Your furry felines deserve all the love in the world, and that’s what Cuddly Kitten Day, held on March 23, is going to deliver. It’s exactly what it sounds like — a special day for cuddling the feline fur baby in your life. What makes this day so important are these two figures; 90 million domesticated kitties in the U.S. alone, and 220 million domesticated cats around the world.
History of Cuddly Kitten Day
One of the early clues that pointed toward the domestication of cats happened in 1983. An archaeological dig on the island of Cyprus turned up something amazing – the jawbone of a cat dating back 8,000 years. Now, animal fossils were nothing rare, and cats had certainly been around for centuries, judging by the fossils the world had already collected. What was so special about this find, historians and archaeologists concluded, was that a cat — a species famous for not exactly liking water or swimming — was found on the island. The people who lived there back then would likely have reached there by boat, and it was highly unlikely that they would have randomly brought along a cat. The cat must have been something of a pet, and a wanted travel companion, various academics say.
Then, in 2004, another archaeological finding on Cyprus showed domestication of cats went back to before this time. A cat fossil, dating back to at least 9,500 years before the dig, was found buried with a human. Other studies have estimated the date of domestication to as far back as at least 12,000 years ago, in the Near East, which was the seat of many ancient civilizations.
Dogs were probably domesticated first, as they exhibited more obvious usable traits. Cats were less useful in people’s eyes, at least until they began settling down in one place. The more crops they’d grow, the more grain stores they kept, and the bigger their rodent problem. Enter the rodent catchers — cats.
As cats were introduced to more humans, their behavior gradually adapted, becoming less feral and more docile. Cats became very popular across these ancient societies. Egyptians famously loved their felines and dressed them in jewels, fed them royal treats, and even mummified them. Ancient Romans made them a symbol of liberty. The Far East saw them as protectors against pesky rodents and treated them as treasures.
Something changed during the Middle Ages. Cats came to be seen as ‘evil’ and were associated with witchcraft. Many felines were killed because of this superstition. This fear continued until around the 1600s when the image of cats began to change again. Today, cats sit on top of the pet catalog, with almost 91 countries (according to Instagram posts) preferring felines over their canine counterparts. Can’t say we blame them!
Cuddly Kitten Day timeline
An ancient Egyptian cemetery in Beni Hassan has around 80,000 mummified cats and kittens, all dating back to between 1,000 to 2,000 B.C.
Creator Jim Davis writes adventures about a cat named Garfield and his family — the comic strip goes viral, and eventually holds the record of being the world's most widely distributed comic strip.
Cat Flower Garden in Taipei, Taiwan, opens with a novel idea: people can come in and play with cats, in a model resembling an indoor cat rental.
Grumpy Cat (real name Tardar Sauce) becomes the face of thousands of internet memes for his famously sour expression.
Cuddly Kitten Day FAQs
Do cuddly kittens stay cuddly?
This depends on the kitten’s temperament. Some stay cuddly forever, others might be more independent but still require a few minutes of your attention.
Why is my kitten so cuddly in the morning?
Kittens and adult cats ask for love and attention — and food — first thing in the morning, making them extra cuddly.
What is the most affectionate cat breed?
People rank Burmese cats as the most affectionate, noting that they stay close to their pet parents most of the time, even following them from room to room for extra physical contact.
Cuddly Kitten Day Activities
Cuddle your kitten
Let's start with the obvious! Enjoy Cuddly Kitten Day by actually cuddling your fur babies. If you don't have a kitten of your own, ask to borrow a friend's or family member’s fur baby for a little therapeutic hug.
Share cuddles with shelter kittens
Don't forget about the kittens who have no one to cuddle them. Volunteer at animal shelters near you. Sometimes they need people to interact with and cuddle the kittens to prepare them for being adopted.
Share your cuddle buddy
If cuddles are having such a positive effect on you, why not share this feeling with others? If someone you know is feeling low, offer them your kitten to cuddle for a while, and watch them light up.
5 Purrfect Facts About Cats
They've got amazing hearing
They can hear up to 64 kHz, which is 1.6 octaves more than human hearing.
Their whiskers are more than just cute
Growing to a length to rival their bodies, whiskers are a sensory organ for cats, which they use to navigate, and even aid their vision.
Purring begins early
As kittens are born, they might not be able to walk, see, or meow but they can purr, which they do when they nurse.
Kittens develop very quickly at a very early age and they need huge amounts of sleep for that; they mainly sleep, nurse, snuggle, and repeat.
Why kittens snuggle
Kittens are not born with the ability to regulate their body temperature, at least during the first few weeks, which is why they need to cuddle up with their mum and siblings for warmth.
Why We Love Cuddly Kitten Day
Kittens deserve a special day
Need we say it? These guys are already warm, purring, snuggly, bundles of fur that look at us with such trust and adoration. Add a special 'cuddle' day to the list, and we are sold.
Animals need love too
Yes, this day is about kittens but go ahead and cuddle all the animals in your life (and maybe those in the local shelter too). They could use it and so could we.
Cuddling kittens is even good for health
According to studies, cuddling kittens (and other pets) releases Oxytocin in humans, which makes us feel warm and loved. Plus, cuddling is also known to reduce stress, anxiety, and blood pressure, and it helps you sleep better.
Cuddly Kitten Day dates