Originally Posted by WellingtonCats
Are you judges kinder to alters in the States? I know we judge them equally here!
I think judges here are more willing to forgive a little bit of weight or mushiness in an alter as opposed to in championship--but not always. The competition is generally tougher in Championship, as the best of the best are kept for breeding. In my area, we tend to see many more cats (often 2x as many) in Championship as opposed to the alter class at any given show. However, I've heard it can be different in other associations.
Many things come into play, like the particular breed, where you are showing, and what flaws a particular judge is willing to forgive in a breed (eg-- bad eyecolor in a breed that doesn't allot points for eyecolor in their standard is easier to forgive than in a breed where the eyecolor is 25% of their standard!)
Some judges obsess over ears, others profile, condition, or pattern. You can't count on judges forgiving flaws when a cat competes as an alter, because if you do you're apt to be disappointed. But there are circumstances where an alter is rewarded when they wouldn't see anything had they competed against the intact cats.
The bottom line is that if you're going to compete to win, bring nothing but your best. Showing cats with obvious faults is time consuming and costly because you can't always count on lucking into a final. I speak from experience here!