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  • Writer's pictureCFSA Info

Updated: Jan 8, 2018

Benefits of Showing

  • Your cat can gain titles to rank up their show cred from Champion/Premier to Triple Supreme! Pets compete for Premier titles as well as Super Pet. Think of it as a level-up after each show if your cat gains all its awards.

  • You can chat to, chill with and learn from other exhibitors, learn about breeding, other breeds and experience them, all under one roof!

  • You get to promote your breed to the public who visit our shows if you are a breeder and wish to push public awareness.

  • Your cat may win prizes that may range from food to scratch posts to toys, bedding and more!

CFSA Cat Shows

All CFSA shows follow the same awards format starting with a nomination line-up to determine the top 4 Males, Females, Neuters and Kittens. This is followed by a Best In Show line-up consisting of the top 16 cats (Males/Females/Neuters/Kittens) at the end of the show. These cats are registered breeds that will compete for Cat of the Day. Between the line-ups there may be side-classes for the Best Veteran Entire, Best Veteran Neuter, Best Triple Supreme Champion, Best Triple Supreme Premier, Super Pet, as well as a line-up to determine the Pet of the Day. Breed Groups may have other unofficial line-ups specific to the breeds they promote. These do not count for any points and do not offer any titles.

NCS (National Cat Society), FFC (Feline Fan Club) and KZNCC (KwaZulu Natal Cat Club) are CFSA affiliated clubs and SOPA (Siamese, Oriental and Peterbald Alliance) is a CFSA affiliated breed group that are able to hold all breeds cat shows under CFSA affiliation. You will receive your entry forms via email about 4–5 weeks prior to a show or you can download them off the CFSA website.

Before you Enter for a Show

Before you enter for a show, make sure your cats are registered with CFSA. If you own a cat that is registered with SACC or CASA, or any other organisation, you will need to download a Transfer of a Non-CFSA Registered Cat/Kitten form from the Registrar section on the CFSA website. Fill it out and email it with your cat’s current pedigree, proof of ownership and proof of payment to the CFSA Registrar.

If you own a domestic pet and would like to show it, you will need to download a Pet Registration form from the CFSA website. Fill it out and email it with proof of payment to the CFSA Registrar to get your pet's registration number.

Entering a Show

The entry forms for shows are fairly self-explanatory and easy to complete but new exhibitors may feel a tad overwhelmed at first with all the paperwork. If you want to become a member of the relevant Club that is holding the show, complete and submit the relevant membership form. Being a member of a club allows you to pay discounted entry fees for that clubs instead of paying non-member entry fees which may be a considerable amount if you have more than one entry!

Send the following documents and information to the email listed on the club's entry form:

  • Your completed Entry Detail Form that will include your cat’s registered name, CFSA registration number, class, etc.

  • Your completed Summary Form that outlines the fees owed to the club; add in how many males, females, etc. that you have entered and tally the final amount. There may be additional things on the Summary Form to complete, for example table hire for your exhibits, lunch orders, etc.

  • Proof of payment must be included with your entry. Show entries will not be processed without it.

  • The scanned CFSA official pedigree for each individual cat that you have entered must be included to your entry forms.

  • Your lunch/table booking form (if applicable). Table bookings are for stalls, vendors, sponsors and rescue organisations.

  • Any other documentation that is required, especially if it is your cat’s first show (e.g. neuter/spay certificate, vaccinations, proof of ownership, etc.).

Relevant Sections

Kitten: 4 months on the day of the show up to 9 months. Neuter: 9 months and older on the day of the show. Female: 9 months and older an the day of the show (registered FOR breeding).

Male: 9 months and older on the day of the show (registered FOR breeding). Males older than 18 months on the day of the show must have a stud number, obtained from the Registrar. Pets: The same rules above applicable to kittens and neuters applies but domestic pets must be spayed at 6 months of age.

Relevant Classes

Open: From 9 months of age on the day of the of the show will be entered into the OPEN class. Gold: If the cat is already a Supreme Premier or Supreme Champion and you would like to enter it in the GOLD class to accumulate gold awards towards Triple Supreme status. Entering the GOLD class means that your cat cannot receive a bronze or silver award, so if they are not of exceptional quality, a gold award may be withheld by the judge.

For example, a neutered Maine Coon male kitten will be entered under 'MALE, KITTEN'. Once the cat reaches 9 months, it will be entered as 'NEUTERED MALE, OPEN'.

IMPORTANT: If your cat is neutered or spayed and 9 months or older on the day of the show, please enter them into the Spayed Female (SF) or Neutered Male (NM) sections and not into Male (M) or Female (F). It is very important that your cat is entered into the correct class from the start as the show manager obtains your exhibits' details from your entry forms. Incorrect entries may lead to disqualification.


