Cats have been our companions for at least 9,500 years and are adored by many people all over the world. They are self-sufficient, inquisitive, adventurous and one of the coolest beings on the planet.
IFAW, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, organised the first International Cat Day celebrations in 2002. Along with other animal rights organisations, this was declared to be the day to honour, appreciate, raise awareness and learn about ways to help and protect one of the most popular pets on the planet - the cats.
The Ancient Egyptian Civilization's culture contained the first historical human record of cats. We all seem to associate cats with Egyptians because of their veneration and worship of cats as gods. During the First Dynasty, Mafdet was the first known cat deity and was regarded as the protector against snakes, scorpions, and evil, so cats were not only deities, but also protectors.
After the Egyptian Dynasty fell, cats became popular all over the world! Cats were originally owned by rich and wealthy people in the East and were used as pest control by the Greeks and Romans. However, during the Middle Ages in Europe, cats became associated with superstition and suspected of carrying the disease during the Black Death of 1348, which is why too many cats were killed at the time, and it wasn't until the 1600s that cats' reputation began to improve.
Cats were part of the cargo on the colonisation ships in America to reduce vermin and disease, so those cats ashore and thrived. Cats appear to be one of modern society's pop icons; we have approximately half a billion of them. And, thanks to the "International Fund for Animal Welfare," cats have had their own holiday since 2002!
Cats offer companionship and comfort. According to studies, having a cat can help reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression. In high-risk individuals, having a cat in the home can also help reduce the risk of heart disease. It can even aid in the treatment of mental illnesses. Cats can be both entertaining and beneficial to your health.
Today, on International Cat Day, Give your cats extra attention and cuddles. You could even give them a special treat. Furthermore, there are many homeless cats all over the world, so what better day to show them respect and love than by providing them with food and supplies?
Even if you don't like cats, remember to treat them with respect and kindness, and use this opportunity to raise awareness about it on social media.
Happy International Cat Day!