Showing cats can be an extremely rewarding and it gives you the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people and their cats as well as promoting the LaPerm. Although at first it can seem quite daunting working through the schedule, deciding on classes and even preparing your cat for 'Show Day' it is also tremendous fun. Hopefully we have covered all of the information you need here but do remember the club can also provide you with additional help.
The First Step
Take a look at the list of shows on the GCCF website. Once you have decided on which show you want to go to, you can print off an entry form and view the schedule on line. Alternatively you can write to the show manager, enclosing an A5 stamped self-addressed envelope, for a schedule and entry form. This will need to be done about two to three months before the show.
In the schedule you will find information about any extra club rules, explanations about the different types of classes, a list of classes as well as the time to arrive, the equipment you will need and the name and telephone number of the Show Manager. If you have any queries about the entry form or the show please call the show manager they are always more than willing to advise.
To be able to show a cat they will need to have been transferred into your ownership and be up to date with their vaccinations. In order to complete the entry you will need your GCCF registration details. If you have not yet transferred the cat into your name you will need to do so as soon as possible.
The entry form requires information about you and your cat. First fill in your name and address - the exhibitor must be the registered owner of the cat, even if someone else is taking the cat to the show. If you the cat is jointly owned then both names must be entered onto the form.
Next the details of your cat are needed and these should be copied from your GCCF registration:
Date of birth
Name of sire (i.e. your cat’s father)
Name of dam (i.e. your cat’s mother)
Name of breeder
Then you also write in the numbers for the classes you wish to enter your cat for.
It is a good idea to take a copy of your form so that you can remind yourself of which classes you have entered.
Decide on the correct classes - if you cat is a adult neuter you can only enter neuter classes and you should enter its sex as MN or FN. The definition of classes is as follows;
BREED CLASS: Open to all untitled cats of the specified breed. (Must be GCCF Registered)
ADULTS: Cats which are 9 calendar months or older on the day of show.
KITTENS: Not less than 14 weeks and under 9 calendar months on the day of the show. This includes neutered kittens
NEUTER: Neutered adults of either sex may only enter Neuter Classes and may not compete with entire cats or kittens except in Club Classes which are scheduled to include Neuters. Where Best in Show is held, the best Neuter shall be considered against the best Entire Adult and Kitten for Best Exhibit in Show.
NOVICE: Exhibits that have not won a First Prize in any class at a show held under GCCF Rules.
LIMIT: Exhibits that have not won more than four First Prizes in any class at a show held under GCCF Rules.
DEBUTANTE: Exhibits that have never been shown at a show held under GCCF Rules. (If Debutante Adult and Neuter classes are offered at a show, entry as a Debutante Kitten does not count when the exhibit is shown as an adult or neuter and entry as a Debutante Adult or Kitten does not count when the exhibit is neutered and shown)
MAIDEN: Exhibits that have not won a First, Second or Third Prize in any class at a show held under GCCF Rules.
BREEDERS: Exhibits bred by exhibitor/s.
JUNIOR: Cats over 9 calendar months of age and under 2 years on the day of the show.
SENIOR: Cats 2 years and over on the day of the show.
Next work out your entry fees, make out your cheque and make sure that it is signed and correct, or pay on line if there is an option to do so and you wish to take it up. On the form you will find a declaration that you must read and sign. Finally double check everything before you post or email it.
Your cat must be fit and well to go to a show. No fleas, no ear mites, no runny eyes, no bare or scabby patches of skin, no snuffles and sneezes and all vaccinations up to date. If in doubt see your vet.
Do remember to clean ears and eyes and trim the sharp tips of the claws with proper clippers. Do not cut anything but the tip or you could cut into the quick and make your cat bleed. If you do not cut your cats nails before a show you may be asked to do so before you are permitted to enter the show hall. If you are going to bath your cat ensure that you leave sufficient time for the coat to settle down aterwards.
Make sure that you have a good top opening box or basket to take to the show. You will also need a couple of clean plain white blankets (in case of accidents), a non tip water bowl, a feeding bowl and litter tray - all of these must be white in order to comply with show rules. You can normally buy these items at the show if you do not have them. Ensure that you take a cloth to wipe out the pen, with a little disinfectant suitable for cats.
