Global Cat Day
Also known as
National Feral Cat Day (2001 to 2016)
annually on October 16th (since 2001)
Alley Cat Allies in 2001
Global Cat Day, which was known as National Feral Cat Day from 2001 through 2016, is a day when Alley Cat Allies launches an educational campaign around the world to protect the lives of cats in all communities—with a specific focus on the lives of outdoor cats. According to Alley Cat Allies, since feral cats can't adapt to indoor living after being wild, the best way to help them is to treat them with the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) process. When following this process, feral cats are first neutered or spayed, then they are vaccinated against rabies, next they are ear tipped so they can be identified, and then they are sent back to their outdoor home. Benefits of doing this include the stabilization of the feral cat population, the lessening of calls municipalities get about cats, and the reduction of the euthanization of cats at shelters—which is beneficial because less cats die, while money is also saved. TNR works in both urban and rural settings, and research speaks to its efficacy. By the end of 2016, over 5,000 events have taken place since the inception of the day.
How to Observe
Check in your community to see if there are Global Cat Day events in which you can participate. If you would like to organize or promote an event, Alley Cat Allies has compiled a booklet to give you some tips. The first and easiest thing you can do is take a pledge to be an ally of cats. Beyond that there are many ways you can help out. Some people volunteer at spay and neuter clinics, organize food drives, build insulated cat houses, and help vaccinate cats. You could check with a veterinarian in your community to see if they have any programs to help feral cats. Once you participate in the day, you will be more likely to be aware of the needs of feral cats throughout the whole year. You can learn more about the day here, and also read some additional resources about cats and the day.