Ok, I want to explain about some of my experiences.
I show with a group of friends and I've seen the reactions of their cats to showing. The worst example was my best friends cat, she loved him a lot but enjoyed showing so much she kept rationalizing his clear unease until she just couldn't ignore it anymore. This cat was car-sick to begin with, so he always arrived kinda miserable. At his first shows he didn't like being benched much, being around so many other cats stressed him out. But when he went to the judge he would really present himself. After a few shows he hated showing so much he started to growl at the judges. He would often vomit in the car on the way back. We would stop to clean him up and at those moments my friend swore she would stop showing him. Then the next show would come up, all our friends would be going, she started saying maybe if she'd do something or other differently he would be allright and entered him into the next show. At his last show he attacked a kid who was poking her hand into his cage, after that he was really upset and totally freaked out on stage when they went to accept his best-in-variety (akin to best of color) award. She told us again she would really stop showing. A few weeks later they went on vacation and left the cats in a boarding cattery, soon after they came home he developed FIP and died. And she was left thinking; what if....
There are some more people in our group who have cats who started out OK but didn't like showing later on, they just leave those cats at home. But because they all breed they always have another cat to show.
I like showing too, my two eldest are HHP, I'd love to show them sometime but they are not used to riding in cars so I won't take them. I've taken Flynn the Somali to a show twice but the second time he was uncomfortable so he gets to stay home too.
That leaves dEUS the Birman, according to his breeder he's the best cat her cattery has produced so far (she couldn't keep him for breeding due to an agreement with the studowner). I don't show a lot compared to other people I know but dEUS has come a little way, I show with the independent cat associations in the Netherlands and abroad (we have those and Fife, there are not enough CFA or TICA shows around here to make showing with them worthwhile), dEUS is an International Premier and is one show away from his Grand International Premiership. (after that there is European and Grand European premiership). At half of the shows he competes in he got nominated for Best-in-show (but he always came in as second so far).
He is very easygoing, from his first show he has been sucking up to the judges big time and he likes meeting new people (it's the same thing at home)
When I take out his showthings he is all over them, the days after shows he just has to sleep in his showbed:
He likes to sleep in his carrier, but last week before we went to a show in Blegium he saw his carrier and disappeared. I spotted him under the spare bed, he saw he was "discovered" and came out. Only to disappear behind a lounging chair. Uh-oh. My friend was already waiting in the car downstairs so I put him into his carrier and we went on our way. He slept through most of the show, he wasn't showing off with the judge, it didn't sit well with me. I talked to my friends about it but they didn't see the problem (true, there wasn't much to see). We were scheduled to do another show yesterday (that show was too close to home to pass up) to complete his title, but I withdrew him. I don't even know why exactly, in my head I could come up with all kinds of reasons to go (you'll lose your entry fee, he's so close to his title, he's still behaving better than other cats) but it didn't feel right at this moment. Maybe we'll try again in september or something, but not right now. (see ? I wanna keep showing because I like it so much