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Breed Debate regarding shows

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
In a another thread someone mentioned witnessing bengals getting out of hand at shows. I attend at least a dozen TICA shows a year and for the past 3 years I haven't seen any bengals act up, other than a few kittens new to the shows, attempting to break out of the judging cages.

There have been no acts of aggression that I have seen. I will agree that in years past, there were some temperament issues with bengals that were being shown. But breeders have diligently worked to breed for temperament first in the past decade. Keep in mind that the occasional hiss is not an act of aggression. It's a warning to the other cats in the judging area.

Now I personally have witnessed a Maine Coon attack a judge, then attack the owner when she came to get him. I have seen a couple of Abby's bite the judges. (No offense to our wonderful Abby breeder here!)

I saw a ragdoll go beserk in the benching area and litterally slash it's owner's neck and both forearms into a bloody mess. Why she didn't let go of the cat and then retrieve him later, is beyond me. (Also no offense to our great ragdoll breeders on this site!)

I've seen several HHP cats bite, scratch and lash out at their owners and the judges.

Putting all bias aside, I have noticed that beyond being loud and playful in the judging area, bengal cats and kittens are one of the most docile breeds at the shows. Sure, you'll get a grumpy bengal now and then, but I haven't seen one go after a judge in many years. They'll just complain and be grumpy.

What is everyone else's experience?
post #2 of 18
Well I've been to 2 ACFA shows and the Bengals have been fine. But I've also heard several stories from people showing in ACFA and CFA where Bengals have acted up more aggressive then they should.

Apparently there is a story going around (can't verify it) from CFA exhibitors of a Bengal that was shown in the HHP class. It apparently attacked the judge and when it was found out that it was a Bengal the exhibitor was told to take the cat out of the showhall immediately.

IMO if this did happen, its not a good thing for the Bengal breeders to be having people going against show rules if they want their cats recognized in all the associations.

I do know there was a time in ACFA where Bengal temperment had them banned from showhalls and it took a lot of work to allow them back into the shows. That is documented.

Of course the Bengals I've seen in ACFA have been the same ones.

I was talking to several ACFA and CFA judges regarding the Bengals temperment. Some of their first hand experience was overseas and maybe its more of a problem with the breeders there. But the CFA judges were very much still against them being recognized in the association because of temperment problems.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
CFA will never allow bengals. Wild blood, period. No one I know of even cares if CFA allows them or not. They're very closed minded and I don't think anyone is even trying with them anymore. And if someone is, why bother? We're on board with every other registry in the world.

So, anyway, we've all heard stories. Stories are just stories, they get embellished, there are half truths, etc. To be fair, Bengal breeders have zero control over some numbskull who enters their pet bengal into a HHP competition in CFA.....if that even happened.

One of the things I'm trying to point out is this:

Many other breeds of cats act up in the showhalls and misbehave and some become violent. But let one Bengal do it and everyone is in an uproar.
Nevermind that some other purebred cat just caused someone to lose a pint of blood.
We have to work 5 times as hard making sure our cats are docile, while everyone just dismisses any other breed that gets out of hand, as "oh he's just having a bad day". It's comical but it annoys me alot.

If a bengal acts up we get the: "oh he's wild, it's his wild heritage, they're unpredictable, he wants to have the judge for lunch" Nonsense, you have an agitated cat, just like any other breed.
post #4 of 18
I have had (and do have) Bengals and have never had a real temperament problem, except for one grown female that I got as an adult. She was not aggressive, she just was scared of every person and didn't want anyone to pet or touch her.

At shows, I have witnessed 2 Bengals act out over the last 2 years. Both times, it was directed toward the owner.

ALL breeders need to make sure they breed for good temperaments. Some don't, but it is in all breeds. The Bengal, Savannah, etc. breeds just need to be extra careful of this.

If you are a responsible breeder, then it usually is not a problem.
post #5 of 18
I do agree with you Nial that it should not be just a "bengal" problem...ANY cat that bites a judge or acts up should not be shown. Temperment is important in any of the breeds.

