Grooming for show

Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
edited 12 September, 2008 in Grooming
Can anyone give me advice on grooming a domestic shorthair for a CFA household pet show? any suggestions on shampoo and coat products? Ferige is a mostly white calico. also, can anyone give me advice on socializing a kitten for a busy show hall? judging? strangers? shes 4 months old and pretty outgoing and is good about being handled. i just want to make sure she stays this way after she gets out of that lovey kitten stage. I cant wait to show her!;c; she has a lovly personailty and i was stoked that she kept her blue eyes. she reminds me of a Japanese Bobtail in her calico pattern and eyes.

Comments

  • Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
    edited 30 August, 2008
    dosnt anyone show HHP? :?
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 30 August, 2008
    I show HHP, on the CFA circuit, I am in Region 1. Is this your first show? Are you showing CFA or TICA? What shows are you going to, if I am there would be glad to help you. I show in NY, PA, MA, CT. Either way, you will find the HHP people to be very friendly and very helpful, they are a great group of people. ~a~ I love these icons!! ;c; Don\'t know how much experience you have, so please forgive if this is stuff you already know, but trying to give you info, in case you don\'t know. :^: HHP\'s must be 4 months old to enter the show hall, cannot be declawed, and must be spayed/neutered by 8 months old. They should be free of fleas and fungus, and not be ill. They should also have all the required shots, and some states mandate rabies certificates. This info will be on the flyer. *If* a judge or another exhibitor, should see/find fleas, fungus, evidence that the cat is ill, the exhibitor, as well as anyone traveling with that person, will be asked to leave, and the judges are pretty sharp. If this is your first show, indicate it on the entry form, and the entry clerk will assign you a \"mentor\", another HHP person, to help you. In the catalog, under the HHP section, usually in the back, you will find your cats name and number, when you go to the ring, put your cat in the cage with your cats number on top. Blue is for boys, pink is for girls. The ring clerk will have it set up either boy, girl, or all the girls will be in a row, or if they set it up with males first, there will be an empty cage between each male, males are never put next to each other. They will also give you a schedule for each ring, so find HHP\'s in each ring, most of the time, HHP is the first class in one of the rings, so get there at check in time, so you have time to set up your benching cage, and get your cat ready. Depending on the schedule of each ring, they pretty much go in order of the numbers/breeds as shown in the catalogs, so you have a rough idea when HHP\'s will be called. It gets kinda confusing, if your new, they have 3, 4, 6 or 8 rings going at the same time, and announcements for each ring, but you will get the hang of it. Your \"mentor\" will help you with this, and if you indicate you are new, the entry clerk will most likely bench you with other HHP exhibitors, so they can help you too. %:D% After they judge the HHP\'s, the will call back the top 10, its called a Final. They will announce the numbers, or some people just stay and watch to see what numbers are put up. Keep alert, sometimes they change the schedule, and move HHP\'s up, this usually happens around the LH/SH Kitten Finals, because there are a zillion of them, lol, or one of the other AB or Premiership Finals. As far as washing, what to use, I have 3 HHP\'s, 2 LH, 1SH, each with different types of fur, and I use a different formula for each one. You will have to try different products, to see which works best for your cat. What works for one cat, does not work for the other. Helpful hint, a white cat, you want him/her to be bright white, a dark haired cat, has to shine. I start my kittens out on Suave baby shampoo and conditioner. Whatever you go with, the secret is to rinse, rinse, and rinse some more. The shampoo residue will leave their fur dull and lifeless. If you decide to go with conditioner, use very very little, and make sure you rinse it all out, or it will leave their coat greasy. If you go with any coat products after the bath, same thing, very very little. The object of the game, is to present a very clean and healthy cat. Before you go in the ring, make sure the ears are clean, and no gooky\'s in the eyes. Do not talk to the judge in the ring, unless he speaks to you first, some will ask the cats name and where he/she came from, they don\'t want a 5 min disertation, keep it short, this is a good time to mention that it is her first show, some will even ask, most can tell if the cat has been shown before. They like the cat to play on the table and be outgoing, friendly, some kind of \"presence\" on the table. They like it if the cat goes up the rope pole, so practice with that. ***Before the show starts, you are allowed, to go to an empty ring, and practice on the table. The judge will spray the table and his hands in between cat, so be a good neighbor, and spray the table before you use it, and after. I tend to be overly pickey about my cats at a show, I am pretty well know for it on the circuit, and very proud of it. I do not let the spectators touch