Sun. Oct 20th, 2019

National Hug Your Cat Day is about more than just floofy kitty cuddles

National Hug Your Cat DayThe best way to celebrate National Hug Your Cat day is to “scoop your regal cat right off the ground and snuggle the heck out of it until it feels the love.” But you could do more.

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National Hug Your Cat Day may seem like a weird and obscure holiday, but some won’t need to be invited twice. Cat hugs are calming and very therapeutic, I’m told.

Being an ‘unofficial holiday,’ there is not rule book on how to celebrate National Hug Your Cat day. And while nobody will stop you from cashing in a few hugs from your furry companions.

How about inviting your cat-owning friends over for a big kitty party.  Catnip potluck, anyone? But jokes aside, we could be doing more. Such as volunteering at a kitty (or puppy) shelter.

Volunteering at shelters

Shelters experience a high influx of animals at certain times of the year. If the community don’t foster and adopt, those animals will be euthanised. So, if you are in a position to support an animal shelter, please do consider it.

According to South African’s second largest independent animal welfare Ooanisation, the Animal Anti-Cruelty League (AACL), most senior pets up for adoption came from a previous home where, for whatever reason, they were unable to stay in.

“A dog or cat falls into the “senior” category around age seven. So, when you are thinking about adopting a new pet from AACL or your local shelter, don’t look past the older dogs and cats. Just like puppies and kitten, senior pets make loyal and loving companions.”

Adopt a cat

Incidentally, June is also National Adopt a Cat Month, so why not familiarise yourself with the shelters in your area and visit them regularly.

Remember the two golden rules when looking for a new furry four-legged companion: Adopt, don’t shop; and choose the animals who have the least likely chances of adoption.

Watch Prescription Cat for a good laugh

If you need anymore motivation to hug your cat today, remember that cats aren’t just cute, they can also make us healthier. Well, sort of. You know what we mean.

Priorities, priorities

On a serious note, remember that our empathy for animals shouldn’t outweigh our empathy for people. While thousands of children are starving, Cecil and Harambe dominated the interwebs.

Sociologists at the Northeastern University tested the ‘Pets Over People Hypothesis’ – the phenomenon where people are more upset by stories of animal abuse than they are about attacks directed toward humans.

“We seem to collectively think that certain animals are innocent creatures that should be protected. We don’t attribute the same innocence to people. We collectively still hold victims accountable when they are mistreated.”

Katy M. Pinto, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology,

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