- 2 min read

National Cat Day

A purr-fect way to celebrate our feline friends

Every February 22, cat lovers in Japan celebrate National Cat Day. A day dedicated to cats is not unique to Japan, but different countries do so on different dates. For instance, the US's National Cat Day is on October 29th and Canada's is on August 9th.

More than 30 years ago, in 1987, the Executive Cat Day Committee in Japan chose February 22 after a poll of over 9,000 cat lovers. The date 2-22 can be pronounced ni-ni-ni, which sounds close the Japanese equivalent of a cat's meow, nyan-nyan-nyan. Hundreds of cat lovers gathered to reflect on the extraordinary virtues of cats and offer prayers for their pets' longevity.

This year, 2022, is particularly special because the year can be said cat-like, as in, nyao-nyan-nyan, adding extra feline charm to this special day.

Everyone seemed to have gotten into the spirit. At our local library, patrons are encouraged to draw cat faces on cat shaped papers.

Library patrons draw cats.
Library patrons draw cats.

The Yomiuri kids' newspaper featured cats on its front page this week.

Front page of the Yomiuri kids' newspaper
Front page of the Yomiuri kids' newspaper

Pop up shops selling cat themed novelty items can be found in major train stations. I bought an adorable postcard from one.

A postcard I bought at a pop up cat shop at Akihabara Station
A postcard I bought at a pop up cat shop at Akihabara Station

Across the country, cat lovers are posting photos of their furry friends on social media, some dressing up similarly. Business establishments have gotten into the spirit by selling food and non-food items with cat designs.

Cats are probably the most popular pets in Japan. They have the amazing ability to reduce human stress and anxiety. Petting a furry cat releases calming brain chemicals, lowers blood pressure, and slows your heart rate. Purring is one of the most comforting and soothing sounds in the world, known to help people recover quicker from injuries. Perhaps this is particularly significant now as we continue to weather the stressful conditions of a prolonged pandemic.

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Claire Rose 2 years ago
What are the cats wearing in the postcard?
Sherilyn Siy Author 2 years ago
Doughnuts. I bought this postcard for a friend who loves cats and sweets.
Elena Lisina 2 years ago
I had no idea of special day for Cats! :))
Sherilyn Siy Author 2 years ago
And more than 30 years!
Bonson Lam 2 years ago
The postcard of the four cats is too cute!
Sherilyn Siy Author 2 years ago
I know. I just had to get it.
Sleiman Azizi 2 years ago
Well then, there you go, cats... Internet videos and national days.

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