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National Pet Memorial Day 2024: History, Facts & Way to Celebrate

Written by: Catster Editorial Team

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Nicole Cosgrove

an angel cat walking on the rainbow bridge

National Pet Memorial Day 2024: History, Facts & Way to Celebrate

National Pet Memorial Day falls on the second Sunday in September each year. In 2023, that day was September 10, which is when pet owners all over the country had an opportunity to remember their beloved pets that have passed on.

In 2024, National Pet Memorial Day will fall on September 8. Find out more about this sweet holiday and how you can honor the memory of your favorite cats.

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What Is National Pet Memorial Day?

The relationship between animals and humans has evolved from work to love and companionship. While they were once considered property, many people now consider their cats a part of the family—and they mourn deeply when they cross the rainbow bridge.

Still, there’s evidence that ancient people mourned their lost cats. Pet memorials were first seen in 14,000 BCE in what is now Germany, 11,000 BCE in North America, and 7,000 BCE in China. Famous historical figures, such as Alexander the Great, memorialized their pets with burials and monuments.

Even in recent history, we see memorials celebrating the lives of special cats. Pet cemeteries are found all over the country, and we have monuments to famous pets like Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier that followed his night watchman owner in Scotland, and Towser, a diligent cat that caught a record-setting 28,899 mice. There’s also Trigger, the beloved horse that Roy Rogers had stuffed after his death in 1965.

In the spirit of these special relationships, National Pet Memorial Day is an opportunity to create a lasting memorial for your lost cats and celebrate your relationship.

How to Celebrate National Pet Memorial Day

pet urn beside flower
Image Credit: Lightspruch, Shutterstock
Here are some ideas to celebrate your lost cat on National Pet Memorial Day:
  • Create a cat photo album or scrapbook to cherish your pet’s memory.
  • Gather your keepsakes, such as an old collar, tuft of hair, or ink paw print, and share stories about your cat.
  • Plant a memorial tree that will blossom around the same time as when your cat passed away. If you don’t have a yard, see if you can plant a tree at a community garden or park.
  • Have a small memorial service with your loved one and share photos and memories.
  • Donate pet supplies to a local shelter or rescue organization in your cat’s name.
  • Show your pets a little extra love with a fun walk, a new toy, or a long cuddle session to treasure the time you have.
  • Volunteer at a rescue or shelter to share the love with some homeless cats.
  • Welcome a new cat into your family if you’re ready.

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Other Pet Memorial Days

National Pet Memorial Day isn’t the only holiday in honor of our lost pets. Here are some other pet memorial days:

  • World Pet Memorial Day: Celebrated on the second Tuesday in June, this is the day for people all over the world to remember their lost pets.
  • Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day: Celebrated on August 28 every year, this day celebrates the bond between people and their pets that have crossed “the rainbow bridge.”
  • National Pet Day: Celebrated on April 11, National Pet Day focuses on the millions of pets that need homes and encourages others to adopt.



Losing a pet can be one of the most difficult experiences. National Pet Memorial Day is a chance to remember and celebrate your pet, give back to others in your pet’s honor, and raise awareness for how difficult the loss of a pet can be.

Featured Image Credit: Elena Nechiporenko, Shutterstock

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