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This Saturday 8th August, is International Cat Day

As a vet I am receiving lots of invitations to attend webinars and online
professional discussions to improve my understanding of all kinds of
feline topics from behaviour to allergies to their mental wellbeing.

For cat owners it’s a day to take time out to connect with our feline
friends. On International Cat Day we can celebrate our love for this most
popular of pets, commemorate the special human-cat bond and
advocate for the safety and well-being of all cats.

Just last month new evidence of the earliest domestication of a cat in
Central Asia was unearthed in Kazakhstan. A partial skeleton of a male
cat which had been well fed, and clearly nursed through a trauma
involving fractures of both front and hind legs was found in an
archaeological site from this town on the Silk Road. It suggests that cats
were domesticated there nearly 3,000 years ago.

But the Egyptians were including domesticated cats in their art and in
their burials around 4,000 years ago, and a wildcat has been unearthed
from an internment in Cyprus dated 9,500 years old.

International Cat Day was established much more recently in 2002 by
the International Fund for Animal Welfare. It’s a day to celebrate, love
and truly care for the wellbeing of all cats.

Several recent scares in the Press have fuelled fears that people might
be able to catch coronavirus from their pet cats.

BVA President Daniella Dos Santos said: “While pet owners may be
worried by this news, we’d like to emphasise that there continues to be
no evidence that infected pets can pass Covid-19 to their owners.

“Our advice to pet owners who have Covid-19 or who are self-isolating
with symptoms remains to restrict contact with their pets as a
precautionary measure and to practise good hygiene, including regular
hand washing.”

Cats provide emotional support to people suffering from depression,
anxiety and loneliness.

As Charles Dickens said, “What greater gift than the love of a cat?”

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