Cat Show people, what do you think about this? :-)

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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Has been COTD!
Purred: Sun Jan 4, '09 6:24pm PST 
Gosh, American shows sound awful! Cat shows are supposed to be about sportsmanship, as well as about competition and just enjoying cats--I think the CFA has something to say about sportsmanship in its regulations. Someday, when I have enough money and time, and the right cat, I'd like to go to the U.S. for the yearly National Show (or whatever it's called), but I guess I'll have to be prepared for American behavior, which I often find jarring. American judges often appear at Japanese cat shows, but while the women are usually very pleasant and helpful, some of the men are a horror. There's one guy who just picks the poor cat by the shoulders, glares at it, lets it dangle, then throws it back in the cage.

I'm also surprised that there is so much competitiveness in the HHP class. I guess it must have to do with the fact that (if Catster is any indication) Americans take non-breed/mixed breed/rescue cats more seriously than Japanese do. In Japan, the HHP competitions are very laid-back; the judge jokes and talks with the exhibitors, who are often kids showing the family moggie. To be frank, the HHP competitions in Japan don't have much cachet, so there's not much impetus for people to get very competitive. The same was true for the Premiership competition until recently; I believe that, in the States, since most breed cats are sold already desexed, the Premiership competition is pretty stiff, but in Japan, the Championship competition is still the most prestigious, followed by the Kitten class. However, the Championship ring is dominated by breeders, and to a lesser extent, so is the Kitten ring. The Premiership class attracts some breeders, but mostly pet owners who have a fine purebred neuter/spay that they want to show.

However, many people, like me, start out as amateur exhibitors in the Premiership Class, and end up wanting to try their hand at breeding. The problem with breeding, and with showing Maine Coons in the Championship ring, is that you need an intact male, which means that you have to live with the odor of intact cat urine for as long as the cat is competing or acting as a stud tom (until it's around 5 or 6). I'm currently looking for a stud male, which is a big commitment, but if you're a cattery and want to be taken seriously, you have no choice.

Anyway, back to your story. Recently in Japan, a very high-ranking MC dominated the Kitten Class one year and the Championship Class the next, and he was such a large boy even as a kitten that there were nasty rumors that the owner had lied about his birth date, since the owner was also his breeder (i.e. he was several months older than the breeder claimed he was). When you breed your own cats, who's to know? Personally, I didn't believe the rumors, because the big kitten grew up to be an enormous (but not fat) MC--he just hit the gene jackpot.

However, while rumors are rife in the Japanese cat show world, the Japanese tend to talk behind people's backs (and they can be quite vicious, although not regarding me, as far as I know, probably because I'm not much of a competitor yet), rather than directly confronting the exhibitor. I would think that an exhibitor going to a judge and "tattling" on another exhibitor is a violation of CFA rules. Furthermore, the fact that the judge believed the tattler and now doesn't give you good marks reflects very poorly on that judge. I hear rumors of people in Japan giving judges "presents" (read: bribes, mostly monetary), but the practice is not very widespread--none of my acquaintances do it, as far as I know. Some judges do seem to favor cats from famous catteries; they're not supposed to know who owns which cat, but when it's the same judges and same exhibitors every week, obviously the judges figure out who owns which cat(s) very quickly. There are some judges, I know, who give me a few extra points because they like me and want to encourage me; there are a few others who absolutely can't stand Harvey (and this began before he started acting out at shows), and who I think also don't like me. Happily, I feel no racial discrimination at cat shows; since the CFA is based in the U.S., the catalogues are in English, and people are inclined to be friendly towards Americans.

Remember that a lot of hostility is based on jealousy. When my Chibi was consistently beating out another kitten from a famous cattery, I got a lecture from the cattery owner about all of Chibi's shortcomings as a MC. I suspect that that the cattery owner wasn't too pleased that a cat from a middling cattery who was rather cheap to buy was beating out a kitten from a famous cattery whose prices are high.

What I really don't understand is the MC lady who declared that Bumpurr was a MC. If he were a MC, you would have a registration number and likely be showing him in the Premiership Class, where he would obviously do very well. Why would anyone with a breed cat choose to show in the HHP class? (As I said before, in Japan the HHP class is more for fun than prestige, although of course the HHP class does count as a category in the Regional (National) winners competition.)

