I've always been a spectator at the CFA cat show, just walking around the hall, admiring the best of the best pure bred felines. Especially the Maine Coons. But this time was different.....
I decided that it was time to experience the other side of life. Showing a cat. So I packed up my suitcase and went to the show. With no idea what I was doing.
Just like anything else, you can read and read and read, but there's nothing quite like doing it yourself. That's really the only way to learn. Now that it's over and we're at home and settled, I can recap my experience.
Preparation for Our First CFA Cat Show
This was the most stressful to me. After all, who likes bathing a cat? They don't "love" to get a bath. Some will tolerate it. Others will scalp you ( like my Finlay). But it had to be done.
I read and got advice from Show cat owners that the bath and grooming was the most important part of the show. I read several articles on giving your cat a show bath, and essentially came up with my own concoction.
Omega and I got in the bath tub together. I had some warm water already in the tub so he didn't freak out about hearing the water running.
I had given him several baths in the kitchen sink prior to this, because he loves to eat weird food and get diarrhea. So I knew he wasn't going to attack me too bad.
He had a series of 4 baths. The first 2 were with Dawn dish soap -to remove the oils from his coat? I did this because it's what I read you should do. But I think it's kinda stupid since the Maine Coon naturally has an oily coat. So if we're going with "breed standard"then why would we try to wash it Away?
Omega's CFA Cat Show Bath [Time Lapse]
Anyway. The third bath was with Show cat shampoo. Whatever that means. It's something I found at Petsmart and it seemed like a good idea.
Finally, I used Ultra White shampoo. Again, some magic potion that's supposed to make his coat Uber white. The only thing is, he's already Uber white, so why did I need to buy shampoo that does this? I guess some white cats have a tinge of yellow and this stuff supposedly takes it out.
Here's a time lapse video of his first bath with Dawn. After that, my husband got tired of holding the camera. Lol and no, I'm not naked. This video like a lot of people have suggested. Why would I get naked with a cat?
He actually did considerably well considering no one needs 4 baths in a row. Not even a grease monkey. I hooked him up by putting his towel in the dryer for 10 minutes before he got out of the tub. See the photo below. Doesn't he look so happy that he's all wet and soggy
Please don't poop, cat
After the bath, it was time for a blow dry. Not his favorite part. But I coaxed him into trusting the hair dryer, and we got through the blow dry.
He did look quite beautiful. But mainly because he was clean and fluffy. I think he would've looked the same with a single bath of regular cat shampoo and a blow dry. The blow dry definitely makes him look different than locking himself dry.
Now that that part was done, all I could do was hope he didn't find some leftover dinner in the sink, eat it, and get the poops. Because that would totally be just like him..
Here he is after his bath and blow dry. I think he's ready for the CFA cat show now!
You can check out more photos and videos of Sassy Koonz cats and Kittens on our Instagram Account!
Supplies Needed for the CFA Cat Show
You'll need a few times if you're planning on entering your kitty in a cat show. I didn't want to spend a shit ton of money right out of the gate, just in case I hated it, or the cat hated it. So I tried to spend as little as possible to get through as a first timer.
Show hall stuff: I rented a double cage at the show hall, but I needed some fabric to drape over the cage. This is to prevent the cats from seeing each other and getting upset. We all know how upset they get when they see another of their kind. 😀
So I went to Joanne's fabric and bought 4 yards of black fabric that had little white paw prints on it. I bought whatever was on sale and it cost me just $15. I bought enough to drape the cage and cut a piece off to put on the table underneath the cage. I was worried it would look stupid, but in actuality, it worked out perfectly. I had to grab some binder clips from Staples to clip the fabric to the cage.
I forgot to get a photo of the whole thing because I suck, but here's a snippet of an idea.
I had to take a litter pan, food and water bowls, and food for his cage. I happened to have some clip on food bowls that came with Ursula when she flew from Russia, so I used them. The only thing I wish I would've brought is a little cat bed. omega decided that the litter box was his favorite spot to snooze, so I had to shake of litter dust every time I got him out of there.
Solid White Can't Aren't Favorites to Win at the CFA Cat Show
I got my cage all set up and I was kinda proud of how it looked to only have spent $20. Then some stranger comes over and says to me "you're really brave for showing a solid white cat"? And I was like "HUH."? What is that supposed to mean? I mean I've heard that the CFA cat show can be quite political, but now they're racist too! So now I'm nervous!
