Cats have been Meowowing audiences with their beauty for many centuries. The very first cat show took place in 1598 at the St. Giles Fair, in Winchester, England. In the United States the first cat shows primarily featured the farmers' local Maine Coon breed, and were held at New England county fairs in the 1860s.
Cat show is an event where many cat breeds and companion (also called moggy) cats enter to compete and to win titles and prizes in various cat registering organizations. These cats are judge by a panel of judges, and compared to a breed standards - which can vary from organization to organization.
Today's cat show is held by cat clubs, which are in turn affiliated with cat registries. Cat registry is an organization that registers cats for exhibition and breeding purposes. The largest registries in the world are:
* Cat Fanciers Association (CFA)
* Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFE)
* The International Cat Association (TICA)
* American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)
There are hundreds of cat shows held in the United States and many countries around the world every year, from regional cat club shows, to major national and international events. To find out more about the cat show calendar please click on the above links. Show listings can also be found at Cat Fancy magazine.
If you've never been to a cat show, they can range from one to three day events, consisting of several separate, concurrent shows and classes in show rings throughout the show hall. Different countries may have different styles of judging, for example:
* In Australia, the cat shows can be either "close style" or "open style."
* In Europe, the cats are judged by the traditional style and ring style judging.
* In the United States, each judge has a separate ring with cages.
Let's explore the competition classes for CFA shows a little bit more:
- The cat show will include both pedigreed and non-pedigreed cats.
- Kitten competition will be between ages of four and eight months old - for unaltered and altered pedigreed kittens.
- Championship competition will include unaltered, pedigreed cats over the age of eight months.
- Premiership competition will include cats over eight months, but for altered cats.
- Veteran class will include cats seven years and older, male or female, altered and unaltered cats.
- Miscellaneous competition will call for cats that have been accepted for registration and showing in this class, but not yet accepted for Provisional status.
- Household pet competition includes all random breed and non-pedigreed cats. These cats must have their claws. Kittens must be older than four months on the opening day, and cats older than eight months must be neutered or spayed.
If you are interested in participating in a cat show event, make sure you check with each cat registering organizations for rules, procedures and guidelines.
Some of the pre-show checklist will include: purchasing a good quality cat carrier - which should include curtains, bedding, food, water, and cat litter; your cat must be vaccinated - documentation required; make sure your cat is free of mites, ticks, parasites, and fleas; have your cat groomed and clip his/her nails; and remember to bring grooming tools and a few toys.
Also, prior to registering your cat to a cat show, make sure your cat's temperament and personality will allow you to take him to a place with other cats and people. If your cat is used to be handled by strangers and with other pets he is a good contender for this event. However, if your cat is shy and not used to be around and handled by strangers your cat should not participate - this could be very stressful and even cause health issues to your cat.
Visiting a cat show? Please be aware of the following cat show etiquette:
* Do not touch the cats without asking the cat owner permission. There are many bacteria and viruses that can easily spread from cat to cat throughout contact. If the owner says "yes," you may be asked to disinfect your hands first.
* If you have children with you, please make sure that they do not run or shout in the show hall.
* Please watch for and allow people carrying cats to pass.
* If you hear anyone yell "Cat Out!" please stand still and let the owner catch the cat. If you spot the cat, please signal the location to the search team and/or owner.
"DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CATCH THE CAT!"
* Do not ask the judges questions while the cats are being judged.
* Do not walk behind the judging table to look at cats in the judging cages. This is the only off-limits area at the cat show.
Cat shows are also a great place to meet and learn more about different breeds. If you are interested in buying a pedigreed kitten, this will be a great opportunity for you to speak with breeders. For more information about choosing a breeder, click here.
Most of all, enjoy the show!
Cat Show - Temple, GA - May 5, 2012
Cat Breeds And More.
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