Please understand that this is not MY personal opinion of the HHP class (I'd love to enter Spike, but he'd be scared--he is a former feral), but the general opinion of the Japanese cat world. Remember that this is a country where most people spay/neuter their pets, but there isn't as much pressure to do so as in the States, and I've never heard anyone say "Buying a purebred cat from a breeder means the death of one more cat in a shelter." Japanese cat lovers tend to prefer moggies, but the Japanese are also a brand-name loving people, and so breed cats are popular, too. When I was a child, if someone said, "What kind of cat do you have?", you'd answer with its color--everyone had a dsh. In Japan, first they ask you the breed. There is no prejudice here against breeders, except, of course, backyard breeders. The other difference is that all the shelters are kill shelters--as I understand it, the owner gets three days to try to find Fluffy in whichever shelter she was sent to, after which Fluffy meets a grisly end. There is no system of going to a shelter to choose a new pet. However, there are rescue groups, all of whom form a loose network. The rescue groups, however, are not without their problems; some foster parents refuse to let their cats be adopted by single people, or by people who are out of the house a lot (this is still a country where a majority of women stay at home to tend the house). Also, the rescued cats I've seen are often sick or even deformed; your best bet for getting a good cat in Japan is to buy from a reputable breeder, or get a kitten from a friend whose healthy and happy moggie has had an "oops" litter.

Speaking of which, last season, the number one HHP in Japan, a "spayed" female, just happened to give birth after the show season was over. HHPs, of course, must be desexed. No one would have been the wiser, but the owner posted the joyous news on her blog! She was stripped of her award, and lucky #2 became #1. Duh!!!

Back to shampoos: I don't think we have Suave in Japan, but I myself am allergic to it, so I think I'll stick with my cat shampoos. As for washing kittens, when I turned on the dryer near their playpen, they all went absolutely berserk and started bouncing off the sides; poor Cabot wet herself from fear and managed to fall in such a way as to hurt her foot (it was okay the next day, however). I was surprised by this, since both of my previous kittens (Leila and Chibi) put up with the hair dryer the first time they were shown, at 4 months. Oh, well, I'm not planning to keep any of this litter, which means I'm unlikely to be showing them, but like anything else, getting them used to unpleasant things early in life is a must.


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Mon Jan 5, '09 4:55pm PST 
Ya hit the nail on the head. Your not a "threat" yet, mol. wink

Nobody bothered with me, until I got Bumpurr. When he hit first place
in his region, I actually got "death threats", him. I had the whole HHP
Region in an uproar, and threatened to involve CFA. Threatening me is
one thing, I could live with that, but him, that was a huge mistake on
someone's part. If ya stand up to them, they will leave you alone.

And like ya said, why the heck, if I had a registered/full MC, would I show
him HHP. And why would a MC person even bother with a HHP cat. Not
like he would ever be shown MC and be competition, or that she would
ever show her MC's in HHP. That one still baffels me to this day.

And like ya said, what does that say about that judge, when every other
judge is finaling him and placing him high.

Anyhow, there are no standards in HHP, its the judges decision, and as
they say, this is my best HHP, today. smile

Don't mean to paint a bad picture of the HHP world, its the points, it
makes people nuts. The only "friction" is at the top, prob like with the
MC, and prob, most breeds.

I pulled him for a few months, and he fell a few places, as soon as he did,
they moved on to the new top people.

Anyhow, they don't mess with me or him anymore, they know how I am,
know I will stand and fight, they rather pick on the people that don't
fight back.

So, when ya make it to the top, will "coach" you, mol, so they will leave you
alone. One of my friends is going thru this now, with her new kitten, have
been preparing her for it, and telling her how to handle it. wink

You could try Johnson's baby shampoo, and try the towel method for
blow drying the kittens.

Oh, I know exactly what judge you are talking about, he is kinda rough
with them, and actually, if ya ever noticed, the judges kinda whip the
cats around to take them out backwards. Great for a smaller cat, Bumpurr
being a big boy, ya can't do that with him, mol.

This same judge tried it, Bumpurr raised his paw, the judge slammed the
door shut, I stood up, prepared to do battle, mol, he got a toy, turned him
around slower, this time, no prob lem at all, gee, ya could of done that
the first time. Bumpurr made the final, mol, mol. smilesmilesmilesmilebig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinsmilesmilesmilesmile

Ran those 2 products by my friends on the horse board, they seemed to
think it was not a good idea. The white I got covered, but still on my
quest to find a finishing product to put more shine on him.

Greatly appreciate all your help. applauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplause


Has been COTD!
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 3:48am PST 
Actually, Harvey IS sort of a threat in the Premiership Class, since until he got fed up with the whole thing and started lashing out at all the judges, he was getting "Best of Breed" on the average of every third ring. One of my competitors, whom I consider a friend, strongly recommends that I now take him out of competition, for his sake and for the sake of the reputation of my cattery. Which is good advice, but I also suspect she'd like to get rid of a rival.

Death threats? Against a cat? Egads, I'm glad I'm in Japan.

