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Meow Celebrations: Cat Day in Italy

Cat Day in Italy

On the 17th of February, Italy observes its official National Cat Day, just three days following Valentine’s Day.

Established in 1990, this day is dedicated to honouring our beloved and enchanting feline companions.

Cat Day in Italy provides an additional occasion for indulging and cherishing our small yet extraordinary life partners.

But what prompted the introduction of National Cat Day, and why specifically on the 17th of February? Let’s dive in!

What is National Cat Day?

Cat Day in Italy

National Cat Day in Italy on February 17th, known as “Giornata Nazionale del Gatto” in Italian, is a special day dedicated to celebrating and honouring our feline friends.

It’s a time to recognize the significance of cats in our lives and to advocate for their well-being.

On this day, cat lovers throughout Italy come together to pamper their furry companions and raise awareness about important issues such as adoption, responsible pet ownership, and animal welfare.

It’s a perfect occasion to show our love and appreciation for these wonderful creatures!

Why has National Cat Day been set for 17th February?

Cat Day in Italy

Ms Del Col provided compelling reasons to designate February 17th as National Cat Day, offering a unique perspective on why this date holds significance for feline enthusiasts.

She pointed out that February, represented by the zodiac sign Aquarius, symbolizes a free-spirited and unconventional nature, mirroring the independent and unpredictable behaviour of cats.

Additionally, the number 17 has historically been associated with superstitions and bad luck, much like the negative stereotypes once attached to cats.

However, Ms Del Col cleverly reframed this notion by highlighting the symbolism behind the Roman numeral XVII, which translates to “I lived” and “I died.”

In contrast to this belief, cats are known for their resilience and ability to thrive, seemingly living multiple lives like the numerical representation of 17 suggests.

Regardless of the origins, February 17th now stands as National Cat Day, serving as an opportunity to honour and celebrate our beloved feline companions.

It’s also a valuable occasion to raise awareness about the importance of protecting and respecting cats every day.

Fun Ways to Celebrate National Cat Day

Cat Day in Italy

Here are five fantastic ways to show your appreciation for your furry companions, whether you’re considering adopting your first cat or want to pamper your existing feline friends even more.

Adopt, Adopt, & Adopt

Celebrating National Cat Day by adopting a shelter cat is perhaps the most meaningful way to honour the occasion!

Did you know that over 6 million animals enter shelters each year, with more than half of them being cats?

While around 100,000 cats are reunited with their owners, millions are still in need of loving homes.

Unfortunately, nearly a million shelter animals are euthanized annually, including over half a million cats.

Thankfully, shelter populations and euthanasia rates have been decreasing since around 2011, partly due to events like National Cat Day that raise awareness for shelter animals.

Donation is Must

If you’re unable to adopt a cat right now, there are still plenty of ways to support shelter cats in need!

One impactful way is by donating pet supplies to your local shelters and rescues.

While most shelters welcome donations, it’s a good idea to check in advance to see which items are currently needed most.

Many shelters even have Wishlists on their websites that they regularly update with their specific needs.

In addition to cat food and monetary contributions, here are some essential supplies to consider donating:

Cat Day in Italy

Volunteer is key

Volunteering at your local animal shelter is another incredibly impactful way to make a difference in the lives of shelter cats.

If you’re unable to donate directly due to financial constraints, volunteering offers a valuable opportunity to contribute without spending money.

Volunteers are often needed to assist with various tasks such as cleaning, feeding, grooming, and administrative duties like intake and adoption paperwork.

If you’re interested in volunteering, reach out to your local shelter directly or visit their website and social media pages for more information.

Many shelters have a simple application process for prospective volunteers to fill out, allowing staff to assess availability, skills, and preferences for volunteer tasks.

Additionally, some shelters may conduct brief interviews to better understand your motivations and interests in volunteering.

Do Something Special for Your Cat

On National Cat Day, why not treat your furry friend to something special?

While the day is dedicated to helping shelter cats, it’s also an excellent opportunity to show appreciation for your beloved pet.

Here are some ideas to celebrate with your cat:

  1. Treat them to a special snack or meal
  2. Surprise them with a new toy, either store-bought or homemade
  3. Pamper them with extra grooming, like brushing their fur or cleaning their teeth
  4. Dedicate quality time for cuddles and play at home
  5. Upgrade their litter box for added comfort
  6. Teach them a new trick or skill
  7. Take them for a walk outside if they’re leash-trained
  8. Explore the outdoors together in a cat-safe stroller or backpack
  9. Set up a fun obstacle course with treats as rewards
  10. Invest in a new scratching post to keep them entertained and healthy

Raise Awareness for Shelter Cats

Spread the word about National Cat Day and help raise awareness for shelter cats!

Share information about the event with friends, family, and followers on social media.

Consider posting facts about shelter cat statistics and how people can help, along with details about National Cat Day’s significance and origins.

You can also get creative by putting up signs or distributing flyers (with proper permission) in your community.

Additionally, support local shelters by promoting their upcoming events and fundraisers to encourage participation and donations.


National Cat Day is more than just a day to celebrate our furry feline friends; it’s a reminder of the importance of adoption, responsible pet ownership, and animal welfare.

As we honour our beloved cats on this special day, let’s also consider the millions of shelter cats in need of loving homes.

By adopting, volunteering, donating, and raising awareness, we can make a positive impact on the lives of shelter cats everywhere.

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