Cat lovers are a special brand of people. If you own a cat or know someone who does, you’re probably familiar with the passion, pride, and photos that cat people often display. Some may even appear to be obsessed with their cats.
But the zeal for all things feline goes further than cat ownership. All around the world, conventions, festivals, and shows have popped up over the years designed for a single purpose: to come together over a shared love of cats.
From California to Australia to Canada, cultures across the globe have established gatherings to celebrate their feline friends. Keep reading to take an international tour of the biggest cat events on Earth.
The 8 Biggest Cat Conventions and Celebrations
- Pasadena, California, USA
- TBA for 2023
CatCon describes itself as a part expo, part symposium, and all cat celebration. It’s a pop culture event in California that bears a striking similarity to the state’s most famous convention, ComicCon. It’s a two-day experience that first took place in 2015 and since then, it has exploded into a cat-centric phenomenon.
Between product demonstrations, feline merchandise, educational seminars, and celebrity speakers, cat lovers won’t run out of things to do at CatCon. There’s a reason that attendees return year after year, and it’s not just to meet and greet celebrities like Lil Bub (may she rest in peace) and Jackson Galaxy. CatCon allows you to connect with the community of cat-lovers, raise money for charity, and have fun.
2. Edmonton International Cat Fest
- Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
- May 27-28, 2023 (in-person and virtual)
“We are not kitten you right now,” this festival’s website quips. Edmonton takes its cat convention very seriously. Though it’s virtual only this year, this event promises an agenda bursting with all kinds of fun. Going online won’t keep the organizers from their mission: to bring cat lovers from all walks of life together and unite in raising money for kitty-related causes.
If you decide to attend, your calendar will be booked solid for the entire two-day experience. You might want to attend one of the live workshops to gain skills in pet first aid or learn the history of cats from the past. Perhaps you’d like to take your kitty to a virtual cat yoga session. If you’re in the mood for something more family-oriented, there’s storytime, art lessons, and readings for you to try—all while staying within the theme of felines.
- London, England
- TBA for 2023
For our feline-loving friends across the pond, CatFest has you covered. Hosted in the historic Beckenham Place Mansion in South London, it’s a two-day boutique festival designed as a cat-oriented marketplace with events, activities, and a charitable drive.
Attendees will be able to browse merchandise from over 50 exhibitors, listen to music and talks by authors, enjoy vegan street food and cat-inspired cocktails, and meet adoptable and celebrity cats.. There will also be a fancy-dress contest, free face painting, and a storytelling tent if you want to bring your children. Feline children, however, are kindly requested to remain at home.
4. The CFA International Cat Show
- Lawrenceburg, IN
- May 20, 2023
If you’re looking for something with a more formal tone, one of the many shows run by the Cat Fanciers’ Association, the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, may be up your alley. One of their biggest shows is the CFA International Cat Show, which takes place in a different location every year. In 2023, it will be held in Indiana, and details on that event are forthcoming.
This event is a cat show where breeders and owners can bring their pedigreed cats to compete for various prizes. If you’re interested in watching different competitions, such as best in breed or agility exhibitions, you may enjoy joining the audience at the CFA International.
Beyond the show itself, there are informational workshops and a vendor hall, but the real draw of this event is to see the finest cats in the world.
5. POP Cats
- Various locations across the USA
POP Cats is an American cat-focused festival organizer that hosts events multiple times a year. This year the lineup includes Chicago, Houston, San Diego, and Austin, so you have plenty of options if you’re looking for a cat convention close to you.
While the inspiration behind the festival is, of course, feline in nature, POP Cats also focuses heavily on pop art, as its name suggests. Regardless of which date you choose to attend, you’ll be dazzled and amused by what the festival offers. There will be art, music, photo opportunities, an adoption center, artisans selling their wares, merchandise from popular brands, and creative cat playgrounds everywhere.
POP Cats is unique in that attendees are allowed to bring up to two cats of their own to the event. There are guidelines and restrictions, of course, but if you have a gregarious cat who loves to meet new people and explore unfamiliar places, a POP Cats event could be a great outing for both of you!
6. Cat Lovers Show
- Melbourne, Australia
- June 15-16 2024
Feline fans down under, never fear. One of the biggest cat festivals in the world takes place in Melbourne. “Maine Coon big,” its website jokes. It combines the best elements of all the events on this list: breed showcases, talks from cat experts, a huge exhibition hall, an adoption zone, information sessions on picking the perfect breed, and more.
But the Cat Lovers Show has some unusual tricks up its sleeve, too. You can sip on a glass of prosecco while getting a manicure at the nail bar. You can enter to win “pawesome” door prizes and take selfies at the funny photo wall. Children will have a blast at the Kitty-Kids Zone, where they can participate in a range of arts and crafts or have their face painted like their favorite feline.
If you live within traveling distance of Melbourne and you’re looking to get connected with the Australian cat community, this show is a great place to start.
7. Witch City Kitty
- Salem, Massachusetts, USA
- TBA for 2023
This event wins the prize for most unique. It’s a one-day pop-up fair based in the historic city of Salem, where the famous witch trials took place and which is now a hub of witchcraft and the occult. Witch City Kitty is set in an old hotel, and its logo features a black cat wearing a pointy hat.
If you don’t enjoy witchcraft or spooky things, don’t worry, it’s not a requirement to attend or enjoy the real magic of the event. The purpose of the fair is to build connections in the local cat community and bring together local businesses, charities, and cat owners to socialize and network.
The list of exhibitors for this year is not yet available, but the event promises vendors, entertainment, cat rescues, services, and more. You’re also encouraged to bring your well-behaved kitties on leashes or in carriers. Free-roaming animals, however, are not permitted on the hotel premises.
- Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
- TBA for 2023
Since its inception in 2018, MeowFest has taken place either in Vancouver or Toronto, but in the past two years, the events occurred online. This year, the event is back and ready to host an in-person get-together in Vancouver. In the 4 years of MeowFest’s existence, it’s raised over $40,000 for charitable organizations in Canada.
If you’re lucky enough to attend in person, get ready to browse the vendor hall, coo over the adoptable kittens (and maybe take one home with you), and get inked with an airbrushed “cattoo.” While the specifics of the activities and guests of the 2023 event have yet to be announced, it’s sure to be a lovely day of feline-focused fun and fundraising.
Wherever you are in the world, a cat convention can’t be far off. Cat lovers span the globe, and events like the ones on this list act as connective tissue bringing the community together across cultural divides.
Though the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented physical gatherings of cat lovers for the past few years, the celebrations have continued virtually and are starting to be held in person again. It’s never been a better time to get involved in the cat community, whether on a local, regional, or global level. Attending cat conventions and celebrations can educate you on how to be a better cat owner, raise money for worthy causes, and foster new friendships that will last a lifetime.
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