by (Livin' La Vida) Mocha
Should you sh0w your cat? Before you make
this decision, there are a number of questions to ask.
Most importantly, you should consider your cat's health
First of all, there is this issue of health. With a
hundred or more cats in close proximity to each other,
your cat could catch a disease. But, there are some
practices that might minimize the risk. In the end, it is
left to the cat owner to be honest and not bring in sick
You may be wondering about the judge who handles every
cat. Well, before they look at each kitty, both the judge
and the assistant wipe the tables and sometimes spray themselves
with disinfectant. Sure, this sounds like a good
precaution. But it is really intended to remove the smell
of cats, (which might upset the next animal), rather than
prevent the spread of disease. Often the spray is highly
diluted, making it ineffective to make much difference.
Therefore some exhibitors use their own disinfectant to
sanitize their cat's cage. And it is always a good idea
to make sure your pet has its current vaccinations.
The best insurance is for your cat to be in top health.
The noise, excitement, and crowds add stress to an
already weakened immune system. And remember, a cat who
does not look well has little chance of winning.
A nice coat is only one quality of a sh0wstopper. Good
muscle tone is even more important. Kitty should be on an
excellent diet. Be careful, do not put pets on sudden
crash diets. Sudden weight loss can be fatal. Insted,
exercise and play with your little friend to develop his
muscles and give him that hard, winning body.
Physical preparation may make your
cat a sh0w prospect, but attitude and temperament play an
even bigger role. If kitty is the type who hides under
the sofa whenever the doorbell rings, do him and everyone
else a favor and leave him home. If the site of a strange
cat or a house full of company unnerves him, try to
imagine what the sight of 200 strange cats in a small
room will do to him. Add to this, the noise, the crowds,
the clapping, and the shrieking of small children. You
need a calm animal with an easy going disposition.
If you do have a potential sh0w kitty, give him the extra
support to "keep his cool". Most cat breeders
and exhibitors have had excellent results with some of
Bach's flower essences, which can reduce the cats' stress
without tranquilizing them. The practice of using
tranquilizers is illegal anyway.
So before you enter your cat in
competition, examine his lifestyle and past experiences.
And ask yourself, "what kind of person am I? Is
winning everything?" People who are overly
competitive should not sh0w animals. Pets can sense
nervousness and anxiety and become apprehensive
themselves. If there is more stress than pleasure in
sh0wing, do not compete. After all, do you need someone
else to affirm what you (and your cat) already know --
that you have the most wonderful pet of all?