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Showing Your Cat

The Four Competitive Classes

  • Kitten Class- Pedigreed cats between the age of four months old and eight months old.

  • Championship Class - Pedigreed cats, which are unaltered, at least eight months.

  • Premiership Class - Pedigreed cats that have been spayed or neutered that are at least eight months old.

  • Household Pets (HHP) - Random-bred, non-pedigreed cats of any color or pattern, at least four months old. By eight months old, the cat will have to be spayed or neutered. Not all shows have an HHP class, so always check to see if the show allows HHPs.

  • AOV - All Other Variety - Pedigreed cats in a color pattern not recognized for Championship Status. The cats are shown with their breed, at the end of the breed class. They are not eligible for a Best of Breed ribbon, but they will receive a color ribbon.

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Getting Started

  • Registration - You should have the papers from the breeder. Fill in all the pertinent information and send to CFA Central Office with the appropriate fees. I believe it is around $10.00. You will receive a green slip with your cat's registration number.

  • Finding a Show - Go to the CFA Show Schedule and find your region. You may be able to see the actual show flyer and print it out. Find a show that you would like to attend. There will be information concerning the location of the show, judges, cost and closing date. The entry clerk will be listed with a phone number and/or e-mail address.

  • You will need to fill out an entry form with all the pertinent information, most of which you can get from green registration slip. Check the flyer to see if there is a contact name for new exhibitors. That person will be able to help you fill out your entry form if needed. You may request who you like to be benched near. If you do not know anyone at the show, feel free to ask the entry clerk to bench you next to someone who would help.

  • All regions, except the Southwest region use small cages. If you go to a show in a region other than the Southwest region, I would suggest requesting and sending the fees for a double cage. Otherwise you will be sharing one cage that has been separated by a wire partition.

  • Mail the entry form to the entry clerk with the appropriate fee at least two to three weeks in advance.

  • Some shows have an "early bird" entry fee. If you enter the show well in advance you will pay a discounted fee. That is a great incentive to enter early.

  • Confirmation - You will receive a confirmation slip in the mail. Check to make sure all information is correct. If there is an error, phone the entry clerk so the changes can be made. If you do not receive one by the Monday before the show, call the entry clerk to make sure your entry has been received. Note the time of check in on the confirmation slip. It is usually about 90 minutes before the show is scheduled to begin.

  • Preparation - Before you go to the show, you will need special shampoo and products and be prepared to bathe your cat.

  • You and your cat will be at the show hall for most of the weekend, so make him as comfortable as possible. The area where your cat will be stationed is the "benching area."

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Show Supplies

  • Carrier - Always, always, travel with your cat in a hard-shell carrier that is securely strapped in to your car. Never, ever let your cat run loose in the car. If you are ever in an accident and your cat is loose, your cat may cascade like a bullet through the windshield.

  • Cart - This is not 100% necessary, but it sure is helpful. I like the platform four wheeled carts because the cat will stay upright and it is easier to pile up show stuff. Since I always bring a cooler, the platform is a big help. My favorite cart is the lightweight cart by Rubbermaid, which is sold at Home Depot. It is a bit pricey at around $75.00, but I love it. Damark Catalog also has a cart that is very nice, and a bit more affordable at around $20.00. It is item number B88991531352. The cart is made of metal so it is heavier.

  • Bungee Cords - Surplus stores carry the longer bungee cords. These are very important, as you will want to secure your cat and your show supplies to your cart while walking to and from the show hall. Bungee Cords are also helpful to securing your cat the car.

  • Cage Curtains - You can make your own cage curtains out of a twin sheet, raw fabric, or purchase already made cage curtains. The flyer will indicate the size of the cage provided. CFA Show Rules require the cage to be covered, inside and out on the three sides and the top. The front of the cage has a door, which is not covered.

  • Soft Pad or Mat - You will need to cover the table with a soft pad or towel, so the cat will be comfortable while in the cage. I use a bath mat with a non-skid rubber bottom.

  • Cat Bed/Cat Lounger - Your cat will probably want to sleep while he is waiting to go to the rings, so bring his favorite bed or lounger to snuggle in. Barbara from Body Gear makes great beds and pads.

  • Small Litter Box - The box has to fit in the cage. I bring my own litter, but most shows offer litter.

  • Toys - Bring lots of toys, so your cat will enjoy the show. Sparkle balls and furry mice are always fun. Don't forget a couple of the wand toys.

  • Water and Food Bowl - I use a small ceramic water bowl with a non-skid rubber bottom and I bring small paper plates for the raw food.

