Entering your cat into a cat show can be a fun and
social time for both yourself, your family and for your cat. Your cat
does not have to be a high class pedigreed cat to enter a show, in fact
Domestic or moggy cats are encouraged to enter. But please ensure your
cats vaccinations are up to date and that you trim the claws of your cat
in case of injury to the handlers.
In a pedigree section you can enter your cat as an
entire or even if it has been desexed (neutered or spayed). In the domestic
section all adults cats must be desexed. A pedigree cat should be
registered with a Governing Body, the breeder where you bought your cat
from will verify for you if they have registered the kitten for you, if
it has you will receive a registration certificate from
the Governing Body your kitten was registered with.
don't have to be a member of a club or association to enter your cat
into a show. For SA show dates please see below or for further information please contact the GCCFSA (The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy SA) on 8254 1917 or FASA
(Feline Association of SA) on 8236 3314 in South Australia.
You will need a proper cat carry cage to transport
your cat to and from the show. These can be bought from a pet store, vet
clinic or from the RSPCA (8231 6931 - 172 Morphett Street Adelaide)
The First Show
Once your receive
your show schedule, which you would have received from the show
manager of your chosen show, read it carefully and keep it for
future reference. It will tell you where the show is and what time
to be there by.
Fill in your
schedule clearly and correctly, referring to your cats registration
certificate for the details. Make sure you understand which classes
your cat is eligible to enter. Contact the breeder of your cat or
the show manager, they will be able to help you.
Post your entry
Don't forget if
entering a kitten it must be 3 months old or older to enter.
Before the Show
Grooming should not
be left to the last minute. Regular brushing or even frequent
grooming with the hands should keep the cats coat smooth and
shining. If the coat is harsh and open make sure that the cat is not
infested with worms and also that it is getting enough fluid in its
Check that the
cat's ears are clean and that it is free of fleas. Every exhibit
must pass a veterinary inspection before it can be benched and it
would be a shame to be refused entry for something which is easily
The night before the
Give your cat a
last minute grooming session. Check that the eyes and nose are
Don't forget to
trim your cats claws. You will most probably be refused entry at the
vetting table until this is done.
Gather together the
gear you will be taking with you.
You will need:
The carry basket
A plain white
cushion for the bottom of the cage
A covered litter
curtains for the 3 sides of the cage
Food and drink for
the cat, after the judging
If for any reason
you think your cat is not well, don't take him to the show. The
stress of showing will make him worse and if he is infectious you
don't want to spread anything around to the other cats. If the cat
is showing obvious systems, eg watery eyes, sneezing, coughing etc.,
the cat would more than likely be disqualified at the vetting in
On the morning of the
Be punctual, but if
it's in-line vetting be prepared for a wait. So dress warm in
Join the queue for
veterinary inspection, in case of in-cage vetting, you
may place your cat directly in the cage. Your show schedule will
say if it's in-line or in-cage vetting. For in-cage vetting the
vetting of all cats will be performed in the cats' cages. You will
all be asked to leave the area while this is being done.
vetting slip as your enter the actual show area. There will normally
be a desk set up to the side of the door as you enter. Just give the
person manning the desk your name. Also inform them if any of your
entered cats were unable to attend, (scratchings). The slip will have your
cats details and cage number on it.
The vet who will be
assisted by a Stewart will check your cats eyes, ears and mouth. He
will check the coat for fleas and will also check the cats anal
area. The vetting table will be sprayed after each exhibitors cats
have been checked to help stop the spread of any infection between
cats. After your cats are vetted in the vetting slip will be
initialed by the Stewart if everything is okay.
Find your numbered cage and place the cushion and curtains in it.
Give your cat a last little cuddle and wish him luck, then place the
cat in the cage as well.
If you are showing
a kitten you can leave his uncovered litter box in the cage with
him. But no toys or coloured rugs etc.
Most shows now
allow you to view the judging. There will be seats set up for your
comfort, but please do be quiet during the judging and the show
committee request that you turn your mobile phone off.
After judging has
been completed, you may now go to your cat and give him a
big cuddle. And don't forget to tell him 'well done'! Shows are
normally one ring or two ring shows. Make sure all the judging for
your cat has been completed before feeding him.
