Over 10,000 cat lovers of all stripes converged in Downtown Los Angeles this past weekend (June 6 - 7, 2015) for the first ever CatCon L.A. The convention's exhibit floor was packed with vendors selling all manner of cool wares for both felines and feline-loving humans including cat care items, cat-themed literature, artwork, furniture, fashion—and that's just scratching the surface of all the cat stuff on display! However, what primarily drew the crowds were the celebrity meet & greets, talks, and panel discussions involving some pretty big names both inside and outside the cat world. The guest list included cat-celeb-phenom Lil Bub (and her human side-kick, Mike Bridavsky); Simon Tofield, creator of the viral Simon's Cat cartoons; Will Braden, creator of Henri Le Chat Noir; Ben Huh, CEO of Cheezburger and creator of the Cat Meme; plus TV stars Mayim Bialik (Amy Farrah Fowler from "The Big Bang Theory") and Jack McBrayer (Kenneth from "30 Rock").
There were also lots of well-known pet-centric brands exhibiting at the convention like Nutrish Cat Food by Rachael Ray (the main sponsors of the event), Animal Planet, Modern Cat Magazine, Purina, and Pet Smart. However, we at Cuteness have a soft-spot for independent artists/artisans who lovingly and painstakingly handcraft their one-of-a-kind wares, so we'd like to spotlight a few of our faves at the show.
The 9 Life - Designers Rosly Mok and Will Ng are behind these simple and elegant cat toys, furniture, decor, and cat-themed totes, all made from natural materials. Our favorite is this lovely cuckoo clock/cat toy; when a cat bats at the feathers dangling from the clock, the bird inside the perch wiggles.
Square Paws Unique Pet Furniture" - It's hard to beat the wow factor of Square Paws' impressive collection of furniture, designed and constructed by Architect Mario Arbore. Take, for example, this Giraffe Cat Tower, this opulent Royal Throne, this incredible Leaning Cat Tower of Pisa, and this exquisite Lighthouse cat tower. We can't think of a better way to spoil your kitty than by splurging on one of these amazing creations.
Whimsily Ever After - It was love at first sight when we saw these adorable catnip toys in the shape of sushi, bacon strips, smores, macarons, truffles & more. Every one of these whimsical toys are handmade by Shelley Rinker who works exclusively with organic materials.
Cat Cubes - These tiny, collectible sculpted cats inside cubes are made by artist Joan Wyand and would be the perfect addition to any cat-lover's curio cabinet. It's hard to look at these colorful kitties (no two are alike!) and suppress a smile.
Charm Ceramics - This mother-daughter owned business offers handcrafted contemporary ceramic items including cat-shaped salt and pepper shakers, as well as lovely memorial urns for our dearly departed feline friends.
All in all, we thought that the very first CatCon LA was feline-tastic, and we look forward to seeing what next year's event will bring!