my cats. You don\'t know what cat they may have just petted before they want to pet your cat, or what they might have brought from home, or if they just ate and have grease on their hands. Some exhibitors have hand sanitizer, and will let the spectators pet their cat if they use it first. Most spectators will ask if they can take a picture of your cat, don\'t let them use a flash, it may scare a cat that has not been on the circuit, and is pretty much used to what ever happens. Get to know your neighbors, let them know, no one but you should take your cat out of the cage, we all kinda watch after each others cats. It is very rare but cats have been stolen from shows. I put twisty ties on the doors, not going to prevent someone from taking them, but it will slow them down, so a neighbor would notice and say something. Bumpurr was a scardy boy his first 2 shows as a 4 mo old kitten. I walked him all around the show hall, so he could get used to the noise and commotion. By his 3rd show, he acted like he had been doing it all his life, and nothing bothers him. If your going to a TICA show, that is whole other ball of wax, lol, so let me know, and I can tell you all about that. ~a~ Hope this helps, and I covered all your questions, and didn\'t repeat anything you already knew. Please feel free to let me know if you have any more questions. :-) Lisa :^::^::^::^::^::-h;c;=;=;:)
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 31 August, 2008
    Bumpurr gave you some great tips. I\'ve shown in HHP, and my brother Linus shows in purebred Premiership in CFA. We are in CFA Region 6. I would probably suggest a shampoo/conditioner for white coats since you are mostly white. I agree with Bumpurr though - you will need to experiment a little (well before the show) and see what works best for your coat. I use Groomer\'s Goop, Dawn, and Pantene as I have a somewhat greasy coat. And as Bumpurr said, rinse very very well! Make sure all claws are clipped, ears are cleaned, and any eye goobers wiped before going up to be judged. I also usually don\'t let anyone pet my cats at shows. Not only for health reasons as Bumpurr explained, but any oils or dirt on hands can mess up your grooming job too. Be aware not all shows have a HHP class - check the show flier. Also, be aware that once you enter, entry fees are non-refundable. The main things are to know your number and listen for the announcements at the show. If you have any other questions I can help with, feel free to p-mail me. HHP is alot of fun!
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 31 August, 2008
    I'm Linus, Mickey's little brother. Socializing for a show... Yes, show halls can be VERY busy places and overwhelming for a cat. I was so scared at my first show Mom almost didn't take me to another one. I behaved MUCH better at my next shows though. Mom was told it probably takes about 4 shows to get used to it and know you will be okay. Mom had to wake me up for one of my rings last time (I like to snuggle under my favorite blanket in my cage)! Anyway, don't be too surprised or discouraged if she doesn't seem too thrilled with it at first. We have a stroller and it is great for getting me used to going out. You can also use your carrier though. Try going to the vet just to visit, pet stores, ect. Practice with her at home too, maybe on a coffee table, getting her used to being handled. Judges have little wand teaser toys so you can get some of those too.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 31 August, 2008
    Great replies--I don\'t have much to add. I show in the Premiership and Championship Classes with the CFA, but I\'ve sat in on HHP rings, and they\'re fun. Fergie is sure to win something, with her beautiful calico markings and those blue eyes! I show in Japan, which is almost exactly like the U.S., but there may be some differences. I know that cage curtains are used in both countries--you can order them over the Internet, or make your own, or use something colorful and cheap like a cotton bedspread/throw from India to cover your cage. In Japan, they sell cage curtains in the show hall, but they\'re pretty expensive. Do an Internet search and you\'ll come up with some ideas. The cage cover is to keep your cat from freaking out when it sees other cats, and vice versa. Re practicing: right now, Harvey is getting rather burned out, and has started hissing at the judges. His big problem seems to be that he hates being put in and out of the judging ring cage and the benching cage so many times. If you have a pet cage at home, you might want to practice putting her in and taking her out. Put the cat in head-first, and take her out hindquarters first; that\'s the way the judge will do it, so you should get her used to that. As for grooming...shorhairs are MUCH easier than longhairs, but that doesn\'t mean that just a swipe with a pet wipe is enough. Fergie has a lot of white, so I second the suggestion of Groomer\'s Goop(especially on those areas that may be yellowed, like the bottoms of the paws, or greasy areas, like the areas around the jaws and under the armpits). I\'m not sure if shorthairs should be fluffed up (using special shampoos/rinses/texturizing sprays) or just left natural. I also don\'t know about drying--I dry my Maine Coons with a high-power human hair dryer set on low, but that\'s because I want to increase the volume of