Cat shows and cat beauty contests: what are the rules?


Cat shows, in addition to the competition component for those who participate in the beauty pageant, can be a good place to meet cat lovers, chat with enthusiasts or even breeders of purebred cats, and discover new products. intended for our feline friends.

Depending on the nature of the contest, going there is also a good way to learn more about one or more specific breeds of cats. But how do these cat shows take place, and what are the rules for these beauty contests?

How are cat beauty contests conducted?

The masters who take part in the competition must go early in the morning to the place where everything will take place with of course their participant, in order to submit it to the veterinary control which is the first step imposed. Cats should have their vaccines up to date, be identified by microchip or tattoo, and be free from disease or parasites.

Once these veterinary examinations have been passed, the cats will be examined one by one by judges, according to different categories, and according to the competitions, in different ways.

Who are the judges?

Judges aren’t just randomly drawn cat lovers. Indeed, the latter have followed a long training course on the standards of cat breeds, and also followed a period of practical training in the field with professionals who are experts in feline breeds. It is therefore very informative to listen to the judges comment on the cats during the competition, to learn more about the standards of different breeds of cats.

The different competition procedures

As said above, the competitions do not all take place in the same way. In fact, there are two different types of flow.

In one case, it’s more or less like a fashion show. The masters go one by one to what is called the ring (which is in fact a stage), with their cat in its cage which they will have decorated themselves beforehand. They will then have to take the cat out of its cage to be examined by the members of the jury who will comment on its appearance, which will have to present and highlight the physical characteristics of its category. Once the exam is complete, the cat will return to its cage, and it will be the next one’s turn.

The second way of proceeding is less stressful for the cat, since the members of the jury will move themselves. In turn, the cats will be taken out of their cage to be examined by the jury before being returned to it. This procedure usually takes place away from public view, to avoid too much stress for the cats.

The different categories of cat contests

There are several categories of contests. A Siamese cat, for example, will not be judged in the same category as a Persian cat, just as a kitten will not be judged in the same category as an adult cat.

The different categories are therefore sectioned according to the breed, the sex, the different age groups and also whether the cat is sterilized or whole (unsterilized).

Some competitions differ somewhat, since we will not make categories of breeds but of hair, while keeping the categories of age, sex and sterilization:

Titles and awards for the winners

The cat which wins the competition in its category is given a rosebush (a kind of medal), with a certificate which certifies its victory in its category, which can allow it to pass competitions of a higher level, ranging from the national championship at the world championship, which takes place once a year with more than a thousand participating cats. However, only adult cats are allowed to take the high level competitions.

We will therefore find according to the breeds or the hairs for young cats:

  • the CACP (Certificate of aptitude for the Championship-Kitten): for kittens from 3 to 6 months.
  • the CACJ (Certificate of aptitude for the Junior Championship): for so-called “junior” cats, from 6 to 10 months.

Then, for adult cats, with a male category and a female category for each:

  • CAC class: Champion – whole cat winning a national competition
  • CAP class: Premior (for sterilized cats) – sterilized cat winning a national competition
  • CACIB class: International Champion – whole cat winning the world championship
  • CAPIB class: Premior International (for sterilized cats) – sterilized cat winning the world championship
  • CAGCIB class: Grand International Champion – whole cat double world champion in its category
  • CAGPIB class: Grand Premior International (for sterilized cats) – sterilized cat double world champion in its category
  • CACE class: European Champion – whole cat winning a European competition
  • CAPE class: Premior d’Europe (for sterilized cats) – sterilized cat winning a European competition
  • CAGCE class: Grand European Champion – whole cat double European champion in its category
  • CAGPE class: Grand Premior d’Europe (for sterilized cats) – sterilized cat double European champion in its category
  • House cat class: cat without pedigree (must be sterilized) – champion cat in a separate category, cats without pedigree and without necessarily being purebred.

The master, meanwhile, receives various rewards depending on the brands that sponsored the event. This can be vouchers for free kibble on a brand for a certain period of time, various accessories, such as transport bags, bowls, cat trees, etc.

Outside of beauty pageants

These cat shows don’t just feature beauty pageants, although that remains the main attraction. We will find breeders who have come to have them adopted, representatives of accessory or kibble brands, who have come to present new products.

In short, if you are a cat lover, there is a good chance that you will find something you like about these colorful events.

Photo credit: Darren Barefoot

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