MIDTOWN EAST — A sphynx cat in a black steampunk jacket strutted its stuff alongside hairless cats dressed in couture at a sneak peek of a Javits Center animal show extravaganza this weekend.
The American Kennel Club and The International Cat Association are hosting the fifth annual Meet the Breeds, the world’s largest showcase of dogs and cats, including a runway show and an agility race.
“We’re introducing the breeds to people so that if they want to adopt or buy a pet, they’ll know which breeds fit their lifestyle better,” said Ada Nieves, a pet fashion designer, at a Meet the Breeds press preview Thursday at the Marriott Hotel on Lexington Avenue.
Nieves has two Chihuahuas, named Manhattan and Mojito, which were dressed in a tux and a light-up tutu on Thursday.
“Chihuahuas are great for the city because you can take them everywhere with you, and friends will love dressing them up with you,” she said.
During the preview event, a pair of border collies raced through an agility course and a trio of sphynx cats showed off their designer wear, including the steampunk outfit by Catherine Golden and a winged couture gown by Nieves.
More than 200 breeds will be on display at this weekend's showcase. Unique dog breeds will include a saluki, an enormous Bergamasco sheepdog and both a hairy and hairless version of the Chinese crested, while cat breeds will include a Turkish angora, sphynx, Savannah, Abyssinian and Somali.
Each breed will be spotlighted in its own booth, which will be decorated to depict the history, country of origin and function of each type, said Gina DiNardo, assistant vice president at the American Kennel Club.
“You get to see all the different countries the dogs are from and learn a little about their heritage, but then you also get to learn practical things like if that breed would be right for you," DiNardo said.
Meet the Breeds will take place Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, located at 655 W. 34th St. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children.