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Couple of Showing Questions?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Couple really simple questions but don't know where to ask so here it goes.

I just got another Maine Coon kitten, I spent about a year looking for the right temperament and colorations/body that match CFA standards. I have been involved with MCR and coons in general for ~8 years, I love the breed and think this is a good first step before I even think about starting a cattery. (Like 5-6 years down the road.)

I am just getting into showing I have been to about 5-6 to see how things work and it looks like something I would enjoy actually competing in.


So his parents were never shown but grandpa and ma on both sides were all grand champions. I have paperwork on him, but how does it work if his parents were not shown. Will he be less competitive as a kitten or is he just based on his current looks and temperament. I.E. will I be at a disadvantage because of his lack of provenance?

When can I start showing him, in terms of age. If I start him as a kitten will the points accrued continue to add up after he is shown as a adult? Am I better off waiting until he is older.

Is the mentor program worth looking into?

Way down the line, if he is successful how does studding work between breeders, could I say stud for first pick on a female kitten, or am I better off find a female in say a year from a established breeder and showing them together.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearymicrobe View Post
So his parents were never shown but grandpa and ma on both sides were all grand champions. I have paperwork on him, but how does it work if his parents were not shown. Will he be less competitive as a kitten or is he just based on his current looks and temperament. I.E. will I be at a disadvantage because of his lack of provenance?

When can I start showing him, in terms of age. If I start him as a kitten will the points accrued continue to add up after he is shown as a adult? Am I better off waiting until he is older.

Is the mentor program worth looking into?

Way down the line, if he is successful how does studding work between breeders, could I say stud for first pick on a female kitten, or am I better off find a female in say a year from a established breeder and showing them together.
Showing is based on a standard so the judge will not go by his parents achievements or lack there of. They will go by his appearance and how closely he fits to the standard compared to others in that show. Grooming also plays a small part so your lack of experience in this area might come into play.

As for points kittens are separate class. You can showing in this class at 4 months of age. He would earn regional or national points as a kitten then when he is 8 months he would move to the adult class. He would then need to first earn his champion/premier to be able to earn Grand points. And he would also be earning regional and national points (these points are not carried over between classes though so any he earned as a kitten would not count). It is better to show them as kittens because it helps them get used to showing.

I would definitely find a mentor. Your show/breeder career will be much harder without one. Usually the breeder you get your kitten from helps with this but that was not my case.

As for studding I have to suggest first showing in the alter class(premiership). It is not highly looked upon by other breeders if you start in championship. Breeders want to see you prove yourself in premiership first. By showing in premiership first you have a chance to learn proper show grooming, meet other breeders, learn the lines you like and dislike, and most importantly learn the standard of your breed. You cannot imo have a successful cattery without learning your standard. Many breeders will not be willing to work with someone who has not shown and learned their breed in premiership first. Also starting with a whole male is the hardest way to start imo. But it can be done just not recommended.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearymicrobe View Post
Couple really simple questions but don't know where to ask so here it goes.

I just got another Maine Coon kitten, I spent about a year looking for the right temperament and colorations/body that match CFA standards. I have been involved with MCR and coons in general for ~8 years, I love the breed and think this is a good first step before I even think about starting a cattery. (Like 5-6 years down the road.)

I am just getting into showing I have been to about 5-6 to see how things work and it looks like something I would enjoy actually competing in.


So his parents were never shown but grandpa and ma on both sides were all grand champions. I have paperwork on him, but how does it work if his parents were not shown. Will he be less competitive as a kitten or is he just based on his current looks and temperament. I.E. will I be at a disadvantage because of his lack of provenance?

When can I start showing him, in terms of age. If I start him as a kitten will the points accrued continue to add up after he is shown as a adult? Am I better off waiting until he is older.

Is the mentor program worth looking into?

Way down the line, if he is successful how does studding work between breeders, could I say stud for first pick on a female kitten, or am I better off find a female in say a year from a established breeder and showing them together.
OK you actually have a lot of questions and I'll try my best to answer!

