Showtime for Your Cat

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 13,037
    Susan Cook Henry of the ‘The Cat Fanciers Association’ shows us how to show a cat.

    Susan Cook Henry: Hi, I'm Susan Cook Henry. I represent the Cat Fancier's Association and I am teaching you how to show a cat. Now it's show time. The show is about to begin. There are few things that happen before the show actually starts. The announcer will introduce all of the judges and also point to their ring numbers. We have a very small judging ring set up right here. You'll need to familiarize yourself with the judging schedule. Quite often the judging schedule is actually printed on the back side of the catalog. If not, it can be picked up at the entry table as you check-in in the morning. Make sure that you understand your cat's class and anticipate when the cat might be called up. You are going to be hearing a lot of numbers called over the public address system. So keep your ears peeled, cats shows have a tendency to move along rather quickly. So once you hear number is approaching your cat you are going to want to get your cat out and get it ready to go up to the judging ring. Don't wait until you hear your cat's number called to take it to ring because you are going to need a few minutes to prepare, making sure that the cat is ready to be in the judging ring, making sure that the eyes are clean, if it's gotten the drink of water, you want to make sure that that fur is dry. That's why it's very important to make sure that you have got plenty of time before your cat is called. Check every area of the cat. It's very important to check under the tail to make sure that there are no surprises there. Nothing that you or the judge want to discover when it's too late. They are ready to go to the ring. Carry your cat at a comfortable angle. Proceed at the judging ring. You'll notice that there will be blue cards and pink cards. Blue cards are for the males, pink cards are for the females. It's also a show rule that no male cats or neuters may be placed in adjacent cages.

    Joey's number is number 95. He goes into the cage, give him a pat of assurance, tell him he is a good boy. And then quietly go and sit in the front of the judging ring.

    As the judge goes to your cat's class, the judge is going to take your cat out of the cage, bring the cat to the judging table, put it on the table, take a general look. He probably wants to see what the cat's expression looks like. He'll then go ahead and feel for structure, for boning, for coat and condition. Generally, expect your cat to be on the table for at least thirty seconds to sixty seconds. The more the judge likes your cat or is interested the longer your cat will be on the table. This will be done with each cat. After the judge judges your cat he or she will go back to the table and will have a bottle of sanitizer as well as paper towels. Their hands will be disinfected between the handling of each cat. This will proceed through the entire color class. This is when the ribbons come in. Cat showing is a series of competitions, starting at the very basic level of the color class. Joey being a cream Persian and the only one in his class will automatically be awarded the blue ribbon. If he is the only cat in his color class, he is also awarded a black ribbon. That ribbon says best of color. It doesn't mean he has the best color it means he is the best one in his class.

    Let's say for example, number 96 or a cream Persian female. She would also get a blue ribbon being the only one in her class. And if she happened to be an open cat and the judge felt worthy of a champion title, would be given a red white and blue ribbon. This is called the winner's ribbon. Six of these ribbons are required for a cat to claim a champion title.

    Let's say that the judge now has compared the cream male with the cream female and has decided that Joey is the better of the two cats. He gets the black ribbon for best of color. The female gets the white ribbon for second best of color in addition to the blue ribbon that would be on her cage. Now we are moving up the pyramid. The color class has been decided there are other colors in the solid color Persian division for example. Once those colors have been judged by the judge, the judge now needs to pick an over all best of the breed or division. So he has judged the cream Persians, the white Persians, the blue Persians, the blacks and the reds. And he has decided that of all those cats he likes Joey the best. Joey is going to get a brown ribbon. The brown ribbon is the best breed or division. And he turns out that he really likes the cream female as well. She is going to get the orange ribbon for second best in division. As the pyramid grow, Joey is now eligible for a best in show win. Any cat that has named best in show must have won its breed or division. During the judging process there will be a clerk seated at the judge's table. The clerk is responsible for recording the awards that the judge is making. The clerk is also responsible for turning down the number once a class is completed. That will be your signal that it's time to take your cat back from the ring. Once the clerk moves to your cage and turns your number down you are free to go to your cage. The ribbons on the cage are considered permanent ribbons. If you desire to have ribbons to take home with you, those ribbons are also available at the show. Take your cat out of the cage and tell the cat what a good boy he has been. If you have a special treat that your cat particularly likes whether it's a chicken treat or baby food, this is the time that you'd want to give your cat its special treat. Before long your cat will be called up to the next judging ring. The show will have a tendency to move quickly at first, may be some lulls during the middle of the day and then pick up again towards the end of the day. And if your cat has done well he may be called up to a final. Next the show goes on.