Last weekend my husband Marty and I were so excited about attending the first ever cat show held in Ormand Beach, Florida. I really love the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s (CFA) shows and one of the main reasons I truly prefer attending CFA sanctioned shows is that their registry does not allow declawed cats in any division in competition. By not allowing any declawed cats to participate in their sanctioned cat shows this sends a very important message to the folks who are planning to show their cats, that the organization does not approve of declawing surgery because it is cruel and harmful to kitties.
Unfortunately there are still other cat associations that do not penalize declawed cats, allowing them to compete in all divisions. I don’t understand why those organizations continue to tacitly supports declaw surgery, and by allowing these cats to compete, I believe it sends a subtle message that it’s okay to declaw cats. Since there are many people who show their cats under the sanction of the organization, if declawed cats are not penalized and permitted to compete alongside of cats whose paws are intact; it seems to me that it gives the kitty owners permission to mutilate their cats.
I do understand that many cat lovers abhor just the thought of a cat show. They truly believe that it is cruel to “force” a cat to be handled by strangers in oftentimes crowded, show halls that can get somewhat noisy and may be frightening to the cats. But from my experience as a former breeder and show person, cats that become fractious and afraid are pulled from the show ring by their owners and not made to “suffer” under the capable hands of cat show judges. As a matter of fact, cats that are upset and afraid generally don’t show well, even though they may be perfection, meeting the breed standard to a “T”.
The cats we saw observed last weekend truly seemed to be enjoying being shown off. I so enjoyed watching CFA All Breed Judge Teresa Keiger handle the cats in her ring. I fell in love with each and every one of the cats being shown in the Premier class (the class for neuters and spays) and I think I wanted to take home a few of them. I was particularly enamored with the Japanese Bobtail with a great sense of humor. It was fun to watch Judge Keiger play with the kitty with a feather toy and to see the cat enjoying their interaction.
Do the judges fall in love with the cats they are handling? Perhaps they don’t all the time. But in my opinion watching Judge Keiger handling the cats in her ring, it was totally apparent that she loved the cats she was judging. And that love was infectious because I too fell in love with the Exotic Shorthair based upon the way she was enjoying handling the cat. As far as I was concerned that cat was a total knockout with a matching purrsonality.
Most of all cat shows have been good to me. Several months after Dr. Hush Puppy died, we began thinking of getting an Oriental Shorthair kitten, but we weren’t aware of any local breeders. Thankfully, Judge Keiger suggested that we attend a cat show in DeLand, Florida, and chat with some of the Oriental breeders. It was there that we were able to hook up with Barbara Fraizer who did have a kitten available. Had we not attended that show we wouldn’t have been lucky enough to find Aki.
What are your thoughts about cat shows? I personally think they have a lot of merit- do you? Share your thought in a comment.
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