What are some national cat holidays?

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First, it is important to note that there is no national organization monitoring the more than 5,000 community animal shelters in the United States. The terms “humane society” and “SPCA” are generic. Local shelters using those names are not part of the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States. Currently, no government institution or animal organization is responsible for tabulating national statistics for the animal protection movement.

Now that we have explained shelters, here is a listing of some national holidays associated with cats:

• National Cat Day is October 29 and was founded in 2005 by pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate Colleen Paige. The day is designed to help galvanize the public to recognize the number of cats who need to be rescued each year and also to encourage cat lovers to celebrate the cats in their lives for the unconditional love and companionship they bestow.

Approximately five million to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately three million to four million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.

Estimates reveal that there are approximately 4 million cats entering shelters every year with one to two million being euthanized. Often cats are overlooked and under-appreciated because they don’t usually have jobs like dogs. But cats still lower blood pressure, offer unconditional love and companionship and alert their owner of danger.

• National Take Your Cat to the Vet day, August 22: Even though cats outnumber dogs as the most popular pet, veterinarians aren’t seeing them as often as dogs. This day is a good reminder to make that long overdue appointment for your cat’s yearly wellness exam. According to an AVMA survey, cats don’t visit veterinarians as often as dogs. The average dog sees a veterinarian 1.5 times a year. Cats average less than once a year. And that’s especially bad news for cats because they can hide illness or pain, so millions don’t see a veterinarian until they’re profoundly ill. You know what they say about an ounce of prevention.

• February: National Cat Health Month, National Cat Dental Month. These are two feline holidays that focus on the health of cats.

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