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WedOct 16

National Feral Cat Day – October 16, 2024

What is National Feral Cat Day?

October 16 is National Feral Cat Day, so start practicing your alley cat strut and get your feline friends together. This is a day to celebrate cats of all stripes, no matter where they call home. Feral cats have been stigmatized the world over, but thanks to this holiday, we can change how we see these lovable nomads. 

National Feral Cat Day Related Holidays

Happy Mew Year for Cats Day

January 2 is Happy Mew Year for Cats Day! We know you spoil your cats every day, but use this day as an excuse to give your kitty friend an extra pile of catnip. Don’t have a cat? Go down to the shelter and adopt one of your own! This is a day to spread love to all of the cats in your life, and the ones who are yet to join.

National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day

“Meow? “Merrp.” If this is what a conversation with your cat looks like, then you’re ready for National Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day on January 22. Cats love to ask us questions like “Why is there no food in my bowl?” and “Why aren’t you petting me and not petting me at the same time?” Take a moment to indulge in your kitty’s specific queries as best as you can.

Hey cat lovers, August 8 is International Cat Day! This day was created back in 2002 by The International Fund for Animal Welfare in order to raise awareness about cats and proper ways to help and protect them. Celebrate this day by volunteering at an animal shelter, donating to a cat charity, or even visiting a cat cafe!

History of National Feral Cat Day

The expansion of cats throughout the world is thought to have originated in Egypt. Traders and monks brought them to Europe and Asia to help control rat populations. Eventually, Roman armies brought them to Britain, and ever since cats continued to be introduced to new countries via sailors or settlers.  
Though not traditionally considered pack animals, feral cats sometimes live in groups called colonies. These colonies don’t have an official system of dominance, but they have been observed to display different methods of hierarchies such as despotic, linear, and relative. There are also managed colonies, in which a human provides food, water, shelter, and health care for the cats. 
Human leaders of cat colonies might also find potential foster homes, implement trap-neuter-return initiatives, and socialize the cats to get them ready for adoption. However, roughly half of the 146 million cats in the United States are feral or unowned. Considering nearly 70,000 kittens and puppies are born every day, there will never actually be enough homes to take in the number of feral cats. Though these apex predators are extremely adorable, they are actually considered harmful to the environment. In fact, conservation biologist say they are one of the worst invasive species on the planet. Which is why managed colonies implementing trap-and-neuter initiatives are so important, as they take on multiple cats at once: helping control the feral population as best as they can while keeping our furry neighbors healthy.

National Feral Cat Day timeline

2,000 BC
The Rise of Cats

Cats, thought to have been domesticated in Egypt, begin spreading around the known world, forming feral populations known as colonies.

300 BC
Rise of the Roman (Cat) Empire

The Romans continue to spread cats around Europe through their conquests expanding the population even more.

Sea Cats

Feral cats are introduced to all corners of the world during imperial sailing missions by several countries.

Cat Friends

Alley Cat Allies forms to develop solutions to the world's feral cat problem.

National Feral Cat Day FAQs

Can feral cats be domesticated?

With enough patience, adult feral cats can be tamed and domesticated. However, feral kittens can be easily tamed if they’re captured at a young enough age.

Do feral cats attack humans?

It’s very rare for a feral cat to attack humans. As a timid group, feral cats mostly avoid human contact. 

What makes a cat feral?

Feral cats are usually the result of a domesticated cat getting lost or being abandoned. The offspring of these cats might have minimal to no human interaction, and as a result will avoid humans as much as possible. 

National Feral Cat Day Activities

  1. Take part in a Trap-Neuter-Return effort

    Anyone can make a big difference by taking part in a Trap-Neuter-Return effort. This entails humanely trapping a feral cat in a boxtrap, taking it to a vet to be spayed or neutered, then letting it go in its wild home. This keeps the cat safe, but is also an investment in the future to ensure the feral cat population remains contained.

  2. Adopt a cat

    TNR is a great method for controlling pet populations, but if adoption is a possible method for you, this is also an instrumental way to make a difference in the lives of feral cats. On October 16, there will be several shelters hosting adopt-a-thons, so find one near you and bring home a new member of the family.

  3. Volunteer with Alley Cat Allies

    Alley Cat Allies, which formed in 1990, has done amazing work to spread awareness about this problem and develop solutions for it. Through the organization you can help hold spay/neuter clinics and food/supply drives, encourage official governmental proclamations regarding TNR policies, and more.

Why We Love National Feral Cat Day

  1. It raises awareness of a serious problem

    For many, feral cats are simply seen as a part of the community, and there’s not much we can do to improve their lives. However, what many don’t realize is that feral cats have an average of 1.4 litters each year, with an average of 3.5 kittens in each litter. That adds up to 420,000 kittens over seven years.

  2. It introduces a novel idea

    For many, the best way to control the feral cat population and prevent euthanization is a strategy called trap-neuter-return, or TNR. This method, as opposed to adoption, makes it easy for anyone to do their part to control the pet population.

  3. It saves cats’ lives

    Every year, nearly nine million dogs and cats are put down because the shelters can’t find a home for them. By lowering the number of strays that are put in shelters in the first place, we can drastically cut back the number of animals that must be euthanized.

National Feral Cat Day dates

2024October 16Wednesday
2025October 16Thursday
2026October 16Friday
2027October 16Saturday
2028October 16Monday

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