Guide & Hints for the New Exhibitor

The following overview is provided as a guideline for novice exhibitors. If you require further details or a list of upcoming shows visit the CCA show calendar page. For show flyers, please visit the websites of the individual clubs on the show calendar page or contact the The Canadian Cat Association Office. If you already have a flyer for a particular show, and you require more information, please call the entry clerk or any other show member at the number shown on the flyer.

Submitting your Entry Form

Carefully fill out the Entry Form. If the cat is purebred, it's information is provided on your CCA registration form. In the case of a purebred kitten entry (minimum age is 4 months) the CCA litter registration form (the green slip given to you by the breeder) may be used. If you do not have this slip, contact the breeder for the necessary information. In the Household Pet category, the entry need only provide the cat's name, age, colour, and whether it is a neuter or a spay. All household pets over the age of 8 months must be neutered or spayed. DECLAWED CATS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN ANY CLASS OF CAT. Send the completed entry form to the entry clerk. Do not forget your name, address and your cheque (payable to the show club) in the correct amount.

Expect your Entry Confirmation to arrive by Email

A few weeks after you've mailed out your entry form to the Entry Clerk, you will receive a confirmation of your entry by email. If no email address was provided, it will be mailed. Check it over and if there are any errors or omissions, call the entry clerk immediately. Map and hotel information should accompany the confirmation you receive. If you do not receive the confirmation, please contact the entry clerk.

Show Preparations

Always bathe your cat before the show. Depending upon the breed and the coat length, either towel dry and brush (shorthairs), or blow-dry with a hair dryer and comb as you dry to fluff up the coat (longhairs).

Cat claws MUST be clipped, both front and back.

Cage Coverings are also a MUST. A benching cage is assigned to your cat for the day or weekend, and is where your cat will spend most of his or her day, between judgings. It must be covered on three sides. Single cages are approximately 24" high x 24" deep x 27" long. Double cages are 24" high x 24" deep x 54" long. You can bring curtains or towels to cover the sides of the cage and also a rug or a mat to cover the bottom of the cage and make it more comfortable for your cat. If your cat likes privacy or the show hall is drafty, an extra towel comes in handy to cover the top of the cage.

Things to bring to the show

  • Cage curtains, towels, rug or mat.
  • Combs and/or brushes.
  • Other grooming aids -powders, face cloth, Q-tips, etc.
  • Cat toys.
  • A small sized litter pan and scoop. The smaller, the more room for your cat in the cage. (Litter is usually provided but if you have a fussy feline, you may opt to bring your own.)
  • Cat food. Some is provided at the show but it may not be your cat's favourite.
  • Food and water bowls.
  • Water from home is advisable as a change in water or food can cause loose stools.
  • Pen or Pencil, paper, business cards.
  • Clothes pegs, twist ties or safety pins to hold cage curtains in place.
  • Map to show hall.
  • Grooming table. (If needed)
  • The cat in his/her carrier.

It's off to the show hall

Check on your show flyer for the time the cats are expected to check in on the morning of the show. Arrive in plenty of time to set up your cage(s) and settle your cat in.

On arrival at the show hall, you will check in at the front desk, where you will be signed in, told where your cat is benched and given a show catalogue. The show catalog lists all cats entered into the show, and also lists your cat's assigned number for the show. Remember to take note of your cat's assigned number.

Review the show schedule that lists the judging rings. Circle the class you are exhibiting in for each ring. This will help you to be ready for your class when it is announced. When you hear your cat's entry number announced, take your cat to the appropriate judging ring and place your cat in the judging cage that has its entry number displayed. Close the cage door and take a seat in the chairs provided to watch the judging.

Sometimes if a cat is nervous, the judge may ask the owner to retrieve the cat from the cage and place it on the judge's table for them.

When the judging has been completed, the card on the cat's cage will be turned down. This action indicates to the owners that they are to remove their cat from the ring and take it back to the benching area.

Listen for your cat's entry number when Final Awards are announced for each ring. Your cat may be chosen to receive an award. If you hear your cat's entry number take the cat to the ring that requested it.

If you are uncertain of what to do, or what ribbons mean, or showing etiquette – ask one of the many friendly exhibitors or show members for assistance. Once you settle in at the show you will find that exhibitors are friendly and willing to answer any of your questions about the procedure of showing your cat, especially if you tell them that you are new to the cat fancy.

Most of all enjoy!

For more information, please read the Show Rules