All about showing your cat.
If you are planning to enter your very first Cat Show, the first thing to do is speak to your cats breeder. Your cat must be registered and transferred to your name for exhibition purposes.
Your cats breeder will be able to guide you through the pre-show preparation required for your particular breed of feline. Much has to be gathered for show day. A good quality carry case, a small litter tray, water bowl, show cage curtains and base.
It is essential that your cat be in peak condition for exhibition. So he/she should have good weight and muscle tone. Eyes and ears sparkling clean. Claws clipped front and back (a show regulation). Pre show grooming is unique to each breed. The smooth coated cats are not often bathed but frequently groomed with hands, cloths and mitts for example. The longhaired breeds may require a bath and blow dry. But it is critical that you speak to your breeder so the correct grooming is carried out. They will want a cat from their cattery to be benched in the best possible condition.
It can be a good idea to try to accustom your cat to traveling in a car as some cats do get car sick. So take him/her for some short drives to find out how your's will travel. Don't feed much at all on the show morning as this has a few consequences. Travel sick, toilet requirements to name two important ones!
There is much to do to prepare for your first cat show!! Your cat will need to be healthy, happy, well-groomed and used to traveling and being handled by people and strangers. Your cat should also have been exposed to a multi-cat environment if possible so they are comfortable around other cats. Make sure all your cat's vaccinations are current, and up to date at least 2 weeks before the show.
At the Show.
On arrival, make sure your cat is all clean before taking out of the car. You will find there is usually a queue to get into the show hall as you will need to collect your "benching slip" so you know where your cat is to go. Allow at least an hour to set up your cage if this is your first show and to get your cat settled in.
Judging and Exhibiting
The judges at FCCQ are trained for many years to be proficient and knowledgeable at what they do. They will have studied extensively and be required to keep up to date with refresher courses and seminars. They are trained to look for the best, most outstanding example of each breed present on the day, in each class. This is based on the written standard which exists for each breed. These can be found on our Cat Breeds page. Not only is the exhibit judged on its closeness to the written standard but it must be in outstanding condition and groomed to perfection and with a great show temperament!
In non-pedigree classes such as Household Pet, only the latter elements will be considered in the judging as there are no breed standards to look for.
Most shows are "open" style so the judge will announce to the audience what characteristics they like or sometimes what may need to be improved upon based on the relevant breed standard. If you wish to speak to a judge about your cats results, wait until judging is completed and politely ask. The judge will be happy to critique your cat briefly and the reasons behind their decision. Above all though is to keep it all in perspective and enjoy your day, win or loose!
The prize winning cats will be given a rosette, sash or sometimes cat products depending on the show. If your cat is in the adult class and has won, a Challenge certificate is also awarded. These are accumulated until such time as you have sufficient to make your cat a Champion!