They say dogs are man’s best friend. That may be true, but it’s very likely cats are tied for first place in the informal and unscientific “Best Friend” category. Ever since Alley Cat Allies, a cat advocacy group, started what was then known as Feral Cat Day in 2011, people the world over have been inspired to share information and stories about our fuzzy feline friends. Global Cat Day, which takes place each October 16, is designed to remind us all that educating, engaging, and empowering people to defend and protect cats is the right thing to do.
Global Cat Day - History
Only the name changes
Alley Cat Allies rebranded Feral Cat Day as Global Cat Day. This change came about, according to Alley Cat Allies, because "it was time for our annual event to reflect what’s been true all along: We inspire and share information with cat advocates around the world."
The world has its first Feral Cat Day
The first Feral Cat Day (now known as Global Cat Day) got underway. Organized by Alley Cat Allies, the goal was to strengthen support for humane policies to protect cats worldwide.
Cats come indoors
It was only during the last century that cats began living inside. Up until then, they lived and bred almost entirely outdoors.
Cats and humans unite
Evidence of the close relationship between cats and humans goes back about 9,500 years. A Neolithic grave excavated in Cyprus contains the skeletons of both a human and a cat.
How to Observe Global Cat Day
1. Have your cat spayed or neutered
When it comes to cat advocacy, one of the best things we can do is to spay or neuter our cats and to encourage others to do the same. Not only does this reduce the number of so-called "nuisance" cats, it can also protect them from certain diseases and prevent them from wandering off to find a mate.
2. Spread the news
Alley Cat Allies, the advocacy group that started Global Cat Day, recommends that supporters sign their pledge and then share it with friends, family, and social media followers. That type of word-of-mouth advocacy is likely to reach the world's legislators, who can take positive action to protect cats.
3. Organize your own event
In honor of Global Cat Day, consider organizing your own event and then registering that event with Alley Cat Allies. You can host workshops, cat food drives, or any number of things to help the cause.
5 More Reasons We Can't Stop Purring About Our Cats
1. Egyptians loved their cats
The ancient Egyptians were so enamored of cats that they often worshipped them in life and mummified them in death — including dressing them in precious jewels.
2. Kitty on board
Cats were apparently aboard Christopher Columbus' ships as he set sail for the Americas.
3. That's a lot of cats
The worldwide cat population exceeds 500 million.
4. Cats can drink saltwater
Cat kidneys are able to filter out salt from water and use the desalinated water for hydration.
5. More popular than man's best friend
In North America, cats are the most popular pet. According to some estimates, there are 73 million cats in that region, compared to 63 million dogs.
Why Global Cat Day is Important
A. Cats are our best friends, too
Yeah, yeah — we know all about the old saying. But in reality, cats are just as trusting, loving and dependent on their humans as any good dog can be. Just ask anybody who has a cat.
B. Information is power
Global Cat Day can remind us that local laws and ordinances have profound impacts on how the local cat population is treated. Once people are armed with information on the often sad plight of the world's kitties, they may be more inclined to help out — and to speak out.
C. There's power in numbers
Alley Cat Allies, the originators of Global Cat Day, likes to say they're rallying people from around the world to take a simple pledge: "to speak up for the cats in their communities and show kindness for all catkind." The more people who take that pledge, the more protected the world's cats will be.