Cat Shows – Pet tip 218
The vast majority of cat owners get cats simply because they like cats and feel that they make great pets. It’s hard to disagree with that; cats are cute, cuddly, and fairly independent. Some cat owners however, are in such awe when it comes to the grace and beauty of their cat that they want to show their cat at a cat show.
Cat shows have been around for about four hundred years with the first cat show starting in 1598 at an English fair. Cat shows really started to take off though in the late 1800’s when large cat shows made a splash in major international cities like London England and New York City in the United States.
Cat shows are basically competitions where purebred cats are judged against a written breed standard which is supposed to represent the ‘perfect’ cat for that breed. The cat that is closest to the breed standard wins. The cat is judged on elements like coat colour and texture, eye colour and shape, ear type and shape, body shape etc. Points are deducted for any variation in the judged cat in relation to the breed standard. If cat owners want their cats to compete in competitions like this, they will need to provide proof of the cat’s pedigree. This would have been given to the cat owner if the cat was obtained from a professional and reputable breeder. Many competitions are also open to mixed breeds or regular ‘household cats’. In this class, since there is no breed standard, cats are usually judged on uniqueness, markings, and friendly behaviour.
If you do want to show your purebred or mixed breed cat at competitions, it’s best to prepare your cat for such activities during kitten-hood or the environment of a cat show may well stress out your cat. Such preparation should include getting your kitten used to car travel, crowds, being handled by strangers etc. This should be a fun activity for both cats and cat owners. If it’s not fun for the cat, there’s no point in bringing your cat to these shows.
In terms of prizes, it’s best not to think about them. Most times the prizes at these shows are honourary. You’ll likely get a ribbon and a certificate if your cat wins in its class. You should also know that there are normally entrance fees so showing your cat is normally not lucrative. If you are a professional breeder and your cat wins, then you can charge a premium for the offspring. Aside from that showing your cat should simply be thought of as a fun activity where cats and cat owners can get together for a good time. If you decide that showing your cat might be for you, contact the Cat Fanciers’ Association for more details. They are the largest organization that deals with cat shows in North America.