Right now, my new problem is trying to find a stud cat. When I bred my first litter (using my own breeder's stud, no relation to my females), for the first month or so I was filled with horror at what I'd gotten into, but now I'm sure that I want to continue with breeding, at least until I burn out (breeders often do). The problem, as you can well imagine, is that most breeders won't sell you a stud cat unless you are a member of their clique, or at least unless they know you personally--and even then, they may not be willing to sell you a cat for breeding purposes, because, after all, their cattery name will always be part of the cat's own name, and if you produce second-rate kittens, it reflects badly on them.

One friend of mine decided that she hated this clique-oriented mentality, and imported a cat from the Netherlands--to the tune of $13,000. I would love to import a Maine Coon from Maine (I've also heard that there are good MC catteries in Texas, for some reason), but it's a very complicated and expensive procedure to import cats into Japan--one of the reasons being that we don't have rabies here, so the cat must be quarantined in the country of origin for the better part of a year before it can enter Japan.

There's no real rush--after all, my first responsibility is to find homes for The Magnificent Seven--but it's frustrating not to be able to find the right cat. I know what I want--a red tabby, very furry, with pretty eyes--but in the brown tabby dominated MC world, red tabbies are not so common, much less good quality red tabbies whose breeder will allow to become a stud. I recently found the perfect cat on the Internet, but when I made inquiries, I was told, very gently, that they prefer to home him as a pet. Which I can understand; a stud cat's life can be pretty limited, as you have to keep him away from the intact females (except for those twice-yearly trysts!), and if he sprays (as he is likely to do), you have to take all sorts of precautions to lessen the amount of urine that ends up all over your home and yourself.

Wish I could help you with advice about products that add shine to the coat. Bay rum is supposed to do that, and many booths at cat shows sell finishing sprays, but since Harvey and the girls all have very silky, shiny coats, I've never had to use such products.

Always enjoy talking shop with you...
way to go


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Tue Jan 6, '09 4:06pm PST 
Sorry about that, guess I mis-read one of your posts, didn't mean at all,
to imply Harvey is not a threat, mol. big grin

Cats have to be quarintined for one year?? Wow! Is this always, or it
depends on what country they come in from? People actually do this?
I can't imagine a cat being confined to a cage for a whole year. Who takes
care of him?

If it wasn't such a hassel, to import cats, I could hook you up with a very
good friend of mine, who has awesome MC's, will try and find her link.

Too bad you are looking for a red one, mol, the nasty lady who went to the
has a red one. thinking

I could never get into breeding, mol, I would get to attached to the kittens
and not want to sell them, mol, or it would drive me nuts, wondering if
they were being taken care of. wink

I think the show you are referring to is Madison Square Garden, in NYC.
I would never ever take Bumpurr to NYC, but I would love to go and watch,
if ya ever decide to go. Gee, how would ya even get him here? I know, on
a plane, but would they have to quarintine him too?

Question? I know the MC standards in CFA differ from TICA, but would the
CFA standards in the US be the same as in Japan?

I don't want to scare you from coming to the US, mol, been doing this for
awhile, and I travel pretty far, so bound to have some crap happen on
ocassion, but 90% of the time, its all good and people are great.

So, in Japan, how far do you usually travel for shows? My limit is about
7 hrs. Bumpurr travels great, but its kinda tiring for me, the shows over
5 hrs, and I leave in the very early morn, so not much sleep, mol.

Got any great travel stories to share, I got some great ones, mol, always an

Have you tried anything with Harvey, that would make him feel more
relaxed, not so stressed at shows? My G, he is a beautiful cat!! I know whats
over here, mol, you would blow them away. applauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplause

Ya, I enjoy talking shop with you too, and learning about shows in another
country. wave


headed for the- light.
Purred: Wed Jan 7, '09 7:40pm PST 
For washing the kittens, I'd suggest Woolite woth a tiny bit of conditioner mixed in. It sure makes the puffiest puppies ever, and is very, very gentle--I bet it would work on kittens as well.
I'm not a cat show-er, but will second what bumpurr said about Show Sheen--although I feel that Schnieder's grooming products, 'Laser', 'ultra', and 'silk prescription' are even better (at sstack.com) , at least on horses, and they don't build-up on the animal.


Has been COTD!
Purred: Wed Jan 7, '09 9:23pm PST 
Yes, I've heard of Woolite as an option. It's not readily available in Japan, though, and since I've been shampooing only adults up until now, I've been satisfied with dish detergent and show shampoos. I'll check out the Woolite in the future--it's important to make my kittens look as attractive as possible so they can get adopted. (My own breeder is a heavy smoker, and all his kittens come to you reeking of smoke and sticky with cigarette smoke residue. Yuck.)


