The first written mention of the town is from 1565. In 1778, Queen Maria Theresa promoted the village of Cadca to a town with the right to hold four annual fairs. Another important day in the history of the city and the whole nation was December 4, 1848, when during the so-called winter campaign of Slovak volunteers fighting for the freedom of the nation, Čadca was the political and military center of the Slovak uprising. On December 6, the Slovak National Council in Čadca issued a call to the Slovak nation, in which it explained its goals and requirements to support the fight against Hungarian oppression and invited the population to join the Slovak volunteer corps. The city thus became, albeit for only a few days, the capital of liberated Slovakia. Today, a monument on Freedom Square commemorates this historical event.
At present, Čadca is a district town with an area of 57 km2, which belongs to the Žilina region. With a population of approximately 27,000, the city is one of the medium-sized cities in Slovakia. Slovak nationality makes up the majority of the city's population.