Italy celebrates National Cat Day

Cat-themed objects change hands 'every 7mins' on eBay

(ANSA) - Rome, February 17 - Italy's 7.5 million house kitties will be getting some extra love on Wednesday as the country celebrates National Cat Day on February 17.
    Cats both indoor and outdoor have been protected in Italy since 1991, when a new law made it illegal to harm or kill street cats.
    Local public health authorities are responsible for neutering and spaying them, and animal rights associations can be awarded management of outdoor cat colonies, whose members have the right to roam free and undisturbed.
    On a more mundane level, an eBay survey over the past year has shown that in Italy, cat-themed or cat-shaped objects - such as cell phone covers, clothes and accessories, home decor, costume jewelry and stuffed animals - are changing hands every seven minutes. Cats are thought to have been domesticated at least 9,500 years ago, and are reportedly the most widespread domestic animal in the world.
    World Cat Day was set up in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and is celebrated on August 8.
   

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