Global Cat Day – October 16, 2022, history, significance

Global Cat Day – October 16, 2022, history, significance

Global Cat Day, which takes place October 16, reminds us that educating, engaging, and empowering people to defend and protect cats is the right thing to do. They say dogs are man’s best friend. Perhaps, but it’s very likely cats are tied for first place in the informal and unscientific “Best Friend” category.

History of Global Cat Day

Today, domesticated cats continue to bring joy to many families as pets and friends, and Global Cat Day is here to honor these companions. Though their personalities can be a bit snobbish at times, there’s something quite soothing about having a cat curl up on your lap and fall asleep!

But when cats are not well cared for and become stray, problems can be created with overbreeding and their habitat becomes unhealthy and unsafe. Feral cats live in unhygienic conditions and can cause problems such as spreading disease to humans, livestock and wildlife in cities, suburbs and farms.

Some researchers estimate that, in the United States alone, there are approximately 60-100 million feral cats living on the streets. And these cats keep breeding more cats, in a very quick manner. As defenseless creatures, cats need humans to help protect them and work to stop overpopulation and disease.

Initiated by Alley Cat Allies, National Feral Cat Day was founded in 2001 to raise awareness for the problem of feral cats and promote the solution of more neuter and release programs. Eventually evolving into Global Cat Day in 2017, the day continues to have the same purpose: protect these creatures who can’t protect themselves.


7500 BC
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.

Cats come indoors
Cats roam U.S. neighborhoods freely — before the invention of and marketing of clay litter. However it wasn’t until the 1960s that litter boxes really caught on. After that, we grew to love them as indoor pets, but their outdoor survival skills still remain.

The original cat ladies
Becky Robinson and a friend discover an alley with 56 feral cats in the Washington, DC neighborhood of Adams Morgan. With the help of the cats’ caregivers, they humanely trapped the cats, had them neutered, and returned them to their outdoor homes. Later, out of concern for cats routinely killed by animal control agencies and shelters, Robinson begins Alley Cat Allies.

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 go viral
The number of cat videos on YouTube tops 2 million — with the average views hovering around 12,000. — higher than any other category of YouTube content. Cats make up 16% of views in YouTube’s “Pets & Animals” category, compared to dogs’ 23%

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.”


Have your cat spayed or neutered
When it comes to cat advocacy Bob Barker was right, 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.

Spread the news
Alley Cat Allies 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.

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.


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.

Kitty on board
Cats were apparently aboard Christopher Columbus’ ships as he set sail for the Americas.

That’s a lot of cats
The worldwide cat population exceeds 500 million.

Cats can drink saltwater
Cat kidneys are able to filter out salt from water and use the desalinated water for hydration.

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.


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.

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.

There’s power in numbers
Alley Cat Allies would like people from around the world to take a simple vow — “to speak up for the cats in their communities and show kindness for all of catkind.” The more people who take that pledge, the more protected the world’s cats will be.

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