1. It's always best to start showing a cat as a kitten IMO. Irrespective of what happened to his parents, showing as a kitten is more like training for the big time, plus you get to hear what the judges have to say about him as he grows which may be an indicator of how his kids (if any) will grow. If you don't show, you really don't get to see the development of a cat in someone else's POV.

2. If shown as a kitten, points get accrued for only the 4 month duration in CFA. Once he turns 8 months, it's a whole different ball game!

3. The mentor program I'm told is very very useful for Noobs. I now "mentor" (not officially) quite a few noobs now and seriously, I wish I had a show mentor when I first started. I've been showing now for about 3-4 years and only very recently did I learn the "secrets" of show grooming (in addition to standard show grooming) an Aby!

4. As for breeding: If you have NO intention of becoming a breeder now, do yourself and your baby a favour and have him neutered. Show him as a kitten and as a Premiership cat. You'll learn a lot more that way - at the very least you can develop an idea of what your perfect MCO should look like and what you'll need (in terms of type, body, head, coat etc.) to "create" such a cat!

Sorry if this sounds like a mini lecture - being doing this quite a bit this past year or so and seriously, not everyone listens!

Show grooming an MCO is not as easy as it looks - I've granded two Maine Coons this past year (not season). You can see them in my website in the "other cats" section, which has not unfortunately updated Vamos' grand...

Below is a picture of the latest of what is now called my "step kids" - cats I don't breed but either groom or show for others, a red and white MCO called Pr Fancycoon Arcelis:



And yes, you do want to get the tail that fluffy!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
I have never done show grooming but I have done a bunch of knot pulling and bathing homeless Maine Coons. My current adult MC I can practice on for a while to get a good grasp on doing the kitten. She is altered and I could show her but at her age ~10 and with her temperament I would be asking for trouble.

Now the kitten I have already started on bathing, brushing out fully and getting him as loose as possible. Any pointers would be great.

I always was under the impression that bloodline was part of the judging, because the shows that I have been to they always announce when one wins best of show or best of breed that they came from this cattery and from these parents. Nice to know that thats not up against me.

I am going to sign up for the Mentor program later this month and see if two of the cattery's that I visited might be willing to do it. I respect them and would really like to go there direction on colors and build.

Now I would be competing against my mentors is that ok.

Any other pointers I am happy to hear them.
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is the best fluffy shot I have of the older one.

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearymicrobe View Post
Now the kitten I have already started on bathing, brushing out fully and getting him as loose as possible. Any pointers would be great.

Now I would be competing against my mentors is that ok.

Any other pointers I am happy to hear them.
Start training the kitten now on how s/he would be judged. I started a thread about how cats are judged not too long ago, lemme see if I can find it!

Nothing wrong with competing against your mentors! Arcelis actually finalled higher than my own Suria (in my Siggy) in one ring! And both my Suria and Babylon (an NFO) are campaigning for a Divisional Win! Arcelis was 4th best whilst Babylon came in 9th and Suria was 6th Best. I was thrilled for the owner and breeder of Celis when it happened!

I suggest you read the breed standards very carefully - the MCO coat is meant to be shaggy but silky and smooth and accounts for 20 points which is a LOT! The standards also say that a short or even coat can be penalized! Don't fall into the trap (has happened many a time) of grooming an MCO like you would a Persian! The only seriously fluffy part of an MCO is the tail!
post #7 of 15
Most people start out showing with a quality altered cat rather then a breeding cat. But if you really know your standards that might be different. Untitled cats can sometimes produce quality cats. And even tho the grandparents were Grands, doesn't mean they produced quality cats.

Its better to start off showing in the kitten class at 4-5 months old and go from there. Points or wins at that age do NOT count towards adult classes (8 months old). Its more/less introduction for the cat to shows, handling from strangers, and assessing the quality of your kitten against others.

MC's are a VERY hard class to compete in. I know in ACFA its one of the biggest classes with an average of 10-15 MC's in every class (kitten, adult, and alter)! So you have to have the BEST quality you can get to even compete. Unless your cat is another color then the tabby or tabby/white, you will have a tough time getting points and titles. This is just a warning of what you are looking at.

