Cat Show Competitor

Insider Info

If you're a cat lover who lives for your feline friends, you may be interested in becoming a cat show competitor.

At cat shows, you can show off your cats' impeccable bloodlines, good looks and unflappable dispositions. Cat owners can compare cat stories, seek advice from experts, and preview and purchase new products.

The annual cost of participating in cat shows can range from relatively inexpensive to the cost of college tuition. It depends on the number of shows you enter and how far your level of interest compels you and your cat.

Barb Belanger is the owner of the Grenouille and Agassiz Canadian Catteries. She says it is wise to always purchase the best of everything when considering competition. This includes the best food and diet, medical care, and grooming services.

You also have to think about travel to and from various shows, entrance fees (ranging from $35 to $50), space rental at the show, hotel accommodations, and food.

There are no physical requirements for cat owners. Unlike dog shows, where owners run around an arena accompanied by their pooches, cat owners can sit back and wait for the judges.

There are, however, many physical requirements for the cat. Before actually entering a cat show, Barbara French of the Tarantara Cattery suggests that your cat be in excellent health. Your cat should have had the most recent vaccinations for rabies. In addition, he should be tested for feline leukemia.

Good physical appearance is also important. The cat should have firm muscle tone and not be overweight. Lots of fur is good, especially if the coat is shiny, with no bald spots. Overall, the cat should look healthy and full of vitality.

Next to good health and good looks, cleanliness is very important when it comes to showing your cat at a show. Your cherished cat might have won best in show, but she had waste in the corner of her eyes, a little grime in her ears and a dirty bottom.

The husband and wife owners of the Meoti and Martinicki Cattery have participated in cat shows for the last 10 years. They suggest you include the following on your checklist of things to take with you when attending a cat show:

  • A sturdy cat carrier
  • Rabies certificate and proof of FeLV negativity
  • Cat food and food dishes
  • Litter pan and litter
  • Litter scoop and supplies
  • Grooming supplies
  • Nail clippers
  • A spray bottle
  • Kitty treats
  • Cat toys
  • Pen, paper, business cards
  • Pictures of your kitty
  • An accurate watch

Cat shows are simple. Your cat, once officially entered, is assigned a number and remains in his cage until it's time for him to be judged. This could take a while.

There are four major categories in which your kitty may compete -- Kitten, Premiere, Champion, and Household Pet. When it is time to be judged, your number will be announced. At this time, you will move your cat into one of the 10 to 15 ring cages lined up near the judges. The judging begins.

You shouldn't talk to the judges before or during the competition unless they specifically ask you a question. The judges will take the cats out of their cages and place them on an observation table. They will compare your cat's demeanor and disposition with others in his class. Point ribbons or rosettes are awarded. You can then take your cat back to its original cage.

If your cat is chosen to enter into the final ring competition, consider it a great honor. Once all cats have been judged in general competition, the 10 most exceptional cats are chosen in each category to compete for prize ribbons.

Each cat is held up to the audience while the judge describes what makes each cat stand out. Each ribbon awarded is worth a certain number of points. Points are combined from different show throughout the year. That's how you win regional and national titles.

Getting Started

Before entering a cat show, you should attend a few shows as a spectator. This way, you are free to walk up and down the aisles of the show, talk to cat owners, professional breeders, and ask questions of the judges after the competition. You can see how your kitty stacks up to the others in his category. You can even purchase cats that are for sale.

If you still think that participating in a cat show is something that you and your cat would enjoy, you should join at least one cat registry. A cat registry is an organization committed to cats and cat shows. It typically maintains records about breeds and bloodlines. Cat clubs that are affiliated with cat registries hold all cat shows.

Once your cat is registered, you may enter him in any show affiliated with the registry of which he is a member. You can visit the Cat Cabana Library online, as well as local pet shops, to learn more about specific cat clubs and the rules and bylaws governing competition.


The American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)

The Cat Fanciers' Association (TCFA)

The International Cat Association (TICA)

American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)


How Cat Shows Work
Learn all about the process of showing cats from the folks at HowStuffWorks

Back to Career Cluster


  • Email Support
  • 1-800-GO-TO-XAP (1-800-468-6927)
    From outside the U.S., please call +1 (424) 750-3900
  • North Dakota Career Resource Network | (701) 328-9733