There were times in the past of problem temperments in the Turkish Angora and Russian Blue breeds - so much so, that some judges refused to take them out of the cage. The breeders worked hard to correct those problems.

I've also seen HHP's (usually declawed ones) really bite and act up in show halls.

I won't show any cat that doesn't like showing. Why would I want a reputation of being someone that shows "nasty/bad" cats????
post #6 of 18
I am not a breeder nor do I show cats but I can't really understand judges and the people running the shows being like that. I can understand people who don't know much about cats having the attitude that any acting out is due to the 'wild blood' in the cat. People who are supposed to know about cats should know better. I can't imagine a big Maine Coon getting that violent. A cat that size could do some real damage.
post #7 of 18
I only show in CFA so I can't comment on bengal attitudes but I can say that I have seen only one cat lash out at judges and it was a neutered manx. I have seen cats hiss and growl (including my own Kingston but he is still a kitten). I asked a former judge about hissing and growling and they said as long as the cat is not scratching/biting than hissing and growling is ok because they understand how nervous and scared cats can be. As for the CFA rumor I have not heard about it.

I don't really know how to ask this but I always wondered since bengals have been around for quite some time aren't there bengals who would have no wild blood in their 8 generation pedigree? Why couldn't these cats be registered and shown in CFA? Sorry if it is a silly question but I really don't know much about hybrids and I really would like to see bengals excepted in CFA.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Denice View Post
I can't imagine a big Maine Coon getting that violent. A cat that size could do some real damage.
Actually it happens sometimes with nearly all the breeds. Someone is showing a beautiful cat that doesn't particularly enjoy the commotion of the showhall, but they show him/her anyway.
All it takes is some other cats hissing, a cat spraying in the cages, along with a loud PA system and a judge removing the already aggitated cat from the judging cage and bam...the cat has had enough.

It takes a certain personality in a cat to deal with just about anything that comes along and not react in an aggressive way.

The judges also have to use their heads and not do certain things to grumpy cats or cats that are wound up because of their surroundings.

I had a TICA judge do something really stupid once. It was a large bengal kitten class and some of the youngest kittens were meowing and fussing about wanting out of their cages. My kitten, Tango was chattering, and complaining a bit because of all the lamenting. So when it was his turn the judge removed him from his cage and put him right up to his face and "meowed" very loud right in Tango's face. Tango slapped him, but without using his claws.
IMO, the judge deserved that and I hope it taught him never to do that to any breed of cat. I pulled Tango from the rest of the show, because I didn't want him to hate showing because of a bad incident.

Most of the exhibitors agreed with me that it was the judges fault, but of course there were a few that blamed it on the "unpredictable" nature of bengals.

Tango is the sweetest cat around, but even sweet cats have their limits.
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
In a another thread someone mentioned witnessing bengals getting out of hand at shows. I attend at least a dozen TICA shows a year and for the past 3 years I haven't seen any bengals act up, other than a few kittens new to the shows, attempting to break out of the judging cages.

There have been no acts of aggression that I have seen. I will agree that in years past, there were some temperament issues with bengals that were being shown. But breeders have diligently worked to breed for temperament first in the past decade. Keep in mind that the occasional hiss is not an act of aggression. It's a warning to the other cats in the judging area.

Now I personally have witnessed a Maine Coon attack a judge, then attack the owner when she came to get him. I have seen a couple of Abby's bite the judges. (No offense to our wonderful Abby breeder here!)

I saw a ragdoll go beserk in the benching area and litterally slash it's owner's neck and both forearms into a bloody mess. Why she didn't let go of the cat and then retrieve him later, is beyond me. (Also no offense to our great ragdoll breeders on this site!)

I've seen several HHP cats bite, scratch and lash out at their owners and the judges.

Putting all bias aside, I have noticed that beyond being loud and playful in the judging area, bengal cats and kittens are one of the most docile breeds at the shows. Sure, you'll get a grumpy bengal now and then, but I haven't seen one go after a judge in many years. They'll just complain and be grumpy.

