PENNSYLVANIA (WHTM) — If you’re a cat lover or have a cat of your own, get ready to celebrate because today is International Cat Day! Here are some ways that you can celebrate your furry friend.

International Cat Day falls on Monday, Aug. 8. This day is celebrated annually on Aug. 8, however, don’t get it confused with National Cat Day, which is celebrated in October. International Cat Day was actually founded back in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare to celebrate feline companions and raise awareness of their needs. 

Here are some ways that you can celebrate International Cat Day:

Adopt a cat from a local shelter

If you’re anything like me, taking a trip to the local animal shelter can turn into an entire day trip. It is hard to leave without taking a cat with you. If you have the means to and are ready to adopt a cat, or any other pet, local animal shelters are a great place to start. My family has even taken in rescue cats from outside, so you may just find your new best friend roaming around your neighborhood.

Feed your local cats

It is always important to be cautious when interacting with feral cats, but if you feel comfortable feeding your local neighborhood cats it is a great way to ensure they have happy lives. Of course, consult with your neighbors and other members of the household before introducing food to feral cats. The cats will love you forever and your house will be their new hangout spot.

Trap, Neuter or Spay, and release

If you are looking to help out your local neighborhood kitties, a great place to start is by looking into Trap, Neuter or Spay, and release (TNR) programs. These programs require you to trap the feral cat, send it to be neutered or spayed, and then released it back into the wild. If you happen to come across a cat and you see its ear is tipped, that means it has been a part of the TNR program. There are TNR programs all over the country. This program is very important in helping reduce the number of feral cats in the wild and ensuring they live safe lives.

Learn more about TNR here.

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Volunteer at a local shelter

Volunteering at your local animal shelter can be a great way to help cats that are in shelters if you’re not necessarily interested or able to take one home. Many animal shelters offer part-time volunteer hours where you can come in, help clean the animals’ cages, interact with them, feed them, and play with them.

Learn more about volunteering opportunities here.

Buy your cat a gift

As someone who tends to go overboard when it comes to gift giving, I have definitely spoiled my cats with some pretty fun gifts. Surprise your cat with some catnip, a cat tunnel, a feather on a stick, a new mouse toy, a heated blanket, or a cat wheel. Yes, you read that right. A cat wheel. Cat wheels are essentially giant wheels that resemble a hamster wheel. Not only is it entertaining for your cat, but it’s entertaining for you as well, and it is great exercise for your cat.

Treat your cat and yourself

Since it’s a holiday, that calls for treats! Give your cat their favorite treat or even try to bake them a cat-friendly cake. Just be careful because some foods can be toxic to cats, so do your research beforehand. If you’re giving your cat a treat you might as well get a treat yourself too, after all you are their favorite person.

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