Until you are establish breeder you probably won't find a lot of other breeders to work with at first. But if you stick with it and make friends, contact, etc with other MC breeders, I'm sure you can find help later.

Personally I'd neuter your male and show in the alter class for awhile. Make friends/contacts for a breeding female after that. You don't want a breeding male at first as they will have to be caged; males are not happy with only one female for breeding and its a lot more work dealing with all the aspects of breeding and showing.

You also want to establish a waiting list for kittens in the future so they are pretty much sold before born and you won't have to worry about what to do with 6-7 kittens you have no prospects for.

I'd also have a goal of what you want to accomplish in the breed, study the various lines/problems and really know the pedigrees of the top winning cats/catterys. Remember you get what you pay for.
post #8 of 15
Unfortunately I can't find a thread but I know it exists! I posted a whole bunch of pics on what judges do to cats to asses them...maybe it was on someone else's thread. Hopefully one of the mods can find it and post the link for you!

What GK says about MCOs being one of the largest classes/breeds is very very true but don't let that stop you from persuing your dreams! I once told kitytize that Veeshan would grand and she did!

I suggest you learn, learn, learn. Go to as many shows, watch for the best of breed and/or finalists and go to the owners or breeders and ask to feel the coat of the cats. A lot about grooming can be learned by touch alone! Once you know what kind of coat texture those cats have, then that's what you, yourself have to learn how to achieve!
post #9 of 15
I agree with most of what's already been mentioned. I have a few points to contribute.

You will have a very tough time studding your cat out to other breeders as a new start-up, especially if your boy isn't titled. The norm is that new breeders purchase their own queens, and then pay to have their queens serviced by a well known stud cat. As they gain experience, they often purchase a stud of their own, realizing that special accomodations for the male need to be available.

In my case, I skipped all of that and purchased my own stud and 3 queens all at once when I started up 11 years ago.

TICA is the 2nd largest registry and the MC competition at shows is very tough. You have to have a near perfect cat to win.

Showing your boy as a kitten will be a good indicator if he can do well as an adult. You will find out quickly if he's at the bottom of the pile, in the pack or the cream of the crop.
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
Showing your boy as a kitten will be a good indicator if he can do well as an adult. You will find out quickly if he's at the bottom of the pile, in the pack or the cream of the crop.
Not always, as kittens-cats can change a great deal. I know many kittens that did nothing yet had very successful adult show careers, and also kittens that did extremely well and did nothing in adult class.
post #11 of 15
That is true, but for the most part, if they do decent as a kitten, they usually get better as adult. There are many factors in the development. If the lines are consistent in what they produce, most times you can tell if the kitten will do well as an adult
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Not always, as kittens-cats can change a great deal. I know many kittens that did nothing yet had very successful adult show careers, and also kittens that did extremely well and did nothing in adult class.

We'll have to disagree on that. In my years of showing, the vast majority of kittens that did well in kitten class are remembered by the judges and continue to do well in championship class.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by missymotus View Post
Not always, as kittens-cats can change a great deal. I know many kittens that did nothing yet had very successful adult show careers, and also kittens that did extremely well and did nothing in adult class.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kai Bengals View Post
We'll have to disagree on that. In my years of showing, the vast majority of kittens that did well in kitten class are remembered by the judges and continue to do well in championship class.
I actually agree with both of you!

If the area you're in doesn't have many shows in a season like CFA ID Asia, a cat that did not so well as a kitten could probably do well as an adult.

Nial is also correct in that most kittens that did outstandingly well as kittens will be and are remembered by judges and do well in Championship classes!

Over here in ID Asia it's slightly different. We have the few regular returning judges (ie. the judges that love to travel to Asia) from the US and we also have the regular judges from Japan (preferred regular simply because they speak better English) and we have the approved guest judges from Australia. And then we have the first timers or irregulars to the Asian circuit.

Personally, it's far more interesting to see what the irregulars, guest and Japanese judges final in their rings - it's really never the same!
post #14 of 15
post #15 of 15
Thanks missymotus - as usual you rock!
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