What is everyone else's experience?
I think that we can never put "one certain" breed in the catagory of unruly.
I have been benched to the most wonderful Bengal ever, he was an altered male, and was wonderful.
I have never experienced witnessing any attacks, but it seems some shows are where gossip grows at its best. Retelling rumors, and please note rumor, as I don't know fact. A Maine Coon and Bengal have attacked in the past, but the one rumor that struck me the most was hearing that a Ragdoll a few years back that the owner was taking up to the show cage, attacked so her face so badly, she needed plastic surgery.
Other than a "cat out", I have not witnessed the aggressive behavior, but in the shows I go to, it seems to be many who are on a bandwagon against another breed, and have to talk about one or two specific breeds in a negative way.
For 2 years, the rumor that has been consistant, has been that the judges are complaining MOST about the Ragdolls and the Bengals as being the most difficult to judge. I try to let the rumors fly over my head, and not take any of the rumors seriously.
In my opinion, in certain circumstances, any breed can do this, and it shouldn't be placed on any one breed. However, taking the rumor of the past 2 years about Ragdolls possibly being one of the most difficult to judge, it has made me pay closer attention to the temperament of the cat, and make sure they enjoy showing. I also think just one show, can be difficult to determine if the cat will enjoy showing. The idea of having a cat looked over and compared its breed standard is great, as breeders we need to know. Having that said, putting a "cat" in a noise filled room, a strange atmosphere, with many other intact cats, possible pestering kids, a "not-so" gentle Judge, is not a normal situation for a cat to be in. A cats normal behavior and insticts will kick in, as they wonder how home suddenly became a smaller cage, many new noises, faces, and hands on them. It is amazing to me at time, how many of our cats tolerate, and some to the point of enjoying the attention.
Nial, I am sorry for your experience, and what the judge did to Tango. It can be difficult hearing what others may say about what breed we have chose to love and show.
After being around "Magic", the altered Bengal, I fell in love, which isn't hard for me, but my husband is hard to convince of any cat other than the Ragdoll, he loves his Raggies, so seeing him interact with Magic and getting to hear his thoughts of him, and since we were benched together, he asked a lot of questions about the breed, about Magic, and I heard more on the way home.
A little "hijack" about my husband. A Petco he was picking up food and litter for the crew, and looked at the rescued cats they had there, and happened upon a beautiful "mentioned full-blood" solid black Maine Coon that was about a year old. He said this cat was gorgeous, and dwarfed our Ragdolls in size comparison at just a year old. He was very social behind the glass, and my husband actually called about bringing him into our home, which I of course agreed to. Sadly, he had just came in, they hadn't placed "all the info" up on him, and it turned out he loves people, but did not do well with other cats, so of course he wouldn't have enjoyed our home. Of course we were dissapointed, but the good news is before my husband had time to complete his shopping a couple was looking at him, so hopefully he finds a home very quickly. I also thought that it was exciting to start seeing my husband start realizing that there are many other cats, that are just as wonderful as the Ragdoll. In case, anyone is wondering though, just because my husband is realizing how wonderful all cats are, we will be sticking with our Ragdolls, as anyone breeding a specific cat knows, there is a passion behind that, and why that is our chosen breed. I love so many breeds, I just have to love them from afar. Which is why this forum is special, I get to enjoy the Bengal, Ocicat, Siamese, Persians, and so many others. I enjoy seeing all of the pictures, and even knowing more about the breed. It has been exciting seeing the Somali and Aby pictures and finding more about them and the origin.
post #10 of 18
IMO and really this is IMO.

It's a matter of training for show cats.

There's been so many horror stories for ALL the breeds - infact one of the most senior judges in CFA has been bloodied by a Persian! Its is also quite common knowledge (at least over this side of the world) that there's one line of ragdolls originating for Australia that tend to exhibit aggressive tendencies. Of course, these aggressive tendencies are and have been bred out.

