Categories: Cat Fancy

First Cat Show

photograph copyright LaVon Fabian

Introduction – First Cat Show

This article is for people who are contemplating going to their first cat show. The context is Bengal Cats but the procedure is for all cat shows. If your Bengal is registered and has at least 3 generations of registered Bengal cats in their breeding history he/she can be shown (stud book status SBT).

Household Pets

Cat shows are a good place to meet people and see a lot of great cats (another reason why you should go to your first cat show). If you don’t have a purebred cat you can enter for the Household Pet Class. The CFA have criteria for showing household pets but they are widely drafted. You get all the acclaim and ribbons you can ever want in this class but your pet has to be very well presented, of course.


If showing, for example, in the Bengal kitten class make sure that your cat is up to date on vaccinations as the show hall will, by necessity, be an arena where disease is more likely to spread. Clearly it is wise (lets say a necessity), on your first cat show particularly, to study the Cat Registry’s standard. So, for example for a Bengal being shown at a TICA show (the CFA don’t allow Bengals for registration) it would be wise to check TICA breed standard.

A few pointers for your first cat show about the TICA Bengal Breed Standard:

1. It is obviously sensible to read and re-read the “examination paper” to make sure that you are answering the question. The question is, “do you have a well balanced, unchallenging, domestic cat with (as near as possible) the physical appearance of the wild Asian Leopard”. Keeping that goal clear leads the way to meeting the finer details in the standard.

2. In terms of “conformation” (body shape and look) the Bengal cat is medium to large build and muscular. There are lots of fine photographs on this website of high quality Bengal cats.

3. One of the most outstanding features of the Bengal cat is the spotted pattern. The spots should be aligned horizontally and be random. Rosettes (multiple spots in a formation such as a paw print or arrow head) are preferable. The contrast between the spot and the background colour should be at a maximum. You can red more about the Bengal cat from a person who really knows and the marble pattern here

4.It is essential that the temperament is as for a domestic cat. If the cat is what they call “challenging” you will fail.

The photographs

These excellent photographs by LaVon Fabian give a nice feel for what goes on at a cat show. They were taken at “On Safari 2007” – the annual Bengal cat show organized by Pam Knowles and Les Hall. Click this link to go to LaVon Fabian’s Flickr webpage and album of photos of this cat show.


  1. Get hold of an entry form and all other necessary details from the show clerk. Contact that person through the registry or association concerned with the show
  2. Congenital defects or illness will prevent judging the cat
  3. Check vaccinations. If they want rabies bring the certificate and make sure a booster vaccination is done 2 weeks before the show.
  4. Clip nails of all four feet before the show
  5. Don’t necessarily bath your cat just before the show as this can make the coat too fluffy, but a dirty cat will fail
  6. You can appoint an experienced exhibitor as your agent to help you provided you have them listed as agent on the form.
  7. When you get to the show, one of the organizers will give you and ticket and other information and a cage (
    for your cat :-). Your darling cat will stay in the cage except for grooming and being judged. Your cage should be covered on three sides (bottom and two sides)
  8. Take some litter, favorite food and water
  9. Take disinfectant for cleaning purposes and some spring clips as they come in handy for fixing things to things.


Judging: There are several judges. Your cage number will be called for judging. You will carry your cat from the cage to be judged. Hold on firmly! You will put your cat in a show ring cage and wait having kissed your cat. Yes……you’ve got a prize…..

Bengal Cats by Dan Rice DVM
photos by LaVon Fabian

First Cat Show to home page

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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