If you are fortunate enough to purchase a show quality Birman (see standard) you may consider showing as an enjoyable pastime. A list of shows can be obtained from the GCCF along with the important rules you must follow for entry, and exhibition of your cat.
The GCCF show list will give you the contact details for obtaining a show entry form for your chosen show, and once received, it is most important that you carefully complete the entry details from your cat or kittens registration document.
If you have recently applied for transfer of ownership it is possible to write TAF (Transfer Applied For) where the Registration Number should appear as long as you have applied for this at least 21 days prior to the date of the show. Ensure you can prove this by sending GCCF a stamped , self addressed postcard to acknowledge receipt. It is also useful to send an acknowledgment card with your show entry, as the first you may know that your entry was never received may be after a long wasted journey to the show hall.
Ah! The mysterious contents we must take with us!
This bag must contain everything your cat/kitten will need for its comfort throughout the day. GCCF rules require that cats may only be shown with a plain white blanket, a white litter tray, white water holder and a white food dish (the latter must be removed prior to judging). All these must be plain to ensure that the owner of the cat is not identifiable. These show kits are available from stalls at most shows and it is possible to purchase them at your first show if you cannot obtain them elsewhere.
The only show which differs from this is the GCCF Supreme Show, where you can decorate the pens as elaborately as you desire. To enter the supreme a cat or kitten must first win a Breed Class. Main Items Needed:
All exhibitors will prepare their cats differently, and many who excel in this will guard their secrets jealously! It is probably useful to ask for advice from the breeder of your kitten, as most breeders also show or know other breeders who do. Most importantly, the cat/kitten must not have evidence of fleas in the coat, must have clean ears and eyes and be in good health. Also if powder is used in the preparation there must be no evidence left in the coat. Opinions differ regarding when to bath prior to a show, some bathe a few days before, others the day before the show. It helps to have two people - one to hold the cat and reassure it, the other to shampoo. It takes a little experimentation to find the best shampoo for the job.
Once bathing is complete, wrap the cat in a towel to rub dry and stand it on another towel at waist height with your helper holding the hairdryer, tuck your cats head under your arm to reassure it and start finger drying upwards towards the head starting at the tail. Lifting the coat while drying gives the coat a soft full appearance. Once the drying process is well underway, change over to using a good brush instead of fingers. Brush the neck ruff upwards towards the face also.
Once dry, some grooming powder can be applied to the coat and brushed out again, also the white feet can be enhanced and made to look sparkling clean by rubbing in some grooming chalk.
Ensure the ears and eyes are clean on the morning of the show, and you are ready to try your hand at exhibiting.
Upon arrival at the show, you will be given your show details - pen number and tally. Next your cat must be vetted in before you are allowed to enter the show hall, this takes a few minutes and the vet will inspect your cat for evidence of illness, fleas or other contagious problems such as ringworm. If all is well, your entry cards will be signed and you can enter the show hall and prepare your pen. If all is not well you may be vetted out and it may be necessary to obtain veterinary clearance for GCCF prior to being allowed to enter any other shows.
You have made it through, and have found your pen, cleaned it with disinfectant, placed the litter tray and blanket and water in their places and have added your cat. You may give him/her a final groom/or feed and settle him/her down. Tie your tally number on to the cage and you are ready for judging - don't forget to remove the food dish or any toys you may have brought. At 10am. All exhibitors must leave the show hall for judging to commence - you will not be allowed back in until around 1.00pm.
Fortunately, most shows have a large area where retailers have their stalls, and you will be able to 'cat shop' to your hearts content while you await the results.
The results are posted on a board throughout the afternoon - with the Open results being the first up. At UK shows a cat or kitten must enter his/her Open Class and three miscellaneous classes. It is the Open Class for adults where the Challenge Certificates and Premier Certificates are awarded that will enable your cat to become a Champion or a Premier (if not entire). Once your cat has made it to Champion or Premier it will be eligible to enter the Grand Classes where Grand Challenge Certificates are awarded - but if you have made it that far you won't need any more advice!
A strip will be pasted under the class number for your cat and will list the pen numbers of all the cats entered in that class . If you have won an Adult Open Class you will read alongside your cat's pen number - 1 CC this means 1st place and Challenge Certificate. You may also be awarded BOB ( Best of Breed). If you are unfortunate sometimes you will see 1 - W/H. This means you came first but the Challenge Certificate was Withheld for some reason. You will need to wait until judging is finished to ask the judge why this has happened or to thank him/her for the Certificate.
Enjoy your showing, and we hope you win many lovely rosettes.