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International Cat Day 2021: 7 ways to celebrate

International Cat Day: Black and white cat looking over top of couch
(Image credit: Getty Images)

International Cat Day (also known as World Cat Day) is almost here and it’s the purrfect way to both show your kitty some love and to support organizations around the globe who are doing their bit to help and protect one of our favorite furkids.

Cats have been our companions for close to 10,000 years and they’ve officially overtaken dogs as the most popular pet in the world - if that’s not a reason to celebrate, we don’t know what is! 

A whole day devoted to cats sounds like our idea of heaven, so what better way to honor our feline friends than by taking 24 hours out of our year to commemorate the special bond we share with them.

And if you’re not sure how exactly do go about doing that, don’t worry, because we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find everything you need to know about International Cat Day, including our top tips on how you can celebrate, both on the day and beyond. 

What is International Cat Day?

International Cat Day is a full 24 hours where we get to honor and celebrate one of our oldest and most beloved pets. Created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, this will be the 19th year since the day first launched back in 2002 as a way to raise awareness about our feline friends and the many ways we can help and protect them.

Since 2020, International Cat Care (iCatCare) has become the official custodian for International Cat Day, and over the past year they’ve been working hard to coordinate work internationally that will improve the lives of the 500 million cats around the globe. They’re also keen promoters of evidence-based research on how we can all work together to improve the mental and physical wellbeing of our feline furkids. 

The best part about International Cat Day is you don’t have to have a purebred cat to take part - just like us, iCatCare recognizes that every single one of our feline friends is special, so whether you have a Ragdoll or a rescue cat, we encourage you to use International Cat Day as a way to spoil your fur baby and show them some love.

This year, the theme for International Cat Day is "Be Cat Curious: Training for Cats and their Humans" - head on over to the iCatCare website to sign up for free online training events.

What day is International Cat Day?

International Cat Day is observed annually on the 8th of August. In 2021 the celebrations will take place on Sunday 8th of August.

How can you celebrate on International Cat Day and beyond?

Not that you need an excuse, but International Cat Day is the perfect opportunity to take some time out to connect with your favorite furry friend and to help advocate for their wellbeing and safety.

Here are some of the best ways you can get involved in commemorating and celebrate the special bond between humans and kitties. 

1. Adopt a rescue cat

Whether you’re adopting a kitten or looking to provide a warm and safe home for a senior feline in need of some extra love, International Cat Day is the purrfect opportunity to add to your family.

And while the local pet shop might seem like the best place to head to, with so many cats currently residing in shelters, we’re huge advocates of making a beeline for your local rescue shelter.

Have a chat with one of the shelter staff to ensure your soon-to-be new kitty has been vaccinated and had a health checkup and if you want more in-depth information, consider investing in a pet DNA test, which will help you learn more about your furkid’s genetic makeup.

2. Bake up a storm

Whether you’re simply wanting to spoil your feline friend or fundraise for you local rescue shelter, spending the day whipping up some DIY cat treats can be a great way to say ‘I love you’.

Baking not your thing? No worries, why not get crafty instead and treat your furkid to a new DIY cat bed instead. 

3. Get your hashtag on

If you love snapping picks of you and your furkid, make sure to share them on social media using #InternationalCatDay or #BeCatCurious in honor of this year’s theme - Training for Cats and their Humans.

iCatCare are especially keen to hear how you’ve gone about building trust with your kitty and the techniques you’ve used to positively train them to go into a cat carrier.

4. Attend a free virtual training event

And speaking of training, why not sign up on the iCatCare website to attend one of their free events? Sessions include:

  • Ask the Trainer
  • Curious Cat Carriers
  • Age Matters
  • The Purrfect Environment for Older Cats
  • Keeping Cats Curious: Puzzle-Feeder Training

There’s also podcast episode and free short training videos up for grabs.

5. Volunteer at your local shelter

Animal shelters are always looking for volunteers to help them clean cages, feed cats, process adoptions, or just spend some time providing all the felines-in-residence with some mental and physical stimulation. 

Not only will you be helping a team that is often stretched thin due to budgetary constraints, if you don’t have a cat it’s also a great excuse to get in some cuddles and quality fur baby time! 

6. Spoil your feline friend with a new toy

Treating your kitty to one of the best cat toys is bound to get them purring up a a storm and with so many different kinds to choose from, there’s something to suit even the fussiest feline. Why not challenge your cat by giving them a puzzle feeder to play with or you could get them energized and excited with an unpredictable laser toy

7. Kick fleas to the curb

One of the most important parts of being a pet parent is ensuring your kitty stays flea-free. Whether it’s fitting them with one of the best flea collars for cats or applying a topical flea treatment, choosing a form of parasite-prevention and keeping on top of it will make sure your furkid stays happy and healthy.

Is International Cat Day the same as National Cat Day?

International Cat Day is also referred to as World Cat Day in some countries, but it’s not to be confused with National Cat Day, a separate event that takes place in North America on the 29th of October. 

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer with a passion for creating health and wellness, travel and wildlife content. Originally from New Zealand, her nomadic lifestyle has her currently fur baby-less. She scratches her pet parent itch by stealing frequent cuddles with any neighbourhood cat kind enough to indulge her.