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Frustrating show experience...

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I went to a cat show today...it did not go well. Now I'm really frustrated/worried and I don't know what to do about our upcoming show...

I had two kittens at the show, in the HHP category. Church (DSH) has been to two shows before and Rory(Maine Coon) has been to one. Rory did REALLY well at her first show in March-- she wasn't scared at all even though it was a really noisy show (it was a "pet expo" not just a cat show, they did a "household companion show") and she got first in half the rings and then BIS. She was very playful with all the judges. Church did really well at his first show in February, but was a little nervous at the pet expo show, although still interested in toys and pretty comfortable with the judges.

At the show today, both kittens were horrible... Church hissed at several judges, crouched low on the judging tables, and then in the fourth ring he turned back suddenly when the judge was handling him as if he was going to nip, and got disqualified from that ring. I absented him from the last two rings. Rory growled a number of times when being carried to/from the rings and hissed a few times at the judges. Neither kitten was interested in the toys most of the time. They both finaled in a few rings (Rory 4, Church 3) but with mostly low numbers (10th-8th mostly, one 6th.) There were 13 HHPs present but in the last two rings there were only 10 cats still there. Rory got 5th in the last ring and didn't hiss at the judge, but hissed when I took her out of the judging cage afterward...

I don't know why they both behaved so badly, especially when they were so much better at the other two shows! I'm really worried because we are entered in another show in May (TICA show, which was a $60 entry fee per cat)... I waited to enter it until Rory had been to the show in March to gauge her behavior and when she did so great I figured it would be good. Now I don't know if I should even take them! (especially Church, if he's going to be nippy.)
post #2 of 6
I had that same thing with Kingston. He did well at his first 2 shows and then starting hissing and growling. What I did was start walking him around the shows a lot. And also between shows I took him to stores and friends houses. It helped dramatically. Most rings he does not hiss at all anymore but every once in awhile he will. I did notice with Kingston it is not people he hisses and growls at it is the other cats so when I take him up to rings I try not to let him see the other cats.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
I think with Rory a lot is the other cats too because the first ring, the cat next to her was reaching his paws towards her judging cage and she was growling/hissing at him...
Part of the reason it's so frustrating is I've been taking Church to Petsmart, friends houses, lots of non-scary vet visits, etc. ever since I first got him! Rory was a little more shy and hasn't been to as many places but I guess I had my hopes up because she did so well at her first show a few weeks ago...sigh.
post #4 of 6
Give them Rescue Remedy and spray the cage with Feliway (or similar). We aren't allowed to use Feliway but I give them something similar to RR in the mouth and patted on the head before we leave home.

I'd probably try another show and see what happens.
post #5 of 6
I agree with the above. Charlie was not at his best this past weekend, but he finaled in 6 out of 8 rings

Church might have remembered that last show being too noisy, etc. and got a bit upset. Try the calming drops in the next show. And walk him around the show hall. DH usually takes Charlie around the show once each day to get him settled down.

I'm sure they will do better. Practice more friends/family handling them and maybe take them to Petsmart to be handled by strangers and they get used to more activity/noise in the "open" areas.

Some cats will adjust to things after a few shows - don't give up too soon. If they really don't like it, they will let you know. Ling was very upset in her first and only show. Obviously she didn't want to be there.
post #6 of 6
I'm sorry you had such a rough time at the show. You gave me some things to think about for our upcoming show though. I'm going to start taking Maxx out more and let people handle him. YIKES!
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