the fur. You could check sites on showing breeds with similar kinds of fur--American Shorthairs (not British), perhaps Japanese Bobtails, perhaps Angoras (a real Angora is not as fuzzy as our image of it tends to be). Also, Angoras are usually white, so you might get some whitening hints. Right now, I\'ve switched to a Japanese shampoo brand that I\'m very satisfied with, but for removing the Goop, a mild dish detergent is good. As for a shampoo with whitening effects, I swear by Jerob House of An-Ju\'s Snowy Blue Shampoo (this is in addition to the dish detergent, a general cleansing shampoo, and a texturizing shampoo, but that\'s for Maine Coons). For texturizing, I like their texturizer spray. See their site at http://www.angelfire.com/on2/HouseofAnJu/groomingguide.html As another poster said, after the shampoo and conditioner, rinse, rinse, rinse. For longhaired cats, they say to rinse for over five minutes. A white vinegar rinse can also help to get rid of any residue. I don\'t know about drying. If Fergie is sort of fluffy, you might want to use a hair dryer if she will tolerate it. A really shorthaired cat can usually lick themselves dry. As I said, I don\'t know about shorthaired cat grooming, so check the Internet for information. The essential grooming tool for a longhaired cat is a metal comb, but I\'m not sure about shorthaired cats. Again, it probably depends on what kind of fur your cat has, what kind of effect you\'re looking for, and what breed it most resembles. For example, I\'ve heard that breeds with super-short fur, like Siamese and Abyssinians, are polished with a chamois cloth so that they shine. I would think that you might want to play up Fergie\'s fluffiness (at least, she LOOKS fluffy in her photos), so finding a way to enhance that while drying might be a good idea. HHP judging doesn\'t have as many rules regarding grooming as would judging for standard breeds, since each HHP is different. Rather, they emphasize a healthy look and outgoing personality (in the Championship and Premiership Classes, a good personality is also a plus, but there are plenty of Grand Champions and Grand Premiers who hiss and try to scratch every time they\'re judged). As for relaxation between rings...if she responds to catnip, a catnip toy can be relaxing, as can something with the smell of home. You can also reinforce the idea that \"shows are FUN!\" by bribing her with her favorite treats and a wand toy to keep her occupied. Harvey just goes into frozen mode during shows, so he refuses to eat even his favorite snack, boiled chicken, but a lot of kitties enjoy eating meals and/or snacks. Also, don\'t forget a water dish and a portable toilet. You can find information on the Internet on showing cats--although I think this thread has covered the basics already. I think the CFA (and probably TICA) have explanations on their sites. If you have any questions, feel free to p-mail me any time. Good luck, and let us know how you do! Enjoy! ;c;
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 31 August, 2008
    I forgot to mention Feliway and lavender are great to take to a show and spritz a little in the cage - they have calming effects. Lots of exhibitors use them.
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 1 September, 2008
    I forgot to give you this link. :-) http://www.cfa.org/shows.html You will find the HHP people to be very friendly and very helpful, and you will make new friends. :-) Lisa
  • Kat WhickerKat Whicker ToledoMember Posts: 1,695
    edited 1 September, 2008
    wonderfull info! I knew a bit about shows before, my great freind Elizabeth shows Cornish Rexes and has taken me to a few shows. I also Showed Miss Tiny in HHP (she wont 2nd place, then pitched a fit in the show ring and got last. she also was horrible about baths) Yes i plan to show CFA. Some day id like to have a purebred to show. I figuerd HHP is a cheeper and less commiting way to get my feet wet. I live in Michigan, and one of the major cat clubs here just closed, so i need to look for some more. Where would i get the white shampoo? Ive looked at the pet shops and none around here have anything for cats. Im sorta broke (extra money goes to rescue cats ) so any websites or catalogs where its a good deal would be helpfull. I also gotta make some cage curtins. any suggestions? i have a sewing machine... Can people bring cats into the show hall if there not accully showing them? Fergie is 4 months old with her shots and i think it would be good for her to get use to the busy show hall.
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 2 September, 2008
    If your local pet stores don't have much for cat shampoo I'd check the internet. Petco, PetSmart, and Foster & Smith have internet sites and often there's a better selection online. You don't have to use a whitening shampoo if you can't find one. Show curtains... when I was just starting out I used a twin size blanket for my show curtain and it was about the right size. If you sew or know someone who does you can get more elaborate and creative. Many exhibitors also use Sturdi show shelters I recently got one and love it. It is easier to set up and take down and I personally think they look better than the wire cages. Might be something to think about if you decide to keep showing. Of course many exhibitors still opt to use the wire cages the show provides too.
