As the host of Animal Planet’s My Cat From Hell, Jackson Galaxy is a friend to cats and their owners everywhere. But he found something special at last year’s first-ever Cat Camp — so much that he’s now a name partner in the event, back for a second year May 5-6 at Penn Pavilion and now known as Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp.
“As soon as I walked through the doors to speak at last year’s inaugural Cat Camp, I was instantly overtaken with an indescribable sense of joy,” says Galaxy. “Now that we’ve joined forces, you can expect Cat Camp to be even bigger and better in 2018, with more celebration, more fun, more adoptable animals, more education and advocacy.”
Following last year’s success, the show is moving to Penn Plaza Pavilion and will span two floors with two full days of panels and workshops, tons of vendors for all your practical and decorative needs, special events and even a kitty-themed drag show for charity.
Christina Ha, Cat Camp founder and owner of New York’s first cat cafe Meow Parlour, remains the brains behind the programming, and credits Galaxy with helping her on her own cat journey. “Jackson has shaped my relationship with my (now 5) cats, and his tips from his show helped me with designing Meow Parlour to be fun, engaging and comfortable for the cats there,” she says.
Now that you’re properly ready for this weekend-long bigger and better lovefest, we’ve got your guide to the highlights.
Learn the responsibilities of cat celebrity
You’ll be seeing plenty of Galaxy as the event’s host and keynote speaker, as well as a separately ticketed meet-and-greet. While he’s happy for the stardom cats have found on the internet, he’s also sensitive to the trend of people adopting cats to seek Instagram fame. To head that off, Galaxy only works with feline stars who have responsible “representation” like Lil Bub. Meet him and a human celebrity in the cat world Hannah Shaw, who documents her work fostering kittens on Instagram at kittenxlady, all weekend and hear about how to make your cat an internet celebrity responsibly at a Sunday panel series.
Solve your cat issues
Cats are great, but they can be a little inscrutable. Get your questions answered at panels with a veterinarian, learn how cats and dogs can live together in harmony, finally solve your litter box issues and more educational events, plus personalized advice from rescue organizations in the vendor room. Speaking of which...
Products you’ve never seen before
A better litter made from corn, custom art of your furry friend or the latest fashionable accessory for your next kitty photoshoot? All in the vendors hall. Whether you’re shopping for something practical or just a new way to show your cat love to the world, you’ll find human swag and cutting-edge products to make life with your best friend even better.
Someone's going to bed early tonight 😴 Taco Bella is still looking for a forever home! She is currently in a foster home as she was stressed out by the other cats at Meow Parlour. This is what her former and current foster parents have to say about her: ▪️"She was so affectionate, loved treats and would follow me around. She loved attention and the face rubs, and she’s a serious cuddler at night she would sleep pressed against my back or my belly" ▪️"I love her! Anyone would be lucky to have her" If you're interested in meeting her in Manhattan, email firstname.lastname@example.org
More kitties to meet and keep
Much of the extra 15,000 square feet of event space will be devoted to an expanded adoption area. Rescue groups will be bringing 300 kitties looking for forever homes, many of them seniors or with special needs often overlooked in shelters. Last year’s event resulted in 60 adoptions and $15,000 raised for the nonprofit rescue groups.
Find out how to help cats everywhere
Adoption isn’t the only way to help kitty kind. Cat Camp describes itself as “a celebration of cats that is rooted in advocacy.” To that end, you’ll find panels on helping lions, tigers and other big cats worldwide, what to do if you come across kittens (it’s that time of year), how to become a foster for cats awaiting adoption and starting a Trap, Neuter, Spay program in your neighborhood.
Cat Camp is this weekend, May 5-6 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Penn Plaza Pavilion, 401 Seventh Ave. Tickets start at $25, with some panels and meet-and-greets separately ticketed; catcampnyc.com