Spectators at cat shows will discover that there is a LOT to see and do! We want you to get the most out of your visit to our show, so we have provided some information to help you if it's your first visit!
Part of having a great time at a cat show is knowing all the "do's and don'ts." Most spectators are so excited about seeing all the beautiful cats, they may not think about some of protocols and courtisies involved. We offer some gentle reminders and answers to make your cat show experience a bit more fun.
What will I see at a cat show?
Every show has several judging rings - a small area where the cats where a judge will evaluate each cat before a small audience of spectators and exhibitors. In between judgings, the cats relax in the benching area - aisles of decorated cages - with their exhibitors. Elsewhere either in the showhall or just outside of it will be vendors with items for cats and cat lovers for sale.
How are the cats judged?
Each breed has a "breed standard" that describes the perfect example of that breed. The judge evauates the cats against that standard, then picks his/her best and second best of breed. After all breeds have been evaluated, that judge's 10 best cats are brought back and presented with rosettes. Each judge makes their decisions independantly of each other, so each ring is rather like a miniature show.
What do the cats win?
Rosettes and points accumulated toward various titles. Except in the rare show, there are no cash prizes.
What are the classes that the cats are judged in?
Kittens are 4 - 8 months old
Championship cats are intact cats 8 months old and older
Premiership cats are neutered/spayed cats 8 months old and older.
What breeds will be there?
It depends on what breeds are entered in the show. Very rarely will all of the 41 breeds that CFA recognizes be entered in one show. A complete list of all breeds and information about them is here.
The cats are so beautiful! Can I touch them?
Only if you have the owners' permission, and then you really should clean your hands first. Doing so will prevent you from unknowlingly spreading germs from cat to cat.
That kitty is begging me to play! May I play with them?
Again, only if you have the owners' permission.
May I bring my cat to the show?
No. Only cats entered in the show are allowed in the showhall. And truthfully, he'd probably rather stay home.
May I talk to the breeders/exhibitors?
Yes. In fact there is probably no better way to learn about a particular breed than talking to someone who works with that breed. Do be aware however, that often just when you come up to a cat's cage, the exhibitor may be preparing to take the cat up for judging and is concentrating on perfectly grooming the cat and whisking it off to the ring. Later on when that cat is between judgings would be a better time to talk.
May I sit in the seats in the judging rings?
Please do! They are for spectators and exhibitors alike.
May I talk to the judge?
In general no, as they are concentrating on evauating each cat. Some judges do ask if any spectators are wondering about the judging procedures and that is the appropriate time to ask questions.
Additional information on how cat shows are conducted is on the CFA Website .... and while you are on that page, why not download a spectator's guide?
CCCF/Star City Cat Fanciers