Grooming for show

Good grooming practices are essential for maintaining health and happiness for you and your cat. This is a forum to exchange tips and advice for proper care of your cat's hygiene needs.

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TGM Gimli DB- #101a

Play Hard, Sleep- Hard!

Purred: Wed Sep 3, '08 5:12pm PST 
Oh I put in a link to the cat show curtains site and it didn't work.



Stella- Felinis--Queen- of All Kitties!
Purred: Wed Sep 3, '08 11:06pm PST 
It's Stella. Our person always wanted to enter me in the HHP category in our one local cat show [CFA] but I am too scaredy. Plus I don't think I would tolerate any bath or rinses! It's all moot now because our person can no longer walk well enough to manage taking one of us. She has staggered through the shows every year but maybe not next year.

How does the cat's disposition affect the judging? Our person saw a purebred who snarled at the judge and would not play, and the judge calmly said, "Of course he is not going to win," and put him back in the cage. But other judges just seem to laugh and some of the cats get ribbons anyway.

Good luck with the cat shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! applause

Linus- (Dreamboat- #72a)

So many toys, so- little time.
Purred: Thu Sep 4, '08 9:26am PST 
Stella, in Purebred classes disposition is not supposed to affect judging - unless the cat bites, scratches, or otherwise injures a judge. Then the cat would be disqualified. Purebreds are supposed to be judged on confirmation - how closely the conform to the written breed standard of their breed. Some judges however, don't like to give awards to cats that hiss and growl. In HHP however, it's a different game. There is no breed standard for HHPs and a sweet, affectionate personality is definately a plus. Overall, judges expect to see a cat that is well groomed and presented and reasonably well behaved.


Has been COTD!
Purred: Sun Sep 7, '08 10:31pm PST 
Regarding the influence of behavior on judging in the different classes, Linus is right on the mark. However, even in the Purebred classes, a playful disposition, or, barring that, a cooperative and non-aggressive disposition, can be a plus, although it depends on the judge. It can also depend on the breed; some breeds are known to be more high-strung than others (such as Siamese and Abyssinians), while Maine Coons are supposed to be more laid-back--which is what makes it doubly bad for a MC to act tempermental.

Since the arrival of a new cat in our household, Harvey has been in a snit, and has been taking it out at judges by hissing and trying to scratch them when they take him out of the judging cage and put him back in. I've been told honestly by the judges that this is affecting his evaluation--"I would have given him Best Cat, but he was in a bad mood today, so I gave him Second." He's still making the finals, but he's getting fewer of the good ribbons. I'm assuming that when he gets used to Herbie, he'll be a bit more relaxed, but there's also the possibility that he's got cat show burnout, and will always be like this.

During last year's season, the Maine Coon who was always next to Harvey was a big hisser who also often tried to attack the judge during the judging, but he managed to be one of the 25 National Winners at season's end. The question is, is this cruel to the cat or not? Harvey doesn't seem to dislike shows that much, as long as I allow him to sleep all he wants (which is what he'd be doing at home at that hour anyway); he's not afraid of cars, trains, vets, or strangers, and doesn't even dislike the judging part; he just hates being woken up and put in and taken out of cages so often.

So, what to do? I dearly want to make him a National Winner, but I hate seeing an unhappy cat, not to mention the fact that his attitude affects the cats around him, and also makes the judges unhappy (no one likes handling a disgruntled cat). On the other hand, he's far from being the most tempermental cat on the circuit.

Yesterday, I was discussing this with one of my cat show friends, and it became clear that many cat owners are giving their cats chemical aids to relax them. The majority use herbal medicines that are not very potent and don't seem to have averse affects. I'm not sure if Feliway is available in Japan, but I'm going to try to get some if I can. Since Harvey's flying in cargo in October to a cat show, I asked my vet for a tranquilizer recommendation--something that would wear off relatively quickly and leave him fresh for the judging stand. The vet gave me Valium, which is commonly used in the U.S. as well, and prescribed the correct dosage. However, when I gave it a trial run, Harvey had a terrible reaction to it--he could barely stand or walk, and he continued to hiss and lash out at Chibi and Herbie, like some belligerant drunk. So much for Valium. I'm going to try the natural remedies, and also practice putting him in and out of cages. And, if everything else fails, I'll just pull him out of competition altogether. He already has almost enough points to make the top 25, and his mental health should come ahead of my ego.

If anyone has any other ideas about how to relax cats during shows, please let me know.



RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Tue Sep 9, '08 3:44pm PST 
Long thread, lol, not sure how to respond to individual posts, as you can on
some boards. cheer

So, I'll just make this a general post. wave

As Harvey's mom or dad said, each breed has their own standards, which
they are judged by, its basicly a confirmation class, altho grooming and
personality are taken into consideraton. Here is a link to the Maine Coon,
and each breed has their own standards. dancing


Without pulling out my rule book, which is packed in my show boxes, which
are at the very bottom, lol, I don't know what the rules are, regarding
drugging cats to show them. I never needed to drug my cat to show him.

But, in my opinion, a cat should not be drugged to show him/her, weather
it is feliway or actual drugs. If someone is doing this, I would ask that
person, to ask themselves, why are they showing the cat?

Bumpurr has never needed to be drugged or given feliway, or anything to
be shown, and he finished in the top 10, 6th place, in Reg 1 in CFA HHP's.
I also do not run him every weekend, and every season, he was shown last
season, he gets this season off. I quit showing for the winter, as I will not
put his life in danger, by trying to get to shows in the bad winter weather.

I feel, if a cat, is unhappy at the shows, for whatever reason, and is hissing,
growling, swatting at judges, etc, that cat is telling his mommy or daddy,
he/she is unhappy. I would ask that person, why they continue to show
that cat, are the points or ribbons that important?

Yes, I am extremly overly pickey about my cats, very well know for it on the
circuit, and very proud of it. applause applause applause

As far as the differences about the CFA and TICA HHP shows, the basics are
the same.

In CFA, a one day show would be 6 rings, a two day show would be 3/4 rings
each day, depending on the show. In TICA there are 6 rings Each Day.

In CFA the cats are judged, the top 10 called back, which is called a Final.
The cats that make the Final, their numbers are announced, and if there
are 2 conflicting HHP rings, or 2 conflicting HHP Finals, the judges or clerks
work it out, and one goes on to another class. In TCA, the cats that make
the Finals, their numbers are not announced, they call the Final, and you
have to go look, to see if you made the Final. If there are 2 conflicting
Finals, as in, you are in one Final, and they call you for another Final, your
number stays up, in the ring you cannot get to, and your cat is still awarded
the Final placing.

In CFA, all HHP"s are judged in the same ring, regardless of age, male and
female, all colors. Males are in class 0892 color class, females are in 0893
color class, but they all get judged in the same ring. In TICA, HHP kittens
are 4 months old - 8 months old, male and female, and this is a totally
seperate class from the HHP Adults. You could have HHP kittens in one
ring, and HHP Adults in another ring, both going at the same time.
And HHP LH and SH are in different divisions. Then to further confuse
things, they also divide them by color. You have the solids, and divided by
the diff solid colors, then tabbys, divided by red tabbys, brown tabbys, etc,
and the pointed, again divided by the diff pointed colors. The Finals for the
LH and SH are seperate. For example, Bumpurr would show in the LH
division, and in the red/tabby divison, he would go against other LH red
cats, then against all the other LH tabbys. Its kinda confusing until you
get used to it. cheer

In CFA, for points, they have a chart they go by, depending on how many
cats are in the class, and the placing in the Final, thats how many points
they get. You can show anywhere in the US, and whatever points you get,
they go towards whatever Region you are in, and you compete, points wise
with other cats in your own Region. In TICA, I cannot even begin to
explain how their points are done, and the different titles you can win. A
TICA person could prob explain it better. dancing

Hope this has helped explain the diff between CFA and TICA. way to go


I'm a model!
Purred: Thu Sep 11, '08 9:49pm PST 
I have showed Church and Roxy in household pet several times in CFA and Roxy in TICA "new traits" once because she's a polydactyl Maine Coon... I kinda stopped because they both started getting hissy in the ring and cages after several shows...
I would recommend taking your cat out places with you regularly, get her used to other people and all the strange noises with travelling and going places (we visit pet stores a lot and go out in a stroller on walks...)
I would suggest getting some type of cage and practice putting her in and taking her out multiple times so she gets used to that. I would also get disinfectant and start spraying and wiping the cage before you practice with her so sh gets used to the smell too. I didn't do this but I wish I had. If you can, recruit friends to help you practice this too so she gets used to strange people putting her in and out of the cage as well. Use lots of treats and/or toys for the practice and start slowly so she enjoys it! I'd also practice putting her on a table and doing an exam like the judge would do, and then when she is comfortable with that exam start having friends do the same thing.

