You don’t need to be a cat person to see that the furry creatures have gone from mild household pets to viral phenomena in recent years.

The number of cat memes, emojis, celebrity cat photos and the success of Grumpy Cat have proven this point. There’s even currently an exhibit at a Queens museum dedicated to the Internet curiosity we have with felines.

But when social media was still in its infancy, on Oct. 29, 2005, an unofficial holiday was established to honor these domesticated animals — National Cat Day.

Last year with the help of social media, the day was trending No. 1 worldwide on Twitter, but the day is about more than a hashtag. It’s also about helping to save their lives.


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“Ten years ago when I founded this day, I never imagined that National Cat Day would have grown to save as many cats as it has and that it would become a worldwide trending holiday every October 29th, said pet and family lifestyle expert and founder of National Cat Day, Colleen Paige said in a statement. “ It just goes to show how much people love cats, how valuable they are and how they've become just as popular as dogs, in that they give the same unconditional love. I thank my sponsors and all the cat lovers in the world for making this day as successful as it has become in promoting adoption and saving, what we estimate to be, over a million cats globally in the last 10 years."

BLUE Naturally Fresh Cat Litter and Petco, which are sponsoring the day, are offering a 20 percent discount on all Blue Buffalo cat products on Thursday at all Petco stores across the country.

There are also two photo contests through Thursday, one, the “Search for the Most Lovable Shelter Cat” for shelters and rescues to enter photos of adoptable cats with a prize of 1,500 pounds of BLUE Naturally Fresh Cat Litter. The second, “Most Cuddly Cat,” is for cat parents to submit photos of their cat in a cuddly moment with a grand prize of a year’s supply of BLUE Naturally Fresh Cat Litter. There will also be second and third place winners who will receive six months and three months of litter, respectively.

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Post as many photos as you like for the contests on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #LoveableShelterCats and #BLUENaturallyFresh, or #NationalCatDay for both contests, to qualify for a chance to win. You may also post photos directly to the National Cat Day Facebook page.

In addition to taking numerous pictures of your favorite feline, there are other ways you can celebrate the day, according to the official National Cat Day website:

  • Adopt a cat from your local shelter or cat rescue.
  • Donate blankets, food and toys to animal welfare organizations.
  • Volunteer at your local shelter and offer to play with some cats available for adoption, clean cages and litter boxes or anything else they need help with.
  • Write your Congressman and ask that he/she support the ban of kitten mills and gas chambers in your state.
  • Buy your cat a fun new toy, such as a condo, bed or treats.
  • Give your cat a calming massage.
  • Have a National Cat Day party and invite all your friends and their cats.
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