A guide to showing, written in my own words, from my own experience
There are a few different registration bodies in the UK who all hold annual shows, this page concentrates on GCCF shows only, and all information provided applies to the British Shorthair. Info for longhaired cats may be different.
Before you decide to show your kitten/cat you must be sure that it meets, or is as close to as possible to the GCCF breed standard. This can be found on my website, and on the GCCF site.
The breeder will advise you whether your kitten is suitable for showing, although growth can change some aspects (bite, size etc).
You can check the show calendar on the GCCF Website and decide which shows you would like to enter. Entries are taken for a show around 6-8 weeks before the date of the show. Most shows take place on a Saturday. Find the website for the show you want to enter and download and print out 2 copies of the entry form and one schedule, or just save and view it online.
Take one entry form on show day to check all is correct. Enter the correct open class and up to 3 side classes, or for an extra fee you can enter more classes (there is a limit).
You will need to buy special equipment for each cat you want to show. This is available from places such as EBAY and also from shows.
Essentials you will need for all GCCF shows;
- White litter tray
- White food bowl
- White water bowl
- White Vetbed, pen base, or large blanket (plain only)
- White small blanket
- Top opening cat carrier
- Up to date vaccination card or certificate (you NEED this or you won’t be able to show)
- Bottle of water for your cat
You also need to take, or buy at the show;
- Fine toothed comb / brush
- Cat food (usually supplied free)
- Small toy
- Cat litter (sometimes supplied free)
- Camera (if you want)
- Poly bags (in case of a poop)
- Pen / Highlighter (to write notes in or highlight areas of the catalogue)
- Lunch / Drinks (if you like)
- Umbrella (if it’s likely to rain)
You need to make sure your cat has been kept clean, well fed and is perfectly healthy before attending a show. Feed a good quality food and take care of the coat and everything else as best as you possibly can.
Clip the ends off the claws a few days beforehand. Any scratches or bites on the skin could mean you will be disqualified.
They must be well groomed, ears, eyes and bottom cleaned. The schedule will tell you what time to arrive (usually between 8am and 9:30am). Judging usually begins at 10am. When you arrive, you will receive an envelope telling you which pen number your cat is to be placed in. Take the envelope and go to the vetting in area. The vet will check your cat over and also check that vaccinations are up to date.
You then pen your cat and give a groom if required. Everyone leaves the hall at 10am when judging of open classes takes place. You will be able to get your catalogue at this point and browse stalls etc. You go back to the hall at 12-12:30 and check the results area to see how you did.
You can then add food to the pen and a small toy. Side classes will then be judged. This can take a long time so patience is required.
The show finishes between 4 and 5pm, you may not leave before then. There will be an announcement to let everyone know when they can leave. If you leave before then, you may lose everything you have won.
Shows are not for everyone but can be very enjoyable, and a great way to meet other likeminded people. Good organisation can make them more pleasant. I would thoroughly recommend giving showing a go if your cat is suitable. You can even show pedigree or moggie pets!!
I am very happy to offer advice to anyone wanting to give it a go!!
I always recommend showing to all of my new kitten owners, providing the kitten is suitable.