestational period and pregnancies last approximately around two months, or 63-65 days.[2]

How often do you take a cat to the vet?

It is best to take a cat to the vet at least one time per year, or more often for those who are older or who have health problems.[3]

Do cats have 9 lives?

Just like all other mortals, cats have just one life. This rumor of cats having nine lives has roots in Ancient Egyptian beliefs that were attached to a god called Atum-Ra who was said to take the form of a cat.[4]

Should cats play with lasers?

If used properly, cats can find a great deal of enjoyment from lasers, as long as they are not overworked and they are allowed to “catch” them occasionally. Of course, never shine the laser directly in the cat’s eyes.[5]

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