Imagine an event where you can mingle with other cat people, shop unique cat-related merch, visit adoptable cats, meet and greet your favourite Instagram-famous kitties, attend seminars, take green-screen selfies while rocking cat ears, and so much more. Welcome to cat lover Susan Michals’s fourth annual CatCon, an event designed by and for cat people. We asked Susan some questions about the event and some of this year’s not-to-be-missed highlights. Mark your calendar, this is an event you’re not going to want to miss.
Q: CatCon fills a real hole, uniting feline fans in a modern and fun celebration of cats. What was your inspiration and how did CatCon come to be?
I worked in entertainment and as a journalist for over 15 years in Hollywood. In 2014, I created Cat Art Show, with over 100 works by acclaimed and emerging artists. Over 4,500 people showed up in 4 days! After that I decided to expand beyond the art, and into the amazing products and trends I saw for cats and their people. That’s how CatCon was born!
Q: How has the event changed over the last three years?
Every year it’s gotten even bigger! We started out with 12,000 attendees, and now we’re at 15,000. In terms of scope, we have gone into a lot of experiential territory—more photo booths, VR experiences, escape rooms—lots of fun stuff, all for the cat person. Plus we have grown in the number of exhibitors. This year there will be over 160.
Q: Now that the event is at a new venue, can event attendees bring their own cats with them to the show?
Unfortunately no, they can’t. Just imagine if even 10 percent of our 15,000 attendees brought their kitties to this—it would be mayhem! For the safety of all involved, we ask that your fur babies stay at home. It’s quieter there, I assure you.
Q: We love CatCon’s focus on rescue organizations and “adopt don’t shop” philosophy. How many cats were successfully adopted last year?
Last year 150 cats and kittens were adopted! In total, 327 adoptions have transpired at CatCon in three years. This year we hope we can get even more into their forever homes!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about this year’s lineup?
It’s a great mix of returning and new talent. I wanted to bring on a number of emerging cats and humans, and offer them an opportunity to tell their stories as well.
Q: What’s been the most popular aspect of CatCon?
Adoption is always super huge. After that, I’d have to say all the experiences we offer that are put on by our ameowzing sponsors. Every year they never cease to amaze me with their creativity, like World’s Best Cat Litter bringing in a Fiat onsite that you could win (with a toy kitty behind the wheel, no less) to Hill’s Science Diet’s hilarious green screen photo booth.
Q: Will there be an opportunity to meet famous cats like Lil Bub? Which famous cat are you most excited to meet?
Of course! Bub returns for year four, and then we’ll have a number of newbies. Some names to drop (but by no means our complete list) include: Merlin Ragdoll, Sir Thomas Trueheart, and Waffles.
Q: What can attendees expect to learn or take away from their CatCon experience this year?
That CatCon truly is a one of a kind experience for the cat lover. Our seminars—as always— are information and education, under the guise of entertainment. Events like Men and Cats: a Love Story, and Fostering 101: how to be the Best Temp Meowmy are fun, and at the same time, attendees will leave with newfound knowledge. Plus we have a bang up group of exhibitors this year—I guarantee there’s going to be merch you never even knew existed for you and your beloved feline!
» CatCon takes place Saturday August 4th and Sunday 5th, 2018 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA. Find out more and buy your tickets at catconworldwide.com.