The Los Angeles Cat Extravaganza and Adoption hosted by Loving Cats Worldwide brought hundreds of cat enthusiasts to the Pomona Fairplex from March 4 to March 5. Visitors were able to adopt cats, shop for cat products in the shopping villa and enter their cat in a competition.
“Our mission is to increase the visibility of all cats, while educating on the overwhelming rescue situation and then also preserving our breeds that are living here,” said Steven Meserve, founder of Loving Cats Worldwide and world-renowned cat judge.
Meserve said his favorite part about the Cat Extravaganza is the people. The event has been increasing in visibility thanks to social media and expressed that he loves to see new faces who did not know this kind of world existed.
In the “Kitty Corner” stage, the organization brought out notable guest speakers, such as Judy Sugden, creator of the toyger breed.
Loving Cats Worldwide partners with numerous charities and rescues to bring in cats for adoption. Visitors are able to know their future pets before adopting or simply share a hug and spend some time with a cat.
Crystal Lu, a volunteer for Cats and Comics Rescue said she works for the rescue often, in part to help out her college application but mostly for pure fun.
“What I’m most excited for today is to maybe see one or two kitties get adopted,” said Lu.
According to their website, Loving Cats Worldwide’s mission is to increase the survival rates of rescued cats. Cats can experience stress when moving to a new environment and it takes time for them to acclimate. The rescue works with shelters and other rescues to take cats that are less likely to be adopted and at risk for euthanasia due to their personality.
Volunteers would bring any cat out of their enclosure to be petted and held at the visitors’ requests. Visitors were also informed about the cat’s personality and proper cat care.
The most expensive looking cats competed in an international competition for the ultimate prize of Best Kitten, Best Cat and Best Household Pet. Judges from all over the world staged and rewarded many unique cat breeds, including the Bengal cat, dotted with leopard spots and the hairless sphynx cat.
The competition space had four judging rings and a separate staging area. Breeders, catteries and owners decorated their clear, tent-like cat enclosures to present and stage the most coveted cats to visitors.
Most visitors of the Extravaganza consisted of everyday cat owners as well as cat enthusiasts there for fun. Vendors in the shopping villa sold a variety of products from handmade cat toys to cat wheel treadmills as well as cat merchandise like stickers and clothing.
Attendee Tharushi Saparamadu said she came to the event with a friend, out of curiosity.
“I’m not expecting to get a cat today because I can’t have any due to my apartment situation,” said Saparamadu. “I just went for the experience and bought stuff for my cousins; they have two cats.”
Meserve said this is the first Cat Extravaganza and Adoption being held in Pomona and hopes to come back for more cat events in the future.
“We do these all over the world,” said Meserve. “We do a whole bunch of California, our next one will be in Pleasanton in the East Bay, then Ventura in April.”
Meserve said the organization will also host Cat extravaganzas at their Florida and United Kingdom stops, before coming back to California in the next few weeks.
The organization hosts many cat extravaganzas, cat shows and other adoption events like this in and outside of the United States, uniting cat lovers all over the world. Adoption is an inexpensive way to find a lifelong furry companion while helping alleviate the current overwhelming rescue crisis.