  • Tiffany McConnellTiffany McConnell OmahaMember Posts: 30,862
    edited 2 September, 2008
    Human used to show me, but accidentally made the mistake of rewarding me with some nip, and I went beserk in the ring. ::o Therefore, I recommend treats, NOT nip!!!! :))! Anyway, now I have allergies, so Human cant show me, which is a bummer. She'd love to get a purebred to show one day though. Good Luck!!! ;c; ~Chey~
  • Lyn YeomansLyn Yeomans Member Posts: 5,691
    edited 2 September, 2008
    Im Alfie, Mum and me goes to shows in UK and Europe.We show in HHP Tica.Yu hav been given gud advice Fergie. My mum baths me 2 or 3 days before a show .Im short haired .I like the hair dryer too. I love traveling in my Car and I love Hotels. Sturdi shelters are good .Easy to set up. Also cosy and Your Own Show / traveling pen too.Always use a CAT / Kitten shampoo for bathing in. Dont use Dog shampoo . De best advice me can giv yu is relax..Dont let yer mum or other people over power you with hugs n kisses ..Jus get yer bearings an Kiss the Judge !! HHP judge usually like that ..grins. Jus hav FUN..No mater wat happens in yer results ..YU is de BEST Cat in de Show =;Let us know How yu gets on..Good Luck and have Fun. Purrs Alfie
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 2 September, 2008
    Fergie-- The Jerob House of An-Ju Snowy Blue Shampoo (which is a whitener) is available online, I would presume. It\'s made by an American company. Same with Groomer\'s Goop. Unfortunately, both are a bit pricey. For your \"first\" show, maybe you should just try a mild dish detergent for deep cleansing, and a regular cat shampoo for milder cleansing. I\'m not sure if you need a conditioner or not--depends on your fur type. If you want to buy the grooming products I mentioned, search the Internet. There\'s a site somewhere on the Internet where some lady gives the measurements for show curtains. Google cat show curtains and you\'ll eventually find it. Also, I think you can probably find used show curtains on e-Bay, but I\'d make sure I had them dry-cleaned before I used them on my cat (germs, tom cat odor). Sturdi-Shelters are great, but in Japan, you get charged MORE if you use a Sturdi-Shelter than one of the cages they provide! Also, they are quite pricey--over a hundred dollars, I seem to remember. If you really start getting into showing to the point where you travel with your cat, you\'ll need a Sturdi-Shelter or its equivalent for the hotel. Look on the Internet for a YouTube demonstration of the Sturdi-Shelter so you\'ll know what it looks like. Somebody told me they got a perfectly good, very light, foldable shelter for hotels at Target for around $20 (originally meant for a dog). SturdiProducts also sells a tent that can be used for hotels and is much cheaper than the shelter, but doesn\'t have as many uses. As far as I know, you cannot take a cat into the ring that\'s not being shown, except perhaps in the \"kittens for sale\" section (I\'m not quite clear on what that is). But YOU can go and get used to the atmosphere and see what\'s necessary--and have fun at the same time. Showing HHP is a great way to start out, and everyone is friendly--not so much rivalry or \"cattiness\" as in the other classes. Between rings, you can sit in on other rings in the various classes (Championship, Kitten, Premiership) and learn about the different breeds. If you eventually decide to show a pedigreed cat, first you have to decide on which breed--I\'m still not sure I really like Maine Coons that much! And there are too many of them! Also, once you DO decide on a breed, zero in on the rings featuring that breed so that you can see what kind of cat gets the points. Also familiarize yourself with the breed standards, available on the CFA website or in a pamphlet. For those of you who have expressed an interest in showing purebred cats, if you have been to enough cat shows and seen enough cats being judged, you\'ll develop a good eye for quality cats (as well as for kittens that will grow up to be champions), and that\'s when you should take the plunge and buy your cat. Purebred cats are not cheap, but you don\'t always have to buy the most expensive cat to get a winner. Harvey was cheap for a Maine Coon in Japan, and yet (as of this writing), he\'s #1 in the Premiership Class in Japan, and the #10 Maine Coon in the Premiership Class internationally (his standing will undoubtedly go down as the show season goes into full swing in the fall). The secret is knowing what to look for (I didn\'t; I just lucked out); good grooming (this can\'t be emphasized enough, especially for a longhaired cat), and the cat\'s attitude (unfortunately, Harvey doesn\'t do too well in this department). Look at breeders\' website and talk to breeders of your breed of choice at shows, and you\'ll get a feel for what to look for in a cat. If you\'re lucky, like some of us, you can buy a \"pet quality\" cat that\'s really a winner. In the end, though, the owner\'s effort is almost as important as the quality of the cat. Good luck!
