Today I attend my first ever cat show. I’ve never been to a cat show before and honestly I’m not sure I’d ever travel out of my way to go to one again. I visited as a spectator, partly because I wanted to see cats and partly because I wondered if it would be something I could maybe get Laser and McLaren into. I very quickly came to the conclusion that McLaren and Laser would hate every moment of it.
The show was held by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and there were two cat clubs showing; The Scottish Cat Club and The West of Scotland Cat Club. Cats ranged from pedigree to domestic and covered a whole spectrum of breeds including ragdolls, maine coon, sphynx, persian, abssinian and many many more.
Each of the cats was in a crate with water and a litter tray. Some of them had food depending on whether it was a meal time, some of them had a basket or a blanket and one of them had about 30 rosettes and medals and flyers posted all around it from previous shows – clearly an expert. There were a few stalls and some local charities running tombolas as well, which was nice – I picked up a few bits and pieces and won a bath set on a tombola!
I have no idea how the cats were judged, but I did see a few of the judges picking up the cats and prodding and poking and checking their teeth and their fur. One lady told me that her cat was in the domestic category rather than the pedigree category because he didn’t have the right jaw line to be pedigree!
I didn’t see a lot of them from behind – most were either sleeping, hiding or meowing for attention – but I did see one of the un-neutered Oriental cats as it was put back into the crate after it’s examination and boy he had some big nuggets behind him! I always laugh at McLaren’s ‘left overs’ (and I’m not ashamed to say I sometimes poke them) and tell him he’s supposed to have had them chopped off, but having seen intact ones, I realise that his have definitely been snipped!
I wandered around all the cats several times so I got to see them all and have a little chat with them. Most of them were very friendly. I had some lovely chats and a few waves, as well as some desperate pleas to be released and taken to a lovely large garden were they could run free.
Quite a few of the cats were curled up in their litter trays which I thought was odd. A lady from the Cats Protection said that she thought it was stress, but some of them certainly looked fairly ‘chilled’, while others very clearly didn’t want to be there yet weren’t litter bathing.
I think I would have enjoyed the show more if some of the judges, or even just some sort of ‘expert’ explained how they were judging the cats and gave a little demonstration. I saw plenty of cats that I’d have thrown rosettes at whose cages remained prize-less, next to cats who I thought looked exactly the same but had 4 or 5 rosettes – what made them so much more special?!
I was also kind of disappointed that none of the crate labels had the cats names on. They told you which club they were from, their age, breed and gender but I just had to chat to them all as ‘handsome’ or ‘sweetie’ rather than ‘Bob’ and ‘Jessie’.
My favourite cat was a chatty young abssinian of 7 months. He was right on one end of a row and every time I went by he stood up and meowed at me. He became my best friend for the afternoon and I’ve fallen in love with the breed. Unfortunately he didn’t win any rosettes, but I made sure he knew that I would have given him ALL of the rossettes if I had been judging.
As I said at the start of my post, I’m not sure I’d attend a cat show again. I did enjoy seeing all the cats, but I definitely would rather get to know them properly – even if that just meant the owner being present at all times to chat to people. It seemed like cats were just abandoned in crates while owners chatted with each other and they were given a number rather than a real identity. I like to get personal. I want cuddles and names! Where can I find a cat show like that?!
Here are a few of the photos I took during my time at the show. As you can see – some cats were enjoying it a LOT more than others.