Oh boy, do some Americans love their cats, and the numbers are growing. Between 74 and 96 million cats are "owned" in the United States and we hope that number continues to grow.
Cat lovers spend millions upon millions of dollars on their beloved felines every year. National Cat Day was designated as the official day to celebrate this love, passion and obsession for cats. Pet and family lifestyle expert Colleen Paige originated this day to shed light on this special bond and bring attention to cats in need.
This day is extra special to me and other cat advocates because we know too well that cats are the forgotten ones in our society. For over a thousand years, cats have been discarded, mistreated and were the scapegoats for humans to blame everything on. It's about time this changed.
In California shelters, the average live-release rate is less than 29 percent. That means that 71 percent of cats do not leave the shelters alive. Many of these cats who do not leave the shelters alive are kittens under eight weeks of age. This is when most kittens are considered un-weaned. Yes, your beautiful, fluffy, sweet purr bunnies are killed due to no fault of their own. That's a crime if you ask me, and sadly, a majority of the public is not aware of this.
This all needs to change. Celebrating cats is important, however the message behind this special day is even more important. This National Cat Day must translate into saving lives; people opening up their homes and wallets to help cats. Today, and every day, more cats need to be adopted from shelters or rescue groups, more cats need spay/neuter, more cats need a kind person to feed them and take them in when they see a hungry stray. We can all be obsessed with their beauty and "cuteness," however we have to take that obsession a step further and put ourselves into action to change the course for shelter and community cats.
On National Cat Day, Stray Cat Alliance will be feeding, sterilizing, adopting out, and helping with community cat concerns and much more. What can you do to help cats you may ask? Cats need you. Right now, they are sitting in your local shelter, waiting for you. They are scared, hungry, confused and in danger. And there's probably a colony of community cats who need T/N/R (trap/neuter/return), food, shelter and more.
Kind, giving, warm-hearted people are needed to take action and do something. Is that you? Put your money to good use to save a life this National Cat Day. If you visit your local shelter, foster, or volunteer with a rescue group, it all adds up to making an impact and saving a life. Imagine if everyone in the U.S. did something kind for cats on National Cat Day. What a compassionate world it would be!