Want to show your cat?
We have put together a guide of how cat shows work
Cat shows are a wonderful way for you to bond with your cat and enjoy the company of other feline enthusiasts. Any breed can show provided they are accepted breeds with the CFSA. You can even show your domestic pet (moggy, rescue, “pavement special”, we love them all!). Cats and kittens will compete over annual show seasons for titles, certificates, nominations and for the prized “Cat of the Day”. Show season usually begins with the close of kitten season in March and ends in October of each year.
- Your cat can gain titles to rank up their show cred from Champion / Premier to Triple Supreme! Pets compete for Premier titles as well as Super Pet. Think of it as a level up after each show if your cat gains all his awards.
- You can chat to, chill with and learn from other exhibitors, learn about breeding, other breeds and experience them all under one roof!
- You get to promote your breed to the public who visit our shows if you are a breeder and wish to push public awareness.
- You gain points throughout the year to stand a chance to win our coveted “KZNCC Loyalty Award” if you help out, get involved and participate.
- You gain points throughout the year for your winnings that go towards your Hill’s Breeders Association points. If you aren’t yet signed up, visit THIS PAGE for more information.
- Your cat may win prizes that may range from food to scratch posts to toys, bedding and more!
Let’s get started with the basics!
CFSA Cat Shows
All CFSA shows follow the same awards format starting with a nomination line up to determine the top 4 Males, Females, Neuters and Kittens and the top 4 domestic Pets. This is followed by a Best In Show line up consisting of those top 16 pedigreed cats at the end of the show. These cats are registered breeds that will compete for Cat of the Day and the Best of Breed Divisions. Pets do not have a Best In Show.
In between those line ups there may be side classes for the best Veterans, Triple Supremes, and Super Pet. Breed Groups may have other unofficial line ups specific to the breeds they promote. These do not count for any points and do not offer any titles.
KZNCC (KwaZulu Natal Cat Club) and SOPA (Siamese, Oriental and Peterbald Alliance) are CFSA affiliated clubs/breed groups that are able to hold all breeds cat shows under CFSA Affiliation. You will receive your entry forms via email about 4 – 5 weeks prior to a show – if you are signed up to our mailing list, or you can download them off the CFSA or KZNCC websites.
BEFORE YOU ENTER
Before you enter a show, make sure your cats are registered with CFSA. If you own a cat that is registered with SACC or CASA, or any other organisation, you will need to download a “TRANSFER NON-CFSA REGISTERED CAT/KITTEN” Form from the Registrar Section of the CFSA Website, fill it out and email it with your cat’s current pedigree, proof of ownership and proof of payment to the CFSA Registar.
If you own a domestic pet and would like to show it, you will need to download a “PET REGISTRATION” Form from the CFSA Website, fill it out, and email it with proof of payment to the CFSA Registrar to get a registration number.
Entering a Show
The entry forms are fairly self explanatory and easy to fill out but new exhibitors may feel a tad overwhelmed at first with all the paperwork. If you want to become a member of the relevant Club that is holding the show, you fill out the relevant membership form and then you will pay membership entry fees on your summary form instead of non-member entry fees, which may mean a considerable discount.
Send the following documents and information to the email listed on the entry form.
KZNCC uses email@example.com and SOPA uses firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your completed entry detail form including your cat’s registered name, CFSA registration number, class, etc.
- Your completed summary form that outlines the fees – add in how many males, females, etc that you have entered and tally the final amount. There may be additional things on the summary form to fill out such as vendor table hire, lunch orders, membership, etc.
- Proof of payment must be included with your entry. Show entries will not be accepted without it.
- Your CFSA official pedigrees for each individual cat that you have entered, and vaccination record.
- Your lunch/table booking form if applicable. Table bookings are for stalls, vendors, sponsors and rescue organisations.
- Any other documentation that is required, especially if it is your cat’s first time showing (e.g. neuter / spay report, proof of ownership, etc).
KITTEN – 4 MONTHS OLD ON THE DAY OF SHOW UP TO 9 MONTHS.
NEUTER – 9 MONTHS AND OLDER ON THE DAY OF SHOW (SPAYED OR NEUTERED – MUST PRODUCE A SPAY/NEUTER REPORT FROM VET FOR FIRST “ADULT” SHOW).
FEMALE – 9 MONTHS AND OLDER ON THE DAY OF SHOW (REGISTERED FOR BREEDING).
MALE – 9 MONTHS AND OLDER ON THE DAY OF SHOW (REGISTERED FOR BREEDING. IF STUD, MUST HAVE A STUD NUMBER FROM 18 MONTHS OF AGE FROM CFSA).
PETS – DOMESTIC PETS FOLLOW THE SAME RULES AS KITTENS AND NEUTERS ABOVE BUT NEED TO BE SPAYED BY 6 MONTHS OLD.
OPEN – FROM 9 MONTHS OF AGE ON THE DAY OF SHOW, CATS WILL BE ENTERED INTO OPEN.
GOLD – IF THE CAT IS ALREADY A SUPREME PREMIER OR SUPREME CHAMPION AND YOU WOULD LIKE TO ENTER THEM IN THE GOLD CLASS TO ACCUMULATE GOLD AWARDS TOWARDS TRIPLE SUPREME STATUS. ENTERING THE GOLD CLASS MEANS THAT YOUR CAT CANNOT RECEIVE A BRONZE OR A SILVER SO IF THEY ARE NOT OF EXCEPTIONAL QUALITY, A GOLD AWARD MAY BE WITHHELD BY THE JUDGE.
So for example, a neutered Maine Coon male kitten will be entered under – MALE, KITTEN. Once the kitten reaches 9 months, NEUTERED MALE, OPEN.
