August 8 is International Cat Day — a day to celebrate one of man’s most common and ancient pets. They have even been worshiped as gods (we see you, Egypt.) Well, it is not surprising, Cats are one of the coolest beings on the planet: they are independent, inquisitive, adventurous, have an amazing physiognomy, and the power to heal by themselves — at least most of the time.
International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.
An estimated 500 million cats are thought to be frolicking in neighbours’ gardens across the world, which means that most every extended family is bound to have an aunt with more kittens than former husbands, whatever the country or climate. And that’s great, because owning a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. So when it’s raining cats and dogs outside and you don’t have someone to cuddle with, any black, ginger, Persian, Siamese, Burmese, Bengal, Shorthair, Munchkin, Balinese, RagaMuffin or any old stray cat will do the trick.
So roll out the red carpet and the catnip for your furry feline friend, because International Cat Day is that one day a year when black cats bring good luck and cat eye sunglasses match your entire wardrobe.
History of International Cat Day
Cats are carnivorous small furry mammals — for the most part — with four legs, a tail, and claws, that humans have domesticated as pets since ancient times, even though they have descended from the African Wildcat and they used to catch vermin.
The first historical human record about cats could be found in Ancient Egyptian Civilization’s culture. We all seem to relate cats with Egyptians, because of their adoration and consideration of cats as gods. Mafdet was the first known cat deity and was regarded as the protector against snakes, scorpions, and evil during the First Dynasty, so for them, cats were not just deities, but also protectors.
Later, after the Egyptian Dynasty collapsed, Cats became popular everywhere! Greeks and Romans used them as pest control, and in the East, cats were originally owned by rich and wealthy people. But during the Middle Ages, in Europe, Cats became associated with superstition and suspected of carrying the disease during the Black Death of 1348, that is the reason why too many cats got killed in that era, and it wasn’t until the 1600s that cats’ reputation started to recover.
In America, cats were part of the cargo on the colonization ships to minimize vermin and disease, so those cats went ashore and flourished. Nowadays, cats seem to be one of the pop icons in modern society – we have about half of a billion among us. And, since 2002, thanks to the “International Fund for Animal Welfare” cats have their own holiday!
International Cat Day timeline
The Oldest known pet
In 2004, French archaeologists discovered a 9,500-year-old cat grave in Cyprus.
International Cat Day was created by the International Fund Animal Welfare to take place on August 8.
Felicette the Astrocat
On October 18, the first cat went to space, Felicette was the first Astrocat.
The Cat Death
Cats were rumored to be the source of the Black Death's plague, so all over Europe the house cats were slain, and thousands of cats were murdered.
International Cat Day FAQs
How is International Cat Day celebrated?
You can participate in the festivities of International Cat Day by adopting a new kitty, feeding feral cats, or even spoiling the ones in your own home. Anywhere there’s a cat, show it some good ol’ purring love.
Is today National Hug Your Cat Day?
Hmm, well if today is June 4, then you’re in luck! Go give your kitty a big hug and tell them how much you love them.
Do cats like to be hugged?
Most cats are super affectionate and love to nuzzle and give hugs accompanied by loud and soothing purrs. However, some cats are a bit more uncomfortable with too much affection, so always make sure you’re doing whatever your cat is comfortable with, or risk a warning hiss.
5 FACTS ABOUT CATS THAT MIGHT BLOW YOUR MIND
The loudest Purr!
Merlin, a Black and White Cat from the U.K., has the record for the loudest purr and his purr is 67.8db.
Faster than you think
Your little kitty can hit the speeds of around 30mph!
The richest kitty in town!
According to "Guinness World Records", when Blackie's millionaire owner passed away, he got a 7-million-pound fortune.
Not so sweet
Cats can not detect sweetness, which explains why they are not drawn to it at all.
Meow to you!
According to science, cats only use their meows to talk to humans and not to each other - except to their mothers when they are kittens.
International Cat Day Activities
Time to share with those that are in need
There are many homeless cats around the world, so what better day to show them respect and love than by giving them food and supplies!
Spend some time with your fluffy babies
If you have a cat, International Cat Day is the perfect day to have a great time and show love to your baby.
Treat them with "catness"
Even if you don't like cats, remember to treat them with respect and kindness, take the occasion to spread awareness about respect to cats on your social media.
Why We Love International Cat Day
We love all living beings
Holidays like this show off that as humans, we do love all living beings and there are more of us who respect and love kitties than those who don't.
A lovely reminder
It’s easy to get the idea that we are the most important beings on the planet, but as a lovely reminder: we are not alone so we need to respect the other beings' rights and do our part — starting with our pets.
Fuzzy stress relievers
It is scientifically proven that Cats help to improve mental health as stress relievers just by being themselves! Petting a fuzzy feline can cause our bodies to produce stress-reducing hormones.