Cat People and Cool Products on Display at CatConLA

August 3, 2015

PM CatConLAThis article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360.com as Cat People and Cool Products on Display at CatConLA.

Being a CatConLA virgin, I was psyched to learn that I was available to attend and provide coverage for my Pet-Lebrity News column.  Additionally, I had a fellow pet-media pal, feline behaviorist Daniel Quagliozzi of Go Cat Go SF, in town for the feline-centric event. He also happens to be one of the hosts for an animal rescue show called Animal House, which we shot a pilot for last year. So, we ventured to DTLA (downtown Los Angeles) from West Hollywood to take in the feline festivities.

What is CatConLA?

Accotding to its website, CatConLA is a two-day weekend event that celebrats groundbreaking products and ideas in art and design and pop culture attitude for cat people. Part expo, part symposium, CatConLA showcases the world’s top cat-centric merchandise including furniture, art, toys and clothing for those of us who possess a great love of the feline, as well as conversations with some of the top cat experts in the world. A dollar for every ticket sold, as well as a portion of the net proceeds from CatConLA merchandise, benefits FixNation, a non-profit organization committed to reducing the homeless cat population.

CatConLA is the brainchild of journalist and producer Susan Michals. Michals was also behind 2014’s Cat Art Show LA which featured the works of many prominent artists—like Los Angeles’ own Shepard Fairey—attracted thousands of visitors and was covered in a variety of major publications including Time, The Daily Beast, and others. I had the pleasure of meeting Michals after my time at CatConLA and I definitely share in her vision of featuring cool cat-centric products and helping to control the feline population in the greater-Los Angeles area.

Were there feline or human celebrities at CatConLA?

Yes, both celebrities of the human and feline-kind. Typically, a human caretaker (or at least a talent agent) is attached to the feline celebrities in attendance, so I guess both the humans and the cats got their moments in the spotlight. CatConLA headliners included:

LilBub and Mike Brivadsky: who doesn’t recognize this famously cute feline who has a pink tongue that constantly pours out of his mouth (I speculate only a few internet-deprived folks). I’ve covered the health reasons why Lil Bub has such conditions for Pet360 in The Epic Battle of the Hollywood Cats: Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub Tell All.

Simon Tofield: the visionary cartoonist and creator of Cat Man Do and Simon’s Cat.

Human celebrity attendees included included Mayim Bialik, Jack McBrayer, Seth Green, MythBusterscast members, Kat Von D, Addison Riecke and more.

What were my top most intriguing cat products of CatConLA 2015?

Disclaimer: I’m not compensated to mention any of the following products, I just think they are intriguing and deserve recognition.

Catastrophic Creations: unconventional cat furniture to provide environmental enrichment to house-bound cats. I found myself particularly fond of the Indiana Jones Cat Bridge.

Charm Ceramics: limited-production pottery, including clever cat-shaped urns for your beloved feline friend’s ashes. Considering home euthanasia is one of my veterinary services, I may be directing some of my cat-loving clients toward Charm Ceramics for permanent memorialization when the final time comes.

Maison La Queue: who doesn’t want a little form with their function? Conventional litter scoops tend to be somewhat less-than-inspirational from the design standpoint. Well, here comes Maison La Queue with their stylish and useful Litter Scoop & Base. The scoop would likely serve as a fabulous and feline-focused complement to any bathroom decor.

One Fast Cat: considering 57.9% of cats in the U.S. are recognized as being overweight or obese according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, I’m quite pleased to see the advent of products that promote our cat companions to get up and moving. One Fast Cat is the Rolls Royce of exercise wheels. It’s not just a Habitrail for your cat, it’s a sleek, design-forward means of promoting feline exercise and healthier lifestyle. Some pure-breed cats and their mixes, like the Bengal, Savannah, are more lithe and athletic and truly need the opportunity to exert on a daily basis. That’s where One Fast Cat can come in to address any athletic cat’s needs.

Sockitty: anytime a novel toy can be used to enhance the quality of life of a cat, I’m typically for it. The Sockitty (on display via Pussy & Pooch Pet Lifestyle Center) contains crinkly material (plastic, paper, etc.) that’s enhanced with the alluring draw of catnip. Created by Go Ca Toys, LLC, it’s a product that’s useful and harkens back to the days of childhood sock toys. Although there were no live cats on site testing the Sockitty, it was remarkable to see the video of cats in action having their way with the Sockitty.

Purrvana: speaking of catnip, Purrvana has a variety of Catnip (Nepata Cataria) blends to best serve your cat’s interests in a natural means of relaxation or stimulation.  I’m looking forward to seeing how my feline patients respond to the Get Soused, a catnip-valerian blend also containing Silver Vine (Actinidia polygama) from Asia, which is touted to have “purrific” euphoric effects.

The Yoga Cat Mat: I commonly recommend clients use yoga mats to provide traction on slippery surfaces for my mobility-compromised canine patients, but I’ve not previously seen such a product for our feline friends. The Yoga Cat Mat serves multiple purposes in your home, as it’s “the zen way to scratch, lounge, & play” and is made from a rubber yoga mat to which a piece of rope and a fun toy containing a bell are attached. Basically, your cat goes to town playing with the toy and can also scratch the mat instead of your prized couch.

Did you also attend CatConLA or are you familiar with any of the above products?  Feel free to share your perspective in the comments section.

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome.

Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.

Copyright of this article (2015) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format. 

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

TheOldBroad August 4, 2015 at 2:52 PM

What fun! Good thing I’m not in LA and couldn’t go because it would have cost me a fortune. I once attended some kind of national cat show and there were lots of vendors with cool cat stuff. I ended up going home with a set of dishes.

I absolutely love the Catastrophic Creations, but would worry because my house is all lathe and plaster. Plus, if high places were provided, it would make pill-time (when there are a couple of rousing games of chase-the-kitty) difficult.

Thank you for all the links!

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