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Cat shows, these strangers! Below you will find a handy vademecum, intended for beginners, to help them orient themselves in this mysterious world.
First of all, in order to be able to participate in a cat show, you must have a… feline.
Concretely, any cat, of race and with a pedigree regularly issued by a recognized association, can participate in an exhibition.
If the feline does not have a pedigree, it can nevertheless be registered in the category of “house cats”, if this is provided for in the rules of the exhibition.
The main thing is that the cat is up to date with vaccinations: the trivalent vaccine, compulsory for all cats and that against rabies, carried out at least one month before the exhibition, if the cat is over five months old. Vaccinations must be recorded on the feline health record and duly certified by a licensed veterinarian. Obviously, at the time of exposure, the cat must also be in good health and absolutely free from parasites. Last but not least, the nails should be checked and properly cut. It should be noted that before entering the exhibition, each cat must undergo a veterinary examination to verify that all these conditions are met.
Regarding his toilet, although it is not mandatory to wash your four-legged friend before the show, you are strongly advised to do so, as this aspect is also evaluated by judges.
Indeed, a cat that presents well, with a beautiful shiny and silky coat can obtain a better classification than a cat that is perhaps more beautiful, but less well-groomed.
It is essential that the star of the show can actually present the best of himself in this beauty contest.
If the cat meets the expected requirements, it is important to take care of its “home” during the show.
Generally, the organizing committee provides participants with cages stored in the premises of the exhibition, where the cat will be housed for the duration of the event. In France, the size of the cages is between 50X50X100 and 60X60X120, while in other countries, such as Italy, the standard model cages have slightly larger dimensions, i.e. 65X65X130.
Before preparing the cage, it is essential to make sure that it is clean and disinfected, in order to avoid colds or parasites.
For the comfort of your kitten, you must provide blankets and cushions as well as a synthetic grass mat, ideal for naps and for his nails. For the decor (cage bottom and side), fantasy has no limits: hanging hammocks, pillows and toys will be very useful to your companion to help him through the long hours of exposure. But what should absolutely not be missing, it’s a litter!
On the front of the cage, facing the public, there is no obligation regarding the decor, but almost all exhibitors use decorations in the form of curtains, coordinated with the interior layout and often embroidered with the name of the owner or the breeder.
Since the shows generally last at least 9 hours, it is necessary to provide for the most material needs of the cat, with a bowl of always fresh and frequently renewed water, as well as some kibble.
It is not advisable, during the exposure, to feed it with wet food. It is better to wait until the evening at home or in the hotel, because it is possible that following an exuberant “maneuver”, carried out in the cramped space of the cage, the cat could soil its beautiful. hair.
Sometimes the organizers don’t provide enough chairs for everyone. So remember to bring folding chairs or stools.
Usually the organizers make one or more grooming tables available in the ring, but you can bring your own as well.
There are small ones with hooks to hang them from the cage and others with foldable wheels which, when closed, can be used as a cart to transport the cat and its equipment. Do not forget, on the other hand, to bring a towel to cover the common table before placing the kitty there, in case you decide to use it, as well as all the products necessary for grooming.
In summary, here is what is indispensable and essential:
• one or more vaccinated and healthy cats!
• the feline health booklet (and passport if the exhibition takes place abroad)
• disinfectant to clean the cages
• some water
• 2 bowls, possibly with brackets to hook them to the cage
And what is strongly recommended:
• hammock, pillows, cushions and some jousting, for the comfort of the feline
• anti-intrusion protection for the cage (transparent plastic or mesh)
• curtains and decorations for the outside of the cage, according to your wishes
• a small grooming table
• some napkins
• grooming products (shampoo, talc, scented towels, brushes, combs and carders)
• a folding chair or stool (for your comfort!)
On arrival at the site, you are greeted by the organizer, who checks your registration and gives you the number that has been assigned to your cat, the number of the ring in which the cage is located, as well as a catalog that lists all cats by breed, variety and class.
Immediately afterwards, your cat is examined by the veterinarian, who may prohibit participation in felines suffering from or affected by parasites or in full females.
After the visit, you can take your cat to its cage.
It is very important to ensure that the cat has been entered and registered in the correct category, class and variety, by carefully consulting the catalog.
In case the data does not correspond, you must go immediately to the secretariat of the exhibition to report the problem, so that the exact information is recorded on the judges’ cards.
Each judge has a number of cats to examine. The first thing to know is which judge you should bring your cat to.
Each judge has a table on which your cat will be presented and cages in which the cat will be housed, while awaiting your turn.
It is also good to remember that for the exhibition, cats are divided by category (Persian type cats, short haired, long or semi long haired cats, Siamese and Oriental type cats), that each category includes several breeds. and that each race is divided into varieties of color.
Once you have determined the category of your cat, you must wait for the judge to examine it.
The cat is generally called to the microphone by its number (never by its name or the name of its owner), the judge having only the knowledge of its breed, its variety, its age and its class.
If you arrive at the table with your cat and the judge is examining another kitty, you can either keep your animal with you or house it in one of the cages placed at the judge’s table.
The cages are kept clean by employees who also clean the judges’ tables after each test and who can, if the case arises, take the cat to the judge for you (for example if you have two cats and you are already taken by another judge).
After the judge examines your cat, he fills out the certificate indicating his appreciation for each element that makes up the judgment on the cat itself. Once the evaluations are completed, the ranking list is established and titles are awarded by championship class and gender.
The best cats in each category are then nominated. They will therefore be able to go on stage and compete for the best cat of the event.
The nominated cats are called in turn to the microphone, in order of category and gender.
At this stage of the show, the cat cannot be presented to the judge by its owner, but only by a Steward.
The owner, when his cat has been called, must house him in his allocated cage located near Best’s judgment area, and wait for the Steward to bring it to the judge when the time comes.
The presence of the owner in the evaluation area is not authorized, under penalty of disqualification of the cat and the consequent loss of all its titles and certificates obtained during the event.
The cat having obtained the greatest number of votes obtains the Best of its category.
Once all the Best of the category have been selected, the Best of Best is chosen.
Now, with or without price and cockade, the exhibition is practically over.
All you have to do is collect your certificate from the secretariat, on which appears, with the organizer’s stamp, the result obtained by your kitty. Attached, you will also find all the assessments written by the judge.
Although it is nice to get points and titles, what matters most is reading the scorecard, because thanks to it you can better understand what are the flaws and qualities of your cat.
Do not forget either, that beyond the respect of the comparison standards, there is always an absolutely subjective component, linked to the personal preferences of the human being: with equal standards, a judge is likely to choose the cat according to his clean taste, as, by the way, would each of us.