Oh, how we love our friendly, furry, kitty companions. In fact, we love them even if they’re not that furry — or friendly for that matter! And since we’re responsible for their health and wellbeing (they can’t very well make an appointment to see the vet on their own), we’re glad to have National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day as a reminder.
Take a look at the info we’ve compiled to get the most out of this holiday, which occurs each year on August 22. From insightful and interesting tidbits on feline anatomy and history — to some choice gifts you can score in honor of our beloved cats, we’ve got what you need to know. Let’s have a look right meow — ahem, right now!
National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day - History
Veterinary education came to the U.S.
The Iowa Agricultural College (now Iowa State University) became the first land-grant institution of higher learning in the United States to establish a veterinary school.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons was established
The United Kingdom's Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons still exists to this day. It is tasked with regulating veterinary surgeons and monitoring standards.
The first veterinary school was founded
Claude Bourgelat observed that French herds were increasingly being destroyed by the cattle plague. He gave up a law career and opened a veterinary college in Lyon, France.
The first veterinarians began practicing
Archaeological evidence indicates that veterinary procedures were being performed as far back as the Neolithic period (circa 3400-3000 BC). Coincidentally, that's the same time period cats became domesticated.
Cat domestication got underway
Legend tells us that cats domesticated themselves. That is to say, they abandoned their wild behavior in order to be tolerated by humans. (Catching all those mice rooting around in the grain didn't hurt, either.) Most experts believe that initial feline domestication occurred during the Neolithic period, right around 9,500 years ago.
National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day Activities
1. Spay or neuter your kitty
These procedures not only keep the feline population in check, they also help ensure your kitty's life will be a long and healthy one. Cats that are spayed or neutered are less likely to wander away from home. Furthermore, spaying your cat means she's less likely to develop uterine infections or breast tumors. And neutering your tom protects him from testicular cancer and prostate problems.
2. Have a microchip implanted
This simple procedure provides cat owners with a little peace of mind. Microchips are mini-transponders, typically the size of a grain of rice. Your vet implants one in your kitty's skin, usually near the shoulder blades. No anesthesia is required, and the implant should last the rest of your cat's life.
3. Make regular vet appointments.
It's easy to acknowledge that your pet needs a trip to the vet. But sometimes even important things get forgotten. That's why you should make regular vet appointments for your cat. You'll feel better, and your cat will get the care it deserves.
5 Unbelievable Facts About Cats
1. They sleep — a lot
Cats spend between 12 and 16 hours a day sleeping.
2. Longest cat ever
According to Guinness World Records, the longest domestic cat ever was a Maine Coon that measured 48.5 inches long.
3. Purring has multiple meanings.
Cats purr when they're content, but also when they're feeling stressed.
4. There's no place like home.
In 2013, a cat found its way home to Florida, traveling 200 miles after being lost for two months.
Why We Love National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day
A. They make us happy; we keep them healthy
Cats are one of the world's most popular pets — and have been for many thousands of years. We take them to the vet once a year (at least) to make sure they're healthy.
B. Cats have 1 life (not 9)
Kitty's acrobatics, ability to escape, and the old saying that they have nine lives may make our feline companions seem invincible. But they're not. They need us — and the vet — to take care of them.
C. Doc knows best
Our veterinarians can keep us informed about what treatments our cats need and which shots they need next.