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CH Foothill Felines Mr Big Spot being judged in a judging ring at a TICA cat show
CH Foothill Felines Mr. Big Spot being judged in a TICA show ring.

Feel free to browse this entire page, or click on area of interest: :   Do Some Research; Pedigreed or Household Pet?; Adult or Kitten Class?; How to Enter a Show; Preparing for Your First Show; What to Expect at the Show Hall; The Actual Judging; Household Pet Competition

Look Here!  DO SOME RESEARCH  Look Here!

Start by attending cat shows in your area ... if you've never been to a cat show before, you won't know what you're missing! Cat shows are a great place to meet fellow feline fanciers, and to see the best of the best of the incredible diverse breeds of cats. Wear comfortable shoes, and plan to spend several hours at each show.

Different cat associations recognize different breeds!! (Or, to put it another way, not all cat breeds are recognized or can be shown in cat shows sanctioned by the individual cat associations; each has their own rules.) To find out about when and where cat shows are being held, you can look in various cat magazines, which usually have a 2 month show calendar inside; you can also do some research in the library; and you can start writing to various cat associations and getting on their mailing lists. At Foothill Felines, we offer the show calendars for two major cat associations, TICA and ACFA on our website.

What is there to do at a cat show? Walk around, enjoy all the beautiful cats present. Take your time to really figure out what breed might be most appealing to you. Talk to the breeders and exhibitors, and ask them how they got started, what it is like, and for their help and advice. And, spend some time at the various show rings, watching the judges as they handle the various cats in their rings, and listening carefully to their comments about each cat. The best time to ask a judge a question is between rings, when they are not actively judging cats. Oh, and there are almost always plenty of unusual cat accessories and products represented by vendors who make the show circuit and help support the cat clubs who put on the shows. Bring some spending money!!

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Take kitty on a walk with you on the wild 
side with this stunning leopard animal safari jungle print pet cat stroller!
Simply the best made, best priced cat exercise
wheel on the market, the Toy Go Round wheel!

~ NEW! Click on image above to find out more about these absolutely stunning leopard print pet cat strollers we've found; they hold pets up to 30 pounds so will work for even the largest cat breeds. What fun you'll have and what a great impression you'll make bringing your show kitty back and forth to the various rings througout the cat show in the safety, comfort and style of his own exotic leopard print cat stroller!! ~

~ NEW! Click on image above to learn about the incredible new exercise wheels for cats; the Toy-Go-Round wheels!! Cat show judges expect a top show cat to have great muscle tone and be in top physical condition. With their compact size, these wheels fit into even small areas and are simply the best designed, best built and best priced wheels we've found anywhere!! ~


One of the first decisions you will need to make before you can enter a cat in a cat show is whether you wish to show your cat as a purebred (or pedigreed) cat eligible to compete for championship status; or whether you would mostly enjoy showing your cat as a "pet", and experience the fun, the satisfaction and the excitement of competing, at a different level.

If you decide you want to show a purebred (pedigreed) cat, your next step should be to find a reputable breeder for the breed you are interested in showing. Be sure you know the breed standard very well, and take the time to ask judges specific questions about the breed standard (after their ring is over is a good time to do this) so that you will be able to recognize a true show-quality cat when you see one. Get a written contract and health guarantee from the breeder, and be sure that your new cat's registration and pedigree paperwork are updated and registered correctly with the association(s) that you would like to show in. If showing your new kitten is definitely important to you, be sure your breeder has plenty of showing experience herself and will be willing to mentor you as you get started.

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Look Here!  ADULT OR KITTEN CLASS?  Look Here!

In most cat associations, animals can be entered either as a kitten or as an adult, depending upon the actual age of the feline ON THE DATE OF THE SHOW. Usually, kittens can not be shown until they are four months of age (although some associations do let you bring a kitten that is at least 3 months old to be exhibited only, or possibly for sale). An animal can not be shown as a kitten and as an adult in the same is considered to be either a kitten OR an adult cat as defined by the birth date of the animal.

Kittens compete with other kittens of the same breed and color for first, second and third place ribbons. Best and second best of color class are also awarded, and after all kittens of all breeds and colors have been judged, the best kittens are called back for "finals." Kittens being shown in the kitten class can win Regional awards and accumulate show points; however, once the kitten becomes an adult, the process starts all over again and no points earned may be carried over from the kitten class to the adult class. Also, true championship status with the title added to the cat's name can not occur until the animal has won the titles as an adult.

