If the internet is any judge, everyone loves a cat, well… Unless it’s a stray cat, at which point the tropes involve more back-alley caterwauling and boots being thrown at yowling cats on fences. National Feral Cat Day is here to remind us of our love of the furry-little devils, and how every stray cat has within them a loving cuddle-able furball looking for a foreverhome.
History of National Feral Cat Day
To talk about the history of National Feral Cat Day one must first discuss the history of the cat. In the grand scheme of things cats have been domesticated nearly as long as dogs, and have been living alongside us for over 10,000 years. There isn’t a place in the world that one can’t find cats in homes, and colonies of cats living in every nook and cranny of human cities. It’s no surprise either, we generate a lot of waste, and by extension attract a lot of vermin, vermin which these natural predators love to chase, catch, and eat.
In August of 2001, Alley Cat Allies celebrated their 10th anniversary, and launched the first annual National Feral Cat Day to promote raising awareness about feral cat colonies and how to care for, and prevent them. Alley Cat Allies is a strong supporter of the ‘Trap-Neuter-Return’ policy, where stray cats are captured and brought in to local volunteer veterinarians to be neutered and returned to the streets. This allows the cats to live out their lives on the streets, without creating more kittens to perpetuate the problem.
How to celebrate National Feral Cat Day
National Feral Cat Day is best celebrated by alerting people the various issues facing stray cats. Most cities currently catch and impound cats in shelters, briefly attempting to get them adopted before ultimately euthanizing them. Instead you can educate others about organizations like Alley Cat Allies, and the Trap-Neuter-Return policy that saves the cats lives while preventing future generations.
You can also begin participating in a stray cat capture program, organizing with a local group to create a Trap-neuter-Return effort of your very own.
An easily overlooked but incredibly effective method of celebrating is nothing more than getting your own cats neutered to ensure that unwanted kittens will not be born into the world. You too can take part in ensuring that society changes the way it thinks about stray cats, and help to create compassionate communities for house cats and stray cats alike.
Please note – National Feral Cat Day has become Alley Cat Allies’ Global Cat Day. This is a permanent change that will also be in effect for Oct. 16, 2018 and for every year thereafter.