If you have a cat, make sure you give it extra love and care on October 29 because it is National Cat Day. We know a dog is man's best friend, but cats are useful and friendly as well. In facts, dogs are most useful to go hunting with their masters. However, cats are valuable for doing things as well. For instance, cats are responsible for keeping your house free of mice and other rodents.

Most people think dogs are the most popular house pet, but it might surprise some that cats are more popular. Records show that 86 million people own cats compared to 78 million people who own dogs.

Cats are found in about 34 percent of households in the United States.

Origin of National Cat Day

National Cat Day has been observed since 2005. It was established by Colleen Paige who is a pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate. She thought it was a good idea to honor cats and to celebrate them because they provide so much love and companionship to their owners. It is also a special time to make others aware of what cats really do. For example, they do more than sleep at their owners' feet or play with yarn.

You might not own a cat because you think that cats don't play. Surely, they don't run when you throw a ball or stick and fetch it, but cats are also playful just in different ways than dogs.

How to celebrate cats

It is easy for cat owners to celebrate their cats. They can purchase a special toy for them or give them a special treat. Believe it or not, cats love to be touched and held just like dogs. If you don't own a cat, visit a friend who has one and bring the cat a gift. Another option is to visit your local animal shelter and watch the cats that are there.

You might end up taking one home. If that is not something you want to do, then volunteer at the shelter for an hour or two. Your time will certainly be appreciated. Of course, you can always make a generous donation. Any of these ways will show that you care.

Not nine lives

Most people have heard it said that curiosity killed the cat, and a cat has nine lives.

Those are just sayings, but it is true that cats do live much longer now than they used to. Back in the 1980s, cats only lived for about seven years. By 1995, they averaging almost ten years. In 2014, there are records of cats living to be 12 to 15 years old.

According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest cat named Creme Puff died at the age of 38 years and three days. She lived in Austin, Texas with her owner, Jake Perry. With cats living longer these days, your cat might live to be a ripe old age as well.