Showing your feline as a kitten first can provide both you and your kitten with valuable experience prior to competing in the adult class for championships. Most feline fanciers agree that showing your cat early in its life as a kitten is one of the best preparations for future shows in the adult class.

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Early Foothill Felines benching area
This is an example of one of our early benching setups.

Look Here!  HOW TO ENTER A SHOW  Look Here!

Select the show that you want to enter. (Cat show calendars can be found on this website here: CAT SHOWS ARE FUN!, as well as in magazines such as "Cat Fancy", "Cats USA" and "Kittens USA". You can also find cat show calendars for each major cat association through their websites.) Request a show flyer and entry form from the entry clerk. Be sure to tell the clerk that this is the first time that you are entering a cat in a show, as they can provide much good advice and information, and possibly even arrange to have a "mentor" for you on the first day of the show. Some associations and clubs will offer a lower entry fee for "Early Bird" entries, so be sure to check the dates carefully. All shows have a specified closing date for entries.

Fill out your entry form completely, and make a copy for yourself before sending the form and your payment to the entry clerk. We advise that you also include a self addressed, stamped envelope to make it easier for the show entry clerk to confirm your entry. If this is the first time this cat has been shown, it is not a bad idea to attach a copy of the cat's pedigree that makes it eligible for competition. You should receive a confirmation letter from the show entry clerk that your entry has been received. If, for some reason, you do not receive any sort of confirmation, call the entry clerk prior to the show to verify that you are indeed entered in the show.

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There is much to do to prepare for your first cat show!! Your cat will need to be healthy, happy, well-groomed and used to travelling and being handled by people and strangers. Your cat should also have been exposed to a multi-cat environment, and be comfortable around other cats. Make sure all your kitty's vaccinations are current, and up to date.

Be sure that you have been training your kitty since a young age to travel in the car. Start by gradually letting your cat become acquainted with your car, sniffing around the inside of your parked car until he becomes used to the smell, then try starting the motor with your cat beside you. Let your cat get used to the car SLOWLY. Buy a strong, large, well-ventilated carrier that your kitty can see out of...many people report better success getting the cat inside the carrier if you buy one that opens from the top. Let your kitty get used to his carrier gradually, and let him sleep and nap in it in his favorite room and locations. Walk around the house with him in the carrier, then around the block!! Finally, put your cat in his carrier in your car. Then, start the motor, and take him for short rides in the car, graduating slowly to longer rides. Never, ever have a cat in your car that is not safely in his carrier.

You will need some supplies to bring to the show. Think about your theme and either make or have someone make for you some "cage curtains" in colors that you like and that will show off your cat to his best advantage. Cage curtains serve a dual purpose of creating a dramatic backdrop for your kitty...and they also help protect your kitty from the spray, and possible bacteria and viruses of cats nearby (not to mention the distractions!) You will want some sort of soft towel or blanket for underneath the cage, and you will also want to bring with you a water bowl and feeding dish, a small litter pan (the litter itself is usually provided by the association or club holding the sure to ask the show entry clerk if this is not stated on their flyer), and bring your own water and food so that your kitty won't get an upset tummy. If you are using cans, be sure you have a can opener! Bring a pen for marking in your show schedule, and a grooming brush or comb for last minute touch ups. And, of course, you will need to have your carrier for transporting your cat in and out of the show hall.

Here's an important link we know you'll appreciate: STURDI-PRODUCTS. This company provides portable, collapsible, top quality travel carriers and show cages plus accessories. Check them out!!

Clip your kitty's nails!! For the safety of your cat as well as the safety of the judges who will be handling him, clip all claws carefully just prior to the show, both front and rear sets. De-clawed cats are usually not allowed to be shown.

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Foothill Felines uses NuVet Feline Nutritional Supplement. Click here for our order code and more product and ordering information.

