I had a neighbor many years ago sign her cat up for a show in our town. So to show support we went to the show. Her cat was all scared and spent its day trying to hide in the cage. It never got a ribbon and she never took it to another show. Never thought much about it after that, other than feeling sorry for my neighbor’s cat.
We had purchased a pure bred lilac point Siamese kitten in Canada from my sister in-law’s friend. My sister in-law told us that she had gone to a few cat shows and thought it was as she described it “a lark!”
So after I got back home and thought on it for awhile, we decided to give it a try. We had a pretty nice looking cat and she just loved people, cats, dogs and did not mind riding in the car. We signed her up and sent in our funds.
Preparing to take a cat for a show is a feat of its own. Packing all sorts of stuff, reminded me of a day outing with a baby. You need coverings for the cage, all three sides and something for the bottom. You will need a cat carrier for transporting cat to and from the show hall. Also, needed is a litter box (most shows provide the litter), bowls for water and food, cat food, litter scoop and a bunch of other stuff for grooming of the cat prior to taking it to the ring to be judged. You must clip your cat’s claws prior to being shown, that is for the judge’s protection. Even with that, I have seen some judges get pretty tore up. And those cats do have teeth and will use them if they are not at all happy with the situation. Some cats get better with the more shows they attend and I have seen others get more agitated the more they go. On one occasion a judge had to go to emergency, because her hand was tore up so bad.
Upon arriving at the cat show in plenty of time we immediately set up our cage. We now had time to wander around and check out the vendors.
When you enter your cat, for breed cats you are required to put down cat’s name, but also mother and father. Siamese breeders knew the father of our cat’s cattery, but did not know my cat’s cattery. One of the vendors did know and explained to the very suspicious group of breeders. Once they got the connection, we were alright. The father’s cattery immediately gave use some pointers on getting better points and helped us out to make our cat look more defined. It is better for the breeder if we succeed. More cats that get winners ribbons, the more they can claim a line of winners. Which in turn makes their kittens more in demand, means they can charge more for their kittens or for stud fees.
We survived the first show, we did do okay, although no final ribbons.
Since Sammy really loved the shows it was fun to take her. She would reach out at passing kids and talked to them. She was also good for laughs in the judging rings. When the judge turned his or her back on Sammy, she would let out a big meow, when she got their attention, she would talk softly. She was always talking and caused lots of amusement for everyone. It was always nosier at the Siamese rings anyways, but I think she is the most talkative cat I have ever seen at any show.
During the many cat shows, I also had my eye on a household pet category. Competition is not so ruthless and a cat could come in first in one ring and dead last in another.
Freckles seemed like a great candidate for the next show. She was a Siamese/Persian mix, very unusual markings, with big blue eyes. Freckles pretty much described her coat color. One paw and her cheeks were freckled. The rest of her feet, ears and tail were seal pointed, but not totally solid and her body was slightly freckled. To do well in this category, you need unique coloring or a super personality, both is a plus. But it becomes judge’s choice, so it could go anyway. Freckles did well over her cat show years. To be honest, I much preferred showing her. I had lots of ribbons for her, many first place ones.
I think she would have rather just stayed home, but once she got there she really didn’t mind the attention. She would go to the judge’s ring and if they spent the time with her they would have a few laughs. She liked to be petted and if they would rub her chin she would end up with face down on the table and then they would rub her back and she would be up on her back tip toes. If they worked with this she would be back and forth in these positions, which would be lots of laughter from everyone. Her fur was really soft (you learn what to bathe them with and use a conditioner afterwards. Note: use only cat products.) She never liked the bath, but without it she would not have done as well. We showed her until she was 18 years. They get extra notice for being older, healthy and showing up!
I have not shown cats in quite a few years, but the best time was with Freckles.
The cat shows are for the serious breeders and they enter many of them. It is pretty tough going; to have a pure breed cat and make it to the top unless you have a great cat, also have plenty of time and money to spend going to shows almost every weekend. The breeders are trying to promote their breed and their catteries. They are also putting on shows. Getting involved on this level is very time consuming also. I love cats, but my whole life is not centered around cats. I did not have the drive, interest and commitment to have a working cattery. I have never known anybody that made a living out of a legitimate cattery, they all seemed to work or have other means of income. I am not saying there are none, but I have never met any of them. If they make a living out of it, it would take them many years to build a reputation and a great line of cats. I know that many great breed owners have gone on to be judges in the cat shows. They are usually very heavily invested in time and money for them to have become successful. This is just something you need to know if you feel like you would like to have a full time cattery. Connection with other breeders is a must, with full dedication and plan on years of hard work and much expense.
So, for the fun, if you want to enter a cat in a cat show, go for the household pet category.