Feline Festivities: The Most Purrfect Cat Festivals in the World
In ancient Egypt, wealthy families dressed their cats in elegant jewels because they believed cats had magical powers. Nowadays, cat culture has co-opted how we communicate. Who hasn’t emphasized their text messages with whatever cat .gif fits the mood?
The way we honor and appreciate our furry felines has expanded in ways ancient Egyptians never thought possible. They set the bar, but we’ve truly raised the stakes. Gather your furriest housemates and check out these far-out cat festivals from around the world.
The Edmonton Cat Festival in Alberta, Canada
The Edmonton Cat Festival was the first large-scale cat festival in Canada when it launched in 2014. Every year the festival brings together upward of 3,000 cat lovers to celebrate cat culture while raising money for cat rescues and charities. Every year, the festival donates 100% of the proceeds to local rescue organizations to help cats in need. Since its first event in 2014, the festival has donated $112,000 to local rescue centers.
The CFA’s International Cat Show in Cleveland, Ohio
If you’re a fan of competitions — and cats, of course — then this is the festival for you. The Cat Fanciers’ Association was founded in 1906 as a non-profit association of member clubs. It’s the world’s largest registry of pedigreed cats, and their International Cat Show is where the finest felines compete for "Best in Show." Over 1,000 cats from around the world make their way to Cleveland to be judged in 45 different pedigreed breed categories to compete for the blue ribbon.
The Cat Film Festival
If the CFA International Cat Show feels a bit too competitive by nature, then the Cat Film Festival is the right place for you. The annual festival travels all year to cities across North America and features a two-hour collection of short films about cats. To make your viewing experience even better, each location they screen in collects funds to donate to a local animal welfare group.
Kattenstoet in Ypres, Belgium
Kattenstoet is a gigantic cat parade held every three years on the second Sunday of May in Ypres, Belgium. Ever since its first run in 1955, the parade commemorates a tradition from the Middle Ages when cats were tossed from the top of a medieval tower to the town square below. Historians have suggested that it was a symbolic gesture to ward off witches and evil spirits.