Cat Extravaganza Comes to the Cow Palace

Judge Tammy Ardolf handling Bengal cat. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman)

By Joan Walsh


The Cow Palace turned a section of the event hall into the Cat Palace last weekend as the San Francisco Cat Extravaganza came to town lasting Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The show was put on by the LCWW which stands for Loving Cats Worldwide, an organization that produces cat shows across in various cities across the globe.

The crowd consisted mostly of families with small children and cat enthusiasts who came out to enjoy the event. Complimentary visors with cat ears were given out which most people wore making it a sea of cat ears at the show.

Tables and chairs were set up as a holding area with plush cat carriers, adorned with cat toys and even some included hammocks for the cats to nap. Ribbons hung from their carriers if they were one of the lucky ones that placed in the show. Fans could fawn over the cats in their carriers until they were later taken to the judging competitions which occurred throughout the day. 

Judge Tammy Ardolf handling Bengal cat. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman)

The judges had a little platform where they would bring the cat and look it over and judge based on various attributes. Cages were in the back of the judges with about 5 other cats waiting to be judged. Some cats sat there calmly while others meowed, looked confused, or tried to play with the cat in the next cage over. After the judging ribbons were placed on the cages as to their placement. Most cats were surprisingly calm and docile as they were handled by strangers and held their regal composure, on their best showmanship behavior, no cattitude involved. After all there was a competition to be won.

Judge Tammy Ardolf handling Bengel cat. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman)

The judging went by breed and as the judge handled each cat from the cage to platform with gentle and loving care as they described to the audience what they were looking for and describing attributes.

Some features being judged for was symmetry, strong chin, broad chest, and straight profile.

Cat testing at the cat extravaganza. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman).

Tammy Ardolf who judged the Bengal division handled a Bengal and mentioned he was very behaved, then the cat ironically gave a small hiss to the audience. Ms. Ardolf said, “Bengal cats are loud, they must be 5th generation to be shown”.

On the opposite part of the event hall cat merchandise was available for sale. Such items included slippers, cat mats, cat backpacks, toys, and cat tents. 

Kayleigh West and Micah McKechnie from SPCA East Bay. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman)

The East Bay SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) had a table set up with general information and handouts on the different programs they offered. The agency gives presentations in empathy and cat body language, a feline training program, and work with cats to be more adoptable.

Micah McKechnie, the behavior and training specialist of 7 years said, “The mission today is less about adoption and more about education”. They also offer outreach, behavioral webinars and private training. 

Black cat waiting to be tested. San Francisco, September 17, 2022. (Joan Walsh/The Guardsman)

Many volunteer opportunities are involved. For more information on volunteering visit