About 3.2 million cats enter the shelter system each year in the US. (And this figure does not include the many feral animals that spend their entire lives on the streets.) Many of these animals have had little if any medical care and remain at constant risk for illness and injury. And of those that do make it to shelters, over 1 million are euthanized annually.
Our cats give us joy, comfort, and unconditional love throughout their lives. Each October 29th, we get the opportunity to give a little of that love back in a very special way. Founded in 2005 by author and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige, National Cat Day not only offers cat-lovers a chance to celebrate the cats in our lives, but provides an important way to help the many cats across the nation who are in need of rescue, care, and love. Here are just a few ways you can celebrate.
Adopt a Cat
For many shelter cats, time is running out. Adopting a cat, especially an adult animal, can quite literally save a life and provide a forever home to a loving pet in need. Check your local shelter and ask if they’re sponsoring any adoption events to celebrate National Cat Day.
Editor’s Note: Research the advantages of adopting a senior cat and tips for welcoming a senior cat into your home.
Donate or Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
Animal shelters are frequently stretched to the limit when it comes to resources and volunteers. One great way you can help is to donate money, supplies, or time to a local shelter in your area.
Give to an Animal Welfare Organization
Across the nation, animal welfare groups—the majority of which are non-profits—struggle to meet their goals of providing medical care, food, rescue services, and adoption to cats in need. They can always use help with supplies (toys, blankets, etc.) and willing hands. Or consider supporting an organization with a monetary donation to be used towards strengthening pet laws, increasing awareness for adoption programs, providing low-cost spay and neuter programs, improving shelter pet health, etc.
Help a Neighbor with Cat Care
If you have a friend or neighbor who has trouble caring for the cats in their life because of illness or advanced age, you can donate some of your time to help them care for their pets. Also, there are a number of organizations offering financial assistance for families unable to afford veterinary services. Sharing this information, or making a donation directly to the organization, may save a pet from being euthanized for lack of affordable healthcare.
Celebrate the Cats in Your Life
National Cat Day offers a great opportunity to reconnect with the cats in your life. Check with your veterinarian to be sure your felines are current with all vaccinations. Treat your cat to a little extra TLC. Ore bake some home-made cat treats!
Editor’s Note: Looking for ways to indulge your cat this National Cat Day? Here are some high-end pet pampering ideas.
Whatever way you choose to celebrate, remember that there are millions of cats in need of a forever home. Visit the National Cat Day website for a complete list of ways you can help make a difference in the lives of our feline friends!
Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.