Updated: Mar 30, 2019
When we enter a cat in a show it will compete against other cats in a few different ways. The classes are groups of cats that are competing against each other. They start from the very basic class which is based on what your cat actually is through to the whole show when a cat is competing for supreme.
Lets start at the beginning. Every cat has a class based on what it actually is. It is comprised of a number of things.
Group – One, Two or Three. Broadly speaking Group One is long and semi long hair cats. Group Two is Siamese and Oriental type cats. Group Three is shorthair cats but includes the longhair versions of those breeds.
Section – Kitten, Desex (also called neuter) and Entire (also called cat or open).
Breed – The breed of cat ie British, Siamese, Ragdoll etc
Sex – Male, Female, Neuter or Spey
Colour & Pattern - The cats colour (blue, black, cream etc) and the pattern if the cat is not solid (ie tabby, tortie, bicolour) . This must be exactly what is on your cats pedigree when you enter a show but the show may use a different wording for it. So a cat registered as a Blue and White may be put in a class called Blue Bicolour. It means the same thing but different associations use different wording.
For a CCCA national show or shows with other associations there are breeds that are classed in a grouped way. If your cat is of a breed that uses colour grouping such as a Maine Coon you will enter your cat listing the colour but it will compete in a colour group ie patched (bicolour) or silver.
Age – This is just for kittens. They compete in age groups so that older kittens do not compete directly with younger ones. Adult and desex cats are all over nine months old and compete with each other regardless of individual ages. The kitten age groupings allow for the big variation between little kittens and nearly adult kittens. The groupings are 12 weeks to 5 months (K5), five months to seven months (K7) and seven months to nine months (K9)
So when we have all the information for your cat to work out it’s class when you get to the show this is the class it initially competes in when it is first judged. Chances are it will be alone in that class but if another person has the same cat right down to colour, sex and age then your cat will compete against that cat for a placing. If there are say six cats that are all the same group, section, breed, sex, colour and if kittens, age then the judge will rank them to place them.
If your cat is the only cat in the class a judge can technically still place it second if they don't think it is good enough for first or not award a place but this doesn’t happen often.
If your cat is an entire or desexed exhibit it will also be competing for a challenge or award of merit certificate. This is given to the best in each class. You can collect them and redeem them for titles such as champion or premier.
Next your cat may compete for best of breed. So if your cat has won its initial class then if the show includes best of breed (BOB) it will compete against all the other cats of that same breed within that section. So BOB kitten, BOB desex etc. Not all shows have best of breed.
At the end of judging the section the judge will choose top placings. This is how they rank the best cats in the section. It can be any number of placings but usually there will be about one placing in three so of 30 exhibits there may be a top ten placings.
The judge may judge your cat again to choose these rankings or look at it in the cage. This is across all the breeds in the section ie all the group one kittens or all the group three adults.
From here there may be a best exhibit in group award which will be chosen from the first cat in each section for that group. So for example this may be chosen from the best group one kitten, desex or entire to give the best group one exhibit.
Then there may be an overall supreme. If there is a best in group then the winner will be one of the three cats selected already. If not then it will be one of the nine best in section cats ie three from each group.
Group – This is called Group Four. This is for all domestic cats, part pedigree cats and even pet pedigree cats. The cats in this group are being shown as pet cats so what type of background they have is not relevant.
Section – Kitten, Desex. Companion pet cats must be desexed as adults so there is no entire cat section.
Breed – This is companion
Sex – Male, Female (kittens only) Neuter or Spey
Coat length - Either long or short. You will need to put the cats colour on the entry form but they just compete on coat length.
Age – All group four kittens compete together
Group four cats compete for certificates which are used in the same way as challenges and awards of merit. They will also have a top placing and an overall best group four placing.
Cat of the Year
All Cats United WA owned cats collect points for certain placings at each show they attend. These are collated and at a presentation at the end of the show year the top scoring cats are awarded cat of the year awards.
The best titled male and female in the desex and entire sections in each group may be awarded an CCCA award certificate if the judge deems the exhibit worthy. These are collected and redeemed for a prestigious CCCA title.
This is a guide to some of the main concepts of classing at shows. Different associations do things differently and things can change over time. If you have questions you can ask people in your association and show officials at the show. Other exhibitors can often help to explain things as well.