For my cats I think the main reason they started getting hissy was them smelling all the other cats, so if you have a way to get your kitty used to strange cats being around that would be good. I used to take Church to a friends' house when he was a young kitten and she had cats so I thought that would do it...guess not. party

As far as grooming, I just bathe and blow-dry (brushing while I dry) and make sure the nails are trimmed well. I use Biogroom shampoo which I love. I tried a brown coat shampoo but it did not turn out well with Church's coat so I switched to Biogroom.
If you can't find a white shampoo you can probably buy one at the first cat show you go to, they usually have vendors.

Edited by author Thu Sep 11, '08 9:51pm PST



Has been COTD!
Purred: Thu Sep 11, '08 10:13pm PST 
I agree with you entirely, Bumpurr (great name!) regarding the morality involved in drugging cats in order to show them. The sad truth, as I have discovered, is that this practice is much more common than I had suspected. I wonder if it is more common in the purebred classes, in which competition is very fierce, and in which cats are judged more on their confirmation to breed standards (which are often quite stupid, IMHO) than in the Household Pet class, where personality is more important than in the purebred classes.

As to why someone would drug their cat in order to enter it into a cat show...I agree that it a morally questionable act. As you say, a cat that needs to be drugged in order to be shown simply should not be shown. So, why do owners do this? I think there are a number of reasons. First, the cat world is totally crazy (the humans are much crazier than the cats!), and people will go to all sorts of extremes to have their cat get a good ranking. Second, it is a fact that a lot of cats get nervous and cranky at cat shows, so, if you're going to show such a cat, you'll do anything possible to make the cat more relaxed. NOT showing the cat is the best thing, but if you ARE going to show the cat, giving it something to relax it is the only other choice. Mind you, I really don't like the idea of drugging cats, but many exibitors are so keen on getting those points, and ALSO concerned about their cat's mental health (yes, I know this is contradictory), that they will give their cat whatever it needs to calm it during shows.

BTW, the feral kitten I adopted recently was rescued by a group that includes a cat show judge. She says that there's nothing sadder than judging a cat who is afraid, or who obviously hates showing, or who is drugged. She didn't say it outright, but I think she's getting burned out as a judge.

Having said all that...why continue showing cats that are obviously unhappy with the whole thing?

I've been showing cats for around a year now, and I can say that the cat world is truly wacky. People love their cats, but they are also very competitive. Having observed my fellow cat exhitors for a year, I would say that a lot of them gain self-esteem when their cats do well in the rings. Yes, they love their cats, but at least some exhibitors also have a personal lack that makes them take the cat world a tad too seriously.

Another point: aside from relatively large-scale breeders (REALLY large-scale breeders are usually backyard breeders and DO NOT exhibit at cat shows), most people have only a few show cats. If they REALLY want to show their cats and be in the show world, then they sometimes have to show cats who are not really suited to it. My own cats were relatively cheap, but take somone who pays $5000 for a really fine cat--even if Kitty objects, the chances are that he/she will be shown, especially if the owner is a breeder who is trying to improve their profile.

As for myself, I started showing cats after a long-term depressive breakdown. It turned out to be the best medicine i could have had. I met new people who were as obsessed with cats as I was, and the discipline of having to get up early every Saturday and Sunday (previously, I had slept from Friday night until Monday morning) has been a godsend. I enjoy the frissson of that moment when the ribbons are given out, AND I must admit that when my cat places well, it enhances my self-esteem. Yes, I know that one shouldn't use one's cat this way, but I have a feeling that a lot of people in the cat fancy show their cats to give themselves an ego boost. Thus the practice of drugging cats, in order to up their chances of doing well.

We are humans and adults, and therefore our cats' physical and mental well-being should come first. On the other hand, anyone who loves cats knows that they can be extremely potent medicine for whatever ails us mentally. Every time I go to a cat show, I ask myself, "Is Harvey suffering more than I am benefitting from this myself psychologically?" It's a close call.

In conclusion, I have to agree with you, Bumpurr. I'm going with Harvey for the time being, but may retire him way before the end of the show season. At the very latest, he will be permanently retired in April of next year. But I will finish with a question that, I suspect, no one has an answer for: my involvement with the cat show world literally saved my life. Every time I go to a cat show, I wonder if this is an excuse for showing a cat who would prefer to be taking a nap at home. Is there an easy answer to this question?

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