Before explaining to you about showing, I will give you the GCCF definition of the three types of Cat Shows



An exemption show is the first type, of show, that a GCCF affiliated cat club, may hold and the only type an agricultural society, may apply for. It is less formal than a Sanction or Championship Show and does not have to comply so strictly to the GCCF rules regarding Classes and Judges



A Sanction show, is basically a dress rehearsal, for a Championship Show and may be held, only, by a GCCF affiliated cat club. Clubs may apply for this, status of show, only when they have been granted 3 Exemption Show Licences and have held 2 of the shows. The GCCF rules apply in full, but no Certificates are awarded other than Merit Awards for Assessment Breeds


A  Championship Show, is the ultimate status of show, which may be held by a GCCF affiliated cat club. Clubs may apply for this status of show, only after they have been granted 3 Sanction Show Licences and have held 2 of the shows. The GCCF rules apply in full and GCCF Certificates may be awarded where applicable, if the Judges consider their exhibits warrant them. It is at Championship shows only that cats can gain GCCF Challenge Certificates [entire cats] and Premier Certificates [neutered cats] which go towards their gaining Champion and Premier Titles.

Showing for the First Time

Well you have brought your new kitten and wish to show, but have no idea, how to go about it. 

I hope that the following information will help you.

It does not matter whether your cat is a pedigree or not, the rules are the same at all GCCF shows and  most GCCF shows, have a household pet section. But your new kitten, must be at least 14 weeks of age on the day of the show.

Most of us, can remember the first time, we showed our cats, it seemed a very daunting experience. 

If you have brought a pedigree cat, you could ask the breeder, if they belong to a club, preferably affiliated to The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. Here you will be able to find help and guidance, from the Club Secretary. 

If not you can always get information, on available shows, from the GCCF website

Once you have decided, which show you would like to attend, you will need to send a self addressed envelope, plus a request for a schedule, to the show manager. (Schedules can be downloaded from the GCCF website.) Schedules are generally issued, approximately 3 months, prior to the show date. Closing date for your entry, will be on the front cover of the schedule. This  is generally 6 - 8 weeks prior to the show

The schedule arrives, and you are  faced with a booklet full of rules and regulations. It is necessary to read these rules and update yourself with them from time to time. GCCF Rules are there for the protection of your cat. Filling out the form for the first time can seem quite daunting, this is where an experienced breeder/exhibitor can advise you. There are some very nice people around who would willingly help you through this and especially your first show. I can still remember ours even though it was twenty years ago. We stood in a queue, waiting for vetting in, with very wobbly legs. Hoping and praying that we had done every thing right and that we had all necessary bits and bobs with us. [I think we were more worried about doing every thing right).

The schedule will inform you of the closing date, you must get your entry back to the show manager by this date. I always send a SAE postcard, with the name of the cat/s I am taking plus classes I have entered for each cat. This will be returned to you to say that your entry has been accepted. Your Entry fee covers your Open class, which you must enter, plus 3 miscellaneous classes. It is better to start at a show near to you, or a Sanction or Exception Show.

But I hear you say, which 3 should I enter? When we first started we tried to put our cats under different judges, to see how that Judge liked our cat, you will soon realise which Judge likes him/her.

But as a guide line for you:-

You must enter your cat in the relevant breed class

Cats:-  Over 9 months of age.
Kittens:- Under 9 months of age on day of show, not at the time of filling in your entry form.
Breeders:- A cat you have bred.
Non-Breeder:- A cat you have brought from someone else
Novice:- A cat that has never been shown or won a first prize at a GCCF show
Maiden:- As above, but also has not won a second or third prize.
Limit:- A cat that has never won more than 4 first prizes.

The list may vary slightly, however a definition can be found at the beginning of your schedule.

What will you need to take with you:-  Most of these things you will be able to buy at a show


You will need something for your cat to lay on .This can be in the form of white vetbed or a white blanket. If you choose a blanket I suggest you buy this at a show, because it must not look different from everyone else's, as this could be taken as trying to point your cat out to the Judges. I personally use both. You will need a litter tray with the litter you usually use at home.. Plus a container for food and water. I prefer the ones that are used in parrot cages, so that I can hook them onto the back of the pen

Your cat needs to have an up to date vaccination record, which you must bring with you, this will be checked at vetting in.

The Show Hall is generally, opened about 07.30. You will have to make sure you have plenty of time to reach the show hall, go through vetting in and make sure your cat is settled in the pen, before Judging commences at 10:00 Nobody is allowed in the show hall when Judging of Opens commences.

Prior to putting your cat in her/his pen, you will need to clean your pen

You will be allowed back in the hall between 12:00 and 13:00, depending on the show, this will be the time the general public  are allowed in. You will be surprised how much information you will soon be able to give them.

I have left marking up your catalogue and what rosettes etc, mean for another page


 It does not matter how well your cat has done


After all the day for you should be about meeting friends, the results at the end of the day are an individuals opinion. It does not mean that your cat is worse or better, than the one in the next pen, it should be about having fun.


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