If you want to
decorate your cats cage with coloured curtains etc., this can be
done now too. Some shows now allow you to put up coloured curtains
before the judging. But if you are not sure just put up your white
ones, you don't want to be eliminated for the wrong coloured
Don't forget, if
you have any questions just ask one of the other exhibitors. Most
are very friendly people who like to help.
After the Show
Whatever precautions are taken at
the show to minimize the chance of infection from cat to another, there
is always a slight risk of bringing something unpleasant back home with
you. In a multi-cat household do take care. Some exhibitors will isolate
any cat returning from a show, especially if there are young kittens in
A quick dose of flea powder before
the cat is allowed inside will ensure that none of these unwelcome
visitors will get any further.
old-fashioned idea that I have heard off, is to soak a cotton wool ball
in whisky or a similar alcohol and swab the inside of the cat's mouth,
pads of feet and the anal region. Now, I don't think I would like my
delicate areas swabbed with whisky so please do take care if you are
going to use this method. Alcohol kills most germs but I do not think it
would be a pleasant experience for the cat.
It is also a sensible
precaution for exhibitors to wash their hands thoroughly with a little disinfectant
and remove their shoes before touching any cats in the home. Even better, a
change of clothing will not go astray.
Visit Tai & Leigh's blog on more information on showing cats in SA
and even more information on cats, especially Tai.
show in London, 1871)
Show terms for the Novice Show
Cat Fanciers Dictionary
BENCHING REQUEST (bentching rikwest) noun
A tactical maneuver employed by exhibitors with a devout interest in
social climbing, self-preservation or both.
BLOW (blo) verb
What a cat does when it turns ballistic in a ring and goes after a judge
the way China goes after its dissidents.
CONTRACT (kontrakt) noun
Attempted legalese in which the party of the first part, through
sedulous disregard of the first and other amendments, seeks to hog-tie
the party of the second part in a transaction involving a cat.
CATALOG (katuhlaug) noun
An often over priced, confusing, hard to use exhibitors necessity.
Contains all the information on all the cats entered in the show;
however, this information is frequently incorrect
due to no fault of the exhibitor or the entry clerk. Designed to fall
apart by the third ring of the day. Unlike the hand, is easily
misplaced. Most frequently disappears when your cat has done very well
and the information it contains is badly needed.
DESIGNER CAGE CURTAINS (dizainer kaej kertinz) noun
A triumph of platitude over practicality whereby once-utilitarian items
have been elevated to the status of status symbols. Spiritual kin to the
velvet Elvis painting, designer cage curtains sometimes cost more than
the cats they surround.
DIRECTIONS TO THE SHOW HALL (direkshunz, sho haul) noun
In legal parlance, sufficient cause for justifiable homicide. No jury
has ever convicted a person for assaulting the committee member who put
together the directions to the show hall.
DISCRETIONARY INCOME (diskreshunaree inkum) noun
What an exhibitor has left for the mortgage, the kids' orthodontist, the
utility bills after paying entry fees, plane fares and dinners charged
to Mastercard for the last four shows.
DISINFECTANT (disinfecktnt) noun
A sacramental ointment used by judges to wash their hands of their
END-OF-ROW-BENCHING (end ov roe bentching) noun
Prime show hall real estate paid for by exhibitors who are incapable of
ignoring people on both
sides of them at once.
ENTRY CLERK (entre klurk) noun
A person of questionable judgment who suffers fools, phone calls, and
inane questions, though not always gladly or with grace.
FRESH WATER (fresh wahtr) noun
A luke-warm, murky substance at least one-quarter mile and two doorways
from an exhibitor's benching cage.
FUR (fer) noun
What some exhibitors and judges wear to cat shows in colder months to
demonstrate their concern for all animals great and small.
GATE (gaet) noun
A collective noun applied to a collection of individuals, at least half
of whom interrupt your grooming to announce that they "have a cat just
like that at home".
GENETICS (junetiks) noun
An arcane, tedious discipline, little understood, yet much discussed by
cat breeders, the knowledge of which has nothing to do with producing a
good cat. Unlucky breeders resort to genetics to explain their failures,
lucky breeders embrace it to explain their successes. Both are generally
HAND (hahnd) noun
An appendage, with an opposable thumb, provided by providence so that
exhibitors will have something to write their cats' entry numbers on
that, unlike the catalog, they won't be able to misplace.
HOUSEHOLD PET CLASS (howshoeld pet klas) noun
A congregation of cats of allegedly unknown origin who sometimes
outnumber their pedigreed cousins at a show.