IMPORTANT: If your cat is neutered or spayed please enter them into the Spayed Female (SF) or Neutered Male (NM) sections and not into Male (M) or Female (F) if they are over 9 months of age on the day of the show. It is very important that your cat is entered into the correct class from the start to avoid disqualification, as the admin pulls automatically from your entry forms automatically in Excel.
It is necessary to keep track of your cat’s titles between shows. Usually at the end of each show year, at Cat of the Year, you will receive certificates of Title. Should you not be in attendance, you may request for these to be mailed to you at your own expense.
To find out how your cat can accumulate titles please download the CFSA Show Rules HERE which also has other vital information that you need to be aware of.
Prepare for the Show
WHAT TO PACK AND BRING WITH YOU TO THE SHOW
- Your beautifully groomed cat(s). Please bath your cats even if they don’t seemingly need it. This is to protect your cats by creating a germ barrier and to protect other cats from germs yours may bring from home, that you don’t even realise you have. It is just good etiquette to do so and those with allergies and the judges will thank you for it. A judge can tell if your cat hasn’t had a bath, especially if it is a stud.
- An appropriate cage or enclosure for your cat to rest in during the day. Must be escape proof. You can get cages from a local online stores. The large Cosmic Pets cages are the standard, recommended size but you can go bigger if you have larger breeds. It is not recommended to use smaller than this. If you are a member of the Hill’s Breeders Association, you can order Hill’s Branded Show Cages for 600 points. Be sure to order these at least a month in advance for processing! If you are using a cage from a different cat food supplier to the main sponsor of the show, please be sure to cover any branding or logos with a blanket.
- Bedding for your cat, blanket, cage quilt, etc. Most like to use colours that complement their cats or white. Some people like to decorate their cages to the show’s theme if there is one and use related bedding. The most important thing is that your cat is comfortable and you are able to get him/her out the cage with ease for judging.
- A litter box that will fit in the cage and your cat’s litter. A packet (we like to use scented bags), scoop, brush and pan for cleaning up messes. Please try to keep your area clean so that the Committee does not spend hours sweeping up cat litter after the show. The public and the media will be in attendance at shows as well, so it is important to maintain a neat appearance at all times with minimal smells.
- Food, bowls, and water.
- A grooming bag containing your brushes, wetwipes, cotton pads, etc. Please ask your breeder about grooming tools. He/she will know what you need on the day for each specific breed.
Calming remedies for your cats such as Rescue, Anxitane, Calmeze, Valerian or Catnip. Please note you cannot use tranquilisers as this is against show rules. Again, ask the Breeder what they use should your cat need something to help them adjust to the show.
ALLOCATIONS & DIRECTIONS
You will receive an email 48 hours prior to the show containing directions to the venue, your cat’s judges’ allocations (who will be judging your cat on the day) and your cat’s cage numbers. These should be printed and the cage numbers noted and affixed to your cage, as the stewards will call your cats up for judging using your cat’s cage number, and not it’s name.
If you have booked lunch, you may also get a lunch ticket at the door. In most cases, tea and coffee is available throughout the day for a small fee or donation, however there are sometimes other refreshments and food vendors as well. Pack a snack just in case you do not like what’s on offer to purchase at the show. It is not always possible to leave the show to go and get lunch.
The Show Managers will refer to benching times, which means that your cat needs to arrive and be set up in their cages by a specific time before judging starts. If you are late, your cat may be disqualified, so it is very important that you add 20 minutes to your travelling time if you are unsure of the area or venue and set your alarms and GPS up the night before.
Show Day Has Arrived
On the day, the Show Manager will open the show officially and explain the schedule of events. Your cat will be called up for judging usually only once, and will be judged by 3 judges per show (at a KZNCC Triple Show your cat will be judged by 9 judges who may be duplicated for the 3rd show). The steward will direct you to each judge accordingly. Please do not speak to the judges unless they ask a question or to greet them. It is important not to identify your cat to the judge as judging is meant to be objective and anonymous where your cat is concerned. Holding the judging process up by chatting to the judge will also slow down the show.
After your cat has been judged, you will receive an envelope with each cat’s awards and judging reports. On these envelopes it is important to note if your cat has a NOMINATION stamp next to any of the judges’ names. If it does, note the cat’s number and make sure your cat is ready for when the Best In Show line up starts as your cat will be called by its number (12, 23, 45, etc) to be taken to a specific table (A, B, C , etc) for a judge off. If you have more than one cat nominated in the same class (kitten, neuter, female, male, etc) then you will need to make sure you have someone to assist you in the line up to take one of your cats up for you. The stewards are usually available to assist if their cats are not in the line up as well.
Your cat may be called up for several line-ups depending on if it has won its section, and this often can go quite fast, so it is important to listen to the Show Manager or Head Steward when they are calling cat numbers or your cat may miss its chance.
At each show there may be a photographer present. Please, after your cats have been judged, take them to the photographer for photos. It is important that we have a collection of photographs to use for show results and to present to you after the show as a token of our appreciation.
BEST IN SHOW ETIQUETTE
Please do not pack up and leave the show until the Cat of the Day has been announced and the Show Manager has closed the show. It is just good manners to stick around to cheer for and congratulate the winners and disruptive to start packing up during the Top 16. Should you leave the show before it has been concluded, before prior permission from the Show Manager, you may risk your cat’s losing their awards achieved on the day and disqualification.
Once you get the hang of showing and want to get more involved, you can contact your local club to find out how you can assist them in running shows. For some, its a long day so keeping busy makes the time go faster by stewarding or helping the show manager in some way. The Clubs are always looking for an extra pair of hands to help out.