By Kim Rain
Published: 10/15/2020, edited: 09/11/2023
October 29th is National Cat Day, and for many, that means spoiling your fluffy feline rotten! Founded in 2005 to help raise awareness on the number of shelter cats that go homeless each year, National Cat Day has become a time to celebrate all our cats and kittens who make life so much sweeter.
Cats do so much for us. These loving companions are always there with a purr and a cuddle to let us know how important we are to them. And spending time with a cat can help us ease depression, loneliness and anxiety. A 2019 study showed that interacting with cats helped college students decrease their cortisol levels, the hormone that creates stressful feelings.
So, show your love and affection to man’s other best friend by making this day special for the cats in your life. Here are some of the ways you can celebrate National Cat Day with your favorite furbaby!
If your home has seen its fair share of cat toys abandoned in the corner or knocked under the couch, it may be time for something new. Get your cat excited to play with an automatic laser pointer, or a puzzle game to engage their senses. If your kitty loves catnip, try out some catnip bubbles to really get them moving. Or play hide and seek with your cat by crouching behind furniture or hiding in dark corners for your feline to find you. Be sure to give lots of cuddles when they do!
And you know how cats love cardboard boxes? Get creative and build them a hidey space, connect several together for caves and tunnels, or add windows and doors to create a kitty clubhouse.
It seems like cats spend many of their waking hours grooming, so give them a break and do the work for them! Brushing your cat not only gets out mats and reduces furball surprises on your carpet, but it’s also a good way to bond with your furry feline. Mothers constantly groom their kittens, and companion cats spend a lot of time grooming each other, so brushing and cleaning your kitty helps to reinforce that you are part of their family. Add in a massage from their head and to their tail, and you’ll have a purring beast in no time!
While your cat probably gets their fill of pre-made treats from the pet store, make this day special by cooking up some homemade bites that are simply scrumptious! Use ingredients cats love, such as chicken, tuna, or salmon, and add in some plain yogurt, cheddar or catnip to make them extra yummy.
You can also find unique ways to give treats, such as inside puzzle games. Incorporate treats into playtime by using them as rewards, or in toys that spill out treats as they get played with. Give your furry explorer a treasure hunt by planting treats around the house for them to find!
Cats sleep A LOT. In a single day, your cat could snooze through 12 to 20 hours, which is a ton of naptime! Make your cat’s resting moments great by giving them extra comfy places to catch some ZZZs. Provide your cat with a new bed or pillow to curl up on. Scattering several around the house can give your kitty variety, and for territorial aggressive cats, having their own places to relax can ease their anxiety.
For kitties who like to keep an eye on the house would love a spot on an elevated perch, while others may like to snuggle in a cave. You can purchase several cat beds and enclosures that they can hide in, or you can make one with a box, paper bag, or construct a hand-made fort.
If you’ve got a kitty who loves to gnaw on your houseplants, give them something better to taste! Planting a cat garden indoors full of cat-safe greens gives them what they crave, while saving your plants and a possible trip to the vet. Catnip is an obvious choice for many kitties, but grasses like barley, oats, rye, and wheat provide the texture they love, and vitamins and roughage to help keep them healthy.
While most cats will take over your couches, chairs and beds, having their own can be comforting and save you from replacing clawed-up upholstery. Cat trees are pawtastic for play and sleeping and feed into cats’ innate need to hide up in a tree. Providing a window perch can give your cat hours of entertainment, especially if you place bird feeders in their view. But for the truly spoiled feline who knows they deserve the best, a kitty couch is the ultimate in lounging comfort or a catio is the tip top of outdoor splendor!
Another trick for saving your furniture is to provide plenty of designated scratching posts for your kitty to claw. Scratching is a natural instinct, as cats in the wild use the scent in their claws to mark their territory on trees and other outdoor objects. Buy several types of scratching posts and pads, and scatter them around the house to feed that instinct safely. And if you have a cat who won’t stay off your keyboard, you can even get them a laptop scratching pad of their very own!
Spruce up your cat’s mealtime by buying a new food dish in a cute shape or design. Spoil your kitty even more by buying an elevated one, or a platform to put it on that helps reduce the pressure on your cat’s joints by allowing them to eat at shoulder level.
But the ultimate in cat extravagance is an automatic, refilling water fountain. Some cats just don’t drink enough water. Having fresh, moving water attracts cats and encourages them to drink more, keeping them hydrated.
If you and your kitty companion are social, or you are currently in need of a four-pawed furriend, consider adopting a shelter cat on National Cat Day. Of the 3.2 million cats that are housed in U.S. animal shelters each year, only 1.6 million of them find furever homes. That’s a lot of kitties that need some love!
But if your home can’t house another critter, you can still help those in need by donating your time or supplies to a local animal shelter or rescue group. Remember that cat bed your kitty just wouldn’t sleep in? Or those cans of food they didn’t like? Many organizations would love new or barely used beds, blankets and toys, or unexpired foods to help their cats until they find their home. And if you are crafty, DIY some fun and cozy supplies that just may make that cat's stay better.
While all of the things on this list are furbulous ways to show your cat just how much they mean to you, nothing is as special as time together. Cuddling with your kitty strengthens your bond and can help you both feel safe and loved. You’ll know you have a furry best friend for life when the purring starts.
Happy National Cat Day! 🐾
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