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National Cat Day 2024: When It Is & How to Participate

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

cat owner talking to his pet

What better way to celebrate the cat in your life than by recognizing National Cat Day? Mark your calendar to ensure you don’t miss it, as National Day is fast approaching on October 29th.

It’s no surprise that National Cat Day exists. If funny cat videos on the internet have taught us anything, it’s that people love cats! But what exactly is National Cat Day, and why is it celebrated? In this article, we will look at the purpose and origin of this holiday while providing you with some ways to celebrate it.

What Is National Cat Day?

National Cat Day was launched by Colleen Paige. Paige is a conservationist, an animal behaviorist, and a pet lifestyle expert credited with establishing similar holidays, such as National Dog Day and National Pet Day. According to Paige, the purpose of National Cat Day is to bring awareness to how many cats need rescuing.

These statistics may surprise you if you’re unaware of how many cats are in need. According to the ASPCA, out of the 6.3 million companion animals surrendered to shelters each year, 3.2 million of them are cats1. Only 2.1 million cats are adopted yearly, leaving hundreds of thousands without a family.

Another tragic statistic is that of 810,000 animals found and returned to their owners, only 100,000 are cats. Many stray cats who enter shelters will not be reunited with their families. Even more alarmingly, out of the 920,000 annually euthanized shelter animals, 530,000 are cats. That is over half of the euthanized animals.

Clearly, the number of cats in need of care is not insignificant. For that reason, holidays such as National Cat Day have been established to promote and spread awareness of this issue.

Cat and woman owners holding cats in shelter to adopt
Image Credit: BearFotos, Shutterstock

Origin of National Cat Day

Page claims that she started the holiday in 2005 with the express purpose of promoting awareness of the number of cats who are in need of rescue. In addition to her valiant mission, she also wants current cat owners to appreciate the special felines in their lives.

When Is International Cat Day?

If you aren’t in the United States but still want to celebrate your cat, mark your calendar for August 8th. August 8th is International Cat Day, which is strongly promoted by International Cat Care, one of the most prominent feline welfare charities. This organization strives to combat cruelty towards cats by educating those who are ignorant and prejudiced towards cats, aiming to create a better future for our cats.

white cat with the owner
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate National Cat Day

If you are scratching your head over how to celebrate National (or International) Cat Day, we have some ideas for you.

Adopt a Cat

What better way to advocate for cats in need of rescue than by rescuing one? By adopting a cat, you can provide a home for a kitty in need. Of course, this isn’t a decision to be made lightly, nor should it be a spur-of-the-moment choice.

Adopting a cat is an extensive commitment and financial responsibility. Rushing into adoption without ensuring that you can care for a cat is a poor decision for you and the cat, so only celebrate with an adoption if you are prepared for the responsibilities.

Support Your Local Animal Shelter

If there is an animal shelter in your area, consider how you can support them. A monetary donation or a day of volunteering can take a load off their shoulders, providing a better living environment for the cats in their care.

Give Your Cat Lots of Love

On National Cat Day, don’t forget about the cat living in your home. Give your cats lots of love by scratching their favorite spot, giving them a treat, or buying a brand-new toy!

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

Final Thoughts

National Cat Day is an important holiday not just for cat lovers. It is a day about bringing awareness to the serious issues plaguing our nation’s feline community. Millions of cats suffer without a home each year; however, we can make a change through the awareness that events such as National Cat Day provide. To see what you can do to help cats in your community, contact your local animal shelter or animal humane society.


Featured Image Credit: Aziz Acharki, Unsplash

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