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Home > Cats > National Cat Herders Day 2023: When It Is & How It’s Celebrated

National Cat Herders Day 2023: When It Is & How It’s Celebrated

Stray cats on the streets of Cyprus

The first time you heard the mention of National Cat Herders Day, you may have wondered if it was some kind of mistake. We had the same thought process initially, but it turns out that National Cat Herders Day is an actual event, and the name isn’t to be taken literally—it’s a celebration of all those with extremely difficult, stressful, and sometimes impossible jobs, and it’s celebrated on 15th December each year.


Why Is It Called “National Cat Herders Day?”

The name of this annual celebration was inspired by the idiom “like herding cats”. As any cat lover knows, felines have their own minds and like to do as they please, so attempting to herd them into a group would simply wreak havoc.

To put this into perspective, picture the scene of an attempt to herd four cats—one uses you as a climbing frame, one gets the zoomies, one meows indignantly because it’s nearly feeding time, and one saunters off, ignoring you completely.

Based on that, the idiom “like herding cats” is a reference to performing tasks (such as leading a team of people that rarely agree with one another) that are incredibly difficult and frustrating and involve facing a plethora of obstacles on the way to getting them done.

Someone described as a “cat herder” is likely a skilled, patient, diplomatic, and dependable person who always does their best no matter what challenges are thrown their way, and National Cat Herders Day is all about honoring the most steadfast among us. The idea was conceived by Ruth and Tom Roy of the site, where National Cat Herders Day can be found on their list of holidays.

lonely cat up close
Image Credit: veverkolog, Pixabay

Top 3 Ways to Celebrate National Cat Herders Day

There are no rules on how to observe National Cat Herders Day, but here are a few ideas:

1. Donate to a Shelter

After all, shelter staff are the closest thing you’ll ever get to real-life cat herders! Shelter staff work incredibly hard to provide the best possible care to the cats, dogs, and other animals that arrive at their door even though animal shelters are often overcrowded. They also give their all to finding forever homes for as many animals as possible. Their work saves and improves countless lives.

Volunteer preparing animal donation box for animal shelter
Image Credit: Veja, Shutterstock

2. Show Your Appreciation

If you know someone who keeps it together and perseveres in seemingly impossible situations, let them know you appreciate the work they do. This could be a teacher, a healthcare worker, a sanitation worker, a server at a restaurant, a nurse, a doctor, a manager… the list goes on and on. You can also post about it on social media with the hashtag #NationalCatHerdersDay.

3. Volunteer

Volunteering with an association is a great way to show appreciation, give back, and get involved with your community. If you’re an animal lover, why not consider volunteering with a local shelter or rescue organization? Another idea is to sign up as a volunteer dog walker.

Close up of female volunteer holds on hands cat in shelter
Image Credit: Evgeny Bakhchev, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

The cat herders out there—the nurses, the shelter workers, the teachers, the healthcare workers, the cleaners, the construction workers, and so on—are at the very heart of our communities and are the ones who keep things going no matter how hard it gets. National Cat Herders Day is all about these people and applauding their sheer tenacity and commitment.

See Also:

Featured Image Credit: Oxana Oliferovskaya, Shutterstock

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