  • Food and Water - Bring enough food for the day. If you are staying overnight, then bring enough food and water for both days. I use a small ice chest to keep the raw food nice and fresh. To save room in the cooler, I freeze the water, as it acts as an ice pack.

  • Grooming Supplies - Each breed will require different grooming supplies, which can be purchased at a vendor at the show.

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The Day Of The Show

  • Bring your confirmation slip and make sure you arrive during the check in time that is listed on your confirmation slip.

  • Unpack your car and load up the cart. Go to the entrance of the show hall and check in with the entry clerk. You will receive a catalog and benching row number.

  • Go to your row and look for your name on an index card. Be careful not to bump into anyone, as the rows are usually small and people are bustling about setting up their cages.

  • A cheery good morning as you are walking to your benching area sets the day off to a good start.

  • It is nice to introduce yourself to the people around your benching area.

  • Try to keep the aisle clear by parking your cart as close to the table as possible.

  • Remove the cage from the table and place it on the floor.

  • Put your soft pad or bath mat on the table where your cage was placed.

  • Take out your show curtains and cover the cage. You may want to ask someone close by to show you how.

  • Place your cage back on the table on top of the mat.

  • Put your litter box and water bowl in the cage.

  • Take your cat out of the carrier, cuddle him and give him a few kisses, then put him in the show cage.

  • Play with your cat in the show cage and show him that it is a safe place. Use some of the wand toys you brought to relax your cat.

  • Place your show bag, cooler and personal belongings under the table out of the way.

  • Your cat's number should be on an index card which should be right inside the front cover. There may be a hook on the cage to hang the number.

  • Take a few minutes to look through the catalog and find your cat. Check to make sure there are no mistakes. If you find any, you will need to correct them on a form which you can get from the Master Clerk.

  • After you are all set up and feel comfortable, you are ready to start grooming

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Going To The Ring

  • Listen carefully for your number. Your cat should be groomed at least by the time five numbers before your number has been called. For example, if your cat is number 105, you would want your cat groomed and ready to go to the ring, by the time the announcer calls for cats 95-100.

  • Never make the announcer call your number for a second time. It is very important to get to the ring on time.

  • As you approach the ring, look for your number and take the shortest route around the judging area to get there. You may walk behind the judge to get to the cage, but do not walk in front of the judge to get to the cage. The judging will continue, so make sure that you quickly put your cat in the cage and then go and sit down. Do not call attention to yourself.

  • Sit quietly in your seat as your cat is being judged. Do not make any unusual sounds while your cat or another cat is on the table being judged. Do not speak to the judge, unless the judge specifically speaks to you. Do not let the judge and everyone else know which is your cat. While the judge is looking at your cat and playing with the toys, do not make any comments indicating that the cat is yours!

  • After you cat has been judged, the judge will put the cat back into the cage behind him.

  • After he has judged all the cats in your breed, he will hang the ribbons for the Best and Second Best of Breed.

  • The ring clerk will then write down the results in the judges book. When the ring clerk has completed that, the ring clerk will then either verbally tell you that your cat can go back, or they will turn the cards away from the audience indicating that you may now pick up your cat.

  • Quietly go to the cage, pick up your cat and take him back to the benching area.

  • Tell your cat how well he was in the ring and how proud you are. When you get back to your benching area, don't just drop off your cat and walk away. Play with your cat to show him how great he was in the ring.

  • Never yell or get mad at your cat if your cat did not get the Best of Breed ribbon. Always praise your cat after the ring. My cats always think they get the Best of Breed ribbon every time because when I pick up my cat, I tell him how well he did and that he was the best one up there again.

  • After the judge has gone through all the numbers in your category, he will call up the bottom half of the final, so listen closely for your number.

  • If your number is called, bring your cat to the judging area and place your cat in the cage. The judge will give each cat a ribbon and when he is finished, he will tell you that the cats may return to their benching area.

  • Pick up your cat and ribbon and give the judge a simple thank you. Do not engage the judge in conversation by telling the judge all about your cat.

  • When the bottom half of the final is completed, the judge will call up the top half. If you were not in the bottom half, listen for your number.

  • This procedure will take place in each ring.

  • If you are in kitten class, the judge will call all ten cats up at the same time. The most important thing to remember is to have fun. Don't go to the show expecting to win every ring, or even one ring. It is your first time going, so take the time to learn proper etiquette and meet new friends.

  • Make sure you learn how to Groom Your Tonkinese Cat before you go to the show!

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