MIAMI (CBSMiami) Cat lovers rejoice. Today is International Cat Day, a celebration that takes place every year on August 8th as a way to recognize one of the most popular pets on the planet.

International Cat Day was created by the International Fund for Animal Welfare in 2002.

The day was created to encourage people to adopt more cats, because only 37-percent of the 3.4 million cats in the U.S. that enter shelters every year find homes.

Did you know over 30-percent of American households own a cat as a pet?

That’s a little less than dogs, as 36.5 percent of American households have canines. However, there are more cats owned as pets than dogs, since it’s easier to have more than one cat than it is to have more than one dog.

Owning a cat has also been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Here are some other interesting facts about cats:

Cats spend a lot of time grooming themselves. This helps them in keeping themselves cool and allows adequate blood flow in their body. This also helps them in toning down the smell of their body, in order to avoid predators. Grooming is also regarded as a sign of affection between two cats.

The world’s oldest cat is a Siamese named Scooter. He is 30 years old and lives in Mansfield, Texas.

In 1963, French scientists launched the first cat into space. Its name was Félicette. It is mostly believed that cats are happy when they purr. However, this is not true. Cats also purr when they are in pain, hungry or hurt.

Not only are some people allergic to cats, some cats are also allergic to human beings.

Cats spend 50 percent of their lives sleeping. They sleep for 13 to 16 hours a day.

(H/T: CBS Miami)