WHAT GOES ON AT A CAT SHOW?

Enjoy the photos from the National Capital Cat Show - September 2010

Dog shows are often held outdoors and their canine owners and handlers (frequently professionals) trot the dogs around in a ring. They generally have only one showing and judging per day. A cat show, on the other hand, is always held indoors and has a lot more going on. Throughout the day, exhibitors may participate in four to six separate, concurrently running, individual shows. If it is a two-day show, cats can be exhibited in up to ten rings over the two-day period.

During the day, each judge holds what is virtually a mini-show, judging all the cats and kittens in allbreed rings and shorthaired or longhaired breed cats and kittens, in the specialty rings.

While the pampered felines rest in their benching cages, owners listening for their numbers, to be called to a ring, judging goes on throughout the show hall. Exhibitors then bring the cats to the ring, put them in the judging cages and the judge will judge them in alphabetical order of the breeds.

Although there is a schedule of judging, there is no specific time for this to occur. In this "class judging," each judge makes their own assessment of the cats, based on their interpretation of the written Breed Standards of perfection and then chooses their Best of Breed for each breed.

The moment that show participants await with excitement is when the judge has judged all the cats or kittens in the class and calls their top ten cats to the "finals." The judge then bestows their ring prizes on the cats and kittens they believe merit those awards. These are the cats that, according to that judge, come closest to meeting the standard - and the ones that often have in addition, an indefinable "something" special. However, since each judge makes their own interpretation and decisions, a cat that is Best in Show in Ring 1 might not receive that award - or any award, in Ring 2.

The ultimate emotion-filled moment every exhibitor hopes for is when their cat is held aloft and the judge announces - this is my BEST CAT!

 


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