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International Rescue Cat Day 2024 – When It Is & How it’s Celebrated

Eleanor Glaum

By Eleanor Glaum

Cat Rescued on the tree

Cats are too often the victims of cruelty, misunderstanding, and poor judgment on the part of humans. It is even suggested that cats may be more prone to abuse than dogs or any other domestic animals.

In an ideal world, there would be no neglected, homeless, or abused cats, but the sad reality is that the number of cats that fall into this category is unacceptably high. Many animal lovers are aware of this fact and do their bit to combat the situation. However, there are still more people who are simply not aware of the plight of our beloved felines.

A great way to bring attention to the issue is with dedicated events that will capture people’s attention. International Rescue Cat Day is celebrated on March 2nd every year, and has urged many a cat-lover into positive action.

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What Is International Rescue Cat Day?

Founded in Yorkshire, England in 2019, International Rescue Cat Day is recognized every year on March 2nd. The day was developed in conjunction with International Rescue Cat Month. Each year millions of cats enter shelters after being rescued or surrendered. Many of them manage to find special forever homes.

March of each year is a month dedicated to bringing awareness to the plight of these kitties, as well as the wonderful organizations that work tirelessly at providing them with loving, caring new homes.

woman holding cat
Image Credit: Pressmaster, Shutterstock

Is International Rescue Cat Day the Same as International Cat Day?

Although there are similarities between the two, International Rescue Cat Day and International Cat Day needn’t be confused.

International Cat Day, also sometimes referred to as World Cat Day, was founded in 2002 and is celebrated every year on August 8th. International Rescue Cat Day chiefly aims to bring awareness to the business of the rescue and rehoming of kitties. On the other hand, International Cat Day celebrates all things cat related, including the plight of previously unwanted kitties.

Having said that, it wouldn’t be out of place to celebrate every aspect of our beloved felines on International Rescue Cat Day either!

Each of these kitty-related holidays may have slightly different intentions, but overall the gist of them is the same. Either way, we’re happy with there being as many dedicated kitty days as possible!

How Many Cat Holidays Are There?

We’ve established that there are at least two dedicated cat awareness days. That may have you wondering about any other kitty holidays and special days for celebrating particular aspects of them.

The good news is that there are plenty more opportunities for you to celebrate everything you love about your much-adored kitty. Some of these address serious issues, while some are just for fun.

Take a look at this list of cat holidays:
  • January 2: Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
  • January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day
  • January 22: National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day
  • February 27: World Spay Day
  • March 3: ‘What If Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs?’Day
  • March 23: Cuddly Kitty Day
  • April 6: National Siamese Cat Day
  • April 19: National Cat Lady Day
  • April 28: National Hairball Awareness Day
  • April 30: National Tabby Day
  • June 4: Hug Your Cat Day
  • June 19: National Garfield The Cat Day
  • June 24: Cat World Domination Day
  • July 10: National Kitten Day
  • August 22: International Take Your Cat to the Vet Day
  • September 1: Ginger Cat Appreciation Day
  • October 16: Global Cat Day
  • October 27: National Black Cat Day
  • October 29: National Cat Day
  • December 15: National Cat HerdersDay

Believe it or not, this list is not exhaustive. A quick search of the internet will lead you to many other days earmarked for kitty celebrations. Some are great fun!

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The 6 Ways You Can Celebrate International Rescue Cat Day

If you think that International Rescue Cat Day is a great initiative and you want to get involved, here are some ways to do that.

1. Adopt a Rescue Cat

Number one on the list is to “adopt, don’t shop”.  If you are in the market for a new kitty, then consider adopting a rescue cat. The benefits of doing so are countless and rescue kitties can be loving and rewarding pets. Many rescue cat parents testify that their previously unwanted kitties provided more joy and love than their high-price-tag purebreds.

Adopting a rescue kitty will give you the peace of mind that you have contributed substantially to this vital cause. There are other benefits to adoptions too. Kitty will come with a clean bill of health and will have been sterilized. Different shelters have different adoption fees and protocols, but in general, the fee to adopt will be substantially less than to buy. If you had your heart set on a purebred, although not common, shelters occasionally have purebred kitties looking for homes.

By adopting, you are helping to combat the problem of cat overpopulation. Most of all, you will have saved a precious kitty’s life.

adopting a cat
Image Credit: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

2. Volunteer at a Shelter

If you’re not in a position to offer a rescue kitty a forever home, as is most likely the case, then you might consider giving up your time. Rescue shelters run on shoestring budgets and often can’t afford to keep a full complement of staff. They rely very much on the generosity of volunteers who give up their time to help out. Your local shelter would more than likely welcome your offer of assistance.


3. Donate

Of course, not everyone has too much free time on their hands. Running homes, working, and caring for families and existing pets often leaves no spare time. Many shelters are financed substantially from donations. Every last cent counts and any donation you wish to make would be gratefully received and well-used.

Other than monetary donations, shelters are always grateful to receive food, blankets, bedding, as well as kennel equipment and veterinary supplies.

cat being adopted
Image Credit: Anika Moritz, Shutterstock

4. Get On the Frontlines of an Actual Rescue

At any time, somewhere near where you live, a kitty is bound to go missing. Often, the first thing that frantic owners do is to contact all the nearby shelters and vets to report their cat missing. The best way to locate a missing kitty is to search for it.

Consider contacting your local shelter to see if you can join a search team to look for any recently missing cats.


5. Attend an International Rescue Cat Day Event

Although the day is a fairly recent introduction, it is gaining momentum and many associations organize events to celebrate and fundraise. Find out if any events are scheduled for the day in your area and you might have a fun-filled day attending one of these.

adopt a cat
Image Credit: VS_star, Pixabay

6. Honor the Special Kitty(s) in Your Life

None of these may be possible, but at the very least, you can celebrate the day by showering your own kitty with abundant love. You could do this by spoiling them with kitty treats, a lengthy grooming session, or an extra-long play session. Make sure that your beloved feline knows how loved and appreciated they are.

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Final Thoughts

It is a privilege to be able to share our lives with cats that choose us as their humans. It could be considered an even greater privilege to be chosen and loved by a kitty that has suffered some past misfortune. Cats should never have to be the victims of humans’ actions, but sadly this happens too often.

Dedicated awareness days, such as International Rescue Cat Day, are important in a society that is integrated with pets. They are a great way of highlighting not only the consequences of the actions of certain people but also the wonderful work that is done to counteract these actions.

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Featured Image Credit: Prilutskiy, Shutterstock

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