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Cat Shows :
An Introduction

cat show ribbons

Cat shows are an opinion of how close an animal is to the standard. While this might be droll it keeps things in perspective. While showing is competitive it’s also a chance to travel and spend time with your cats. There are good and bad sports in all walks of life but also there are many more who just enjoy spending time with their animals and with other people who like cats.

A cat show has an individual judge whose opinion may differ from another judge at the same show or at other shows. The standard is the ideal – if there were such a thing as the perfect cat it would be what the standard says. Of course there is no perfect cat, so the one as close as possible to that standard is the key. This is where opinion can come into play.

All breed shows can include all cats while a specialty is one of the best of the best of an individual breed. Having a best cat in show is a source of pride for a breeder who has worked hard to produce beautiful and healthy cats, selecting the best queens to be mated to the best matched toms.

Cat shows have several competitive classes, including

the kitten class,
miscellaneous and household pets.

Kittens are 4-8 months of age and compete with the same breed, sex and color, with the best of those going to best of color then best of breed. All of the kittens then compete for Top 10 kittens where they are not judged against each other but how close they are to that stated standard. For example if the Persian is, in the judge’s opinion, 90% to the standard and the Russian Blue 95% the RB would be placed higher.

At eight months they advance to the championship class or if altered the premiership class. This is considered the ‘open’ division, and again grouped initially by sex and color the best of each complete for best of breed and a chance to advance, naming the best 3 animals of each breed. After six winners ribbons the cat can compete against other champions for a Grand Champion title.

The Cat Fancier’s Association also has classes for household pets, judged on appearance, markings and disposition. These should be over 8 months, must be neutered or spayed but may not be declawed.

The camaraderie in getting to know other cat breeders and the challenge of breeding outstanding cats is a reward from showing that is beyond just the ribbons and awards. Getting up early in the morning, traveling to the show, getting motel rooms and dealing with getting the cats to their respective classes is not something that is done for profit as surely there is not enough profit to be made.

Because it is opinion and comparison a winner may or may not be the best animal but good sportsmanship counts. Smile, congratulate the winner and remember although the judge might not have rewarded your cat today that can change. Also the judge doesn’t live with the cat – you do! Keep the animals you like no matter show placing and strive to do better.

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