Another breeder even said "You should be glad that "so and so" isn't here. She only shows white cats and she would instantly hate you". I was like HUHHHHH??? I thought this was supposed to be fun. Like a hobby. Not something you want to stab someone over.
This wasn't the only (negative) comment I got about showing a solid white cat. So I don't know what that was all about, but I ignored it. If white cats are "hard to show" then I'm all about showing a white cat. I don't like to walk in the easy path anyway.
Something else that was kinda weird was that everyone was afraid to touch their cats, in fear of getting their coats "greasy'.
I forgot to mention that as soon as I got there and got all set up, I thought he looked stunning, so I kissed him on the cheek and left a big old lipstick stain! Some people in my row about had a heart attack. ROFL Lucky o for me and him, I brought some Grooming wipes, and got MOST of it off.
UPDATE: Since this article was written I've done some research on the TOP Maine Coon Winners in the TICA Cat Shows. You'll be surprised when you see what I discovered.
CFA Cat Show Time
Out of all the CFA cat shows I've been to, I never knew what was going on. I just clapped for the pretty kitties. This time, I figured SOME OF IT out. Not entirely though.
So he had to go to 8 different rings with 8 different judges. That was spread out over 2 Days. 4 in Saturday and 4 on Sunday. Although each ring has a different judge, the process is exactly the same.
First, they judge the cat against anyone else in his color class. Maine Coons have a lot of color classes, but I was lucky enough to have another solid cat in the ring with Omega, this guy was Solid black. In al, 8 rings, Omega was second place in his color class. Black dude cleaned house on that one.
CFA Cat Show Ring [Video of Omega Being Judged]
Then, whichever cat wins first place in his color class at the CFA cat show is eligible to be "Best Maine Coon" in the ring. There's also Second Best Maine Coon. Since he didn't win first place in his color class, he never had a chance to win either of those ribbons. After the second or third ring, I was just like "yay, give him his second place ribbon" and eventually, I was rooting for the black boy to win it all. He was simply gorgeous.
One of the judges did comment and say that Omega was a nice example of a Maine Coon, which I already knew. 🙂
At some point during the day, I took Omega to have his photos taken. You know, those professional Show cat pics you see all the time, yea, those. So I took him in the tent, and he acted like he was completely high on pills. He didn't respond to any feathers, worms, catnip, toys, nothing! I was laughing my ass off. He barely moved. In fact, he went ahead and went to slope right there on the photo table. I guess it was nap time, and he wasn't into the camera guy.
End of Day 1: I'm ready to go home. People are starting to annoy me some. Not the majority, but a few cat ladies that were over the top. It didn't seem like they were having fun, and I know their cat wasn't. I was ready to go home. So I scooped up Omega from his litter box where he was napping, and we left. Before the show technically ended.
Day 2 at the CFA Cat Show
I got there at 8:20am since the show started at 9. I rolls up and was the only car in the parking lot. Thought it was weird. Then later discovered that they made an announcement after I left the day before that the show would start at 10 instead Of 9. That's what I get for leaving g early, I guess.
Luckily, the photographer stopped by my stench and asked me if I wanted to give Omega another shot in the photo tent and see if we could get some better pics. I said hell ya, it's nice and early. He should be awake and perky. Got him in there and he pretty much went limp. Same response as the day before. He had a LITTLE more enthusiasm for the cat nip but not much. But I think we'll end up with enough good shots.
The CFA cat show rings commenced and they went exactly like they did the day before. Second place across the board.
The good news is, Omega was done with his final ring by 12:30 pm and I was able to pack up and maKe it home in time to watch the Jaguars playoff game against the Buffalo Bills. I was excited about that!
Final Thoughts About Omega's First CFA Cat Show
Omega was well behaved the entire time. I knew he would be, as he is a super chill cat. He lets anyone pick him Up and carry him around. Very forgiving and calm. So that never worried me.
I haven't decided if we will go further in the show hall or not. I'm gonna talk to Omega about it and see what he thinks. I have a feeling he don't care either way.
Hopefully this entry about my first experience at a cat show will ease some of your nerves, if you're thinking about going, or help you see what it's like being on this side of things. It's definitely a different experience. You can Check the Schedule of upcoming shows and let me know if you want to meet me at one that's close to Florida!!