“But I don’t need a show-cat” – that’s the majority of pet owners, right? Why choose a breeder who has shown their cats if you’re simply looking for a loving kitty? If you are a breeder reading this, you may wonder whether showing is worth the time and expense. What are the benefits?
Benefits to Pet Owners of Choosing a Breeder Who Shows: Breeders show as a way of learning about their breed, networking with other breeders, and building their cattery’s reputation and visibility to the public. Earning titles proves that their cats meet the breed standard so that your kitten will look like the breed you fell in love with.
Show cats have to be well-maintained and free of illness. Additionally, showing helps ensure that your kitten’s parents will be well-socialized
and have sound temperaments.
Finally, showing indicates that the breeder cares about improving the breed and finding new lines to work with. Ask your potential breeder how he or she works to improve the breed. The answer will tell you a lot. A good breeding program isn’t just about making kittens as pets; it’s about making better cats according to the standard for the breed, while at the same time producing genetically healthy and diverse offspring.
For breeders: I’m not saying you need to show year after year or that winning is super important. Rather, I am saying that the value of showing goes beyond earning titles. Attending even one show is worthwhile because you will gain feedback on your cats and learn how to assess and improve your breed. Also, the show hall is a perfect place to spread the word about your breed and cattery. Plus, it is fun making new cat-loving friends and shopping at the vendors!
In summary, showing isn’t about being snobby or elitist; it’s about working to create cats sound in mind and body. Showing is about working to better the breed and preserve something that can’t just be found in a shelter.
Interested in giving showing a shot? Check out the Cat Fanciers’ Association “newbie” page to learn about getting started.
*This post is adapted from Terri Lewin Gilbert’s article on dog showing here