A #cat catch-up

tracy chavez and maine coon cat

Dog shows can be formal, cutthroat affairs, but cat shows tend to be social occasions where feline fanciers gather to indulge their passion for “all things cat.” Since nonpedigreed cats compete in a separate “Household Pet” class, the rules are a little different from dog shows.

Judging takes place in rings, with one judge per ring. “Every ring is its own complete show,” says Fisher. “Every cat will end up in every ring and every judge will see every cat.”

Each judge makes a separate decision, so a cat could place first in one ring and last in another. Cats win points for placing, which they accumulate over the year.

Nonpedigreed cats are judged primarily on three criteria: condition, beauty and show presence, or as Fisher translates it, “health, beauty and personality.” Since these are highly subjective criteria, judges may give the same cat very different scores.

For cat fanciers, that’s all part of the fun. It also makes the show an all-weekend affair.

“You’re basically there for the duration,” says Fisher. “It’s a huge social occasion and educational opportunity to talk about the value of cats as companion animals, and encourage good care.”

And since cats and rescue go hand in hand, it’s also a chance to advocate for homeless cats. The Enchanted Cat Club will have cats available for adoption at the Feline Fiesta, and all proceeds from the show are donated to the Albuquerque rescue groups F.A.T. Katz and New Mexico Animal Friends. Read more…

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