It is the most anticipated event of the year for cat lovers in Israel, as dozens of pedigree felines take to the catwalk to compete in an international pageant on October 17 at the Alliance High School Aviv Sport Center in Tel Aviv.

Organizers of the 2015 Cat Exhibition say visitors will get the chance to meet cats with six fingers, curly fur, no tail, one blue eye and one green eye; as well as giant Maine Coon cats, Bengali cats with tiger-like fur and other world-class kitties.

The current terror wave has not deterred organizers or visitors. “The situation in Israel is never easy,” said Viktoria Strodobchev, chairwoman of the voluntary association New Israeli Cat Alliance (NICA), which is sponsoring the event. “What are we supposed to do, sit at home and be afraid all the time? We continue to live our lives as we always do.”

Hairless cats are among those visitors will meet at the expo. Photo by Dima Vazinovich/FLASH90
Hairless cats are among those visitors will meet at the expo. Photo by Dima Vazinovich/FLASH90

Cat pageants are popular the world over, and Israel’s feline festival attracts local and international cat fanciers and pet parents.

Organizers have added a special show featuring various species of white cats for this year’s event, including Persian, Exotic, Oriental, British, Scottish Fold, Canadian Sphynx, and Devon Rex entrants.

This year’s show, running from 10am to 4pm, is sponsored by NICA under the international organization The International Cat Association, and in cooperation with Royal Canin pet food company.

This woman brought her three cats to the 2012 Royal International Exhibition in Holon. Photo by Dima Vazinovich/FLASH90
This woman brought her three cats to the 2012 Royal International Exhibition in Holon. Photo by Dima Vazinovich/FLASH90

In addition to the pedigree cat competition, a second event for non-pedigree house cats will show off the finest and friendliest felines. In Israel, strays are ubiquitous and the event is hoped to raise awareness for defending street cats.

“It is vital to neuter and castrate stray cats, in order to preserve their quality of life and well-being,” says NICA chairwoman Viktoria Strodobchev.

While the felines are properly pampered by their pet parents, owners of these four-legged fur-balls usually can be found stressing on the sidelines. Good thing a cat psychologist will be on hand to give guidance and counsel to the cat owners.

The top three award-winning cats will take home luxurious prizes.

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