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What is National Cat Day?
If you adore cats, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a holiday set aside to honor the special felines in your life and to celebrate all the love and companionship they provide. National Cat Day will take place on Oct. 29, and it’s the perfect time to pamper your pet, fellow cat enthusiasts or yourself with feline-friendly products. However, the holiday is also a time for recognizing the many cats that aren’t as fortunate.
National Cat Day was founded in 2005 by Colleen Paige, a lifestyle writer who set out to celebrate beloved pet cats while also putting a spotlight on the thousands still waiting to be rescued. In celebration of this year’s event, here are some facts, tips and must-have feline finds for any cat lover.
- Cats have been companion animals to humans since ancient times. Research suggests that cats first lived close to humans and primarily served as pest control before being domesticated as pets. Here are few more intriguing feline facts.
- Cats have been sharing our daily lives for a long time. It’s estimated that cats were first domesticated in Egypt between 10,000 and 12,000 years ago. Today there are more than 400 million pet cats worldwide and around 90 million pet cats in the United States.
- Cats’ whiskers help them navigate their surroundings. While face whiskers are the most obvious, cats also have object-sensing hairs throughout their bodies.
- Most cats experience a euphoric reaction to catnip. Purring, pawing, rolling and romping are common reactions. Catnip is a safe treat that many felines enjoy as much as their humans enjoy watching their reactions.
- There are a lot of cats in need of rescue. About 3.2 million cats end up in animal shelters each year. Spaying and neutering cats are vital to preventing unwanted litters of kittens.
- Pet cat ownership increased during the pandemic. A 2021 survey by the American Pet Products Association found that 14% of respondents got a new pet in the past year, many of whom chose to get a cat.
Tips and considerations before you adopt
Whether you already have a cat (or several) or you are planning to adopt your first one, there are important factors to consider so that your experience is positive and the adoption is successful.
Check your budget
Owning a cat is fulfilling, but it can also be costly. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average price is about $634 annually to cover a cat’s food, supplies and veterinarian care. This cost increases as a cat ages and becomes more susceptible to health problems.
Stock up with essentials
Purchase the items you’ll need in advance of adopting a cat or kitten. Cat food, treats, litter, toys and a pet bed will make your new addition feel at home. Selecting the right food can be tricky and depend on factors like your cat’s age, preference and needs.
Prepare your home
Cats are naturally curious, and kittens are especially mischievous. This sense of exploration can get cats into trouble, so it’s essential to cat-proof their new environment by removing potential hazards such as blind cords, household chemicals and some indoor plants. PetMD has a comprehensive list of precautions to take to keep your new pet safe.
Give your new pet time to adjust
It can take some time for a cat or kitten to feel comfortable in a new home. As a result, they may hide or show little interest in food at first. Confining your new kitty to one room with food and a litter box at first will help. When it’s time to introduce your cat to other pets and kids, do it slowly and provide supervision.
Adopt from a shelter or rescue
Many cats and kittens are available for adoption from shelters and rescues across the country. You can get started by reaching out to a shelter or rescue in your community.
The best products for those who love cats
The best cat toys
Entertain felines for hours with this toy’s encased ball and scratchpad designed to be sprinkled with catnip. The toy includes a pack of catnip to get you started.
Sold by Petsmart
Plush mice, balls and catnip-stuffed items — this variety pack of toys has 13 pieces in all that are sure to encourage cats to pounce and play.
Sold by Amazon
With a moving butterfly and rolling balls, this interactive toy captures cats’ attention and keeps them focused on playtime. The kit includes the track, two balls and two butterflies.
Sold by Amazon
The best cat food
Quality dry cat food that’s packed with essential nutrients and doesn’t contain artificial additives. It’s made from excellent protein sources and includes beneficial antioxidants.
In addition to having a flavor that most kittens can’t resist, this dry kitten kibble is small, easy to chew and made without artificial ingredients. This trusted brand gives pet parents peace of mind.
A good choice when it comes to feeding your cat wet food, as IAMS offers tempting flavors, has a grain-free recipe and comes in easy-to-use packets. It’s also rich in nutrients and protein that are vital to a cat’s diet.
Sold by Amazon
The best clothes for cat lovers
These cozy socks are made of a soft cotton blend material, feature adorable cat graphics and help benefit homeless felines. Each pair purchased generates a $1 donation to the nonprofit Best Friends Animal Society.
Sold by Uncommon Goods
Thundershirt for Cats works by providing gentle compression that helps to ease fearful felines. It’s easy to put on a cat, is adjustable and comes in a variety of sizes.
Not only do these slippers feature adorable cat graphics, but they also deliver excellent comfort thanks to the soft plushy material, easy slip-on style and supportive memory foam foot beds.
Sold by Macy’s
The best smart tech for cat owners
The WYZE pet cam is an affordable device for watching your pet when you are away. Clear night vision, 2-way audio and Alexa compatibility are all part of its unique set of features.
A reliable GPS tracker that accurately monitors pets that like to wander. The tracking device fits over most pet collars and has a long battery life per charge, making it ideal for adventurous felines.
Sold by Amazon
This intelligent pet feeder works with an app and your smartphone so you can schedule customized feedings. It also pairs with your favorite Echo smart device so Alexa can serve your pet when you aren’t at home.
The best cat-themed products for cat owners
A complete grass growing kit that includes organic seeds, soil and an attractive planter. The seeds produce edible grass that’s nutritious for cats and reduces hairballs while promoting healthy digestion.
Sold by Amazon
Customize this unique handmade necklace with your favorite cat’s likeness and name — simply submit your pet’s photo, select a finish option and add your personalization.
Sold by Etsy
This throw pairs soft fleece with a colorful cat print by artist Dean Russo, making it a perfect gift for any cat lover. It’s machine washable for easy care.
Sold by Amazon
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Jennifer Manfrin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.