Did you know that National Feral Cat Day is coming up? This year’s theme “All Cats All Communities” spotlights Alley Cat Allies’ goal—a world where every cat is valued and protected and every community and shelter have policies and programs to save their lives.

National Feral Cat Day is October 16, a day when people come together to celebrate and help make a difference for cats. The goal is to inspire 1,000 different National Feral Cat Day actions across all 50 states (and around the world) to protect all cats in all communities.

Alley Cat Allies launched National Feral Cat Day in 2001 to raise awareness about feral cats (also known as community cats), promote Trap-Neuter-Return (or TNR, the humane approach to stabilizing feral cat populations), and empower and mobilize the millions of people who care for cats.

Feral cats exist in every community and are the same species as pet cats. But feral cats aren’t socialized to humans, so they can’t be adopted—meaning virtually 100 percent of feral cats brought to shelters or pounds are killed.

National Feral Cat Day is a worldwide call to save cats and to celebrate all cats—pet, stray, feral and every cat in between. There’s no better time of year to take action for cats—and no action is too small!

Here are three easy ways to get involved:

  1. Help spread the word about National Feral Cat Day through social media—the more people who know about this day of action, the better! Be sure to include #FeralCatDay.
  2. Organize a cat food/supply drive. Ask your local pet or grocery stores if you can host your drive there. Then donate the supplies to local shelters, rescue groups, and/or community cat caregivers.
  3. Volunteer with a local shelter or rescue group. These groups are always in need of assistance, and you might even be able to help socialize kittens! Alley Cat Allies also has volunteer opportunities available.

There are so many ways you can help cats—on National Feral Cat Day and year-round. Together we can save cats, change communities, and help shelters become feline friendly. Still unsure and need more inspiration to get involved? Get creative and plan an activity that combines your love of cats with a skill or activity you already enjoy doing.

Lionel-bowls

Lionel’s bowls for feral friends.

Last year, a volunteer in Kentucky, who is also a skilled artist, made hand-crafted feeding bowls that were sold at a local thrift store. Dubbed “Lionel’s bowls for feral friends,” these unique bowls brought in more than $2,000 to benefit TNR clinics and related efforts by the Franklin County Humane Society.

Farther south, Clare Costello, a caregiver in Atlanta, took action to spread awareness about community cats. To help educate people in her community that may not be aware of community cats, Costello donated books with TNR pamphlets as bookmarks to nearby neighborhoods’ Little Free Libraries. Costello says that participating in National Feral Cat Day “does not take monumental efforts. It can begin in one’s own backyard.”

Volunteers building outdoor shelters in Elkhart County, Indiana.

Volunteers building outdoor shelters in Elkhart County, Indiana.

And don’t forget the power of partnership. Find a local organization, even one that’s not driven by a mission related to cats, to team up with. In Indiana, the Elkhart County Feral Cat Coalition partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Elkhart County for National Feral Cat Day in 2015. Their efforts brought together more than 60 volunteers, who helped build 80 outdoor shelters for community cats.

Join Alley Cat Allies this National Feral Cat Day—and every day—in our mission to protect and improve the lives of cats! Your actions are what will make National Feral Cat Day a success.

Visit NationalFeralCatDay.org to get information and gear, find ideas for actions, locate actions near you, and most importantly—register your own National Feral Cat Day action! Once you do, you’ll receive a free CatKit of swag, educational materials, and more (while supplies last).

Together, we can change policies and create compassionate communities for all cats.