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 2 September, 2008
    Sorry...more advice. Regarding socializing Fergie, if you live alone, have friends come over and make a fuss over her. If not, take her outside in a stroller or something to get her used to a new, noisy, people-filled environment. Some people advise keeping the tv on really loud (that\'s one thing I can\'t do, because I\'m sensitive to noise, which is why my cats go berserk in the show halls). Also, practice getting her used to being posed on a table--look at my Harvey page to see some of the ways the judges will make the cat pose. Also practice with wand toys on the table. The judge will grasp the cat\'s head by the jaw and turn it upwards, with the cat\'s back to the judge, in order to see the configuration of the face. Some cats don\'t like this, so you might try practicing it. Also, cat shows mean cages--putting cats in and taking them out numerous times. If you have access to a cage, practice this (head first going in, hindquarters first coming out. But I\'ve already explained that).
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 3 September, 2008
    CFA show curtains CFA new bee Here are some great sites that should help you. Check out the CFA website too if you haven\'t already. Showing is a fun, but kind of expensive hobby. I agree HHP is a great way to start! Linus and I also have several show photos in our photoalbums (mostly in Linus\') if you want to look. Be sure to let us know when you make your show debut!
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Oh, yes, a most expensive hobby. Forgot to add that. You can become a National Winner with a relatively cheap cat, if you choose wisely, but those entry fees and (if you choose) travel fees add up fast. People who get bitten by the cat show bug (which often escalates into the breeding bug, since you can\'t show the same cat forever, and always need fresh material) are usually wealthy (often independently wealthy) or so crazed that they dip into their savings to keep going, and save expenses by eating instant ramen for every meal, using only a single lightbulb, going without heat...seriously, the majority of the people I see every week at shows either drive Mercedes Benzes, or have only a single set of clothes. It\'s a very weird world. But obviously it appeals to some of us.
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Hi Ferg, We use F1R2 pet products for shampoos and whitening shampoos check out their website, i dont know it offhand but google F1R2. With my first order they sent me a free bottle of conditioner. (weeooo) My sisfur and I are CFA Region 1. Just turned Premiers last show in NJ in JULY. |/h/| Contact me directly if you would like more information on grooming. JBT'ers rock !
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Is CFA that much different from TICA? I show in TICA in the HHP division. Mom was going to put me in the big TICA annual last weekend here in Arlington, TX but it was closed before she put my entry in. :( She could have kicked herself. Mom works is a retail manager and it is hard to go out of town, so we tend to stick with shows around here. We went to Waco about a year and a half ago and mom spent a lot of money! MOL There will be shows pretty close to us in the new couple of months, but dad is a retail manager also and we only have one car right now (and with the holidays coming up--phooey!). :( Mom is thinking about putting me in a CFA show if there are any soon because she is having cat show withdrawals. The last time mom bathed me for a show in June, she diluted some Dawn dishwashing liquid in some warm water and bathed me in a tub of water. Then she rinsed it really well. She read about Dawn on a breeder's Web site when she was researching good shampoos for Manx cats. I don't play with the judges much--mom wishes I would. And I'm the only kitty in the house with a temperament to be a show cat. Nigel gets grumpy sometimes (he would have been a good show cat when he was younger), Tabi is severly tempermental (she was nice when she was a kitten), Charlie doesn't like cat carriers at all (maybe something bad happened to him before he found us) and Isis...well she has the tortitude. I have some simple show curtains that mom made me and we've used them for every show. Cat cage curtains Oh, and the Feliway spray was a good idea. Several months ago, mom got some of that Feliway spray on clearance at Petco for $1!!! Orignally $32. She sprayed my curtains with it and the inside of my carrier about 15 or so minutes before I got in it. And she sprayed a little in my cage at the show after she set it up. My mom really didn't do anything special to get me used to cat shows. Dad is in a few bands, so there are always people coming over. But I am still shy though (Nigel is the outgoing one that always greets EVERYONE). Everyone loves Nigel. Dad bought me some nip from a vendor once at a show because he was trying to make me more frisky. Well, I ate it instead of sniffing and playing with it. I think they say that we cats get more mellow when we eat it?So the catnip didn't help out. :))
  • Debra PietrowskiDebra Pietrowski Sussex CountyMember Posts: 1,833
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Hi Fergie, I hope you get the "show bug" hehehehhe lots of good advice on here. Let me know if you need anymore! Jappy Bobtails Rule !
