America's Biggest Cat Expo Comes To Somerset County

78th annual Garden State Cat Club fundraiser to feature cat agility, pet CPR demos, cat show, some of the world's best Ragdoll cats, seminars, product tradeshow, and Adopt-A-CAT program.

Submitted by the Garden State Cat Club

Whether you’re a cat lover or simply looking for the “purr-fect” family outing, mark your calendars for the 78th Annual Cat Expo/Show hosted by the Garden State Cat Club of New Jersey, Inc., held Saturday and Sunday, July 19-20, 2014, at the Garden State Exhibit Center in Somerset, N.J., from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event, billed as America’s Biggest Cat Expo/Show, is expected to draw more than 3,000 attendees from the New York-New Jersey metro area and exhibitors from throughout the country and abroad. This year, the club is honored to have been selected to host the International Ragdoll Congress, an event that is only held in the United States every four years – the last having been in Denver. Ragdoll cats and breeders from all over the world will be in attendance.

This is the major fundraiser for the not-for-profit Garden State Cat Club of New Jersey. Proceeds from the show will benefit New Jersey animal shelters, disaster relief efforts and feline health studies. To date, the Garden State Cat Club has donated over $64,500 for disaster relief and area shelters.  Feline Health Studies that benefit all cats have benefitted by over $100,000 worth of donations: more than $10,000 to the University of Pennsylvania, over $20,000 to Cornell University, and more than $70,000 to the Winn Feline Foundation.

“We invite you to spend a few hours to get out of the summer heat for a good cause,” said Brenda Flahault, past president of the Garden State Cat Club. “The show has so much variety that animal lovers could spend all day here. There’s truly something for everybody.” 

The Annual Cat Expo/Show will fill the 62,000 sq. ft. space within the Garden State Exhibit Center. An additional 7,500 sq. ft. will be devoted to the Adopt-A-CAT shelter program. There also will be ample seating throughout the venue. The Garden State Exhibit Center is handicap accessible, air conditioned, and features a café and free parking.


Pet a Cat and/or Adopt-A-CAT

If you want to get your hands on a cat, there will be plenty of opportunity at the Garden State Cat Expo/Show. Ambassador cats will be available for petting throughout the show. Just look for the “Pet Me” signs.  

If you are interested in giving a home to any of the 100 cats that will be available for adoption at the show, you also can start the process at the Adopt-A-CAT area. Cats are among the most popular pets in the U.S., according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, which reports that there are approximately 74.1 million pet cats in the U.S., outnumbering pet dogs by more than four million.1 Local shelters need help finding homes for the many abandoned and rescued cats.

Shelters and rescue groups will be in attendance from Somerset, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Union, and Hudson Counties. To be considered for cat adoption, prospective families must submit an application, which will be available at the event. The adoption process varies from shelter to shelter, but to discourage “impulse adoptions,” most cats viewed at the event will be delivered at a later date, once the review process is complete.

The following New Jersey shelters will be in attendance at the show: Companion Animal Trust (Jersey City), Second Chance for Animals (Somerset), Hope for Animals (Metuchen), Lost Paws (Annandale), Angel Paws (Colonia), Cause 4 Paws (Westfield), Summit Animal Rescue Assoc. South (Summit), Jersey Cats (Jersey City), Liberty Humane Society (Union City), Hudson County Animal League (Bayonne), and Tabby’s Place (Ringoes).

In addition, a highlight of the shelter adoptions will be a “Shelter Stars” competition in which the shelter cats compete for rosettes like their pedigreed counterparts. But instead of Best in Breed, rosettes are awarded in categories such as Longest Tail and Biggest Couch Potato. At the awards presentation, the public gets to hear the rescue story of each winner and learn about the activities of the rescue group caring for the cat.  The culmination of the presentation is the People’s Choice award where a rosette is awarded to the kitty receiving the most ballots from the visitors to the show.


Show Highlights

Following are highlights of the show with something for every age and interest.

· The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Cat Show is one of the two largest cat shows in the country and the largest on the East Coast. Over 400 pedigreed cats, household pets and shelter cats will compete for rosettes. Many of the winners go on to be regional and national winners. And, many competing shelter cats can be adopted.

· There will be demonstrations on how to do “Pet CPR & First Aid.”

· A Feline Agility competition will have fleet-footed household pets and pedigreed cats running through a course of obstacles, competing for the fastest time and prizes.

· Cats in Cars – adorable kitties driving their own little vehicles around the showhall.

· CFA Judge Iris Zink will present a breed showcase, entertaining the audience with information on each breed’s unique personalities and distinguishing characteristics.

· There will be a variety of seminars and special presentations. Topics include “How to Select a Pet Sitter,” “Feline Grooming,” “Traveling with your Cat”, and more. You also will have a chance to “Ask the Vet” your questions and watch a performing cat.

· The Meow Mall will showcase products that you won’t find anywhere else as well as a huge selection of cat trees, toys, grooming supplies, litter, food, and cat-themed gifts.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and $5 for children under 12. Children in strollers are admitted free of charge. There is a family rate of $25, with a coupon from www.gardenstatecatclub.com, which includes up to four people and a maximum of two adults. Donations are tax deductible. 

The Garden State Exhibit Center is located in Somerset, N.J., at exit 10 off of I-287. For more information, call (908) 276-9423 or check the club’s website www.gardenstatecatclub.com for the latest information and discount coupons.

About Garden State Cat Club

Organized in 1936, Garden State Cat Club (GSCC) is the third oldest cat club affiliated with Cat Fancier's Association (CFA). The objectives are: to promote the welfare of all cats; to create interest in, and knowledge of cats by the staging of shows, seminars, educational presentations and interaction with the public and other organizations having similar objectives; to cooperate with and provide financial support to feline research and welfare facilities; to encourage proper care and responsible ownership of all cats; and to encourage and cultivate friendships through social and cat show-related activities.

GSCC contributes to animal welfare and feline health organizations as funds permit. The club also monitors legislative issues that may impact pet ownership and the breeding of pedigreed cats. To learn more about GSCC membership, visit the membership page.

The Garden State Cat Club of New Jersey is a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of all cats. Your donation is tax-deductible as defined by IRS.


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