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Happy Cat Month 2024: When it Is & How to Participate

Cheryl Regan

By Cheryl Regan

tuxedo cat is smiling

Happy Cat Month is celebrated annually in September. If you love having an excuse to shower your kitty with even more love and attention than usual, you’ll be pleased to know you can do it all again in December, when National Cat Lover’s Month is celebrated.

Keep reading for more about these wonderful celebrations and find out how you can get involved!

What Is Happy Cat Month?

Created by the CATalyst Council, Happy Cat Month is an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the health, welfare, and value of companion cats.

Where, often, cats are viewed as aloof, independent, and less in need of veterinary care than dogs, CATalyst Council aims to counteract these myths through Happy Cat Month by spreading much-needed information on how to provide our kitties with the care, enrichment, and attention they need and deserve.

smiling cat with man
Photo credit: Veera, Shutterstock

Taking Part in Happy Cat Month

From donating to your local shelter to helping spread the word, there are many ways to get involved in Happy Cat Month. But first, if you already have a cat, take some time out of your busy schedule to focus on their health and happiness.

1. Visit the Vet

One of the most important things you can do during Happy Cat Month is to book a full check-up with your veterinarian. Your kitty’s health and happiness begin from the inside, and sometimes, it isn’t easy to spot some health conditions without a thorough examination.

Your vet will be able to screen your pet for potential or underlying health conditions and help determine if they are healthy and whether they need any additional support, such as diet alterations, extra nutrients, or even medication.


2. Spend Time With Your Cat

Once you’ve catered to your cat’s physical health, it’s time to focus on their mental and emotional well-being. Take a few minutes each day to focus on your cat, as it will benefit both of you! Aside from promoting good physical and mental health for your cat, spending time playing, teaching them tricks, and cuddling will strengthen the bond between you.

woman smiling at cat lying down
Photo credit: Unsplash

3. Play Games

Spending just two or three 10-minute sessions each day playing with your cat will enrich their life tremendously. Cats love playing in short, active bursts.

These play sessions will encourage your cat to get the daily exercise they need to promote good muscle strength and maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, games that cats enjoy will help to keep their natural hunting instincts keen and their mind alert and active.

So, grab a feather wand, a ping pong ball, or a catnip-stuffed mouse and enjoy a few minutes of playtime!


4. Learning Tricks

A common myth that many people hear is that you can’t teach a cat tricks. This is categorically false. Not only is it possible to teach your cat simple tricks such as “come,” “sit,” and “high five,” but many people go further by teaching their cats agility tricks and running them through entire agility courses.

Get yourself a clicker and some tasty—but healthy—treats and spend a few minutes each day training your cat using positive reinforcement. It will take time and patience, but it will give them the attention they crave and offer you a chance to spend quality time with your fluffy companion.


5. Spread the Word

Happy Cat Month was set up with the primary purpose of spreading awareness about cat health and well-being. Tell your friends and family about Happy Cat Month, and consider spreading the word across social media, too. You can share photos of your kitty going to the vet, learning new tricks, playing with a new toy, or just happily snuggling in their safe space. Don’t forget to encourage others to care for their cat and help bust tired cat-related myths!

woman holding a phone stroking orange and white cat on her lap
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Pexels

How Can I Tell if My Cat Is Happy?

Happy Cat Month is the ideal time to consider whether your cat is happy and healthy. The best way to check your cat’s physical health is to book a visit with your vet. At home, the following signs all point to a happy kitty:

  • Eating regularly and eating well
  • Grooming freely in front of you
  • Playing, purring, chirruping, and greeting you
  • Giving you cuddles and curling up on your lap

Signs of an Unhappy Cat

Whether caused by an underlying health issue, sickness, depression, or anxiety, your cat may display signs of unhappiness in various ways. Look out for the following signs that could signal an unhappy cat:

  • Loss of appetite or a change in eating habits
  • Behavioral signals such as holding their ears back and tucking in their tail
  • A change in their meowing: meowing more or less than usual, unusually low-pitched and mournful meows
  • Acting lethargic and sleeping more than usual

Remember, as your cat’s owner, you spend most time with them, so you know what is normal for them and what isn’t. You should follow your instincts if you feel something about your cat’s behavior has changed or something doesn’t feel right. Even if it turns out to be nothing, a quick check-up with the vet will at least ease your worries. On the other hand, if there is an underlying health condition, the sooner it is found, the better.

Cat not eating food
Image Credit: Elena Kutepova, Shutterstock

Is There a National Cat Month?

Yes! National Cat Lover’s Month is celebrated every year in December. It’s the perfect time to show your love for your cat by sharing photos of them with friends and the rest of the world on social media alongside other cat parents worldwide.

If you haven’t got a cat, perhaps National Cat Lover’s Month may be the ideal time to adopt one. What better way to show your love for this beautiful creature than to provide one with a safe and loving home? If you’re not quite ready for adoption, that’s okay. Consider donating or volunteering at your local shelter instead.

Conclusion

Happy Cat Month is celebrated every September, giving you an entire month to shower your cat with extra love and appreciation.

But you don’t need an excuse to take a moment to consider your cat’s health and happiness. Instead, take a few minutes each day to focus on your pet by playing, cuddling, or just watching them. Not only will your cat feel more loved each day, but you’ll also be able to spot if something’s not quite right. Your cat won’t be the only one to benefit from this exercise, either. Studies show that spending a few minutes of your day with your fluffy friend can reduce your own stress and increase happiness for you, too!


Featured Image Credit: slidesl, Shutterstock

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