All about CFA cat shows

A cat show is composed of a number of separate, concurrently running, individual shows held in the various judging rings throughout a show hall. Each ring is presided over by a different judge, who presents his or her own awards independent of the decisions of other judges. Hence, a cat which is chosen Best in Show by the judge in Ring 1, may not always be given the same award by the judge in Ring 2.

Every cat entered in the show is evaluated by each judge, and judged according to a written standard for its breed (with the exception of the Household Pet Class, for which there is no written standard). The standard is part blueprint because it describes the ideal specimen for the breed, and part constitution because it can be revised by the members of the breed council. A breed standard is precise enough to allow judges to evaluate cats accurately, and flexible enough to leave room for differences in interpretation between judges of keen eye and good intention.

Individual shows can be classified as either allbreed or specialty. In an allbreed show all cats, regardless of coat length or type, compete for various awards. In a specialty show only those cats of similar coat length (or type) compete for awards.

After a judge has examined all the cats in the allbreed competition – or all the cats of similar coat length (or type) if he or she is doing a specialty show – it is time for finals: the curtain call wherein the judge presents the top ten cats in show. The moment every cat breeder lives for is that moment of exhilaration when your cat is held aloft and proclaimed “Best Cat in Show”!

What Do Those Ribbons Mean?

The judge is assisted in the ring by the Ring Clerk, whose responsibilities include calling the cats to the ring, recording the awards as given by the judge, and supervising the ring stewards.

Cats compete at CFA shows in one of seven categories.

The KITTEN competition is for unaltered or altered, pedigreed kittens between the ages of four and eight months.

The CHAMPIONSHIP competition is for unaltered pedigreed cats over the age of eight months.

The PREMIERSHIP competition is for altered pedigreed cats over the age of eight months.

The VETERAN competition is for unaltered or altered, pedigreed cats over the age of seven years. Veterans are only eligible for awards in the Veteran class.

Household Pet
The HOUSEHOLD PET competition is for non-pedigreed cats over the age of four months. Household pets may NOT be declawed, and if they over the age of eight(8) months, they must be neutered or spayed. Read more about showing Household Pets

The MISCELLANEOUS competition is for those breeds just starting the process for recognition with CFA. This class puts the breed on exhibition at the shows, and allows judges to examine the cats and discuss their proposed breed standard. This class receives no awards.

The PROVISIONAL competition is the next step after Miscellaneous for breeds wanting recognition with CFA. Cats in this class compete for Best of Breed, but are not eligible for finals until they are advanced to Championship status.

The NOVICE CLASS is for altered or unaltered CFA-unregistered cats, of either sex, altered or unaltered, 8 calendar months old or over on the opening day of the show whose color and breed is CFA registerable as the breed being shown, including longhair Exotics shown as Persians (see rule 2.04), and who do not have a temporary registration number. The sire and dam of these cats must be printed in the show catalog. Entries that do not meet this requirement are not eligible for entry. Qualifying rings are awarded in the Novice class. Upon the cat’s registration with CFA, these points will be posted to the cat’s record towards its Champion/Premier title. Cats competing in the Novice class may not go on to compete as
Champions/Premiers. Novice class cats are not eligible for National/Regional points and are not included in counts determining the number of cats present in any class.

As an alternative to the Novice class, CFA is offering an additional option which allows Novice cats to be competitive and earn and claim additional points beyond the qualifying rings via a Temporary Registration Number (TRN). The TRN is viewed just as a permanent CFA Registration number. All CFA Show Rules apply, the only difference is that the TRN Cat has a 60 day time period from the first day of the first show entered to compete and earn points. Read more about TRN.

If you need advice or assistance regarding CFA shows in Europe, don’t hesitate to contact us!
We are happy to help you with any questions you have about the CFA.

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