How do cat shows operate?

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Since its organization in 1906, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) holds hundreds of events each year, with the two major competitions being the CFA-Iams Cat Championship held in Madison Square Garden, and the CFA International Cat Show (at varying locations.)

Cat shows operate along similar lines as dog shows in terms of rules and structure, but the real difference is in the atmosphere created by the animals themselves. Feline shows are, in a word, quirky. The aisles are filled with elaborate, customized cat cages that are decorated to reflect the personalities of the felines and their humans.

In addition, cat shows tend to be hectic and unusually noisy, with people calling out judging numbers, and occasionally in hot pursuit of a panicked cat who has had enough and made good his escape. Add the growing popularity of feline agility competitions, which are highly entertaining, and a cat show makes for great spectator fun.

In addition to seeing some truly gorgeous animals, a cat show is an opportunity to experience the wonderful world of felines and the people who love them.

Just remember some basic etiquette. Never touch a cat at one of these events without being invited. If you are granted this privilege, do not be offended if you are also asked to use hand sanitizer first. Many diseases to which cats are susceptible can be transmitted by touch, and exhibitors are understandably cautious about the health of their prized and beloved animals.

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