Published : Friday, August 10, 2018 | 11:46 AM
CatCon 2018 drew a record 16,400 attendees, flocking from 45 states and 11 countries to the 2-day annual convention in Pasadena, CA to meet and greet with an expanded and influential feline and human talent roster including celebricat Lil BUB, actor Ian Somerhalder (“The Vampire Diaries” and Netflix’s upcoming “V-Wars”), Georgia Hardstark (“My Favorite Murder” podcast), Moshow the Cat Rapper, Morris the 9Lives Cat, Cats of Instagram, Coby the Cat, Julia Butters, (“American Housewife” and Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) newcomers Merlin Ragdoll, Waverly McTinybeans and Sir Thomas Trueheart, and many more. The event featured top national and international brands including 9Lives® Cat Food, World’s Best Cat Litter™ and Kat Von D Beauty, and over 170 exhibitors from around the globe.
The convention’s most popular panel this year was the important and timely conversation, Cats and Cannabis: What You Need To Know Meow. The seminar Men and Cats: a Love Story concluded the weekend’s programming, engaging a packed house and ending with a surprise wedding onstage, featuring Lil BUB as a bridesmaid and Moshow the Cat Rapper as best man.
Since its inception in 2015, the annual two-day immersive experience, recognized in the The Wall Street Journal article “Beyond Comic-Con: 5 Other Cons You Should Know”, has seen 62,000 attendees, helped almost 500 cats find their forever homes, and donated over $183,000 to cat organizations. This year saw 159 cat adoptions in the CatCon Adoption Village, presented in partnership with 9Lives® Cat Food and World’s Best Cat Litter™. ASPCA signed up 180 volunteers for its foster program during the course of the weekend.
Additional 2018 highlights include:
• A couple who got engaged at CatCon 2015 was married onstage this year in a surprise wedding, with Lil BUB as BUB-bridesmaid and Moshow the Cat rapper as Best Man; it was streamed live on Facebook.
• Ian Somerhalder made an appearance onstage and met with nearly 250 fans in Meet & Greets, with proceeds benefiting the Ian Somerhalder Foundation
• Most of the meet and greets sold out and included established celebricats like Lil BUB and Morris the Cat (the original celebricat) as well as Coby the Cat, Merlin Ragdoll, Shrampton, Sir Thomas Trueheart, Smushball and Peeny Houdini, and Waverly McTinybeans
• Most popular lectures included Cannabis and Cats: What You Need to Know Meow, The Furrocious Fashion Face Off, and Men and Cats, a Love Story all of which drew standing room only crowds
• The Furrocious Fashion Face Off had a record number of contestants, coming from as far away as Arizona, Indiana, Nevada, South Carolina, Texas, and Tennessee
• Workshops like creating the perfect cat eye and feline health and wellness exceeded capacity
Beneficiaries of this year’s event included the Ian Somerhalder Foundation, Lil BUB’s Big Fund, Kitten Rescue LA, and Milo’s Sanctuary. Over $40,000 was raised this year at CatCon to benefit cats in need.
This year’s sponsors included major and international pet brands ASPCA®, CatGenie®, Cuteness.com, Halo, Purely for Pets®, Kat Von D Beauty, KindredBio, Litter Genie®, MERRY JANE, ModCloth, Modern Cat Magazine, 9Lives® Cat Food, VIP Petcare, World’s Best Cat Litter™, Wellness Pet Food, and The Westin Pasadena.
CatCon is the biggest experience in the world dedicated to cats and pop culture. The annual event, which informs, educates, and entertains thousands of feline fans with the latest in groundbreaking and innovative products and ideas for cats and their people, attracts top talent from the worlds of television, film, and entertainment – as participants and attendees – such as Nala Cat, Drew Carey, Jerry Ferrara, Seth Green, Lizzy Greene, Tricia Helfer, Mariel Hemingway, Tess Holliday, Kitten Lady (Hannah Shaw), Jessica Lowndes, Julie Newmar (“Batman’s Catwoman”), Addison Riecke, Luna Rose, Ian Somerhalder, Simon Tofield (“Simon’s Cat” creator), Kat Von D, and Tallulah Willis. Year on year national and international brands joining the event include NBCUniversal, Rachael Ray Nutrish, Zappos, Purina, Animal Planet, Kat Von D Beauty, Petco, and PetSmart.
About CatCon Creator, Susan Michals
CatCon creator Susan Michals has an extensive background in television (TV producer at E!), film (producer, This is Orson Welles, The Woman Who Created Hollywood, Cannes Film Festival 2015, 2016), and journalism (The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair Online, and The Huffington Post). After creating Cat Art Show LA in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim with over 4,500 attendees and notable and collectable artists including Shepard Fairey and Mark Ryden participating, Michals decided to expand beyond art and developed CatCon, a new, multi-platform convention for cat lovers, offering chic and fun products, services and ideas. Part expo, part symposium, CatCon became an instant hit with a largely millennial audience in 2015, attracting over 12,500 attendees for its inaugural show. CatCon and Cat Art Show are solely owned by Michals. She, in turn, is solely owned by a Maine Coon named Miss Kitty Pretty Girl, who is widely known on social media as The Muse.