You’ve heard about them.  Maybe you were one of them.  Maybe one of your children is one right now — those crazy cat kids!  You know, junior pledges to the “crazy cat lady” society who can’t stop ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how cute kittens are, craving kawaii cat collectibles, drawing cartoon felines, etc. It’s a phase a lot of us went through (and some of us never completely leave). If you have a cat-fancying kid or three, listen up:  because Cat Camp is coming to town!

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Cat Crazy and Proud
Founded by Christine Ha, the chef/co-creator of NYC’s first cat café, Meow Parlour, and acting President of the nonprofit, no-kill, all-volunteer cat adoption group Kitty Kind, Cat Camp is a new event for cat fanatics taking place at the Metropolitan Pavilion during the weekend of March 11 and 12.

This feline-focused conference and adoption extravaganza will bring cat lovers together to learn about cat care from speakers and panelists, shop for cat-related products,  meet adoptable cats and generally celebrate all things kitty.

A Community of Cataholics
Fostering education and promoting local cat organizations and vendors, Cat Camp will be a place to hang out with people of all ages who’ve also caught the kitty-lovin’ fever.  There will be a public lounge area with games set up for people to play, including Catopoly and Exploding Kittens, as well as a photo booth.

Should you need to refuel, the Neapolitan Express food truck will be on hand outside with pizzas, sandwiches and salads.  Ticket prices are reduced for children ages 6-12, and entry for younger ones is free.

There is no stroller parking area, but as the venue is wheelchair accessible, there will be room for you to roll as necessary.

Kate Benjamin photo: John Burchamp 

Panels for all Preferences

Cat Camp will feature speakers representing all kinds of kitty concerns— some familiar, others…less so. Some rock stars of the feline world will also be on hand to delight cat lovers.

Are you wondering how to “catify” your home that’s already full of human toys, but want to retain some domestic style?  Try Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther’s talk on “Feline Design.”

Dr. Jennifer Conrad photo: Cat Camp

Are your offspring intrigued with the idea of caring for or rescuing animals? Attend a talk by the NYC Feral Cat Initiative, Hannah Shaw, aka “Kitten Lady,” or Dr. Jennifer Conrad of the Paw Project, which rehabilitates everything from domestic runts-of-the-litter to lions and tigers (oh, my!).

Cat Camp will also give attendees the opportunity to find out all about cat cafés, or mingle with some of the people behind popular cats like @_porkchopthecat_ and @tinaf78.

Additionally, the Cat Daddy himself, Jackson Galaxy will speak, and the one, the only star of multiple screens L’il BUB will make an appearance. (You and yours can even meet BUB or Jackson in cat-, er, person, for an additional contribution.)

Shopping In So Many Cat-agories
Need some cat gear?  With over 30 vendors, you and your cat crazy kids can have fun stocking up on designer pet furniture for the finickiest of felines; adorable cat toys that look like doughnuts and sushi platters; fashionable cat headgear shaped like a cheeseburger and salmon treats and joint supplements for beasts who are less bendable than they once were.

Meanwhile, if you wanted that screen-printed set of cat pillowcases you saw in Better Homes & Gardens, that snapback that says you live in “Meowklyn,” a spa bag full of kitty-themed balms and bubble baths, custom pet portraits, one of those keepsakes you heard you could get made from your fuzzy companion’s fur or sassy t-shirts for the whole family, this is the place.

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photo: Mark Patterson via Flickr

Meet the Cats
Of course, there will be several adoption events where your family can meet cats and kittens who might fill your home with purrs.  Even if you don’t meet the perfect four-legged buddy right then, you can chat with representatives from local rescue and adoption organizations and let your miniature kitty fanciers spend some face time with felines.

We’re not going to say missing Cat Camp might be a cat-astrophe, because we’ve used up our daily pun allotment, but if your brood has a passion for pussycats, there’s sure to be something to interest them at this gathering.

Cat Camp
Sat., Mar 11, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. & Sun., Mar. 12, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Tickets: Starting at $13, ages 6-12, up to $100 for weekend passes combined with Jacckson Galaxy’s special address or BUB’s presentation with her dude, Mike Bridavsky; $150 for VIP Reception with Jackson Galaxy or Meet-and-Greet with L’il BUB.
Metropolitan Pavilion
125 West 18th St.
Chelsea
Online: catcampnyc.com

Bringing your future felinologists to Cat Camp? Let us know in the comments!

— Gretchen Kunz