Come on meow! Ian Somerhalder is pick of the litter for CatCon 2017

CatCon has adopted actor Ian Somerhalder — and his charitable foundation — for its 2017 conference/symposium/celebration of all things feline set to take place in mid-August, organizers announced Wednesday.

The “Vampire Diaries” actor, activist and pet parent to three rescue cats will be making a special appearance at the third event, and the nonprofit Ian Somerhalder Foundation he launched in 2010 will be the official charity beneficiary, receiving $2 from each ticket sold as well as a portion of funds raised from the celebrity meet-and-greets taking place over two days. He follows in the little cat footsteps of such feline-fancying famous folk as Jack McBrayer (“30 Rock”), Mayim Bialik (“The Big Bang Theory”), Julie Newmar (Catwoman from the ‘60s-era “Batman” series) and comedian Andy Milonakis, who have appeared at previous CatCons.

Launched as CatConLA in 2015 by organizer Susan Michals as a celebration of all things feline (“I want it to be kind of like a ComicCon for cat people,” she told us at the time), the first two unspooled at the Reef in downtown Los Angeles, serving up seminars, cat-themed merchandise, adoption opportunities and chances to rub elbows (make that paws) with celebricat Lil Bub, the Internet sensation with nearly 100,000 Twitter followers.

While all of that — including a return engagement by Lil Bub — is on deck for 2017, the event is shifting from June to mid-August (just past the dog days of summer, we might add) and relocating to a larger space at the Pasadena Convention Center roughly 13 miles to the northeast.

According to Michals, CatCon 2017 will also include a litter of celebrity and celebricat appearances, feline-focused seminars including “Men and Cats: A Love Story” and “They Put the Special in Special Needs,” and something that’s really got our whiskers twitching: the inaugural CatCon Awards.

Over the last two years, CatCon has sold 27,000 tickets and funded feline-friendly organizations (including FixNation, Kitten Rescue and Lil Bub’s Big Fund) to the tune of nearly $70,000. Last year, 99 four-footed furballs found their forever homes through an on-site adoption program.  

CatCon 2017, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 12 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Pasadena Convention Center, 300 E. Green St., Pasadena.

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