We would like to provide some tips about how to prepare your cat or kitten for showing. Please check GCCF website where lists of cat show can be found. You may choose those cat shows near you, because it could be stressful for your cat/kitten to travel a long distance with you. There are entry periods, so please be sure you make your plan well in advance. You need to know the breed number or class of your cat/kitten category. If you enter your cat/kitten in the wrong one, it will not be judged! We are happy to help and support new owners who have a show quality kitten, so please do get in touch when the time comes, so that we can support you through the whole process.


This is not a last minute job, but needs to be a year round activity.  For his own comfort your cat's coat needs to be maintained well, so that show preparation is simply a small addition to your normal routine.  Remember a Cat show is a beauty competition, and it's the finer points which may not be necessary all the time, which will make all the difference on the show bench.


Cat shows usually take place on Saturdays, therefore I usually bath my cats on Wednesdays or thursdays.  It is important to trim your cat's claws before you start the bath.  Judges and Stewards do not welcome being scratched.   Groom your cat thoroughly to make sure you have removed all knots and dead fur; the addition of water would cuase you problems later if you miss out this stage.  I use Johnson's baby shampoo because it will not sting the cat's eyes.  Make sure the water is not too hot, and add just a spot of Fairy Liquid to help soften the water.  Soak the cat's coat thoroughly and add as much shampoo as you need to work up a good lather.  Most cats hate getting their faces wet, and so I usually leave that until last, and use cotton wool pads, to thoroughly wash the face.  A soft children's toothbrush can be helpful to clean your cats chin area, which can become contaminated with food.  Pay careful attention to the ears, without getting water into the ears, make sure they are clean.  Rinse thoroughly with clean warm water, and then wrap your cat tighly into a warm towel.  Rub the towel over the fur in one direction, removing as much of the water as possible.  You may need more than one dry towel to achieve this.  When the coat is as water free as possible, carefully comb through it in one direction to remove knots and tangles.  Next comes the hairdryer, and with your cat firmly wrapped in a warm dry towel, begin by blowdrying the face.  Make sure the dryer is not too close to your cat or it will burn.  Work your way down the body, drying a small area at a time, and combing the fur up towards the head.  Unwrap the cat as you go along, and make sure to dry the tummy area well, or this will go curley if the cat sleeps on a wet tummy.  After you have dried your cat quite well, sprinkle lots of talcum powder into the coat.  Begin by combing the coat down towards the tail, and then from the top of the head, comb it all up again beginning at the head and working your way down, adding powder at each stage.  You cannot add too much powder at this stage, but do not add any more later on.  All that powder needs to be groomed out again before show day because too much powder in coat can lead to a disqualification.  By the time you have finished adding powder to his coat, your cat will probaly be feeling quite fed up with you, so leave him until the next day.  The powder is important, because it helps to separate each hair, and thus add body and softness to the coat.

The following days, you need to groom thoroughly, making sure your cat is looking beautiful, with not a spec of dirt or staining anywhere.  Pay close attention to his eyes and ears, as well as to his feet and "private" areas.


Make sure you have all the equipment you need, including a plain white show litter tray, white litter, a white water bowl to hook onto the wire of the pen, and a small white feeding bowl.  It is best to try and arrive at the show hall by around 8-30 am.  After you have collected your entry slip showing your pen number, you will need to join a queue to have your cat checked by a Vet., remember to take your cat's vaccination card which will always be inspected to ensure up-to-date vaccinations have been given. After that is done you may go into the Hall and find your pen, which will be arranged in numerical order. Take a safe disinfectant with you and thoroughly clean your pen before you place your equipent and then your cat inside.  You may then have several minutes to allow your cat to settle, and to do last minute grooming. This is a good time to go off and have a look around the stalls arranged around the side of the hall.  Judging will begin at     10-00am so return to your cat a few minutes before hand to make sure he is ready to be judged.  You will then be asked to leave the show hall to let the judges do their job. Results are usually available after mid-day, and you will find the result slips usually just outside the hall.  After the judges have finished all the open classes, often by lunchtime, the Show Manager will open the show to the Public, at which time you may return to your cat.  Judging may still be going on, but these will be the side classes you have entered.  You may not approach or speak to any of the judges or stewards, until after they have finished his/her work.  Most judges are then very happy to talk to you about your cat and their reasons for giving what ever award your cat has achieved.  Don't be shy about asking for this feed-back from the judge, it is an important way for you to learn the art of showing, and to understand your cat's strong and weak points.  You are likely to find that when you listen to different judges, you are given different opinions.  That is inevitable because everyone has their own likes and dislikes, and if judges were all identical, judging could have been done by computer, and we wouldn't like that would we !

After some shows you will go home elated because your cat has done well, and there will be others from which you gain nothing but disappointment.  On such days, you must remind yourself that you are taking home your "best" cat, and look forward to the next opportunity to show the world that is true.  Never argue with the judge, they are entitled to their opinions, and their judgement is final; accept it with good grace.  Poor losers cast a shadow over what is a great hobby, that is fun and enjoyable.

Cat shows are populated by a broad sweep of the community, and you are bound to make new friends who will offer help and support.  Apart from an abundance of cat-chat on the day, a Cat show is a very social occasion, and friends meet up on a frequent basis, who might never have known each other except through their cats.