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Carter the Show Cat

As an animal lover, I’m sure you’ve heard of dog shows (hello Westminster) – where well-trained dogs walk around a ring and are judged on various elements. But what about a cat show? The cats at the show are judged just like their canine counterparts, but you definitely won’t find a cat walking around on a leash! Cat shows are also quite noisy, hectic and filled with elaborately decorated cages.

At the cat show, there will be four rings set up for different categories of cats to be judged individually. The classes are as follows:

  • Kitten Class: The Kitten Class is for pedigreed kittens. They range in age from four months to one day under eight months of age.
  • Championship Class: The Championship Class is for pedigreed cats eight months of age and older. These cats are not neutered or spayed.
  • Premiership Class: The Premiership Class is for pedigreed cats eight months of age and older. These cats are neutered or spayed (often referred to as Alters).
  • Household Pet Class: The Household Pet class is for non-pedigreed cats or pedigreed cats which possess faults that preclude them from being competitive in the other classes. Household Pets over the age of 6 months MUST be neutered or spayed, but may not be declawed. Household Pets are judged on health, condition, colour or markings, and temperament.

Each cat in each class is judged in each ring, and then the judge picks their top ten cats from each class. Points are awarded based on how each cat placed in the ring. The higher the cat finishes the more points awarded. All the points are totalled up from each ring at the end of the day, and the top three cats from each class are awarded the best of the best. All of these points are tracked throughout the show season, and at the end of the season, the top 10 cats in each province in Canada are notified!

I started showing my cat Carter when he was three. I adopted him as a kitten from the Kingston Humane Society when I was a vet tech student. I knew right away that he was a very special cat! He is a beautiful cat, but he is also very social and enjoys other people and other cats. I knew he would love it! Carter was shown in the household pet category. As I stated above, your cat does not need to be a purebred in order for you to show them. They need to be over four months of age and not declawed. Household pets over six months also need to be spayed and neutered. There are cat shows all across Canada. Click here to see if there is one near you.

Carter was a national champion three times, and I miss showing him. He is 16 now and enjoying his senior years quietly at home. One day I hope to return to the show ring with another special cat. Both of my kids have expressed interest, so maybe they will one day enter as junior exhibitors! If you are a true cat lover and are thinking about showing your household pet check out this link for some great information for new exhibitors. Even if you decide not to enter your own cat go and check out a show in your own city and see what it is all about!

Written by: Melissa Finn, RVT

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