There have been Bengals shown in CFA HHP rings over this side of the world. I wouldn't really call them aggressive as such but I would call 60% cats that tend to lash out in the judging ring as more scared than anything else. Due to the fact that there are few shows in Asia (we don't even get 100 rings) most cats are very unused to 1. being in a show cage or even in the show situation and 2. being handled like a judge would handle a cat.

I wrote in this forum once upon a time how I show train my cats from birth (well, from 2 months) and what I've done so far in training my kittens really have made a whole lot of difference!
post #11 of 18
I've never been to a show(yet), but here's my 2 cents.

Any cat can turn aggressive. DUH! It's not just "wild vicious Bengals". I mean....that's like going the Pit Bulls are vicious route. It depends on the individual cat(or dog).

Nobody would freak out if a feral cat freaked at a cat show. But if a purebred Bengal or other breed does, everyone goes into an uproar? That makes no sense to me!
post #12 of 18
Here in my city all the bangles are sooo noisy in the shows, as soon as you hear tones of cats all crying at the same time I knew, “looks like the bangles are being judged†as soon as it was over and the bangles were taken out of the show and back in their cages which had their sent they were calm and quiet, then when all the stupidly loud crying began again: you knew the bangles were being judged again, its so strange how they were all like that, its like one gets going and the others are like “lets join him and get our point across†so I would always go up to see what all the fuss was about and all the bangles really looked distressed. But none of the other cats in the show, acted up at all. I started to lose interest in this cat because of the temperament. I also heard the breeder say that they are all her cats originally, that she sold to different people. After reading this post it makes me confused if this is a natural behavior for all bangles, or if this woman should be told to breed her cats for better temperament because its not normal.. but maybe it can go both ways.. lol
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
Here in my city all the bangles are sooo noisy in the shows, as soon as you hear tones of cats all crying at the same time I knew, “looks like the bangles are being judged†as soon as it was over and the bangles were taken out of the show and back in their cages which had their sent they were calm and quiet, then when all the stupidly loud crying began again: you knew the bangles were being judged again, its so strange how they were all like that, its like one gets going and the others are like “lets join him and get our point across†so I would always go up to see what all the fuss was about and all the bangles really looked distressed. But none of the other cats in the show, acted up at all. I started to lose interest in this cat because of the temperament. I also heard the breeder say that they are all her cats originally, that she sold to different people. After reading this post it makes me confused if this is a natural behavior for all bangles, or if this woman should be told to breed her cats for better temperament because its not normal.. but maybe it can go both ways.. lol
I am sure Nial of Kai Bengals can answer much better, but I have met very wonderful tempered Bengals, and no it is not normal for a Bengal to be aggressive, that is what I would assume is a myth toward the Bengals because of the "wild blood". The Bengal that was benched next to me, was very sweet, he loved attention, he was playful, he liked being held, and he was past Grand Champion, in TICA, I think a Quad, and I don't think he had any issues in the show. If Bengals were so aggressive, there wouldn't be so many who love the breed.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abymummy View Post
IMO and really this is IMO.

It's a matter of training for show cats.

There's been so many horror stories for ALL the breeds - infact one of the most senior judges in CFA has been bloodied by a Persian! Its is also quite common knowledge (at least over this side of the world) that there's one line of ragdolls originating for Australia that tend to exhibit aggressive tendencies. Of course, these aggressive tendencies are and have been bred out.

There have been Bengals shown in CFA HHP rings over this side of the world. I wouldn't really call them aggressive as such but I would call 60% cats that tend to lash out in the judging ring as more scared than anything else. Due to the fact that there are few shows in Asia (we don't even get 100 rings) most cats are very unused to 1. being in a show cage or even in the show situation and 2. being handled like a judge would handle a cat.