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Yes, it\'s nice to be on a thread where everyone is excited about showing. I was on another thread, asking about possibly medicating Harvey when he flies cargo to a show in Hokkaido, and someone started in on me about how I was cruel to be showing my cat when he hates every aspect of it (he doesn\'t) and whether I was showing my cat because I\'m a BREEDER (obviously, the equivalent of a swear word to that person). Then I got the lecture about how dare I own pedigreed cats when so many cats are dying in shelters, etc. I replied that I didn\'t see any contradiction in loving both shelter moggies and pedigreed cats bought from breeders--they\'re all cats, and all precious, as far as I\'m concerned.
  • Gimli_TGMGimli_TGM HurstMember Posts: 29,929 ✭✭
    edited 3 September, 2008
    Oh I put in a link to the cat show curtains site and it didn't work. http://www.concentric.net/~vanadis/cages.htm
  • Shelley CoxShelley Cox CarbondaleMember Posts: 2,752
    edited 4 September, 2008
    It's Stella. Our person always wanted to enter me in the HHP category in our one local cat show [CFA] but I am too scaredy. Plus I don't think I would tolerate any bath or rinses! It's all moot now because our person can no longer walk well enough to manage taking one of us. She has staggered through the shows every year but maybe not next year. How does the cat's disposition affect the judging? Our person saw a purebred who snarled at the judge and would not play, and the judge calmly said, "Of course he is not going to win," and put him back in the cage. But other judges just seem to laugh and some of the cats get ribbons anyway. Good luck with the cat shows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =D>
  • Leanne FroebelLeanne Froebel Member Posts: 1,730
    edited 4 September, 2008
    Stella, in Purebred classes disposition is not supposed to affect judging - unless the cat bites, scratches, or otherwise injures a judge. Then the cat would be disqualified. Purebreds are supposed to be judged on confirmation - how closely the conform to the written breed standard of their breed. Some judges however, don\'t like to give awards to cats that hiss and growl. In HHP however, it\'s a different game. There is no breed standard for HHPs and a sweet, affectionate personality is definately a plus. Overall, judges expect to see a cat that is well groomed and presented and reasonably well behaved.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 8 September, 2008
    Regarding the influence of behavior on judging in the different classes, Linus is right on the mark. However, even in the Purebred classes, a playful disposition, or, barring that, a cooperative and non-aggressive disposition, can be a plus, although it depends on the judge. It can also depend on the breed; some breeds are known to be more high-strung than others (such as Siamese and Abyssinians), while Maine Coons are supposed to be more laid-back--which is what makes it doubly bad for a MC to act tempermental. Since the arrival of a new cat in our household, Harvey has been in a snit, and has been taking it out at judges by hissing and trying to scratch them when they take him out of the judging cage and put him back in. I\'ve been told honestly by the judges that this is affecting his evaluation--\"I would have given him Best Cat, but he was in a bad mood today, so I gave him Second.\" He\'s still making the finals, but he\'s getting fewer of the good ribbons. I\'m assuming that when he gets used to Herbie, he\'ll be a bit more relaxed, but there\'s also the possibility that he\'s got cat show burnout, and will always be like this. During last year\'s season, the Maine Coon who was always next to Harvey was a big hisser who also often tried to attack the judge during the judging, but he managed to be one of the 25 National Winners at season\'s end. The question is, is this cruel to the cat or not? Harvey doesn\'t seem to dislike shows that much, as long as I allow him to sleep all he wants (which is what he\'d be doing at home at that hour anyway); he\'s not afraid of cars, trains, vets, or strangers, and doesn\'t even dislike the judging part; he just hates being woken up and put in and taken out of cages so often. So, what to do? I dearly want to make him a National Winner, but I hate seeing an unhappy cat, not to mention the fact that his attitude affects the cats around him, and also makes the judges unhappy (no one likes handling a disgruntled cat). On the other hand, he\'s far from being the most tempermental cat on the circuit. Yesterday, I was discussing this with one of my cat show friends, and it became clear that many cat owners are giving their cats chemical aids to relax them. The majority use herbal medicines that are not very potent and don\'t seem to have averse affects. I\'m not sure if Feliway is available in Japan, but I\'m going to try to get some if I can. Since Harvey\'s flying in cargo in October to a cat show, I asked my vet for a tranquilizer recommendation--something that would wear off relatively quickly and leave him fresh for the judging stand. The vet gave me Valium, which is commonly used in the U.S. as well, and prescribed the correct dosage. However, when I gave it a trial run, Harvey had a terrible reaction to it--he could barely stand or walk, and he continued to hiss and lash out at Chibi and Herbie, like some belligerant drunk. So much for Valium. I\'m going to try the natural remedies, and also practice putting him in and out of cages. And, if everything else fails, I\'ll just pull him out of competition altogether. He already has almost enough points to make the top 25, and his mental health should come ahead of my ego. If anyone has any other ideas about how to relax cats during shows, please let me know. |^|
  • Lisa DausmanLisa Dausman Member Posts: 5,216
    edited 9 September, 2008
