This information applies to GCCF shows only. Your pedigree cat must be registered with the GCCF, properly transferred and fully vaccinated. You should look up your breed Standard of Points (SOP) and ‘withholding faults’ for your breed. They are available from the GCCF along with dates and venues for all the shows. Entry forms have to be in around six weeks before the show and schedules are available from the show manager by sending a large SAE. Help with entry forms is available from the show manager but basically you enter the Open class according to status and colour, for example Brown Female Burmese and three other side classes that you feel are appropriate.
Unfortunately a well-socialised kitten from a reputable breeder doesn’t necessarily make a happy show cat. Some enjoy all the attention and others are afraid or bored. Getting your cat used to a pen can help, as can handling in the manner of a judge. Some people give their cat a blanket to hide in, but many of the paying public feel short changed when they can’t see the cats. Remember to discourage people from touching your cat as it can spread disease.
Show preparation is easy for shorthaired cats. All you have to do is smooth out the coat with a comb, velvet or chamois. A bran bath a few days before the show, followed by a brushing with a chamois leather, will bring the up the shine on a dark coat as will a little talc on a light coat. All traces must be removed before showing. Ensure ears and eyes are clean and trim the claws, being careful to avoid the quick. Check your cat's coat is free of any flea infestations or scratches, which will see them rejected at ‘Vetting In’.
Requirements for showing are:
White Litter Tray, White Food Bowl, White Water Bowl, White Blanket or Vet Bed, Cat Food, Water and the Vaccination Certificate. Show kits are available at shows and on-line.
Showing can be an expensive hobby, particularly if you have several cats. The average entry price is £28, which allows entry to the Open and three side classes. Further costs include £5 catalogue, £2.50 entry fee for partner, travel costs, plus food and beverages for the day. Joining the club and paying entry fees upfront can make minor savings.
Shows are held from 8am - 5pm. You must be at the Show between 7.30am and 9.30am for the ‘Vetting In’. This is where the vet will inspect your cat to make sure she is fit to be shown and check your vaccination card to make sure it is up to date. All being well, they will sign your entry card and you can proceed to your pen, the number of which is clearly marked on your entry envelope. After wiping the pen with cat safe disinfectant, you can then put in your cat's blanket, water, food and litter tray and get your cat settled. Before leaving the hall for judging around 10am you should remove food. From 10am until around 12 noon no exhibitors are permitted in the hall as the Open judging is going on. After 12 noon, you can go back to the show hall and see how your cat is getting on and give her some food, but as the Miscellaneous judging may still be going on, try to be unobtrusive, particularly when the judges are handling your cat. This is a good time to check the results. The results are written on slips of paper and are placed on boards with the Class Number at the top, under which is a list of entrants by pen number, as in the catalogue. If you don’t understand anything just ask. A kindly Geordie Siamese breeder took us under his wing first time, but it might be a good idea to enlist the help of your breeder or someone from your breed club or a member of the show management.
You must remain in the show until official closure at around 5pm. As the side classes can take some time to display results, the afternoon is frequently spent shopping at the stalls surrounding the hall and enjoying chatting and viewing all the other exhibits. It’s best to treat the show as a day out and a chance to talk to like-minded people. Every cat has its day, as judges can’t help be slightly subjective. Rule number one of showing is that you ALWAYS take home the best cat in show regardless of how many rosettes she may have won. On leaving we wipe our cat over with an antibacterial wipe to prevent transfer of any infection within the show environment. As a precaution, we also change our clothes and shoes immediately on returning home.
Of course we all like to win, but at Purfidelis our rosettes are displayed for a day then end up in a poly bag in the garage, so we like to think we keep it all in perspective. It is only a hobby after all. Showing is important to us in that it confirms that we are developing an eye for cats of good type, measured against the breed standard in a fairly objective manner. We enjoy meeting up with fellow breeders and treat it as a day out.
Judge Lillian Niblock had this to say about our foundation girl, Evie: BOB (Best of Breed) to Malone's Champion Jenuine Outoftheblue Eve (27a). Excellent overall head type! Short wide wedge, excellent ears, beautiful eyes, super face! Outstanding coat quality. Excellent body, limbs and tail. A very beautiful lady. Evie has produced Purfidelis Champions, Grand Champions, Imperial Grand Champions, Premiers and Grand Premiers.