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National Feral Cat Day 2024: When & How You Can Celebrate

Visnja Radosavljevic

By Visnja Radosavljevic

feral cats resting outdoor

Many people are cat lovers, which is why there are over 370 million cats kept as pets in the world.1 However, many feral cats don’t live as comfortably as kitties with homes.

Feral cats face multiple challenges every day: They are overpopulated and lack food, home, and shelter, and many of them end up in shelters, where they get euthanized. Due to all the troubles that feral cats go through, we celebrate October 16 as National Feral Cat Day, also known as Global Cat Day.

Keep reading to learn everything about this exciting day, learn how to celebrate it, why it’s important, and what you can do to help feral cats.

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The History Behind National Feral Cat Day

feral cat with right ear tip clipped
Image Credit: Krishna777, Shutterstock

Cats have been beloved human companions for ages, but unfortunately, many of them don’t find homes and will stay feral. That represents a significant problem for the human community and for the cats living there.

Since feral cats face various challenges, Alley Cat Allies (ACA) created National Feral Cat Day in 2001, and it has been celebrated worldwide ever since.

National Feral Cat Day teaches us how to act better toward feral cats and how to help them and decrease their population. The ACA created this holiday with the goal of empowering people to help feral cats, feed them, provide food, and educate them about the TNR (trap-neuter-return) method.

Although the main goal of this day is to help feral cats, it celebrates all cats, regardless of the place they call home. It also shows us that we should be more compassionate toward animals in general and that even small efforts can make big impacts worldwide.

Why Is National Feral Cat Day Important?

National Feral Cat Day helps raise awareness about the overpopulation issue of feral cats and teaches people how they can help resolve this problem. It also shows us that we should have love and kindness toward all cats and how to help them by providing food, water, or shelter.

This day is also crucial for spreading the word about TNR, a strategy to help feral cats. It relies on three simple steps:

  • Trap — Gently trap a feral cat.
  • Neuter — Take the feral cat to get neutered.
  • Return — Safely return the cat to the place where you found them.

This strategy is easy and helps reduce the overall number of euthanized cats every year.

Overall, National Feral Cat Day confronts any form of cat cruelty across the world while connecting compassionate people to help in this mission.

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How Do People Celebrate National Feral Cat Day?

cat shelter
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

National Feral Cat Day is unique, and there’s no particular way that a person needs to celebrate. That said, if you are unsure how you can contribute to the festivities, here are a few excellent ideas:

  • Educate yourself about feral cats.
  • Take part in TNR.
  • Get your cat neutered.
  • Adopt a cat.
  • Volunteer with Alley Cats.
  • Donate to an organization that helps feral cats.

Educate Yourself About Feral Cats

If you are celebrating National Feral Cat Day for the first time, start by educating yourself about feral cats. Learn more about their needs, challenges, and problems and what you can do to help them.

Take your time to investigate TNR and its benefits, and spread your knowledge to people you know to raise awareness and hopefully, attract more people to celebrate this day.

Take Part in TNR

feral cat in the cage
Image Credit: sandid, Pixabay

TNR is an excellent strategy for people who want to help feral cats but can’t offer them a home. It relies on people carefully trapping a feral cat, getting them neutered, and safely returning the animal to where they found them.

The great thing about this strategy is that anyone can join, and this small effort can make a big impact. By neutering feral cats, you’ll contribute to the decrease in their population and therefore, a decrease in euthanization.

Get Your Cat Neutered

If TNR feels like too much for your first National Feral Cat Day celebration, you can celebrate it by getting your own cat neutered. This is a small step, but it will make you more comfortable eventually trying out TNR while helping your cat and decreasing overpopulation levels.

Adopt a Cat

Unfortunately, most feral cats that end up in shelters eventually get euthanized, which is why adoption is an excellent way to celebrate National Feral Cat Day. If you’re thinking about getting a cat, instead of going to a breeder, visit a local shelter and adopt one.

You’ll save a cat’s life and provide them with a home while showing others the importance of adoption.

Volunteer With Alley Cats

ACA encourages people to volunteer for National Feral Cat Day at the organization. There are various ways to help out, and you’ll learn a thing or two about helping feral cats.

If you’re still unsure about how you can celebrate National Feral Cat Day, simply donate to an organization that helps feral cats. It will already have detailed plans about helping feral cats, and these organizations always need funding, so your donation will definitely be appreciated.

a feral cat sitting near metal pipes
Image Credit: museumsmaus, Pixabay

The 5 Facts About Cats You Need to Know

The overpopulation of cats is a serious issue happening around the world, which is one of the main reasons that National Feral Cat Day is important. However, before going into detail about the importance of this celebration, here are facts about cats that you need to know.

  1. The global population of cats is between 400,000 and 600,000.2
  2. In the U.S.A., the overpopulation of cats represents a severe problem; there are between 30–40 million feral cats.3
  3. Feral cats in the U.S.A. produce 80% of the kittens born yearly.
  4. Around 3.2 million cats in the U.S.A. end up in shelters.4
  5. Every year, around 530,000 cats are euthanized in the U.S.A.

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What Can You Do to Help Feral Cats?

kittens in cage in a shelter
Image By: Okssi, Shutterstock

National Feral Cat Day represents people celebrating cats in general, but it’s especially important for raising awareness about feral cats. So, you should educate yourself about what you can do to help them.

Here are a few things that you can do to help feral cats:
  • Provide them with shelter.
  • Help them find a home.
  • Feed them and provide water.
  • Enroll in TNR.
  • Volunteer and donate to organizations that help feral cats.
  • Adopt a cat from a shelter.
  • Spread awareness about the issues that feral cats face, and educate people on how to help them.

Holidays Connected With National Feral Cat Day

Other holidays connected with National Feral Cat Day also celebrate cats and teach people how to show them love and kindness. These include:

  • Happy Mew Year for Cats Day — This holiday is celebrated on January 2, and it’s all about spreading the love for all the cats that you own, meet, or want to include in your family.
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day — This holiday is celebrated on January 22 and promotes the way that we converse with our cats. This day is all about “speaking” with your kitty and figuring out their needs, the meaning behind meowing, and their body language.
  • International Cat Day — This holiday is celebrated on August 8, and its main goal is to raise awareness about cats, spread love, and educate people on how to help cats.

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Final Thoughts

National Feral Cat Day is a unique holiday that showcases cats worldwide and teaches people how to help them, especially feral cats. If you love cats, you can participate in the celebration in your own way and contribute to the community by spreading the word about this holiday.


Featured Image Credit: Dimitris Vetsikas, Pixabay

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