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January 2001


by (Livin' La Vida) Mocha


English Translation:

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 and temperament.

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 cats.

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?