Converging from points both near and far (the UK! Japan! Catmandu!), 10,000 kitty connoisseurs slinked into a Los Angeles expo space on June 6th and 7th for the first-ever CatCon LA (official motto: “It’s like Comic-Con … but for cat people”). The two-day event, the first of its kind, boasted an impressive collection of “celebricats” (Lil Bub), artists (Simon Tofield), media partners (Animal Planet), industry thought leaders (Ben Huh), and social feeds with mass followings (Cats Of Instagram).
Also in attendance: A bevy of merchants, each of which had been carefully screened by the organizers for creativity and quality. The items available for purrrchase truly spanned the feline spectrum and included everything from carrying cases and modular furniture to punny t-shirts and chic jewelry.
The highlights were multitude (and you can read more about them at lifestyle site HelloGiggles), but collected below are 10 of the coolest products — for Mittens and hoomans, alike — that we spotted on the convention floor.
Sleepypod – $139.99 - $179.99
Equal parts pet bed, pet carrier, and car seat, the Sleepypod has emerged as a chic choice and best-in-class product for discriminating pet owners. Pictured here: Pudge, an exotic shorthair cat with 383,000+ followers on Instagram, who loves it when her owner flips the removeable dome top to create a cozy surface for napping.
Kitty Bow Ties – $12
There are tuxedo cats and then there are bow tie cats. If yours falls into the latter cat-egory, round out their wardrobe with dapper neckwear from the good folks at the wonderfully named Business Catual, a growing business based in Portland, Oregon that donates a portion of every sale to local no-kill animal shelters. They even sell matching companion sets so you can be twinsies: one bow tie for kitty and one bow tie for owner.
Cats Are My Bag Tote – $19.99
Is this the most meta bag in the history of bags? Likely. Would I try to coax my cat into it so I could post the resultant snap on social media? Absolutely.
Katris Cat Scratching Block Furniture – $49.95 per piece
Inspired by Tetris, the popular video game on which the name riffs, Katris scratching furniture can be easily contorted into all manner of shapes and sizes — the only limit is your imagination — meaning neither kitty nor owner will ever get bored. Even more ingenious: Both the exterior and interior double as scratching surfaces!
Peek A Boo Cat Mug – $14
Black cats are saddled with some undeserved cultural baggage — shyness, aloofness, mystery — but this mug plays with all of that for maximum cuteness. Your favorite beverage has never looked so coy.
One Fast Cat Exercise Wheel – $249
Sadly, there were no cats on hand to demo this workout wheel in the flesh, eh … fur, but if your kitty needs a bit of exercise to keep its figure svelte then this product looks like endless fun.
(Side note: Is there a version for adults? Because I would totally give it a spin.)
Crazy Kitty Sweaters – $85 to $360
Are you a crazy cat lady? Then you need these slightly creepy but totally stylish sweaters from Pretty Snake in your life. Their eye-popping range includes a number of bold and outrageous prints so make sure you dig around their site before checking out.
Lil Bub Stuffed Animal – $18
Judging by the looooong lines for her “Big Show” (Cat Con’s grande finale), Lil Bub was the weekend’s biggest draw. Most of the niche products at her merch table got gobbled up fast on Day 1 but this stuffed animal rendered in her adorable likeness was still available on Sunday. Grab one now before she boards a spaceship and returns to her home planet.
Cat Solo Print – $15
They say it’s impossible to herd cats but what if you’re a scruffy looking Nerf herder? Would that improve the odds? (Reminder: never tell Cat Solo the odds. Never.)
Setting these weighty conundrums aside for the moment, have you ever wondered what your favorite characters from pop culture might look like as cats? If so, illustrator Jenny Parks has you covered. The Star Wars designs get my vote, but she’s applied a similar treatment to The Avengers, Star Trek, and Dr. Who. See all of her portraiture right here.
Giant Pusheen Gund – priceless
Sadly, this overstuffed Pusheen Gund wasn’t for sale but it was a popular spot to snap a selfie. The good news, you ask? The Pusheen online store is overflowing with all manner of more reasonably sized plush goodness.
Were you at CatCon LA? Did you buy something for kitty (or yourself)? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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