It’s National Cat Day! This day is the perfect excuse (as if you needed one) to spoil your cat with extra hugs, catnip, treats and affection, but it has a larger purpose, too: bringing awareness to the startling number of homeless cats in shelters. According to the ASPCA, an estimated 3.2 million cats enter shelters each year in the US alone, and an estimated 860,000 are euthanized each year. Understandably, as much as everyone would like to help these cats by personally adopting every last one of them, not everyone is in a position to adopt for a multitude of reasons. If you’d like to help but are unable to adopt, you can still do your part by volunteering at your local shelter, donating to your local shelter and encouraging others to ‘adopt, don’t shop.’

Speaking of encouraging people to adopt, let’s take a moment on this National Cat Day to celebrate all the things we love about cats that potential owners can look forward to. Check out our list below, and if you think we missed anything, be sure to let us know in the comments!

Belly rubs

Everyone likely knows and loves a cat or two who rolls over and exposes their belly, only to attack the hand that dares touch their invitingly fluffy tummy. (We also know they mean no harm, and when you have a cat like this you learn to resist the fluff if you’re not keen on cat-scratched hands.) Believe it or not, though, there are cats out there who will expose their belly and happily accept a good belly rub. And yes, it is every bit as glorious as you’d imagine. Whether long-haired or short-haired, a cat’s belly is fluffy, warm and can do wonders for the soul.

ginger cat getting belly rubbed

They turn into elite sprinters at a moment’s notice

Whether you live in a modest apartment or a sprawling house, your cat will likely find it suitable for zooming around when the need for speed strikes. Yes, it can be annoying when you get woken up at night…but it’s always at least a little bit funny to look out your bedroom door and see a flash of cat every 10 seconds.

They give great kitty massages

Sure, most of us could really use that extra half hour of sleep every morning, but if we’re being honest, doesn’t it feel kind of great when your cat walks all over you?

There’s nothing cozier than paper and cardboard

A piece of paper on the counter that wasn’t there yesterday or an ill-fitting box on the ground are prime real estate to a cat. We may not understand it, but we let them enjoy it anyway. 

They’re great bakers

Making biscuits, kneading – however you refer to it, cats have mastered this art. And we don’t even need to explain the greatness that is a cat making biscuits on you.

The voice of an angel

Cats make many, many noises. Some of the best? Trills, purrs, or how about those under the bed, menacing growls when the doorbell rings…guard dog who?

Jelly bean toes

It’s an inexplicable force, the one that finds kitty toes absolutely irresistible…particularly for those of us who don’t like human feet. In “cat circles” we refer to them as “beans” and they couldn’t be cuter!

They’re always sticking their tongue out at you (and it’s precious)

It doesn’t always happen on a Tuesday when it’s supposed to (for Tongue-out Tuesdays) but when your cat sticks his tongue out at you, instead of wondering why – you grab the camera and capture this precious moment!

Post-nap stretches

You know that feeling when your cat wakes up from a nap on your bed, and you feel a slight vibration when they stretch out their front legs? Best. Feeling. Ever.

If you are considering adopting a cat, you can look forward to all of this and more, and at the end of the day the absolute best thing about cats is simply how much love they have to offer. With that being said, we would be remiss if we did not mention that owning a cat is not always purring and biscuits. Before heading to the shelter, we recommend checking out this helpful article from Petfinder. It tells you what to expect when adopting a cat and offers tips to make the process go smoothly for you and your new cat.

Is there something you love about cats that didn’t make our list? We’d love to hear it, so don’t be shy. Share your thoughts in the comments below!


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