Cat parents unite -- it's National Cat Day. Observed every Oct. 29, the occasion celebrates our feline friends and shines the light on the many more that still need to be rescued.

National Cat Day was created by pet lifestyle expert and animal welfare advocate, Colleen Paige, in 2005. The goal is to celebrate the cat companion in people's lives, but also to "recognize the number of cats that need to be rescued each year."

Indeed, the lives of a million cats have been saved since the foundation of National Cat Day, according to National Day Calendar. And today, people can help save many more.

Today, pet cat owners may celebrate by, of course, giving their feline friends a special treat, whether it's a few more hugs and kisses, a new toy they can chase around the house, or even just an added serving of treats or catnip.

As the day is also meant to spread awareness about the many cats that still need help, people may also commemorate the day by donating or even volunteering at their local shelter. Those who still have a little more room in their homes may opt to adopt another cat, while others can spread the word to help these cats find their forever homes.

To mark the occasion, let's look at some interesting facts about our feline friends that may just make people love them more. Although they often get a bad rap for being rather aloof, these facts show that there is more to these furry friends than people may think. (Courtesy: Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – Angell (MSPCA Angell), Purina and Green Pastures Vets)

  • Cats see six times better than humans at night
  • An orange tabby cat called Stubbs was the mayor of the town of Talkeetna, Alaska for almost 20 years
  • Making prolonged eye contact with a cat should be avoided, as they deem this to be threatening and assertive
  • Cats obviously don't have nine lives. They do, however, have very good reflexes, which is why they tend to survive situations that other animals might not
  • The longest cat in the world was a Maine Coon named Stewie (full name - Mymains Stewart Gilligan) who was 48.5 inches (123 cm) long
  • It may be annoying for some cat owners, but cats really do need to scratch to maintain their claws. It's also their way of marking their territory. As such, it's best to provide scratching posts to avoid having them scratch the furniture
  • Ancient Egyptians are known to be the first ones to domesticate cats. Even then, it seems cats were already seen as beloved members of households, as family members were said to shave off their eyebrows in mourning if a pet cat died
  • Cats really aren't very active creatures. In fact, a whopping 70% of their lives are spent sleeping
  • Cats shouldn't be given human dairy products as they are lactose intolerant
  • House cats can reach speeds of up to 30 mph
  • The tallest domestic cat in the world was a Savannah cat named Arcturus, who was 19.05 inches (48.4 cm) tall. The cat with the record for the longest tail, Cygnus, had a tail that measured 17.58 inches (44.66 cm). Interestingly, these two cats lived in a single home in Michigan
  • Cats are "obligate carnivores." As such, they won't be able to survive on a vegetarian diet
  • Cats' natural instinct, when offered a bowl of food, is to eat a little and then walk away. Giving them something new would only begin the process again.
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Representative image of a cat. K L/Pixabay