    Long thread, lol, not sure how to respond to individual posts, as you can on some boards. ;c; So, I\'ll just make this a general post. :-h As Harvey\'s mom or dad said, each breed has their own standards, which they are judged by, its basicly a confirmation class, altho grooming and personality are taken into consideraton. Here is a link to the Maine Coon, and each breed has their own standards. %:D% http://www.cfa.org/breeds/standards/maine.pdf Without pulling out my rule book, which is packed in my show boxes, which are at the very bottom, lol, I don\'t know what the rules are, regarding drugging cats to show them. I never needed to drug my cat to show him. But, in my opinion, a cat should not be drugged to show him/her, weather it is feliway or actual drugs. If someone is doing this, I would ask that person, to ask themselves, why are they showing the cat? Bumpurr has never needed to be drugged or given feliway, or anything to be shown, and he finished in the top 10, 6th place, in Reg 1 in CFA HHP\'s. I also do not run him every weekend, and every season, he was shown last season, he gets this season off. I quit showing for the winter, as I will not put his life in danger, by trying to get to shows in the bad winter weather. I feel, if a cat, is unhappy at the shows, for whatever reason, and is hissing, growling, swatting at judges, etc, that cat is telling his mommy or daddy, he/she is unhappy. I would ask that person, why they continue to show that cat, are the points or ribbons that important? Yes, I am extremly overly pickey about my cats, very well know for it on the circuit, and very proud of it. =D> =D> =D> As far as the differences about the CFA and TICA HHP shows, the basics are the same. In CFA, a one day show would be 6 rings, a two day show would be 3/4 rings each day, depending on the show. In TICA there are 6 rings Each Day. In CFA the cats are judged, the top 10 called back, which is called a Final. The cats that make the Final, their numbers are announced, and if there are 2 conflicting HHP rings, or 2 conflicting HHP Finals, the judges or clerks work it out, and one goes on to another class. In TCA, the cats that make the Finals, their numbers are not announced, they call the Final, and you have to go look, to see if you made the Final. If there are 2 conflicting Finals, as in, you are in one Final, and they call you for another Final, your number stays up, in the ring you cannot get to, and your cat is still awarded the Final placing. In CFA, all HHP\"s are judged in the same ring, regardless of age, male and female, all colors. Males are in class 0892 color class, females are in 0893 color class, but they all get judged in the same ring. In TICA, HHP kittens are 4 months old - 8 months old, male and female, and this is a totally seperate class from the HHP Adults. You could have HHP kittens in one ring, and HHP Adults in another ring, both going at the same time. And HHP LH and SH are in different divisions. Then to further confuse things, they also divide them by color. You have the solids, and divided by the diff solid colors, then tabbys, divided by red tabbys, brown tabbys, etc, and the pointed, again divided by the diff pointed colors. The Finals for the LH and SH are seperate. For example, Bumpurr would show in the LH division, and in the red/tabby divison, he would go against other LH red cats, then against all the other LH tabbys. Its kinda confusing until you get used to it. ;c; In CFA, for points, they have a chart they go by, depending on how many cats are in the class, and the placing in the Final, thats how many points they get. You can show anywhere in the US, and whatever points you get, they go towards whatever Region you are in, and you compete, points wise with other cats in your own Region. In TICA, I cannot even begin to explain how their points are done, and the different titles you can win. A TICA person could prob explain it better. %:D% Hope this has helped explain the diff between CFA and TICA. =;
  • Elizabeth KElizabeth K ChicagoMember Posts: 11,036
    edited 12 September, 2008
    I have showed Church and Roxy in household pet several times in CFA and Roxy in TICA "new traits" once because she's a polydactyl Maine Coon... I kinda stopped because they both started getting hissy in the ring and cages after several shows... I would recommend taking your cat out places with you regularly, get her used to other people and all the strange noises with travelling and going places (we visit pet stores a lot and go out in a stroller on walks...) I would suggest getting some type of cage and practice putting her in and taking her out multiple times so she gets used to that. I would also get disinfectant and start spraying and wiping the cage before you practice with her so sh gets used to the smell too. I didn't do this but I wish I had. If you can, recruit friends to help you practice this too so she gets used to strange people putting her in and out of the cage as well. Use lots of treats and/or toys for the practice and start slowly so she enjoys it! I'd also practice putting her on a table and doing an exam like the judge would do, and then when she is comfortable with that exam start having friends do the same thing. For my cats I think the main reason they started getting hissy was them smelling all the other cats, so if you have a way to get your kitty used to strange cats being around that would be good. I used to take Church to a friends' house when he was a young kitten and she had cats so I thought that would do it...guess not. :P As far as grooming, I just bathe and blow-dry (brushing while I dry) and make sure the nails are trimmed well. I use Biogroom shampoo which I love. I tried a brown coat shampoo but it did not turn out well with Church's coat so I switched to Biogroom. If you can't find a white shampoo you can probably buy one at the first cat show you go to, they usually have vendors.
