GCCF Cat Shows are an excellent way to show off your cat to the world, you of course already know your cat is stunning as indeed does your cat, going to a Cat Show though is the absolutely best way to make sure the rest of the world is also aware of this fact! If you own a cat and you fancy letting your cat strut their stuff on the catwalk (sorry couldn’t resist), then entering a GCCF Cat Show is the best way to show your cat off to the world and it is also a way to enjoy a day out with your cat amongst like minded cat people. If you are a cat breeder then if you have not already done so then you should strongly consider entering a GCCF Cat Show.
When I bought my first Siamese I had no interest in showing at all, soon after my first Siamese I bought my foundation breeding queen and to be honest I still had no interest in showing. I was advised by another breeder that attending shows would be a great way to meet other Siamese people and of course their cats and get an idea of what to aim for to improve the breed, being a breeder I feel that it is essential to show and the more you do the more you learn about your chosen breed.
I thought the cats would hate it, I felt it was like putting them in a cage all day and they would not like being cooped up. They howl in the car on the way to the vets so driving to a show would be a nightmare. Little did I know just how wrong I could be and I found out after being talked into going to a show and we all loved it, including the cats. Shows are a great day out and the competition aside it’s a really nice fun way to spend a day and also get a cat fix at the same time. You see many different types of cats and colours, kittens and neuters and that’s not to mention the shopping too.
So to any cat owner, I would say give it a go before you make up your mind. Be warned though showing cats is addictive and it’s not a cheap hobby but it’s fun and sociable I would recommend breeders do it as you learn so much about your chosen breed.
Anyone can show their cat! Pedigree cats must be registered and vaccinated and non-pedigrees over the age of 6 months must be neutered and vaccinated you must take your vaccination card with you to the show. There are 3 different registries in the UK you are able to show under but for the purpose of this article I will be discussing GCCF Cat Shows as these are the most accessible and regular shows for everyone. At GCCF Cat Shows your cat’s pen must have no distinguishing marks so everything inside (apart from the cat) must be white. You need the following essential equipment…..
Most people use vet beds to line the bottom of the pen to make it cozy for your cat and also more blankets cleverly folded can make a nice bed for them. Also you need food, litter, water, a litter scoop, rubbish bag, dustpan and brush and also you can have a cage fan in hot weather. Once you have your show kit you can use it again and again. It’s best to purchase it before your first show however most shows have stalls selling show equipment there.
There are lists of GCCF Cat Shows on their website and also on many breed and club websites too. All shows have closing dates for entries about 3-4 weeks before the show so planning is essential. Choose the show you want to go to and find the schedule to check you can enter your cat at that show. Not all Championship Shows accept all breeds of cat for example the Siamese Cat Club Show can only accept Siamese cats and household pets (This is known as a breed show) but the Wiltshire and District Cat Club hosts an all-breed show where all pedigree cats can enter as well as household pets. To find out if you can enter your cat check the schedule for your chosen show.
You will need to send off an entry form. Be warned to a newbie these can look like they are written in a foreign language but once you have done one they are a doddle.
Showing is not for the faint hearted and it is an expensive hobby. It costs on average £30.00 per cat to enter a show. This includes their human counterpart’s ticket too but there are extra costs if you want them. A catalogue is usually between £5.00 – £10.00 and contains a list of entries as well as advertising and areas to fill in the best in show results. It has a list of pen numbers too so if you want to look at the Seal Points for example you can find them in the catalogue and find their pen numbers and where they are located too.
There is the cost of petrol to get to the show too and they are usually (unless you are lucky) not on your doorstep. When you arrive at the show you will be there all day so you will need to factor in lunch and a bit of cheeky shopping if you are that way inclined.
That’s not to mention the stalls, the place to buy all things cats and trust me once you start looking it hurts your pockets all though I find the stalls tend to be cheaper than pet shops and even eBay so it’s well worth stocking up on toys and food etc. while you are there.
Not all cats will enjoy showing but until you try you won’t know. If your cat is not of show quality for whatever reason you can enter pedigree pets and these classes are not based on looks. On the other hand it could turn out that your cat is the next big thing on the show bench and could win win win for you all the time. It is very important to remember that win or not- YOU ALWAYS TAKE THE BEST CAT HOME and you might just have some fun along the way.
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Kate is a regular contributor to Siamese Cat Breeder and also breeds Siamese cats and kittens under the prefix Kaypez.