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HHP Aspirant

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
When I adopted my cat at the beginning of December, cat shows weren't anywhere on the radar. I was looking for a cat who liked to sit on laps and who didn't try to bite me when I pet her (which happened once in our cat search) Now, a month on, I've found that the Squeakster is an incredibly friendly cat with everyone who's ever met her. When my friends come to meet her, she'll stare at them for a second, and then be demanding attention. She'll come (in her own due time) when they call her, and lets them pick her up and stretch her around.

She isn't the most perfect physical specimen of a cat. She has a bit of a stomach pooch that at first I thought was just excess belly fat, but that a friend told me might just be loose muscles from her spaying. We're feeding her healthy food and giving her plenty of exercise, so we'll see if it goes away, but if it doesn't, how much would that hurt?

So basically I've got an incredibly friendly cat with some physical imperfections. Granted, she's never been in a room full of strangers, but from the second she came out of the cage at the humane society, she's been a love bug with every person she's come across. She isn't the most playful - except for the laser light, you have to practically bonk her on the head with a toy to get her to engage with it.

So, basically my point with all this rambling is am I crazy to want to show her in the HHP category? I know each judge has their personal preference, but I don't want to be completely stomped upon if we try. I'm going to 2 shows in the next few months, a CFA (Squeaky's declawed, so we couldn't do that anyways) and a TICA show, just to see how they'd run and how things go. I'm not thinking about showing her anytime in the coming months. I have my mom lined up to make show curtains for my birthday present in September, if I decide to do this, so it would be after that.

A few questions:

*what do judges look for in HHP? If you're a judge, what do you look for? If you've been to cat shows, what have you noticed?
*what can I do to get her ready?
*does she look overweight? The vet said she looked fine, but she's 10.5 pounds, and she isn't too terribly large bone wise.
*will people laugh at her name? I had a whole list of historical names picked out, but the husband and I couldn't agree, and I finally unilaterally called her Squeaky.
*how friendly are participants/judges at cat shows? I'm not the most out going person in the world, but I'd like to work up the nerve to ask people a few questions. I definitely wouldn't approach them while they were judging or getting a cat ready to show, but if they're just sitting there, is it ok manners to approach them and talk?
*any other general advice?

Here are some pictures of Squeaky. I tried to get a good picture of her pooch, but she wouldn't stand still long enough to get a decent shot

Thanks much for letting be blab on and on
post #2 of 6
Cat showing is a lot of fun as long as the cat enjoys it CFA bans any declawed cat from being shown (but you can attend and learn). ACFA and TICA allow them but don't encourage it.

You'll learn a lot just by observing the judges and rings. Then go home and practice standing her on a table, getting her to play (laser lights not allowed in shows), etc.

She will need to be groomed very well (especially if longhaired). A bath is needed before the show - 1-2 days (have to experiment). Clean ears, eyes, all nails cut.

You will need to buy/make curtains if she does like showing or you can just use 3 towels in the inside sides, one for the bottom and one for the top (5 total, but bring an extra for spills). Litter box and litter, food/water bowls, grooming combs, etc., and a cat bed. Its an unwritten rule that if you forget the cat bed - you have to buy one at the show!

She has to be brought to the show in a carrier.

As far as judging - they look for overall general health, proper weight for the size (boning), how well groomed they are and then a bit on personality.

I would go to a show or two, talk to the owners of HHP's and during a break, talk to a judge you like as you listen and ask them a few questions. The only way to find out how she does, is to enter her in a show. You will know by end of the weekend if she likes it or not.

Ling went to one show - by 3rd ring it was obvious she was not cut out to be have a show career - shame too as she's marked pretty cool (black/white).

So I show my pedigree Ocicats who love showing.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much for your quick response. Luckily, there's a CFA show here in a few weeks, and then a TICA show at the end of February, so I should be able to observe quite a bit.
post #4 of 6
Keep an eye on her weight - average females go 7-9 lbs - she's a bit heavy, so if you are free feeding her, stop.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
She's down a pound and a half from when she went into the humane society in mid november, although I think the weight's crept up as I've gotten a little lax with my measuring. I'll have to be more diligent in that area.
post #6 of 6
We always say if you want ribbons enter a domestic, since there are usually only 5 or so shown here they are pretty much guaranteed a prize

Most people are friendly and will answer questions for you, just make sure to compliment their cat first
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