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Home > Cats > When is International Cat Day in 2024 & What is It?

When is International Cat Day in 2024 & What is It?

red american bobtail kittens

There is something special about cats that sets them apart from other animals. They are often considered to be charming, intelligent, and independent. They are also known for their playful nature and ability to entertain us with their antics. Even though they can be a little independent, cats make great companions. Cats have been part of the human experience for millennia, and today, cats are widely valued as beloved pets. There are even festivals celebrating their cuteness and fun personalities!

International Cat Day is one such festival—a day to celebrate the many different kinds of cats and their unique abilities. The purpose of International Cat Day is to promote understanding and appreciation for cats and their role in our lives. Whether you have one or dozens of cats, International Cat Day is a fun way to celebrate your amazing furry companions.


A Brief History of International Cat Day

International Cat Day is celebrated on August 8 and the event was created by The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in 2002. IFAW is one of the world’s largest animal welfare and conservation charities protecting animals and their habitats. IFAW works to improve the lives of animals around the world through education, advocacy, and hands-on programs. Some of IFAW’s key initiatives include opposing seal hunting, ending elephant poaching, and rescuing animals from disasters. IFAW is headquartered in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, and has offices in more than a dozen countries.

In 2020, the custodianship of International Cat Day was passed to International Cat Care, a not-for-profit organization that has endeavored to enhance the health and welfare of domestic cats globally since 1958. International Cat Care is a registered charity that aims to improve the lives of cats both in the UK and internationally. They work with vets, rescues, and others in the cat world to provide education and resources on how to care for cats, as well as providing support to those working in the field. One of their main goals is to reduce the number of homeless and abandoned cats by working with shelters and helping people keep their cats healthy and happy.

cat with costume
Image Credit: Daykiney, Shutterstock

How International Cat Day Is Celebrated Around the World

There are many ways to celebrate International Cat Day, including donating to animal shelters or rescue organizations, volunteering with cat-oriented organizations, or simply spending time with your feline friends. This day is dedicated to celebrating cats around the world and their many accomplishments.

For example, in Canada, there are usually articles about cats in the local newspapers on International Cat Day. In Japan, people may dress up their cats in costumes and take pictures of them. In the United States, people often hold adoption events at pet stores or shelters to find homes for homeless cats. In the UK, sometimes pet stores will offer discounts on cat food or other products.


International vs National Cat Day

If you feel as though there are other times in the year when cats are celebrated, you’re not wrong. Although International Day is an important day, many countries have their own national cat days, and in some countries, these national days can be more widely observed. Only Canada holds their national cat day on International Cat Day, while all other countries have chosen alternative days to honor their felines, nationally. In different parts of the world, different activities are held to honor these furry friends.

Countries With National Cat Days on Other Dates

  • Brazil: February 17
  • Italy: February 17
  • Japan: February 22
  • Poland: February 1
  • Russia: March 1
  • United States: October 29

Adopt a Cat Month & National Pet Month

In addition to International Cat Day and each country’s national cat days, Adopt a Cat Month takes place in many countries in June, with a focus on rehoming rescued cats and kittens. And two countries celebrate National Pet Month, which recognizes how pets contribute to people’s lives. The United States celebrates National Pet Month every May, and the United Kingdom celebrates it every April. The Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association (PFMA) and the National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) coordinate this campaign.

adopting a cat
Image by: Susan Schmitz, Shutterstock

Special Ways to Celebrate International Cat Day With Your Cat

There are many ways that you can celebrate International Cat Day with your cat. One way is to give your cat a special treat. You can also spend time playing with your cat or taking them for a walk outdoors. If your cat enjoys being around other people and animals, you can take them to a park or pet-friendly restaurant so they can socialize. You can do something as simple as buying your favorite feline a new toy or scratching post, or something more elaborate like hosting a pet-themed party with other furry friends. You can also show your support for International Cat Day by sharing photos and stories of your own cats on social media using the hashtag #InternationalCatDay.

Donations, Volunteering, and Activism on International Cat Day

International Cat Day provides us with an opportunity to honor all cats and promote cat welfare. There are many ways to participate in this holiday, including making donations, volunteering, and cat activism. Organizations such as the ASPCA, Humane Society, and local animal shelters rely on donations to help cats in need. These organizations typically have websites where you can donate online. These organizations are always in need of donations of food, supplies, and money, and they rely on volunteers to help care for the animals.

Another way to help cats is by volunteering. The day is celebrated by volunteers around the world who organize events and fundraising campaigns to help cats in need. To participate you could reach out to cat welfare organizations in your locality or even put together a fundraiser yourself. Lastly, a low-key but meaningful way to honor your cat on August 8 is by using your voice to spread awareness about the importance of cats in society and show your appreciation for all cats on this day.

cat getting adopted
Image By: Anika Moritz, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

In conclusion, International Cat Day on August 8 is a day to celebrate cats and their companionship. It is also a day to raise awareness for cat adoption, spay and neuter programs, and help homeless cats. If you are a cat lover, be sure to mark August 8 on your calendar and do something special to celebrate your feline friend. And if you’re looking for a new addition to your family, there’s no better day to consider adopting a cat from your local shelter.

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Featured Image Credit: Ievgennia Miroshnichenko, Shutterstock

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