Cat show people - should I give it another try or just give up?

Desiree JohnsonDesiree Johnson RosevilleMember Posts: 3,736
Hi all. There used to be a few cat show people here, not sure if that is true anymore, but I thought I'd ask for opinions. I have a 2 year old female longhaired odd eyed brown ticked tabby and white. She's absolutely gorgeous, a true one in a million cat. At home, she is super relaxed, somewhat playful. She lets you handle her pretty well most of the time since I've been training her. She doesn't spook easily. She's just an all around laid back cat. Took her to her first show as a 6 month old. She was scared but behaved herself. Did ok placing wise. Took her to her 2nd as a 1 yr old. She did pretty well, seemed a bit more relaxed and got a little sassy at times (which means she was her normal self ;)) Got all Best's. I was happy and she wasn't too nervous. A good experience overall. Last Saturday I decided to take her to another. She'd been acting odd the night before. Was constantly looking to escape during the bath & drying. She meowed the whole car trip. She fought me when I groomed her. She sulked in the corner in her cage and did not want to be touched much, and tried to run away when I attempted to get her to play. I took her to one ring and she would NOT allow herself to be put on the table. Very odd, because she's usually pretty biddable, especially when she's nervous! All of her behavior was weird for her. I left after the first ring. I know I should've done a few more, but the wait between rings seemed so long and I was not enjoying myself at all. It was freezing, I had 4 hrs of sleep a few nights in a row, and my cat was not herself in the slightest. I said I wouldn't show her anymore, but the more I looked back on it, the more I realized why she behaved the way she did. I've started to rethink my decision. There's a show in October, a TICA show this time. I've never shown with TICA before and like how they handle HHPs. I started thinking about the possibilities - I could start training her again. I could try Feliway & Rescue Remedy. I could try to make sure I bathe her a few days before so she can "recover" from the experience. It'll be a longer car ride like she's used to, so she'll have time to settle down. I'll make sure I get plenty of sleep. Do you think it's worth another shot or that I'm fooling myself? I love her. She's my heart cat. I don't want to put her through something if she has no chance of tolerating or enjoying it. I'm just curious what show people think of the situation. Thanks in advance for any input. :)

