Everything About Cats But Few Things For Cats At The 2nd Annual CatConLA

Posted: June 29, 2016 in Animals, Art, Events, Los Angeles
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The stereotype of the crazy cat lady exists because these people still exist to this day. I got a chance to witness thousands of these people all corralled into one tight space at the 2nd Annual CatConLA. As the event’s name suggests, this event featured all things cats, but mainly for cat people. Taking place at The Reef just outside of Downtown LA, this two-day event covered multiple floors of the venue to accommodate for the thousands of attendees throughout the weekend, and filled them full of cat vendors. In addition to the vendors and booths, CatConLA also featured famous cats and famous people who work with cats. Adult admission cost $25 for a day or $40 for the weekend, while child admission cost $15 for a day or $25 for the weekend. Guests could not actually bring their cats.

A week prior, organizer Susan Michaels made a guest radio appearance to speak about the upcoming CatConLA event. She mentioned that last year’s event had almost 13,000 in attendance, a figure that they may have underestimated as they expected only eight to ten thousand to attend. While I originally expected CatConLA as an expo for cats and cat product vendors, CatConLA delivered exactly the opposite. When I think about a cat expo, I think cat toys, cat food, and cat adoptions. Instead, we got photo booths, accessories & apparel with cats on them, and art about cats. Basically, we got an event for cat people, but not actually cats. As a result, I witnessed tons of crazy cat people (mostly women) wearing cat accessories and tossing around endless cat puns, with puns such as “Are you kitten me right meow?” and other puns that make you cringe. When you see a line of people stretching outside of the building adorned in cat ears, whiskers, and other accessories or makeup, you can expect chaos inside.

I did not see any actual cats throughout the event, nor did I see many vendors with products for cats. I would wager that vendors about cats made up about 90% of the booths, while vendors selling products for cats measured under 10% of the booths. It took until the end of my visit when I started to leave that I finally found real cats… at the very back of the second floor. They sectioned off the cats in the back with a wall with a few windows to look into these “play rooms” that had cats in them. In order to enter these rooms to interact with the cats, you had to sign forms saying that you would adopt a cat that day. So for those not intending to adopt a cat, you would never interact with a cat at all at CatConLA – you would just have to deal with thousands of crazy cat people.

Can I wholeheartedly recommend CatConLA as an event worth checking out? I do not have numbers to show for, but considering that the first CatConLA last year had three to five thousand more people than they originally projected, cats definitely have enough popularity that I do not foresee this event fading away any time soon. However, due to the nature of this event of not having anything worthwhile to cat owners, I do not expect to ever return to a CatConLA. Perhaps if they start having more vendors geared towards owning a cat, I may return to see what the vendors would have. But if all they keep bringing involves things for humans and not cats, I will stay away as if I have a cat hair allergy.

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