How do cat shows differ from dog shows?

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Cat and dog shows are both arranged by two basic types of competition, all breeds and specialty, but in feline specialty shows, cats are further classified by longhaired and shorthaired varieties. Dog shows have a 6-to-12 month-old category for puppies, but kittens can be shown at ages 4 to 8 months.

Both dog and cat judges adhere to written breed standards in awarding scores to participants. These guidelines are developed by expert breeders and reflect perceived “ideal” qualities. Judges are usually breeders and former exhibitors themselves, and they have exhibited a required degree of proficiency in understanding and applying breed standards.

Thanks to publicized events like the American Kennel Club Eukanuba Challenge, dog shows are much better known to the general public. Cat shows, which are organized under the auspices such national groups as the Cat Fanciers Association have not received the same degree of media attention, but are rapidly growing in popularity.

Anyone interested in attending a cat show can consult the CFA web page at for a current list of scheduled events. Recognized breeder groups and local cat clubs maintain similar lists, and will also give notice of smaller events that may be scheduled in your area.

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