Comments

  • Sharon DaltonSharon Dalton Member Posts: 3,728
    edited 16 August, 2011
    My cats won't even show themselves when 'strangers' (including my adult son) are in the house, so showing them isn't an issue at all with me. However, I did once show horses/ponies in "in hand" classes where they're judged on their conformation - as cats and dogs are. I know from that experience that showing is to boost the human's perception of him/herself - it does nothing at all for the equine/feline/canine companion involved - except, of course, for the breeders of such, who must advertise their breeding-program success. Why not just enjoy your beautiful companion at home? Why put her through what is - to her - agony in order to show her off? It would be more useful to show her off by taking her to a retirement or nursing home, where I guarantee she'd be admired. After years of showing horses/ponies, I have an old cardboard box full of fading, fly-specked ribbons - and that's all. Useless. My advice is to love your beautiful cat at home (and a group home, if possible) and let *her* enjoy the experience instead of stressing her with a show that means nothing to her.
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 16 August, 2011
    I kind of agree with Athena now that my cat show experience is over. I started showing in CFA when I was young- The shows we went to were a few months apart continuing on for the next couple years. I didnt want to show every week end due to the expense and toll it takes on a show cat, bathes, grooming etc - not to mention the drives hours away and loss of sleep. (And my cats didnt like to pee in the litterbox I had in the cage, so they would hold it all day long). I loved showing, but my cats developed cattitude when they were about 1. I became addicted to showing and even tho they developed their "tudes" I just had to have that Grand Premier title" it was Hooman goal and even tho they never did anything more than hiss in the cages or judges I met my goals after showing 3 years (like I said I only did it every couple months) its all good meeting new friends, attending events for your regional area and I dont regret it one bit. But its something that my cats did not enjoy but were made to do by me. I still bring my cats and will continue to attend my cats annual club show but only have them there for exhibit only.. I let children pet them and talk to the attendees that ask questions about the breed etc. I recently have thought about becoming a kitty that goes to nursing homes but there is also a commitment there where you have to sign an agreement that you will visit your place assigned at least 2x a month (I have problems with that especially during the winter) If you dont show your cat regularly in HHP you will be passed up by the kittys who show all the time. So its your decision in the end, commit or not to commit that is the question.
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 16 August, 2011
    And may I add, you have AWESOME odd eyes.. surely a beauty you are. I can see why you got "BEST".:f
  • Desiree JohnsonDesiree Johnson RosevilleMember Posts: 3,736
    edited 16 August, 2011
    First off, thanks for responses. One of the things I actually really want to do is therapy with Malibu. I don't know how she'd handle it but it's definitely worth a try. She's really special and has a wonderful story that I think would touch a lot of hearts. I had a few different reasons for showing her - exposing her to strange environments and being handled by strangers, showing people that might be interested in buying a cat that there are beautiful cats on the street too, and of course there was a selfish motive behind it as well. I won't deny that. At the second show I found that I enjoyed talking to people about her and almost forgot that I had rings to go to. I guess what I enjoy is showing her off and letting people know her story - which is something I can do with therapy work. And if I really want to show, my friend who breeds Siamese & Orientals has offered me to take a cat many times. So, there's always that option. :)
  • janice lancasterjanice lancaster temple gaMember Posts: 2,505
    edited 16 August, 2011
    I think if you want to try it. it wouldn't hurt to do one more, and here's why. I think your lack of sleep etc may have made her pick up on your feelings, make sure to take a jacket for yourself also. I just don't think a cold, tired momma makes for a relaxed kitty at the shows. Meowma actually thinks the shows help me, as before going I was really scared of any other humans that came in the house. after a few shows I not only trust Meowma more, I am not freaked out by strangers either. (I even met Kujy and kisu's Meowmy this summer!) All kitties are different, so in the end, if she does the one more show and is crabby, I wouldn't do it again.
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 17 August, 2011
    :-h Hi Rory !! My friend Niki had a one day bad experience and was going to hang it up.. I coaxed her into going to her next show and she did wonderful. Im glad she went, cause she was very upset her cats had a bad cattitude kind o day. The good day made up for the bad day and we all know we have those days.:^: Now, can you scratch that itch i have in the top left behind my ear?
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 17 August, 2011
    Meowsers Catsters !! Howdy Doody?
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 17 August, 2011
    Wow, we agree with Kisu, Malibu is a beauty! Love those eyes! :D I think you should give it another shot. You never know what will happen! I show Gimli and Kenji in TICA as HHPs. We've met lots of great people and cats. Since June 2006, Gimli has been in 7 shows, the last show he was in was in October 2009. He is a Triple Grand Master. There is one cat club that has a "spring fling" show here every June. I wish I could go to shows out of town, but I don't have the money or time right now. Gimli does better in the shows were there are 12 or 13 or so HHPs versus 20 to 31 HHPs. Gimli doesn't like the judging part too much, but he loves it when people come by his cage to look at him. He gets lots of nice comments--the most popular comments I hear are, "He is beautiful!" or "wow, that is a huge cat!" MOL And of course, they want to know what kind of cat he is. He is a 19-pound Manx mix and he is very laid back and loving. Some people think he will bite or he is mean just because of his size. At one show, even a Maine Coon breeder came over to look at him. He was the heaviest cat in the show that day. And at another show, an exhibitor was on her way to her last ring with her two Rex cats (don't really know if they were Devon Rex, etc...) and said, "your cat is awesome!" I can say that he has never hissed, scratched, or bitten a judge. :D I've seen lots of experienced show cats hiss, scratch and bite judges; just like people they can have their bad days and good days. I took Kenji to his first show here in June as an HHP kitten. The same Maine Coon breeders were benched across from us. The couple had a beautiful male that kept finaling, but he was having a very bad day and was biting and hissing. Kenji wasn't happy about showing and didn't play with the judges--he just sat there up on the tables like a bump on a log just like Gimli. Kenji hissed at one judge when she told him he had beautiful face markings and she was putting him back in his judging cage. I really enjoy showing and Gimli and Kenji are my only cats that will tolerate it--my three girl kitties--no way!!! In 2007, we went to a two-day show in Waco (it was Gimli's 2nd shows). He got dandruff from stress really bad! He's a brown classic tabby, so dandruff really shows up on his fur. Got him back to the hotel room and he had to have a bath, poor guy. I gave him one two days before the show. He did better the second day. I happened to be at Petco after that and went to the clearance section. I found one of those spray bottles of Feliway for a little more than $3.00! :-O So now when I take him to shows, I spray his curtains beforehand and a little after I set them up and I spray some on his bed that I bring for his cage. Then I still have to keep an eye on dandruff. I keep some waterless shampoo with me just in case some flakes show up. So maybe Feliway spray will help calm Malibu down. We look forward to hearing if you show her again! Good luck!
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 17 August, 2011
    Hi Kujy! :-h|:|
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 18 August, 2011
    Hi Gimli :-h its funny you mention about the dandruff.. that happens to me also, mom always wondered how the heck can dandruff POP up within a matter of an hour or so? Check out my new photos from Larry johnson this past July.. they came out just ok, Kujy wasnt in the mood to pose and kept wanting to lay down.
  • Desiree JohnsonDesiree Johnson RosevilleMember Posts: 3,736
    edited 19 August, 2011
    Thanks guys! Rory, I think I definitely set her up for failure this last time. She does better when I'm relaxed. We feed off of each other a lot. I'll make sure that I'm prepared if we go to another. :) Hey Gimli - long time no see. I used to be active a long time ago (I posted as Morris most of the time) Thank you for all the advice! I think it would be nice to show her in TICA since I could actually get titles on her. And how lucky that your got Feliway for just 3 bucks - I hope you bought all they had!! MOL Also, Kuju & Kisu - just wanted to say that I love Japanese Bobtails. My mom is not a huge fan of purebred cats, but when I took her to a show she loved the bobtails. If I do show again, I might just take Eve with me, too. The more I think about it, the more I think that she might be good at it. She's a bit high-strung, but you she lets you do anything to her - hold her upside down, stretch her out, etc. And she PLAYS like a maniac! She's not anything "special", just a blue and white shorthair, but she is pretty darn cute. I think Malibu does better when she is around other cats. So just another thing to consider.
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 20 August, 2011
    Hi Kujy! We love your pics and the background is so pretty! Mom always wanted to get my pics done at a show, but I would probably want to lie down too and not look at the camera. I thought I was the only kitty that got dandruff! Mom wonders too how it shows up so fast. At the Waco show on the 2nd day, she kept a room temp bottle of water with her and some paper towels and kept cleaning my fur (mostly on my back) and that kept my coat relatively free of dandruff.
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 20 August, 2011
    Hi again Malibu! :-h I saw after the fact that Morris was in your family. :D Mom has met lots of nice people in TICA. Kenji is finally getting neutered on Tuesday so mom can register him with TICA and get his points he got in his show. Mom wishes that she would have put me in the show. There were 19 HHPs and the judges could only give 5 places. Mom heard one of the judges say that she was trying to get another HHP in the show, so they could do the Top 10. It was only $25 for an HHP entry. I think Kenji could have used the company.
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