Showing Your Cat
This is an extract from the GCCF Publication “Showing Cats”, available from the Office.
There are shows held almost every weekend and you can find information in cat magazines or by contacting the GCCF Office.
The public are normally admitted in the middle of the day until closing time at about 5pm. The cats are all placed in wire pens with a white blanket to sit on – often hiding a hot water bottle or an ice pack to keep them comfortable. The cats are all in similar surroundings so that they cannot be identified by the judges.
The judges move round the hall with their stewards, taking the cats out of their pens one at a time to be judged; you will recognise them by their badges and white coats. Judges do not normally speak to the exhibitors or the public until they have finished their judging. The results are written into a book and slips from the books appear on the results board later in the day; you will see the boards surrounded by exhibitors excitedly searching for their cats’ placings.
The pens are in rows usually starting with the Long Hairs in pen number 1 and ending with the Siamese. The non pedigree cats may be in a different part of the hall. The show will have a catalogue which will give you information about the cats, their breeds and colours and will also have advertisements put in by the breeders so if you are thinking of buying a kitten it will be very useful. Many shows have notices or leaflets to help you find your way around.
There is one very special show held at the NEC, Birmingham each year in November where cats that have won the top prizes at other shows can compete for the title of ‘Supreme’; this is the Supreme Cat Show. Here the cats will all be exhibited in large decorated pens and will be taken to special rings to be judged. If you are lucky the judge may give a commentary on the judging while you are watching.
Thinking about showing your cat ?
This does need careful consideration. The most important thing to decide is if your cat will enjoy the show because shows are meant to be enjoyed by the cats as well as their owners. Some cats are shy and nervous and a show would be an ordeal for them; a show cat needs an unflappable and friendly disposition. Cats are best introduced to showing at an early age so that they can get used to the idea before they get too set in their ways. Great care is taken at shows to reduce the risk of infection to a minimum but there is always a very slight chance that your beloved cat could become ill after a show – is it worth it?
If you have a pedigree cat you should also decide if your cat is ‘good enough’ to be shown. Take advice from the breeder and any other experienced person you know. If you have no one to ask contact the GCCF and ask for the ‘phone number of the secretary of your local cat club; talk to them and join the club too so that you will start making friends with people who show.
How to enter your cat in a show
Once you have decided to have a go it is always best to go to a show without your cat to see how it is done without the worry of getting it wrong. You will also need to embark on a little light reading! Far better to know the rules than to find that you have broken them and are in trouble. This could result in your cat being disqualified. Tackling the entry form can be a bit daunting so give yourself plenty of time.