A plea of Nolo Contrendre entered by a judge who is about to do
something that a goodly percentage
of the audience is sure to disagree with.
JUDGES DINNER (judgz dinur) noun
A secular version of the last supper in which the haves are pursued by
the would-haves. An enterprise to
which the average exhibitor is not always invited despite the fact that
he or she is subsidizing the dinner with an entry fee.
JUDGING TABLE (judjing taebul) noun
A place where fleas, mats, ear mites, and suspicious looking bald spots,
miraculously appear for the
first time in a cat's life.
LUNCH BREAK (luntch braek) noun
An interval in which exhibitors repay judges for their many
transgressions by asking them questions while they are trying to eat.
MASTER CLERK (mastur klurk) noun
A person with a keenly developed tolerance for drudgery, a head for
transcribing figures under extreme
duress, and a determination to become a judge at any cost. A fondness
for self-flagellation and hair shirts may be substituted for the judging
NOVICE EXHIBITOR (nahvis exibitur) noun
A natural mutation of the human species. Equal parts "golly-gee"
enthusiasm and endless questions.
PEDIGREE (pedugree) noun
A document listing the known (or alleged) ancestors of a cat. Much
studied by persons with a fondness for cryptograms.
PEOPLE FOOD (peepul fud) noun
What exhibitors subsist on at shows. Differs from cat food in that the
latter must conform to certain
POLITICS (polutiks) noun
Why your cat was defeated by a cat belonging to someone on the show
committee, or by a judge.
PREPOTENT (preepoetunt) adjective
What a male cat automatically becomes after he's produced one good
litter with a mediocre outcross
PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM (publik ahdres sistum) noun
An instrument of torture that argues (loudly) on behalf of selected
repression of freedom
RAFFLE (rafl) noun
Legalized petty larceny, sanctioned by show committees, in which
children are authorized to shake down their elders in the spirit of
trick or treat.
RIVAL ASSOCIATIONS (raival asosseeaeshunz) noun
Beknighted assembles with no redeeming social value, where the cats are
inferior, the judges
are incompetent, and the exhibitors eat their young.
ROSETTE (roezet) noun
A garish wall covering. Prized by cat fanciers the way scalps were
prized by warlike Indians.
SHOWABLE BREEDER (sho-abul breedur) noun
A cat with a better chance of producing than defeating grands.
Distinguished from the garden variety of
breeder by the price.
SHOW BATH (shoe bahth) noun
A very painful and needlessly complicated process which removes a
quantity of dirt and hair from a cat, multiplies it by ten, mixes it
with steam and applies it to every surface of a room.
SHOW COMMITTEE (shoe kuhmitee) noun
The ship of state of fools, depends on who's at the helm and how
treacherous the sharks in the
surrounding water are. Note the word commit, as in certifiably insane.
SHOW FLYER (shoe flie-ur) noun
What the serpent concealed in the apple he presented to Eve.
SPECTATOR (spektaeur) noun
STANDARD (standurd) noun
A work of fiction that artfully combines the exactitude of the
constitution with the literary flair of a blueprint. Difficult to read,
nearly impossible to apply, and frequently ignored by the judges.
STEWARD (stoo-urd) noun
An underage and under duress member of the juvenile set wearing at least
one item of clothing you've never seen before and looking at a bunch of
cats he or she hopes never to see again.
THIRD CALL (thurd kawl) noun
The earliest call heeded by those exhibitors who believe the last shall
be the first, as long as the judge
sees them putting the cat in the ring.
A porous disclaimer that the judges use when they aren't convinced of
the certitude of their
decisions and suspect that you aren't going to be either.
TIEBREAKERS (tei-braekrz) noun
What a judge does to stall for time and pray for guidance when
itcouldgoeitherway. These services are usually conducted just before the
judge intones thisisthewayiseeittoday.
TITER (tietur) noun
A number that when squared and divided by 10,000 reveals your chances
(expressed in percentages) of wiping out your entire cattery, if you buy
the cat the titer describes.
TRAINEE (traenee) noun
An extremely nervous individual who holds up the show while trying to
guess how the judge is going to hang the ribbons in any particular
WEDNESDAY (wenzdae) noun
The first day of the week which exhibitors regain full use of their
faculties. Unfortunately, the day of the week on which exhibitors begin
preparing for their next show.