~ It's especially important for show cats to have strong immune systems and that special glow and sleek look that can only come from having the right nutrition. Give your kitty the energy, great health and desire to enjoy life to the fullest - this will also reap large dividends in the show hall! Used and recommended by Foothill Felines, click on image above for information and to order this uniquely powerful nutritional supplement for felines at our Foothill Felines breeder discount (which is up to 50% less than what veterinarians charge). Just a pinch a day, sprinkled onto wet and/or dry food, energizes and supports all ages, weights and breeds of cats. Developed by scientists, veterinarians and formulators to enhance the health and lives of cats, this unique Nu- Vet supplement contains many important minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and vitamins especially needed by active felines' metabolisms INCLUDING taurine, calcium, blue green algae, brewer's yeast, and much more. ~


Bring your copy of your show entry form and confirmation letter with you as well as the show flyer on the first day of the show. There will usually be a line of exhibitors waiting to "check in." Once you are checked in, you will be given a number that has been assigned to you and your cat. Allow at least an hour to set up your cage if this is your first show. You may also want to purchase a dolly for carrying all your items into the show hall.

Every cat in the show hall has been assigned a cage and area (called "benching") where it stays with its owner when it is not being judged. Each cat entered in the show is assigned a specific, unique number, which should be displayed on the front of their cage. Please do not touch any of the cats in the show, and do not allow others to touch your kitty. There is always a risk of someone unknowingly spreading an unfriendly micro-organism be petting one cat and then petting its neighbor down the row. Many experienced exhibitors have signs that they hang on their cages asking people to refrain from touching their cats.

Are children allowed in the show hall? Of course they are!! They should not, of course, ever be left unattended, and should be cautioned against touching any cat without the owner's permission.

Cat shows are very noisy!! With the noise and excitement of all the animals and people in the show hall, and the bright lights and loud speaker, it will be a shock to your cat (and to you!) if you and your cat are not prepared for this and used to it. You will need to listen very carefully for your cat's number to be called to the various show rings. It is important not to be late or you may be disqualified from that ring. If there are special circumstances regarding a particular ring, you need to inform the show clerk and/or show announcer.

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~ Experienced breeders and those who enter a lot of cat shows know to bring some of this homeopathic calming product to every show to help reduce the stress your cat feels amidst all the sights, sounds and smells in an unfamiliar area. Click on link above for more information and to order the Bach Flower Essence "Rescue Remedy for Pets"; just put a few drops in your pet's drinking water daily for a natural calming, soothing effect. ~

Look Here!  THE ACTUAL JUDGING  Look Here!

The judges in a sanctioned, organized cat show are very well trained for their job. They are required to have studied extensively and on an ongoing basis to become an expert in each breed of cat that they see and judge. In any show, the judges are looking for the best examples of each competition class. In the pedigree classes (purebred cats), they will initially be looking for the cats and kittens that best fit the show and breed standards for their specific breed, but the cat's general condition, health, alertness, personality and temperament will also be taken into consideration. In non-pedigree classes such as Household Pet, only the latter elements will be considered in the judging as there are no breed standards to look for.

As the cats are taken from each ring after judging, the show-ring cages are disinfected. The next set of numbers is called, and when all the cats have been accounted for, the judging for the next ring begins. The judges appraise each cat in turn, one at a time, in the order of their number sequence that has been assigned to them. The cats are judged simply on their appearance and attitude AT THAT TIME. Most judges will announce to the audience what characteristics they are noting, whether they be positive, or even sometimes, when there is a question or non-conformation to the breed standard. If you disagree with the judge's decision, the correct etiquette is to wait until after the ring is over, and the cats returned to their benching area, and to tactfully ask the judge to educate you as to the reasons behind their decision. Be prepared to prepared to listen carefully.

Prize winning cats will be given a rosette and occasionally a trophy, though this will depend upon the particular show and club sponsoring the show. Some shows have special prizes for "best decorated cage", etc. for a show with a theme. And remember, TAKE NOTES!! You are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the points earned by your cat in a show. In order for championship status to be earned, you must supply to that association proof of all the points and finals earned by your cat.

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What if your cat isn't a purebred, or doesn't have a formal pedigree? Can you still enter him in a cat show? The Household Pet category provides great excitement and satisfaction for non pedigreed cat owners. Household pets are judged in one group without regard to sex, coat length (short or long), age, or color. These cats must be altered if over eight months old at the time of the show, and they must have all their physical properties and may not be declawed. There are no written standards for household pets. Instead, they are judged for their uniqueness, pleasing appearance, unusual markings, and sweet dispositions. Each household pet reflecting good health and vitality receives a "merit award", and at the end of judging, the best household pets are introduced in finals.

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