National Cat Health Month – February 2020

February

This February is for the cats, and more specifically it’s for their health, so we call it National Cat Health Month. Every cat parent should spend the month with extra focus on their cat’s physical and emotional well-being, and educate themselves on signs of unhealthy behavior or illness. We love National Cat Health Month because it reminds us to give extra love to our sweet kitties and serves as a great way to celebrate our furry friends beyond just posting cat memes! 

History of National Cat Health Month

Our love for cats goes back a long way. The Ancient Egyptians were digging cats way before it was cool to post a selfie with a grumpy one on Instagram. In those days cats were used for social and religious practices and kept as pets. They even protected the Pharaoh and were praised for killing venomous snakes. Cats were so honored that they were mummified when buried, and Egyptian gods featured heads of cats. 

It’s thought that around 3000 years ago farm cats were brought to Europe by Greek traders and they were highly valued for pest control. When the Romans reached Britain, they brought cats, and when Vikings invaded and left Britain, they then took cats with them. Cats were going global. 

They’ve not always been valued though. Black cats were associated with witchcraft during the Middle Ages, and their reputation suffered some temporary damage around the time of the Black Death when people wrongly thought they may have something to do with the deadly plague.   By the 1600s cats’ reputation had been restored and they were welcome passengers aboard ships to keep the rats away.

Cats still flourish today in America. By 1993 they outnumbered dogs as the most popular house pets in the nation. They’ve been on a long journey over the years, and so the least we can do is spend each February checking up on their health, they’re among our best friends after all. 

National Cat Health Month timeline

1993

Victorious Under-cat

For the first time, cats outnumber dogs as housepets in the United States.

1492

Cats and the Black Death

Cats had already made their way to Europe by the 1300s and were popular housepets. However, their reputation was severely damaged as rulers at the time thought they were responsible for the Black Death and ordered them to be killed. It wasn’t until around 1600 that they became popular again.

7500 BC

The First Domestic Cats

In the Near East, cats were likely first domesticated around 7500 BC.

National Cat Health Month FAQs

When is National Cat Health Month celebrated?

Throughout February.

Are there other National Pet days?

Yes. National Pet Day falls on April 11, and National Dog Day is on August 26.

Where is National Cat Health Month observed?

The United States.

National Cat Health Month Activities

  1. Take your kitty in for a check-up

    How long has it been since Muffin has been to the vet? Sometimes, life gets busy and those checkups get pushed back. Use National Cat Health Month as the reason to prioritize your cat’s health - you have a whole month to get it done, and Muffins will certainly thank you.

  2. Spread the word on social media

    What better excuse to blanket social media with #NationalCatHealthMonth than posting a picture of your kitty? You were going to do it anyway, so use this opportunity to spread the word on National Cat Health Month to other cat owners.

  3. Get your cat a new toy

    A good pet owner knows that emotional health can be just as important as physical health for your kitty. Investing in a new toy can improve your cat’s mood, give them a bit of exercise, and even strengthen your bond. Cats deserve a little relaxation, too!

5 Cat Facts That Will Blow Your Mind

  1. Some Greens are Toxic

    Keep lilies, azaleas, mistletoe, holly, and more out of the house - they are all toxic to cats.

  2. Could Your Cat be Lactose-Intolerant?

    Surprisingly, milk isn’t always great for cats. If your cat is lactose-intolerant, they’ll get awful diarrhea from milk. They’ll also have a greater chance of obesity if they continue to be given milk.

  3. Make Sure She’s Happy

    Cats can, in fact, become depressed. Watch out for changes in vocalization, appetite, or any other abnormal behavior.

  4. Cats Often Hide Illnesses

    These tricky pets often hide when sick or injured - it’s a natural survival instinct. If you notice odd behavior or hiding, take your cat into the vet.

  5. Dangerous Declawing

    Declawing your cat is cruel and viewed as dangerous to their health and safety. Luckily, there are many other ways to get your cat to stop scratching - look around online or ask your vet.

Why We Love National Cat Health Month

  1. Cats are the easiest pets

    Cats rank as the top five easiest pets to care for. Besides a litter box, food, water, and love, they don’t need much else. Humans have loved cats throughout history for their strong sense of independence and ability to form bonds with us.

  2. It helps us improve as cat owners

    We could always use the extra push to give our cat a little more attention to help them live their best life. We love our furry friends, but if you’re not a veterinarian, this month is a helpful reminder to give our kitties regular checkups and be on the lookout for any signs that something is up!

  3. It’s an excuse to don cat merchandise

    Every cat owner has at least one cat sticker, hat, t-shirt, or pair of socks - and this is the time to wear your love for cats on your sleeve. What better time to celebrate our feline friends and raise awareness for their health than National Cat Health Month? We say, wear those cat-print shorts with pride.

National Cat Health Month dates

YearDateDay
2020February 1Saturday
2021February 1Monday
2022February 1Tuesday
2023February 1Wednesday
2024February 1Thursday