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Home > Cats > What and When Is National Cat Lady Day? (2024 Update)

What and When Is National Cat Lady Day? (2024 Update)

white cat with the owner

Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world, especially in the United States. We love our cats, and many people have more than one furry feline in their homes. Yes, “cat ladies” are sometimes mocked for loving cats more than the rest of us. National Cat Lady Day was created for those ladies (and their cats) to celebrate the women who take such good care of their felines.

In 2024, National Cat Lady Day will be celebrated on April 19 around the United States. The holiday was created by author, entrepreneur, and cat lover Susan Michals, who (with loads of help and support) started National Cat Lady Day in 2017. National Cat Lady Day has helped spread the word that, rather than being the object of sarcasm and mockery, cat ladies deserve to be applauded and revered for their love and dedication to all things feline. Read on to learn more about this special day and how you can celebrate it with your favorite cat (or cats)!


What Is a Cat Lady?

The traditional image of a “cat lady” is a woman who owns many cats. One look at the “Crazy Cat Lady” character from the popular animated television show The Simpsons will give you a perfect example of what most people think of when they think of cat ladies.

Even worse, during post-medieval times, cats, unfortunately, became connected to witches and witchcraft. The first woman put to death for witchcraft in England, Agnes Waterhouse, admitted before her death that she owned a cat. Sadly, this unfair connection between cats and the occult stuck for hundreds of years, which didn’t help the cats or the ladies who loved them.

cat playing with owner
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

That depiction was precisely the problem Susan Michals faced as the dutiful owner of a single cat. In her own words, “The second I told people I had a cat, they were like, ‘Oh, you’re a cat lady, a crazy cat lady.” Michals added that “It’s not something to hide. I’m a cat person and proud to be a cat person.” For this reason, Michals created National Cat Lady Day and CatCon, the annual convention celebrating cats in the U.S.

Today cat ladies, while still slightly stigmatized, have become more embraced than ever before. Michals can take some credit for that, but so can social media channels like Instagram, the popular sketch show Saturday Night Live and even superstar singer Taylor Swift, whose 2014 Diet Coke commercial depicted her as a cat lady. In other words, today, cat ladies are celebrated rather than ridiculed, and being a cat lady is a source of pride rather than misery and mockery.

bengal cat on owners lap
Image Credit: golubovystock, Shutterstock

Do You Need to Own More Than One Cat to Be a Cat Lady?

While they have been depicted for many years as single women who own multiple cats, today’s cat lady can have a single cat (and be married if she wants to). That’s because the definition of “cat lady” has shifted significantly. No longer seen as odd and on the fringes of society, modern cat ladies are young, influential, successful, caring, and, like their cats, fiercely independent.

So, yes, you can be a proud cat lady today while still owning a single cat, but many cat ladies own multiple felines simply because, when it comes to cats, more of them together seems to be better.

woman owner petting and playing with her cat at home
Image Credit: Stokkete, Shutterstock

What Can You Do to Celebrate National Cat Lady Day?

While not a genuinely recognized national holiday for cat ladies and their cats, National Cat Lady Day is the perfect day to do something special with or around cats. Below are some of the best activities to engage in on this cat-centric holiday.

1. Volunteer at a Cat Shelter

Most cities and towns across the United States have cat and animal shelters where you can volunteer. Most desperately need volunteers, so visiting a local cat shelter on National Cat Lady Day is a perfect way to lend a hand and spend time with some fancy felines.

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

2. Blow Some Bubbles for Your Cat

Cats love chasing pretty much anything, but they go even more nuts when it comes to bubbles! What do you get when you combine bubbles and catnip? You get one of the most fun activities you can imagine on National Cat Lady Day! You’d be hard-pressed to find a cat that won’t be excited and delighted in chasing after catnip-scented bubbles, making this a perfect way to have fun with your cat(s) on National Cat Lady Day!

3. Throw a Cat Lady Party

With social media making connecting with other cat ladies in your community more accessible, throwing a cat-centric party on National Cat Lady Day is easier than ever. It’s also a lot of fun, allows you to meet others who share your passion for cats, and is a great excuse for some daytime imbibing of adult beverages!

women meeting with their adult cats
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

4. Start an Instagram Page for Your Cat

As a cat lady, you love your cats for many reasons and probably take pictures of them whenever you get the opportunity. Why not share those pics with the rest of the world through the social media platform Instagram on National Cat Lady Day? It’s fun, easy, doesn’t cost a dime, and is the best way to share your favorite feline photos with the rest of the cat-loving world!

5. Adopt Your First Cat

If you don’t have the pleasure of being a cat parent, National Cat Lady Day is a great day to start! Many shelters and breeders around the U.S. have open houses on this special day, with discounts on adoption paperwork, vaccinations, and more. Pet stores usually have promotions and discounts, which means you can adopt a new furry pal for less and start enjoying life more with your new cat!

cat getting adopted
Image Credit: Anika Moritz, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Although seen for centuries as “crazy,” aloof, and even depraved, today’s modern cat lady is far from any unkind adjectives. Cat ladies are kind, caring individuals who love the independence, elegance, charm, and intelligence cats bring to the table and aren’t afraid to declare their love for their fine feline friends.

To help these ladies and their furry friends celebrate all the good things about being a cat momma, Susan Michals created National Cat Lady Day in 2015. This special day has been growing every year and is a genuinely popular annual event celebrated by millions of cat owners. For all the cat ladies who adore their cats and can’t imagine life without them, we wish you a happy and fur-filled National Cat Lady Day!

Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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