Cats. Their independent sprit may cause us to work slightly harder for their affections, but these little lovers are the light of our lives.
Research shows they lower blood pressure and by all accounts, their companionship is second to none.
Though we worship them every day, on Sunday, October 29th, we celebrate them officially. National Cat Day was created to bring awareness to the roughly 4 million cats a year who wait out their lives in shelters hoping to be adopted. For about half of them, their time may be short lived. Even if you have nine lives, euthanasia will claim all of them.
Whether you’re looking to adopt a little unconditional love or spoil the fur baby you already have, we put together some ideas to help you celebrate National Cat Day.
There’s no shortage of shelters in the Dallas area. Muenster works most closely with North Texas’ original and largest no-kill animal care and adoption center, Operation Kindness.
A few months ago, we caught up with their lead behavioral specialist to get some adoption tips to help welcome home a new pet. Here’s a recap of what the experts recommend.
- Keep things low key. Expect that your adopted cat may want to hide for a bit while she’s adjusting to her new surroundings.
- Outline expectations. Get a small water bottle to train your cat about the areas that are off limits and reward good behavior with all natural cat treats. Make sure you also clearly designate members of your family to feed, water and change the litter box.
- Get set up for success. Pre-purchase the necessities like food bowls, litter boxes and toys before you bring fluffy home. Set up a comfy bed in a quiet part of the house so she can adjust, gradually. This way the both of you can spend more time getting acquainted and less time setting up.
- Make introductions. If you have other animals in the house, slowly introduce the newest member of your family. Make sure to keep a close watch as unsupervised intros can end poorly. Don’t be surprised if it takes a few times before everyone is fully comfortable.
- Establish a feeding schedule. This one’s arguably the most important. Food changes are often the most difficult to stomach. If done too abruptly, it can cause diarrhea and digestive upset. To circumvent any food-related tummy troubles, gradually add your high quality cat food in with the feed provided by the shelter or foster home. After mixing for about 7 days, it should be safe to make a full switch.
Other Ways to Celebrate
Want to make the most of the day? Below are some ways you can take full advantage of National Cat Day.
- Contact a Dallas adoption shelter and set up an appointment with a placement specialist.
- Go through your closet and donate old blankets and towels to the local animal welfare organization of your choice. You can also buy new toys or food to gift as well.
- Get in touch with the volunteer coordinator at your local shelter. See what days and times they have available for slotting in volunteers. Offer to clean or simply spend time with the cats outside their cage.
- Be of assistance to elderly neighbors or family members who may have trouble cleaning the litter box or being active with their own cat.
- Purchase a new bed, toy or kitty condo for your fur baby.
- Find a place in the sun, preferably near a window, and create a little sanctuary.
- Get your cat a new collar and make sure your contact information is up to date on her tags.
- Teach your cat a new trick.
Even though they may be selective with their affections, once you experience them, cats have your whole heart. Keep in mind that of all their quirky particulars, what they eat is top of the list. If they’re not already on a balanced diet of high quality, all natural cat food, National Cat Day is the perfect time to make the switch!