I wrote in this forum once upon a time how I show train my cats from birth (well, from 2 months) and what I've done so far in training my kittens really have made a whole lot of difference!
I agree with what you have said, most I feel are scared at the unfamiliar enviroment. I am wondering if you could retrieve or rewrite the post about how you train your kittens for showing. We handle them, and ask others to handle them like a judge would, and we play with many different toys, and if a cat is going to be for show, we have been practicing in the show cage we use. That has helped with Koda Bear.

I have heard in Ragdolls that those who have been allowed to be outcrossed to bring in the red genes and lynx, that these Ragdolls will display what some call Tortitude. I have heard many pet people say the reds, creams, torties, ect, have a different personality than what they consider the "traditional ragdolls", but I have heard from those I consider to be very ethical breeders who do breed the non-traditional who do not feel the reds or lynx have any different temperament. I suppose, it would depend on what breed was used as the outcross, and where the outcross was in the generation, and could bring in other traits, I suppose.

It is sad to hear that any breed is getting a bad reputation with other breeders or judges. If a cat doesn't like showing, keep him/her at home, don't bring the cat back out again.

I do sometimes wonder about how the judges handle a cat, with some of the large breed cats, such as the Maine Coon and Ragdolls, ect. some judges pick these cats up with one hand in the middle, and these big cats are just not supported when they are being taken out of the cage. We teach our children when they pick up a cat or kitten, that they need to be gentle and support them. Why are the judges not thinking along the same terms? This has only been a minority, not the majority, but it does bother me to watch a large cat brought out of the cage by a juge, with one hand, and the cat is obviously not happy with the way it was handled.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
Here in my city all the bangles are sooo noisy in the shows, as soon as you hear tones of cats all crying at the same time I knew, “looks like the bangles are being judged†as soon as it was over and the bangles were taken out of the show and back in their cages which had their sent they were calm and quiet
I don't really see a huge tempramental problem with cats being vocal as long as they're not aggressive. These are probably cats that don't like being shown. I know my bengal girl gets *very* vocal when she's not happy about things. I.e she complains loudly about everyone and everything if she's bored or her food ran out or her litterbox isn't clean enough etc. She also growls and hisses at the vet but shows no aggressive behaviour (she just goes limp).

I don't know how she would handle being shown, I'm not planning on showing her anyway, didn't discuss that either way with her breeder when I got her since I just wanted a companion cat.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Miyu View Post
Here in my city all the bangles are sooo noisy in the shows, as soon as you hear tones of cats all crying at the same time I knew, “looks like the bangles are being judged†as soon as it was over and the bangles were taken out of the show and back in their cages which had their sent they were calm and quiet, then when all the stupidly loud crying began again: you knew the bangles were being judged again, its so strange how they were all like that,l
Talking and being noisy isn't aggressive IMO.

I've only attended 2 shows and I didn't see any aggressive, cats bengals or otherwise. The only time I saw a judge refuse to handle a cat, a Main Coon due to size. He was a very big boy! I felt that the siamese were just as vocal as the bengals but again that isn't aggression.

Both of my bengal boys are very talkative. Vet visits are a sight to behold or heard. Takoda will talk non-stop from the time I put him in the car until I arrive home again. At the vet he will literally carry on a conversation with anyone crazy enough to stop and talk to him. Magnum isn't so bad unless we're at home. He tends to be quiet in unfamiliar surroundings. Well at least for a few minutes anyway.
post #17 of 18
Nothing wrong with a cat being vocal. I don't think that is what is being referred to as aggressive. Heck, my Orientals will talk your head off. They are just as vocal as any human I know.

Agressive behavior at a show is not good, though. That is different. It is true for any breed, though. If a cat is aggressive, the cat should be disqualified. Same holds true in the dog world. Doesn't matter what breed it is.

Also, it is worth adding that some cats first show (usually kittens) can be very frightning. Some take to it right away and some more slowly. Don't judge a first experience as how a cat will be later on.
post #18 of 18
My cats are not agressive at all but if they are scared I think I could be scratched real bad if they are trying to get away and I am holding them. It's like they lose all reason.
I found that out the hard way trying to give one of them a bath.
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