  • Valerie DurhamValerie Durham Member Posts: 8,724
    edited 12 September, 2008
    I agree with you entirely, Bumpurr (great name!) regarding the morality involved in drugging cats in order to show them. The sad truth, as I have discovered, is that this practice is much more common than I had suspected. I wonder if it is more common in the purebred classes, in which competition is very fierce, and in which cats are judged more on their confirmation to breed standards (which are often quite stupid, IMHO) than in the Household Pet class, where personality is more important than in the purebred classes. As to why someone would drug their cat in order to enter it into a cat show...I agree that it a morally questionable act. As you say, a cat that needs to be drugged in order to be shown simply should not be shown. So, why do owners do this? I think there are a number of reasons. First, the cat world is totally crazy (the humans are much crazier than the cats!), and people will go to all sorts of extremes to have their cat get a good ranking. Second, it is a fact that a lot of cats get nervous and cranky at cat shows, so, if you\'re going to show such a cat, you\'ll do anything possible to make the cat more relaxed. NOT showing the cat is the best thing, but if you ARE going to show the cat, giving it something to relax it is the only other choice. Mind you, I really don\'t like the idea of drugging cats, but many exibitors are so keen on getting those points, and ALSO concerned about their cat\'s mental health (yes, I know this is contradictory), that they will give their cat whatever it needs to calm it during shows. BTW, the feral kitten I adopted recently was rescued by a group that includes a cat show judge. She says that there\'s nothing sadder than judging a cat who is afraid, or who obviously hates showing, or who is drugged. She didn\'t say it outright, but I think she\'s getting burned out as a judge. Having said all that...why continue showing cats that are obviously unhappy with the whole thing? I\'ve been showing cats for around a year now, and I can say that the cat world is truly wacky. People love their cats, but they are also very competitive. Having observed my fellow cat exhitors for a year, I would say that a lot of them gain self-esteem when their cats do well in the rings. Yes, they love their cats, but at least some exhibitors also have a personal lack that makes them take the cat world a tad too seriously. Another point: aside from relatively large-scale breeders (REALLY large-scale breeders are usually backyard breeders and DO NOT exhibit at cat shows), most people have only a few show cats. If they REALLY want to show their cats and be in the show world, then they sometimes have to show cats who are not really suited to it. My own cats were relatively cheap, but take somone who pays $5000 for a really fine cat--even if Kitty objects, the chances are that he/she will be shown, especially if the owner is a breeder who is trying to improve their profile. As for myself, I started showing cats after a long-term depressive breakdown. It turned out to be the best medicine i could have had. I met new people who were as obsessed with cats as I was, and the discipline of having to get up early every Saturday and Sunday (previously, I had slept from Friday night until Monday morning) has been a godsend. I enjoy the frissson of that moment when the ribbons are given out, AND I must admit that when my cat places well, it enhances my self-esteem. Yes, I know that one shouldn\'t use one\'s cat this way, but I have a feeling that a lot of people in the cat fancy show their cats to give themselves an ego boost. Thus the practice of drugging cats, in order to up their chances of doing well. We are humans and adults, and therefore our cats\' physical and mental well-being should come first. On the other hand, anyone who loves cats knows that they can be extremely potent medicine for whatever ails us mentally. Every time I go to a cat show, I ask myself, \"Is Harvey suffering more than I am benefitting from this myself psychologically?\" It\'s a close call. In conclusion, I have to agree with you, Bumpurr. I\'m going with Harvey for the time being, but may retire him way before the end of the show season. At the very latest, he will be permanently retired in April of next year. But I will finish with a question that, I suspect, no one has an answer for: my involvement with the cat show world literally saved my life. Every time I go to a cat show, I wonder if this is an excuse for showing a cat who would prefer to be taking a nap at home. Is there an easy answer to this question?
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