Plan Some Extra Special Playtime
Sure, you play with your cat every day. But for National Cat Day, go the extra mile with a new toy or a new game.
Wand toys are a great way to get cats moving. Mary Molloy, CPDT-KA, owner of and head trainer at Nirvana Tails LLC in the New York metro area, suggests having a few on hand to give your kitty variety since some may get bored with playing with the same toy over and over.
Certified animal behavior consultant, Amy Shojai, CABC, says meal time can be a great opportunity to play a fun game.
“Rather than feeding in only one place, divide up the meals. Place on paper plates around the house to encourage the cat to ‘hunt’ for their supper,” says Shojai. “Food set on top of cat trees, or at the top of the stairs, encourages cats to move that furry tail.”
Surprising your kitty with a new interactive puzzle toy or treat dispenser toy also offers a fun way to encourage them to play even on days when they’re not the center of attention. (Although when isn’t your cat the center of attention?)
Enjoy the Great Outdoors
Have you ever noticed how much time some cats spend staring out windows? That’s because there’s so much to watch! Molloy says that giving your curious cat a taste of the great outdoors in a safe and controlled manner can be a fun activity on their special day.
“Being outside is incredible enrichment and many cats absolutely love it,” Molloy says.
A catio (an enclosed patio designed with feline friends in mind) can provide cats with safe outdoor time if you have the space. You can also consider taking them out for a stroll in a pet stroller or cat backpack.
As Molloy notes, these are a great option for cats who enjoy the sights and smells of the outdoors, but may not be up for walking on a harness or leash just yet. (Although, if you want to start leash training your cat, you can see how here.)
But just like some humans, not all cats enjoy spending time in the great outdoors and it’s important not to push them, as it could lead to your kitty becoming frightened or uncomfortable. It’s perfectly OK to spend National Cat Day inside!
Bake Your Kitty a Healthy, Homemade Treat
Just like their humans, cats love to indulge in an extra-yummy treat every once in a while—or, if we’re being honest, pretty much all the time. And when you make it yourself, you can feel good knowing that you’re feeding your furry friend something that’s not only minimally processed, but also made with love.
If you’re looking to make some cat-approved magic in the kitchen, check out these Chewy Eats recipes:
Of course, your cat is also bound to love ready-made goodies, too. For a super special meal, try topping off their dinner with a cat food topper, like Fancy Feast Purely Filets. These seafood filets can be added to their regular food and look like something you’d order at a five-star restaurant. Now that’s one lucky kitty…
Show Off Your Pretty Kitty with Cute Pics
Speaking of treats, turn your kitty into a super meowdel for the day and pay them in delicious snacks and ear scritches. Then, share those photos so all of your family and friends can see just how fab your floof is.
Taking photos of cats can be tricky, but Cleveland-based fashion, lifestyle and beauty blogger Karen Morse of Glam Karen, shared a few tips that have helped her take hundreds of adorable beauty shots of her Ragdoll cat, Moxie, who has her own set of loyal followers on her page, @Moxiethepurrfectcat.
“You can’t pose a cat. Unlike dogs, who ‘beg’ or ‘sit’ for a treat, cats don’t do that,” says Morse. “You have to remember that you are on their clock, so just be ready with your iPhone to snap those photos when they are looking super sassy and cute.”
Morse recommends using the iPhone’s “burst” mode to capture several photos at once, ensuring you have plenty of options to choose from.
“Also, as naturally photogenic as cats are, it's best to try to take photos of your cat at their level or looking up at them,” suggests Morse.
We can’t wait to see your cat strut their stuff in your #NationalCatDay pics!
Help Your Cat Look—and Feel—Their Best
Cats love grooming themselves—and they’re really good at it. Their tongue is like a built-in brush, after all! But sometimes, to get that beautiful coat they deserve, they need a little extra help. On National Cat Day, treat them to a spa day.
Give them a good, gentle brushing. If your cat is uncomfortable with a traditional brush or comb, these grooming gloves can help detangle knots while doing what you and your cat both love—petting them!
Pamper your precious kitty with a calming cat massage. Place your flat hand over their skin, and move your hand over the muscles using light pressure. Learn more about proper pet massage technique here.
You can also try giving your cat a bath. A bath? For a cat? Yes, and hear us out. Daryl Conner, Master Pet Stylist and owner/operator of FairWinds Grooming Studio in Appleton, Maine, says a good bath can help your kitty look and feel their best.
“Many people believe that cats hate water and think that because of this they would be frightened by a bath. In truth, what cats dislike is the sight and sound of water flying towards them,” she says.
“A proper cat bath can be given by gently submerging the cat up to its neck into a sink of warm, sudsy water, or merely by holding the flow of water against the cat’s body so the stream is not spraying towards it. Most cats soon learn to enjoy the feel of a gentle bath, and they seem to appreciate how clean and soft their beautiful coat is afterwards.”
Of course, if your kitty doesn’t love getting wet, don’t force them into the tub on their special day. Instead, try a waterless cat shampoo, like Vet’s Best Waterless Cat Bath.
However you spend National Cat Day, take the opportunity to shower your furry friend with an extra-large helping of love—and some extra snuggling wouldn’t hurt either!