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International Cat Day: Making Cats Happy One Cat at a Time


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International Cat Day celebrates happy cats every August 8. The day was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare. 

The day is truly international in scope, but though cats are the most popular pet on the planet they often remain misunderstood and even those who love them may not provide suitable welfare.

The theme of this year’s International Cat Day this year is about making cats happy, which to me means providing appropriate species  specific opportunities to allow cats to be cats – even indoors. Enriched environments are more than a good idea for indoor cats, it’s a necessary idea, as explained in the book Decoding Your Cat, authored by members of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. An entire chapter, called “The Feline Dream Home” focuses on that topic. We KNOW that living in a dull static environment is something accepted by many cats, but accepted or not – it is likely harmful to physical and mental well-being.

So, how do you know – even if you’re an experienced cat parent – that you are doing right by your cat in every way possible? And do you really understand what your cat is communicating as well as you think? That’s why the book Decoding Your Cat is a valuable asset.

Having a veterinarian that focuses on cats, and is certified as a Cat Friendly Practice is important. And so is a Fear Free certified veterinarian, who pays attention to emotional health as well as physical well-being.

Since cats age at a far faster rate than people, it’s appropriate to visit a veterinarian twice a year. But when cats are terrified of the carrier, the car ride and most of all – the vet visit – cat parents are far less likely to be so compliant. Many don’t believe or don’t realize that twice a year visits are the right thing to do. But for even those who want to do the right thing, they may be so challenged by their cats, they’re literally unable to stuff the cat into the carrier. Or because your typically loving kitty screams in the vet clinic, cat parents may feel guilty about forcing an exam when it’s likely the cat is just fine. But cats can trick even the savviest cat parents – they do it all the time because cats are masters at masking illness.

If they’re only given an opportunity to see feline patients, veterinary professionals can treat cats for more illnesses more effectively than ever before. One reason for that is the ongoing funding of cat health studies from the non-profit Winn Feline Foundation. No other organization on the planet is solely dedicated to funding cat health and behavior studies. If your veterinarian is treating something, anything – it’s likely the original funding to support research to understand any cat illness or condition was money raised by Winn Feline, through cat-loving supporters.

Dr. Liz Bales and the American Association of Feline Practitioners are cat cheerleaders:

Happy International Cat Day!

Check out this message from our friend and veterinarian Doc Liz Bales. Join us for cat facts leading up to Take Your Cat to The Vet Day that your cat doesn’t want you to miss!!!Happy International Cat Day! #Happycat #Catfriendlyhomes #Cat2VetDay

Posted by American Association of Feline Practitioners on Friday, August 7, 2020

An international contingent of cat behavior types celebrate cats:

 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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