The annual event is run by the charity Cats Protection, and celebrates the nation’s most marvellous moggies, with heart-warming tales of devotion, courage and companionship.
Cats can be nominated in five categories, including Hero Cat for those which saved the day, and Most Caring Cat, which seeks to celebrate tabbies that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing.
The Furr-ever Friends award celebrates tales of friendship between children and cats, while Outstanding Rescue Cat is awarded to fabulous felines adopted from animal charities.
Entries open on Tuesday 14 January and owners have until noon on Thursday 12 March to enter.
Cats Protection’s Awards organiser Kate Bunting said: “Cats have a unique take on life, capable of bringing a sense of calm and comfort while also being endlessly entertaining.
“Their sense of fun and devotion for their owners makes them much-loved pets in millions of homes.
“We’re proud to once again be hosting these Awards to celebrate everything we love about cats and we can’t wait to hear about the UK’s most fabulous felines.”
The overall winner – the National Cat of the Year 2020 – will inherit the title from Jeffree, a life-changing moggy from Coventry that helped teenager Finn Hackeson, who has Asperger syndrome, cope with the death of his father.
The awards, which are sponsored by PURINA, will see the owners of the winning cats presented with their trophies at a star-studded daytime ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel on Thursday 6 August.
The PURINA Better Together category will also celebrate the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human.
The difficult task of choosing the winners will be down to a panel of celebrity cat-lovers, including broadcaster, writer and cat lover Andrew Collins, who will be one of the judges selecting the National Cat of the Year.
He said: “Cats Protection is a charity that’s close to my heart and I’d do anything for cats, who by their very existence make the world a better place.
“Cats are incredibly giving, and don’t ask much in return other than some food, a stroke under the chin and a bit of quiet.
“I would find it very difficult to go on for long without some quality time with a cat.
“At any age, from frisky kitten to serene elder cat, they bring only peace.”
Calum Macrae, from PURINA, said: “We’re passionate about enriching the lives of pets and the people who love them so we’re thrilled to be supporting the National Cat Awards for the ninth year.
“The awards are a wonderful celebration of everything we love about cats, shining a spotlight on the incredible bond between pets and owners.
“We’re looking forward to reading the fantastic entries that Cats Protection will no doubt receive this time around.”
Entrants to the National Cat Awards 2020 will have five categories to choose from:
• Hero Cat – Cats that save the day
• Most Caring Cat – Cats that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing
• Furr-ever Friends – Tales of friendship between children and cats
• Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal charities
• Purina® Better Together – Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human.
Anyone wishing to nominate their cat should visit www.cats.org.uk/national-cat-awards