Lonely Planet Writer

Cat fans are purring after Vancouver feline festival announced

Feline fans are twitching their whiskers in anticipation after Vancouver’s first-ever cat festival was announced for 2018. Meowfest will run at the Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre in the city’s Yaletown district on 29 July, serving a saucer-full of activities, speakers and chin-scratching shopping opportunities to cat-lovers from around the region.

Vancouver to hold first ever cat festival
Vancouver to host first-ever cat festival next summer. Photo by: Sergei Savostyanov/ TASS via Getty Images

Many visitors to the new cat-a-palooza will be lured by a guest list of four-legged social media stars. Siamese tabby mix Nala Cat – an Instagram icon with 3.5 million followers – will make an appearance, while Scottish fold mix Luna Rose (400,000 followers) will also be there for some purr-tastic selfies.

It’s not all international stars, though. Homegrown celeb BenBen will be trotting in from the nearby city of New Westminster. His owners rescued the one-eared ginger tom from animal shelter euthanization and his downtrodden look soon made him an Instagram star with the tagline “the saddest cat on the internet.”

Speaker-wise, Meowfest is also promising presentations from pet photography expert Andrew Marttila and self-proclaimed Kitten Lady Hannah Shaw who will explain her work with orphaned baby felines, a group often euthanized by shelters due to the prohibitively intensive support they typically require.

Vancouver set for first feline festival in July
Cat-lovers prepare for Vancouver’s first feline festival. Photo by Sergei Savostyanov/TASS via Getty Images

The event isn’t just about ogling cute, tail-swishing critters, though. Meowfest visitors will also be able to hangout with local rescue cats and even apply to adopt if they fall for one. Additionally, ticket proceeds are being donated to the British Columbia SPCA to help keep more regional felines off the streets.

Visitors who already have a furry family member at home will find plenty of vendors at the festival to keep their credit cards busy, with treats, toys and gadgets available for purchase. And alongside live entertainment, they’ll also be food trucks to add to the belly-rubbing fun – although, there’s no word on whether any of the trucks will be serving kibble.

By John Lee