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Respect Your Cat Day

Extra respect and love should be given to your cat and all cats today in honor of Respect Your Cat Day. In order to be respected, the desires and needs of cats must be acknowledged, and for that to happen we humans must observe and listen to cats, and we must understand their body language, including their posture and vocalizations. We must make an effort to understand how they want to be treated, held, and handled, and we must understand their eating preferences and how they like to be petted. Respect Your Cat Day is also a great day for cats to have extra treats, pets, and snuggles, if that is to their liking.

It has been suggested that the roots of Respect Your Cat Day may go back to a March 28, 1834, edict from King Richard II of England which banned the eating of cats. At the time, English peasants reputedly called Richard "the royal cat" out of resentment, and had supposedly also been using their anger against him to kill and eat thousands of cats. But, they likely also ate them for a more practical reason: there were food shortages. Indeed, things were not good between Richard and the peasants, there even had been a peasants' revolt—aptly called the Peasants' Revolt—just a few years earlier. With the 1834 edict, Richard wanted people to respect cats—for one way to respect them is to not eat them. Those that were being eaten were likely outdoor community cats, not the domesticated cats of today. But in some countries, cats are still eaten, which gives them absolutely no respect. Respect Your Cat Day aims to respect cats by not only keeping them alive but making sure their feline lives are filled with fulfillment.

How to Observe Respect Your Cat Day

  • Brush your cat to keep their coat healthy and to keep matted hair and knots at bay. Cats with medium or long hair should be brushed daily.
  • Make sure to bathe your cat properly if they are in need of it.
  • Know the proper amount to feed your cat and what to feed them. It's dependent on factors like their lifestyle and metabolism.
  • Pet your cat in the way they like it. Usually, this means petting the head and neck region, not the belly, but respect however they like it!
  • Hold and pick up your cat properly. They generally like to be held close to a human's body, not far away from it. If your cat doesn't want to be held at all, respect that. Scruffing should be avoided except in case of emergency.
  • Trim your cat's claws. It's a good way to respect them, especially if they are indoor cats, where their claws may get stuck in the carpet and ripped off. Claws can also grow too long and curve into a cat's paw pad, causing infection.
  • Give cats toys. Small robotic toys, like a robotic mouse, food dispensing toys, and simple ones like balls all have their place. A feather-string toy can help cats utilize their hunter instincts. Learning a cat's prey preference can also help you decide which toys to buy.
  • Get a scratching post or mat. Scratching helps cats stretch their muscles and mark things with their scent.
  • Make sure your cat has a nice place to chill. Give them a window to look out of, and get them a cat condo, tree, or tower to climb.
  • Give your cat your attention and play with them.
  • Train your cat to use a litterbox, and make sure it is cleaned often and in a place they like, but one that is easy to get to yet not heavily trafficked.
  • Respect your cat by prioritizing their health. Check their veterinary records and make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations and checkups. Better yet, take them to the vet.
  • Show respect to your cat by learning their body language.
  • Let your cat sleep if they want to sleep. Make sure to learn about their sleep needs.
  • Don't crowd too many cats in a small area.
  • Care for feral cats.
  • If your cat likes going on walks, take them on a walk.
  • Pick up a book about cats so you can learn more about them and ways to better respect them.
  • Organize an event or party where friends can bring their cats together to celebrate the day.

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