Some of the stars of the cat world are coming to Deer Park in September.
A champion Bengal cat named Niko, whose full name is Aloracats Nikolaj, will be at the Fall, Felines and Fun Cat Show set for Sept. 15-16. So will Diablo, an exotic short hair who is an international winner.
Niko was ranked the No. 1 cat of his breed for a region that includes Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, Mexico, New Mexico and Oklahoma and fifth in the world in The International Cat Association competitions for the 2017-18 season, said owner Marlon Azada, president of the The Gulf Coast Feline Foundation, which is co-hosting the show with the city of Deer Park at Jimmy Burke Activity Center, 500 W. 13th St.
Diablo placed first in the nation for his breed while being ranked 11th of any breed internationally.
“They’ll be some beautiful cats there. Some of the top cats in the world,” Azada said.
The show takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days and brings a host of cat-themed activities for all ages.
Up to 42 pedigreed breeds of cats will be on display, and local pet owners can enter their cats and kittens into competition.
Pet-friendly vendors will offer face painting, clothing, baked goods and jewelry. Booth will offer information on cat care and veterinarians will be on hand to answer medical questions. Concessions will include Texas-style barbecue, and other activities will include raffles and contests and on-site adoptions from local shelters and rescue groups offering cats and dogs.
One-day tickets are $7 for general admission; $5 for senior adults and children age 6 and older. Children under age 6 are admitted free. Weekend passes are $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children age 6 and up.
“The mission for these events continues to be supporting animal shelters/rescue groups as well as feline disease research groups such as the Winn Feline Foundation,” Michelle Piatt, a Deer Park resident who is treasurer with the foundation, said in a press release.
This is the fourth cat show co-hosted by the city and the foundation. This year, it’s organized by The Happy Alternative Cat Club, a Texas-based group licensed by the The Cat Fanciers’ Association, a national organization of feline enthusiasts and advocates.
The nonprofit foundation aims to increase awareness and raise funds for cat-related issues such as disease research, rescue, genetics, and responsible pet ownership.
Visitors are welcome to register their family felines to participate in the show competition for a $55 fee for the first animal.
Registration deadline is Sept. 11 or when entries reach 180 participants.
Organizers strongly advise that all cats or kittens in the show be inoculated before entry by a licensed veterinarian against feline panleukopenia, feline rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and rabies. They also recommended that cats and kittens be tested and found negative for Feline Leukemia Virus before entry.
All entries must be free of fleas, ear mites, fungus, or any contagious or infectious illness. Claws of all entries must be clipped prior to benching. Declawed cats are not permitted in the show hall. No kittens under the age of 4 months will be permitted in the show hall.
In the Deer Park show held in January, about $6,500 was raised from ticket sales, city spokeswoman Kristen Callahan said.
Following the show, $1,000 donations went the following groups — the Deer Park Animal Shelter, S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition, Recycled Love, the PAW Project and the Winn Foundation, Callahan said.
City Councilwoman Sherry Garrison labeled the previous show was a success.
Said Piatt: “Breeds such as the Maine Coon, the Bengal, and many more will be available to meet up close and personal.”