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Home > General > Global Cat Day 2024: When & What It Is

Global Cat Day 2024: When & What It Is

black and white cat sitting on the lap of its owner

There are dozens of different holidays sprinkled throughout the year that celebrate everything from hot dogs (July 3rd) to naps (March 11th). It should be no surprise that there are days set aside to celebrate and help cats. There are millions of cat owners and cat lovers around the world, and they celebrate Global Cat Day on the 16th of October every year. Global Cat Day focuses on raising awareness, educating the public, and progressing cat welfare programs around the world. Here is everything you need to know about Global Cat Day, including when to celebrate, how to celebrate, and the history of this interesting annual holiday.


When Is Global Cat Day?

Global Cat Day is celebrated each year on October 16th. The theme for 2023 is “Cats Are Community.”

In a statement, Alley Cat Allies says about Global Cat Day:

“Cats are our family, friends, and neighbors, and our unique relationship with them spans thousands of years across all borders and every language. But even with so much history together, cats still need people to stand up for them against cruelty and other threats to their lives. On Global Cat Day, we call on everyone around the world to become cat advocates and defend cats as we should defend all members of our community.”1

This year’s event is aimed at highlighting both the global nature of the love of cats as well as the global reach of Global Cat Day in the 21st century.

bengal cat on owners lap
Image Credit: golubovystock, Shutterstock

What Is Global Cat Day?

Global Cat Day is a day in which cat lovers show their support for the welfare of all cats, especially stray, wild, or feral cats. The day is meant to raise awareness about the treatment of feral cats in certain areas around the world. In some places, the killing or mistreatment of feral cats is allowed. Global Cat Day is meant to help prevent the mistreatment of these animals through educational seminars, informational clinics, and spay or neuter events.

Who Founded Global Cat Day?

Alley Cat Allies founded Global Cat Day. Alley Cat Allies is a non-profit group based in Bethesda, Maryland. They focus on animal welfare, particularly when it comes to stray and feral cats. In the past, municipalities had policies that would allow cities to trap and kill feral cats in the name of public health and safety. Alley Cat Allies was opposed to this behavior.

Alley Cat Allies is best known for introducing the program of trap-neuter-release. This program has cities humanely trap cats and spay or neuter them in order to prevent them from reproducing before releasing them back into the wild.

The History of Global Cat Day

Global Cat Day began in 2001 as National Feral Cat Day. National Feral Cat Day encouraged people to declare themselves allies of the movement. Participants would say, “I’m An Alley Cat Ally.” The day gained national attention and was featured on numerous national media platforms.

In 2017, National Feral Cat Day was changed to Global Cat Day. The new name focused on Alley Cat Allies’ global reach and made the name more inclusive and neutral by removing the term Feral Cat from the name.

cat owner looking at her pet
Image Credit: U__Photo, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate Global Cat Day

There are a number of ways to celebrate Global Cat Day. You can share educational materials on social media provided by Alley Cat Allies. You can declare that “I’m An Alley Cat Alley” on these same social media platforms. You can attend an educational seminar or volunteer at a local event.

Local veterinarians, veterinarian clinics, and veterinarian assistants will often volunteer at non-profit clinics on Global Cat Day to spay, neuter, and treat feral cats in order to improve their health and prevent their populations from getting out of control. Spaying and neutering stray cats is a key pillar of Alley Cat Allies’ mission to help improve the welfare of stray cats.

Is Global Cat Day Different Than International Cat Day?

Yes. Despite the similarities of the words global and international, Global Cat Day and International Cat Day are two very different holidays. International Cat Day is observed on August 8th, compared to Global Cat Day, which is observed on October 16th. Both Global Cat Day and International Cat Day share similar goals in advocating for cat welfare. International Cat Day was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2002.

Various countries also celebrate National Cat Day. National Cat Day varies by country and is separate from both Global Cat Day and International Cat Day.

cat owner belly rubbing her cat
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock



If you are a cat lover, Global Cat Day is the perfect way to tell the world and help improve the welfare of cats everywhere. There are multiple days throughout the year focused on the welfare of cats, but Global Cat Day is celebrated annually on October 16th. Participants are encouraged to celebrate online and to support spay and neuter efforts for local cat populations. When local cat populations are kept at manageable levels it makes it easier to care for them and improve the welfare of individual cats in the wild.

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Featured Image Credit: Chamomile_Olya, Shutterstock

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