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An annual celebration of all of our friends with fur, fins and feathers with whom we share our heart and home, April 11th is National Pet Day! Established in 2005 by celebrity pet lifestyle expert Colleen Paige (the creator of a plethora of holidays that are duly marked on every pet parent's calendar, including National Cat Day) National Pet Day is both a time to honor our own furry family members and a day to raise awareness of the million of companion animals in need of a forever home to call their own.

Following are a few ideas if you want to mark the pet holiday with your cat companion:

National Pet Day is a Time to Pawty!

While gathering a clowder of feline friends may not be doable, why not invite you and your cat's two-legged buddies for an afternoon of fun? Here are a few tips for a feline-themed fete:

  • Hang up some cat-themed, cat-safe decorations (placed above the reach of your purring pal).
  • Show off your cat pride with a pair of cat ears.
  • Add cat lapel pins to your favorite jacket so you can wear your love for cats on your sleeve!
  • Serve tasty treats for 'humans' from paw print-patterned plates (and make sure that your four-legged family member has plenty of cat treats to nom on.)
  • Figure out your cat's birthstone based on her birthday or adoption day.
  • Give a whole new meaning to the make-up term 'cat eye' as you and your friends use face paint to let your inner feline shine through.
  • You and your feline friend will feel like two hep cats when you crank up some cool kitty-themed ditties! Sing and meow along to:
    • Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" 
    • "Memory" from the CATS soundtrack
    • "Stray Cat Strut" from The Stray Cats
    • The Lovin' Spoonful's "Nashville Cats"
    • "Honky Cat" by Elton John
    • Queen's tribute to Freddie Mercury's tortoiseshell rescue cat "Delilah" 
    • "What's New, Pussycat?" from Tom Jones

Make National Pet Day Spa Day for Your Cat

  • Let your cat enjoy a taste of life as an A-list star with a day of pampering complete with a paw-dicure, massage and lots of brushing to tame his or her 'mane,' followed by a long cat nap in your cat's favorite sun puddle.

Ideas for the Entertainment-Loving Cat

  • If your cat is a real couch potato, watch a reality TV that will entertain your pal with paws, like episodes of the long-running Animal Planet series My Cat from Hell.
  • If your kitty loves cartoons, find some old episodes of Top Cat or Garfield, while the intellectual tabby might want to view the documentary Kedi.
  • Turn Movie Night at your house into Mew-vie Night with a mini-marathon of feline-themed flicks! If your cat is in the mood for an animated tale, curl up together and watch the heroic antics of Puss in Boots, a Disney classic like The Aristocats or the buddy movie The Secret Life of Pets; action-loving cats might enjoy watching an adventure like Homeward Bound and Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, while kitties with more adult tastes will be glued to the tube while the Peele and Key feature film Keanu is playing on your small screen; cats who like comedies can MOL as they watch Nine Lives or the vintage antics of Rhubarb, while kitties who aren't scaredy-cats will find that horror classics like Cat People and Cat's Eye are a real scream.

Gifts to Give Your Cat

  • If you are looking to purchase a present for your purring pal, a new scratching post or wand will never fail to put a Cheshire Cat grin on your fur baby's face!

Give the Greatest Gift of All

  • Although purchasing the latest cat toy on the market and tasty treats are wonderful ways to show your cat how much you care, love is the greatest gift of all. On National Pet Day, and every day, set aside some special time out of your hectic schedule to just sit with, hold and talk to your fur baby.
  • While National Pet Day is a time to celebrate the joy that your cat companion brings to your life, the holiday is also a time to give joy to other companion animals who are in need of a forever home to call their own. Pay a visit to your local shelter and sign up to be a volunteer, or make a donation of much-needed daily supplies, blankets, pet beds or toys.
  • If you think that your feline would like to welcome another furry member into your family, meet the adorable adoptables at your area shelter and rescue groups, or search online at AdoptAPet.com, PetFinder.com or PetHarbor.com!

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