The Meow Meetup. The first conference of its kind that I've ever been to. And I've been to a lot of conferences for work...And actually, this is not only the first time I've been to a cat conference, it is the first I have heard of one! Who knew there were conferences specifically for cat lovers by cat lovers!
I had an absolute blast at the Meow Meetup and if you're into cats you should definitely check it out in 2019. If If you're local to Chicago and you don't check it out I'll honestly just be sad that you missed it!
What Is It All About?
If you're not already familiar with the Meow Meetup then you should check out this link for more details. But in short, it is a conference designed specifically for people interested in learning more about their feline friends.
So what does it entail you might ask? Good question, here's a quick rundown of the major event types:
- Educational talks from some of the most prominent voices in the field of felines.
- Tons of companies that make awesome cat products on site highlighting their wares.
- Meet and greets with famous cats and their slaves (owners).
- Numerous cats up for adoption playing in agility courses and having fun.
- Much much more...
This cool video can give you some additional details if you're interested.
Who Set It Up & Where Is It?
The Meow Meetup comes to us from the founder of the The Catnip Times. If you've never been there you should definitely go check it out and read a few articles. It is one of the most well respected sites out there for both cat bloggers and cat enthusiasts.
You can pretty much guarantee that if a cat blogger setup a conference for cats then you're going to get some pretty interesting content in an awesome location. The conference took place in the suburbs of Chicago near O'Hare international airport in the Rosemont Convention Centers.
Super easy for out of towners to get to, but even easier for those of us lucky enough to live in the Chicago area! Unfortunately I missed the first hour or so of the conference because I was dropping off a few of my foster cats to Chicago PAWS! But that took nothing away from the fun I had.
So What Did I Do There?
The first thing I did was check in and then hit the red carpet. I made my wife take numerous pictures of me in front of the cool Meow Meetup backdrop. Who wouldn't want an image of themselves out there on the internet pretending to be a cat and looking fierce? Obviously not me.
After my photo op we immediately took off to check out one of the discussions from an expert on cat behavior. This was only one of several discussions taking place throughout the day, but it was focused on how to understand your cat's behavior more effectively and how to ensure you're using the right methods to help counteract poor or undesirable behavior.
As a fellow cat blogger I found it incredibly interesting the types of questions people were asking. It was clear there are still a lot of misconceptions about cats out there in the world and that many cat owners still don't really know too much about their feline friends!
It was also unfortunate to hear that many cat owners never take their feline friends to the vet! If you've got a cat and you're reading please make sure you are taking your cat to the vet every year! If cost is an issue there are many shelters and rescues that can help with low cost or even free support.
It is clear us cat bloggers and cat writers have a lot of work to do to ensure that our fellow cat lovers are fully informed with the most up to date information. The Meow Meetup is an excellent place for people to get a great overview on cats in general and on some of the best products out there to help ensure your home is fully ready for cats!!
After our first educational session we moved on to the next thing on the agenda. Hitting up all of the awesome vendors and sponsors of the event. There were definitely some of the core sponsors I expected to see at this kind of an event, but there were also a ton of sponsors I had never heard of in my life!
How is it that a cat blogger hasn't heard of all these cool cat related products and services? Well the simple fact is that every single new products are coming out for cats!
It makes it darn hard to keep up with everything out there. So the Meow Meetup is a great way to see some of the newest and best products out there for cats.
And for those of you who aren't cat bloggers (most of you I assume) it is also a killer way to find some new, fun and cool products for your cat that you won't find elsewhere!
Beyond the products and the educational talks though there were tons of other fun things to do. We had the opportunity to meet famous cats on site. Our first meet and greet was with Sinbad the Survivor who is quite famous on both Facebook and Instagram. If you haven't heard his story you can check it out here.
And we had the opportunity to watch a super cool video montage put together by our awesome compatriots over at Cole and Marmalade! What a blast that was. That's a team that knows how to both do all the ridiculous things needed for a video (Cole and Marmalade) and to record the video (Chris)!
Chris put together a full on 40+ minute video of wonderful content that was incredibly entertaining, heart warming and fun to watch. If you've never seen any of his videos before then check them out on Facebook for sure.
We also got to watch numerous kittens play with volunteers in the mock agility course that was setup on site. These kittens were of course full of endless energy and loved chasing the wand toys and hopping through the obstacle course.
Who could blame them after all? Kittens do seem to have quite the endless bouts of energy. What better way to get rid of it than to burn it off while showing off for a hundred cat lovers at a cat conference? Then of course they napped.
Was It Worth It?
My personal opinion is a bit biased by the fact that I am cat crazy. Then again if you're reading this article on a cat blog then you're likely a bit cat crazy yourself.
So if you're cat crazy then you'd absolutely love visiting the Meow Meetup. Even if you're not cat crazy, maybe just a hair off your rocker, you'll still have a great time. Not only did I find a lot of the event entertaining, I also actually learned several things about cats and cat owners.
And on top of that I managed to get a few cat toys that I've never seen anywhere else! Not even on Amazon or Chewy. And I thought they had pretty much everything there was for our feline friends!
How Do I Attend Next Year?
There's going to be another Meow Meetup in 2019 and you should definitely be there. You can add yourself to the list to stay in the loop for more information as soon as it is available. Given how great of a time I had at the conference I'll be sure to see you there if you decide to attend!
You can click on the button below to add yourself to the list over on The Catnip Times website.
A special thanks to Lauren from the Catnip Times and everyone else that made the inaugural Meow Meetup run so smoothly! I look very forward to participating in 2019!