Should you decide to exhibit your registered British Shorthair, start the procedure by telephoning the entry clerk. The name of the clerk of a nearby show can be obtained from the various British Shorthairs associations. Emirates Feline Federation, or the Internet. The clerk will furnish entry forms, the time and place of the show. directions to the hall, and information about the availability of litter, litter pans, and food.
A cat will not be judged if it appears ill or has congenital faults such as polydactylla (extra toes), tail faults, malocclusion of the jaws, or is unruly or pregnant. (Congenital faults are not penalized in the alter classes.) if your British Shorthair is soon due for vaccination boosters, have them done at least two weeks before showing. If the entry clerk advises you that rabies vaccination is required, be sure to take the rabies certificate with you.
If your grooming program is on schedule, it is probably not necessary to bathe your cat before a show. A judge can refuse to handle the cat if it is dirty. but bathing your British Shorthair immediately before a show may leave the coat undesirably fluffy. Clip the nails of all four feet before a show.
Wade through the show rules, and enlist the aid of an exhibitor friend when filling out your first entry form. Be especially careful that the class information you furnish is correct. The categories are sometimes confusing but they are well defined in the rules. The show may last one or two days, and your cat may be shown five or six times each day. If you decide to ask an experienced exhibitor to stand in for you on show day, be sure that person is listed on the entry form as your agent. The number of cats entered in a show is limited, so to assure your place in the exhibition hall, don‘t procrastinate. After you send in the entry fee with the completed entry form, you will receive a confirmation of your entry within days. Be sure to check all data on the confirmation, and if any errors are found, call the clerk.
One final word about showing. Your time and expense for a show represent the cost of discovering how a particular set of judges compare your British Shorthair to the breed standard and to the other cats that are entered in the same class on a particular day. All judges do not agree on every cat in a show. They might even place the same cats differently in another show on another date.
Benching Your British Shorthair
Upon arrival at the show hall, a clerk will furnish your cat's entry number and assign it a cage. You will receive a catalog and other information pertinent to the show hall and the show itself. You conﬁne your cat to its preassigned, numbered cage where it will remain for the day except when you groom it or when it is being judged in a show ring.
Certain rules and customs must be followed when outfitting your cage. Bench cages must be covered on three sides. but most handlers also cover the top. Some type of soft bedding is needed for the bottom of the cage. A towel will suffice.
There are a few important items to take to the show with you. Some shows furnish litter and litter pans, but if your cat is finicky about the type of litter used,
better take your own. The same applies to food and water. They may be available at the show, but there is no guarantee that your pet's favorite food will be there, or that the water will taste like your Brit's usual supply.
Safety pins or spring clips are needed to fasten cage curtains and secure any loose joints in the cage. A small grooming table is convenient but not essential. Take a disinfectant to use on the cage, tables, and other items that may need cleaning.
Several different judges work independently in perhaps six separate rings in the show hall. Each judging event is handled autonomously by the judge in that ring. Cats that are entered in the show are qualiﬁed to be judged in every rlng. Each judge awards separate ribbons for each class. There are both specialty and all- breed judges. The distinctions are explained in the show rules. The categories established in cat shows are:
Litter (Minimun 3 kittens from the same litter ages 12-16 weeks)
Championship (unaltered adults, eight months old or older]
Altered (adults that have been neutered or spayed)
Kittens (between the ages of four and eight months)
New Breed and Color or Provisional (breeds or colors that have not been accepted for championship showing)
Household Pets (must also be altered)
Household Pet Kittens
Exhibiting your British Shorthair requires patience. Eventually, your cage number will be called to a show ring for judging. When carrying your British Shorthair from the benching cage to and from the ring cage, be sure to hold your pet with a firm grip, using both arms to cradle the cat close to your body. A loose cat in a show hall is very disconcerting to everyone, and is frowned upon by the officials who often get testy with the person responsible for the escapee. Once you have deposited your charge in its ring cage, given it a quick swipe with the chamois and a reassuring speech about your love (even if it doesn't win), take your seat in the audience. The rest is up to the judge.
Judging of each cat is very brief, taking only a minute or two. The judge handles the cat, compares it to the breed standard, and after seeing every cat in the class, the awards are made.
Certain cats will be called back to the judging ring at a later time for the ﬁnal judging of the best of each breed against each other. Be sure to pay close attention to the announcements that are made over the public-address system and on chalkboards around the hall.