Check that your cat is vaccinated up to date and that the vaccination certificate describes the cat correctly: it should show the cat's full name as well as its correct breed, colour, sex and age. If it has the breeder's name and address on it you should add your own name and address. You will need to show this certificate at vetting-in.
On the Day
Before you leave, check ears and eyes again as well feeling for any small scratches that may have occurred overnight (particularly if you have a multi cat house-hold). Most exhibitors will withdraw a cat from the show if a scratch is found as they may be refused entry to the show. As in most cases at vetting in a vet will err on the side of caution and could view it as a possible infection. This could require all cats in your household to be tested and a certificate produced to verify that your household is clear of the suspected infection.
Leave yourself plenty of time to get there and ensure that your cat is comfortable, warm and secure in their carrier. Be prepared for minor soiling accidents, although they seldom happen it is better to be equipped then panicking on the M6! Also the GCCF do not allow the use of any drug or homeopathic remedy used as a calming or sedative influence. Be aware that on arrival you will have to walk from the car park to the show hall, with your cat, show equipment and any other items you are taking with you so sensible packing before you leave home is essential.
Check your show entry form for the times of vetting in and try to ensure that you arrive well within the time limit. On arrival at the show hall follow the signs to Vetting In where you will usually find a queue of exhibitors. When you arrive at the table you will usually be given an envelope which will contain: Pen No. and Classes Entered (on outside of envelope, ensure you retain this as it may be needed for claiming Rosettes). Also look for a notice which will tell you of any last minute judge changes - this is important as if you already have a certificate from your title class judge you can ask the Show Manager to arrange for a countersignature if the change would duplicate an existing certificate.
Paperwork at shows varies but you will be given some form of vetting in card for the vet to sign, have this, and your vaccination certificate, ready to give to the vet. If you have prepared your cat carefully all should be well; if unhappily your cat is refused entry to the show make sure that the Duty Vet explains why your cat has been rejected and what you must do next.
Off to the Pens
Once inside the hall find your pen, disinfect it, place your blankets, litter tray and water bowl in a suitable spot and get your cat settled in. Judging normally starts at 10am so you should have time to offer a little food if your cat is hungry but you must take the bowl out before judging, leaving only the water bowl. If you have given your cat a toy this must also be removed before judging commences. As a tip it often pays to keep the best blanket until the last minute or you may find it covered with the contents of the litter tray or food.
When leaving the hall for judging always check your pen to make sure it is clean and tidy. On departure you will be able to get your catalogue - check your entry details carefully and go to the Show Manager at once if anything is incorrect.
What Happens Now?
Once all of the exhibitors have left the hall the judges move round the pens with their stewards, taking the cats out one at a time to be judged. Judges do not speak to the exhibitors or the public until they have finished their judging and it is important to know that you MUST NOT approach a judge until they have finished judging for the day, usually after 4pm. The results are written into a book and slips from the books appear on the results board later in the day; you will see the boards surrounded by exhibitors excitedly searching for their cats results.
Generally you are not allowed to return to the show hall until 12:30pm, most people settle themselves down in the refreshment area and get to know their fellow exhibitors or catch up with friends.
Results and Rosettes
At some shows a separate results room is available and as results come in from the judging they are posted up for you to check how your cat is doing. At others you will not be able to see the results board until you return to the hall. However excited you are to see the results do visit your cat first, feed them, give them a cuddle and make sure that they are comfortable and happy before going in search of the results boards. The breed and title class results are usually posted first. The side class results will go up throughout the day and at most shows will still be being judged after you return to the hall. Please do not be too impatient if yours have not appeared however if by 4pm you still have no results up go and ask at the show manager's table. Your rosettes will either be placed on the pen or you will be left a card to collect them.
Most exhibitors by 4pm are eager to start preparation for home, however under show rules you are not allowed to remove your cat from their pen until the Show Manager announces that the show is closed. This may not be until the published time of 5pm but in many instances will be slightly earlier. Should you remove your cat without permission you will be disqualified!