Assessment of cat behaviour during a cat show tells us that they are habituated to them

In general cat show cats are habituated to the noise and unfamiliar people.

There’s a study out online entitled “Assessment of cats’ behaviour during a cat show“. The scientits came to the conclusion that “the cat show environment represents a situation full of stressful stimuli for the cat; despite this, our results have identified few behaviors of discomfort or stress manifested only at low frequencies.”

Cat at a cat show. The picture was created by AI's DALL E 3. The cat is a ginger tabby glamorous household pet as the cat fancy calls non-purebreds
Cat at a cat show. The picture was created by AI’s DALL E 3. The cat is a ginger tabby glamorous household pet as the cat fancy calls non-purebreds
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RELATED: Pedigree Show Cat Hated Cat Shows

Comment: Some cats hate cat shows as noted in the link above but there is only one possible reason why most glamorous purebred cats competing at cat shows are normally pretty calm and that is because they are professional felines! They know the ropes. They’ve been there before. They’ve done it and got the T-shirt. They are used to the noisy halls and strangers peering into their cages.

They are used to being handled by cat show judges. They are used to being paraded in front of strangers sitting in chairs listening to the cat show judge explain why they are so beautiful and perfectly in line with the breed standard. They’re used to being marked and assessed and mollycoddled and admired.

And that’s why they sleep most of the time in their large cages sometimes behind curtains and sometimes on the cat litter for that little bit of extra reassurance because it smells of them.

In detail, these were the findings:

  • 93.9% of the show cats slept when they were in their show cages before being taken to the show ring
  • 62.2% were observed to be resting and looking at their surroundings
  • 32.9% were observed to be playing
  • 20.7% were observed to be hiding themselves
  • The survey found that the cats indicated “no discomfort” as indicated by a lack of body tension and straight ears (70.8%).
  • Some of the cats presented their belly in the belly-up position for a nice rub. This clearly indicated a very relaxed and confident cat.
  • Most of the cats remained indifferent to the presence of visitors to the cat show hall.
  • As the hall filled up more cats in their cages hid which is to be expected.

Clearly, a cat who is at a cat show for the first time is likely to be a little tense and stressed. It will depend on the confidence of the cat. But then, as mentioned, they will get used to it. They will get used to the journey to the cat show hall and all the rigmarole that goes with it.

Retired show cats

I can remember when I was in America visiting some cat shows, one woman came up to me with her cat and told me that she was going to retire her show cat because she felt that he had had enough of the cat show world. This tells me that there is an underlying tension there or the potential for it.

And she felt that her cat was becoming a little tense perhaps worn out by the cat show competitions. She felt that it wasn’t right to put him through it any more.This explains the obvious really that cat shows are strange and peculiar places really for any cat. As mentioned they become habituated to it but they’d rather be at home, snuggling down in their igloo next to the radiator or looking out of the window at the wildlife.

RELATED: America: tame wild cats exhibited at cat shows 1895-1903

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