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Why March 28 is Respect Your Cat Day (and How to Celebrate!)
By: Brianna Gunter | Updated March 2, 2023
If your cat could talk—and followed the calendar—there would be one day in particular he’d tell you to be aware of. That would be March 28, better known in the pet world as Respect Your Cat Day.
Wait, isn’t every day Respect Your Cat Day? While your purr machine is certainly deserving of love and respect all 365 days of the year, March 28 is an extra special day for felines. This day comes with some fascinating history, and it serves as a great excuse to give your kitty a new toy or extra treats (always in healthy moderation, of course).
Read on for tips on how to celebrate, and for some knowledge you can impress your fellow cat parents with!
Why is March 28 Respect Your Cat Day?
It’s unclear who first declared March 28 a holiday for respecting cats, and we can’t find any online mentions of it from before 2014. However, some sources claim the special day has a centuries-old connection—on March 28, 1384, King Richard II of England passed an official edict that banned the consumption of cats.
Of course, cats have an even longer history of being revered. The Ancient Egyptians notably worshipped the cat goddess, Bastet, and kept felines in temples and homes as sacred creatures. Roman soldiers likewise brought cats with them to new territories as a means of pest control. Fast forward to the 20th Century, and cats were used in the trenches of WWI to weed out pests and detect poison gas.
These days, most cats are kept strictly for companionship. While this may not seem as noble as their former purposes, the reality is that pet companionship is more important than ever with the rise of remote working and spending more time at home in general. Go cats!
5 tips for celebrating Respect Your Cat Day
Respect Your Cat Day may seem like just a fluffy holiday, but it’s important to acknowledge how integral cats are to our modern households. Here are five different ways you can honor your kitty now and throughout the year!
1. Respect your cat’s hunter instincts
Modern domestic cats don’t need to track down and catch their food, but that doesn’t mean their hunter instincts have entirely vanished. You may notice that your kitty is attracted to small, moving objects and enjoys pouncing on things. From time to time, you may even catch her “stalking” you or other house pets.
This is all perfectly normal behavior that helps satisfy your cat’s inner instincts. To show your encouragement on Respect Your Cat Day, try using a feather string toy to mimic the movements of a small animal. Your cat may also enjoy a new ball to play with or even a robotic mouse toy that’ll move on its own.
2. Respect your cat’s need to scratch
Scratching is often seen as a less desirable quality of cats, but the truth is that it’s another instinctive behavior that helps your kitty stretch his muscles, mark things with his scent, and keep his claws in pristine condition. Trimming cat claws can help save your furniture (and your skin), but it won’t stop kitty’s urge to scratch.
To respect this need, invest in a good cat scratch post or mat. Your cat may enjoy scratching different textures and shapes depending on his mood, so having more than one option available to him is a good idea.
3. Respect your cat’s desire for human interaction
Cats have a reputation for being standoffish—at least compared to their canine counterparts—but research is increasingly showing that your feline friend really does want to spend time with you. For example, an Oregon State University study of 50 different cats found that the majority preferred human interaction over food, toys, and scent.
So, spend some extra quality time with your pet on Respect Your Cat Day. And if you’re going to be out of town, try to schedule someone your cat knows to come play with her in addition to just showing up for meal time.
4. Respect your cat’s health
Respecting your cat goes beyond enrichment toys and playtime. Your cat’s health should be a priority at every stage of his life, from kittenhood to his golden years. Respect Your Cat Day is a great time to check your fur buddy’s veterinary records to ensure he’s all up to date on vaccines and checkups. If you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to call up your veterinarian to ask. And if you don’t have it already, cat health insurance is worth checking out to help protect your kitty from unexpected illnesses.
Now’s also the perfect time to look at your cat’s nutritional needs. He’s an obligate carnivore, so all of his meals should have plenty of protein from meat. Grains should be at a minimum, if present at all. A conversation with your veterinarian can ensure you’re on the right path with all your cat food choice.
5. Respect your cat’s snooze time
As humans who only need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, it’s easy for us to look at cats spending the majority of their days snoozing and chuckle at what “lazy” creatures they are. But considering your kitty’s love of sleep stems from their predator instincts (hunt, then rest and conserve energy), Respect Your Cat Day is a great time to let her snooze judgement-free.
While you’re at it, why not learn a little more about cat sleep and its importance? According to the Sleep Foundation, more than 50% of cats sleep between 12 and 18 hours a day, while a still-whopping 40% catch more than 18 hours of Z’s. Cats are crepuscular animals too, which means they tend to be most active at dawn and dusk—a.k.a. when you’re probably still sleeping or winding down. So, respect your sleeping cat and his natural habits. He may even enjoy you laying down for a bit to join him!
Want to learn more about cats and the unique traits that make them such awesome pets? Check out the Trupanion cat breed guide.