RESPECT The- Star!
Purred: Thu Jan 8, '09 3:48pm PST 
BooBoo, ya a horse person too? big grin

I had tried Laser, but did not like it. My mare is a dark palomino, and for
her, the Show Sheen worked better. Only thing with Show Sheen, mol, is
after halter class, ya gotta rub some dirt under the saddle, or it will slide
right over, mol. Happened to me, back in the 80's, saddle slid, I fell off.
I was so embarresed, mol. Then somebody told me.

I threw this on the horse board too, and a poster, who is an author off a
very well know grooming bood, suggested Cowboys Miracle Groom. We
all know who she is, mol, but she doesn't like a big deal made of it, she is
very humble, so won't put her name or book up here, as either one would
tell any horse show person who she is.

Prob not supposed to talk horses on here, mol, so PM me if ya want.

big grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinbig grinwavewavewavewavewavewavewavewave

♥- Roxy- ♥

Polydactyl Maine- Coons Rule!
Purred: Fri Mar 20, '09 10:15am PST 
I just washed Roxy for our show this weekend. It was a much shorter bath than usual because she was upset. I haven't washed her in a long time, probably since our last show which was the same one we're going to this weekend so it was a year ago! shock

I did not go through the usual steps which might be why it didn't turn out so well...all I did was shampoo and a cream rinse. I used a different cream rinse this time too so that might have been the problem-- her coat look really flat! I used the usual shampoo (Biogroom black coat shampoo.) I also blow-dried her and brushed her hair backwards while doing it but she looks less fluffy than usual after a bath. It don't know if it's the way I bathed her (only 1 shampoo and conditioner) the conditioner I used, the fact that the last time I bathed her she probably still had her kitten coat, or the fact that it is spring and she is shedding. Luckily for us we are showing in a "household companion" show so it doesn't matter if she doesn't look like a good Maine Coon, just if she looks pretty. confused


Has been COTD!
Purred: Sat Mar 21, '09 8:04pm PST 
When I finally mastered the art of grooming Harvey, I was very enthusiastic to be using seven kinds of shampoos and conditioners. But recently, both he and I are just plain old tired. For our last show, we only used around one shampoo and one conditioner, and his fur was flat. I do think that the vinegar rinse makes a difference, though. This weekend, we were supposed to go out of town for a show, but I just collapsed with exhaustion after grooming Harvey, and instead of blow drying him thoroughly, let him dry naturally. And we didn't go to the cat show. Actually, I think he looks better now than he usually does. However, recently his fur seems to have lost its sheen--over-shampooing? Should I use more conditioner? To be a cat show exhitor means mastering grooming.

One reason for my exhaustion was that last week I showed five cats at one time. I didn't wash Chibi (shh!!!) because she and Leila look fine for months without grooming, and I simply didn't have time. The problem was the kittens. Their fur texture is different from that of adult cats, and while I used a good shampoo on them, they all came out looking like street cats. Not to mention the fact that their first encounter with the Demon Hair Dryer ended up with me bleeding all over (no joke--I got a bite on my shoulder), and having to go to the hospital for a tetanus shot and antibiotics. I was showing signs of infection--redness and swelling--within hours of the attack. Aside from the kittens' reaction to the hair dryer, though, they were fine with the showing thing. But I still don't have a good idea of what works best on kitten fur. All my cats need different grooming methods.

One of my friends on the circuit, who is rich, sends her cat to the groomer before every show, to the tune of $100 each time. No, we don't have the money to do that. And I think that learning how to groom your cat properly is the responsibility of the owner. However, apparently she has allergies and can't do it herself.


headed for the- light.
Purred: Mon Mar 23, '09 10:06am PST 
"""""One of my friends on the circuit, who is rich, sends her cat to the groomer before every show, to the tune of $100 each time. No, we don't have the money to do that. And I think that learning how to groom your cat properly is the responsibility of the owner. However, apparently she has allergies and can't do it herself.""""

I'll excuse your friend, due to her allergies; she must really love kitties to have them in her home much less attend a cat show where there are hundreds of cats. But, when I was showing my horses, I always thought I surely must be getting a lot more out of it, when I would get my horses as skinny, horrible looking babies that I could get cheap-looking for that diamond in the rough. I did all the training, exercising and caring for myself, and I did very well at the shows I went to; still have a back room full of big trophies to prove it.
I always saw people who had enough money to buy their horses for several thousands of dollars, pay a trainer $500 or more a month to train it, and probably coach the rider too, and only grooming their own horse on show day. These people might ride 30 minutes or an hour three days a week, and only after the trainer had 'worked' the horse first. I always thought that the whole sense of accomplishment came from what I was able to do, not what I could afford to buy.
Still, if someone wants to show--cats, horses, dogs, or whatever, I guess some just do it for "fun" , so if they can afford it I suppose I shouldn't complain.

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