Feline Aficionados Converge in Los Angeles for CatConLA 2016

June 27, 2016

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It’s CatConLA time again.  After attending the inaugural event in 2015, I am very pleased to return to share all things intriguing in the cat realm.

What is CatConLA?

“Part expo, part symposium, CatConLA showcases some of 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.”

CatConLA is the brainchild of journalist and producer Susan Michals.  She also created 2014’s Cat Art Show LA which featured the works of many prominent artists, like Los Angeles’ own Shepard Fairey.  I had the pleasure of meeting Michals at the CatConLA 2015.

CatCon also sends the message of responsible pet ownership through prevention of pet overpopulation. “$1 of every CatConLA ticket sold benefits FixNation. FixNation is a non-profit organization committed to cats, and to supporting Trap-Neuter-Return. They provide low-cost, affordable spay/neuter services, provide training on how to humanely trap feral cats and kittens, and offer guidance and information on long-term care and management for feral colonies.”  CatConLA donated $33,00 of 2015’s proceeds to FixNation.

Were any feline celebrities attending CatConLA?

Yes, one of the world’s biggest feline celebrities is LilBub (and owner Mike Brivadsky) headlines CatConLA 2016.  LilBub is a famously cute feline having a pink tongue that’s always sticking out of his mouth.  Although LilBub’s prominent tongue looks cute, there are underlining health reason why such occurs on which I’ve reported for Pet360 in The Epic Battle of the Hollywood Cats: Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub Tell All.

LilBub’s presence is a huge draw and will help many cats in need as“$100 of Lil BUB Meet & Greet tickets will go to Lil BUB’s Big Fund and FixNation.”

Are human celebrities present at CatConLA?

Yes, celebrities of the human-kind are also in attendance.

One of my personal highlights of CatCon 2016 was the How I Met My Cat & Other Stories panel moderated by Lisa Erspamer (author of A Letter to My Cat) and featured Mariel Hemingway, Amanda de Cadenet, Sasha Perl-Raver, and Sierra McCormick.  Each of the panel members was asked shared their perspective on their beloved cats, including how they met their cats, how their cats changed them, and what three words best describe their cats.  Here are some of the highlights:

Mariel Hemingway

Actress, author, and health advocate Hemingway told the story of Señor Mao, who came from a neighbor and initially hid in her box spring for seven days until he felt comfortable enough to emerge with Hemingway’s gentle coercion.

Señor Mao changed Hemingway in that when he was attacked and bitten by her nephew’s dog he needed constant nursing care.  This caused Hemingway to “spend five days on my bed caring for him after his dog attack.”  For someone as active as Hemingway, such would ordinarily be a great challenge.  The love she has for Señor Mao made her change her priorities to and focus on her feline companion’s health. Hemingway describes Señor Mao as “mysterious, elegant, and funny.”

Post-panel, I had the great pleasure of meeting Hemingway, informing her that we have a mutual friend, and surprisingher the fact that one of my favorite movies is Lipstick.

Amanda de Cadenet

Actress, photographer, and TV host de Cadenet met Stanley when her daughter found him as a stray kitten in New York City.  Stanley was brought back to LA and ultimately developed a condition called pica where he eats inappropriate substances with a special fondness for cashmere sweaters, blankets, etc.  Fortunately, Stanley’s Pica has lessened when a second cat, Mathilda, was added to the family fold from Luxe Paws rescue.

Cadenet reports that “cats have made me a better person than my kids” and “having animals in our home has softened it (the home).”  Stanley is described as “consistent, loud, and affectionate” while Mathilda is “pretty,cozy, and skittish.”

You can witness Mathilda’s guitar playing prowess via de Cadenet’s Instagram.  The family is soon to be fostering two more cats.

Sasha Perl-Raver

Actress and TV personality Perl-Raver met her cat Swayze, a Siamese, through the adopted group Cats in the Studio.  Swayze has been diagnosed with some health problems that requirement management and environmental and lifestyle modification, including have cerebellar hypoplasia, deafness, Feline Herpes Virus (FHV-1), and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Perl-Raver states “I don’t have children so he’s my baby” and “Stanley has made me aware of the shortcomings of others.”  She describes Stanley as “pure, innocent, sexy as f***!”

Sierra McCormick

Actress McCormick acquiredZazzles while working on Disney show when he was a  kitten and brought to set by Cats at the Studios, Inc.

Dazzles has taught McCormic “how to care for another being that needs you all the time and to get up at a reasonable hour.”  Dazzles helps wake up his human mother by ”opening plantation shutters and putting his cold nose up against my face.”  McCormic, describes Zazzles as “ischievous, expressive, and intelligent.”  You can get a peek of Zazzles via McCormick’s Instagram.

Other highlights of CatCon 2016

One of the many great things about CatCon is the availability of intriguing products having a cat theme or catering to cats’ needs.  Anytime a novel product can be used to enhance the quality of of life of a cat, I’m usually for it provided it meets a few of my qualifications for safety and appropriate use in my clients’ homes.

Pussy & Pooch Pet Lifestyle Center had an excellent booth featuring many wares, including the KATRIS line of stackable corrugated cardboard cat scratchers.   There are five different shapes of KATRIS which allow cat owners to be creative in the placement of their feline friends’ scratching posts and customizable front plates to coordinate with any decor.  Janene Zakrajsek, co-owner of Pussy & Pooch, was gracious enough to model the KATRIS line for me.

I was also drawn to the Polydactyl Cats booth and was so fascinated by the catnip-stuffed toys in the shape of food sauce packets that I had to buy one for each of my three new kitten patients.

Feline behaviorist Daniel Quagliozzi (DQ) of Go Cat Go SFwas manning the World’s Best Cat Litterbooth and taking questions on feline behavior.  DQ is one of the co-hosts for an animal rescue show for which we shot a pilot in 2014 called Animal House and both a pleasant and insightful guy.

Author and veterinary hospital manager Ingrid King of The Conscious Cat was also on hand to share her insights on all things feline through her books and informative blog (so sign up for convenient email delivery via the above link).

Did you attend this year’s CatConLA or do you have some perspective about cats to share?  Feel free to do so in the Comments section.

Related Articles

Cat People and Cool Products on Display at CatConLA

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

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

Thank you for reading this article.  Your questions and comments are completely welcome.
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Copyright of this article (2016) 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.

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