It is necessary to keep track of your cat’s titles during the year. Usually at the end of each show year at Cat of the Year, you will receive Certificates of Title for your cat/s. Should you not be in attendance, you may request these to be mailed to you at your own expense.

To find out how your cat can accumulate titles, please refer to the CFSA Show Rules available on the CFSA website. The Show Rules has other vital information that you need to be aware of.

Prepare for the Show


  • Your beautifully groomed cat/s: Please bath your cat/s even if they don’t seemingly need it. This is to protect your cats by creating a barrier and to protect other cats from anything yours may bring from home that you might not even realise. It is good etiquette to do so.

  • An appropriate show pen or enclosure for your cat to rest in during the day. The show pen must be escape proof. You can buy cages from a local Cosmic Pets representative such as CAT NERD (KZN) or from The large Cosmic Pets show pens are the standard recommended size but you may choose a bigger size if you have larger breeds. If you are using a show pen from a recognized cat food supplier different to the main sponsor of the show, please be sure to cover any branding or logos with a blanket or sticker.

  • Bedding for your cat: blanket, cage quilt, etc.

  • A litter box that will fit in the show pen whilst allowing your cat enough space to rest comfortably and your cat’s litter. A packet/plastic bag and scoop, brush and pan for cleaning up any mess. Please try to keep your area clean so that the Show Committee does not spend hours sweeping up cat litter after the show. The public and the media will be in attendance at shows as well, so it is important to maintain a neat appearance at your benching area at all times.

  • Food, bowls, and water.

  • A grooming bag containing your brushes, wet wipes, cotton pads, etc. Please ask your breeder about grooming tools. He/she will know what you need on the day for your specific breed.

  • Calming remedies for your cats such as Rescue, Anxitane, Calmeze, Valerian or Catnip. Please note you cannot use tranquilisers as this is against CFSA Show Rules. Again, ask the Breeder of your cat what they use should your cat need something to help them adjust to the show environment.

Allocations and Directions

You will receive an email 48 hours prior to the show containing directions to the venue, your cat’s judges’ allocations (who will be judging your cat on the day) and your cat’s numbers. These should be printed and the cage numbers noted and affixed to your show pen, as the stewards will call your cats up for judging using your cat’s number, not it’s name.

If you booked lunch, you may also get a lunch ticket at the door. In most cases, tea and coffee is available throughout the day for a small fee or donation, however, sometimes there are other refreshments and goodies to buy too. Pack a snack though just in case you do not like what’s on offer to purchase at the show as it is not always possible to leave the show to go and get lunch.

The Show Manager will refer to benching times, which means that your cat needs to arrive and be set up in its show pen (benched) by a specific time before judging starts. If you are late, your cat may be disqualified, so it is very important that you add at least 20 minutes to your traveling time if you are unsure of the area or venue. Set up your GPS up the night before to calculate the time you will need for travel.

Show Day Arrived

On the day and after benching cut-off time, the Show Manager will open the show officially and explain the schedule of events. Your cat will be called up for judging (usually only once) and will be judged by 2 judges (if a kitten) and 3 judges (if an adult). The steward will direct you to each judge accordingly.

Please do not speak to the judges unless they ask a question or to greet them. It is important not to identify your cat to the judge as judging is meant to be objective and anonymous where your cat is concerned. Holding up the judging process by chatting to the judge will slow down the show. Further to this, it is against the CFSA Show Rules to address a judge whilst your cat is being judged and could lead to disqualification of your cat.

After your cat has been judged and during the day, you will receive an envelope with each cat’s awards and judging reports. On these envelopes it is important to note if your cat has a NOMINATION stamp next to any of the judges. If it does, note your cat’s number and make sure your cat is ready when the Best In Show line-up starts. Your cat will be called by its number (12, 23, 45, etc.) to be directed to a specific table (A, B, C, etc.) for a judge off. If you have more than one cat nominated in the same class (kitten/Maine Coon, etc.) you will need to make sure you have someone to assist you in the line-up to take up one of your cats. The stewards are usually available to assist if their cats are not in the same line-up.

Your cat may be called up for several line-ups, depending if it has won its section, and this often goes quite fast. It is therefore important to listen to the Show Manager or Head Steward when they are calling cat numbers or your cat may miss its chance.


At each show there may be a photographer present. After your cats have been judged, PLEASE take them to the photographer for photos. It is important that we have a collection of photographs to use for show results and to present to you after the show as a token of our appreciation. Photographers are usually paid (minimally sadly) by the Club to take pictures to the Club's specific needs and provide the Club and the exhibitor with photos after the show.

Best In Show Etiquette

Please do not pack up and leave the show until the Cat of the Day has been announced and the Show Manager has officially closed the show. It is plain good manners to stick around to cheer for and congratulate the winners and disruptive to start packing up during the Top 16. Further to this, it is against the CFSA Show Rules to leave the show hall before closure of the show and without permission from the Show Manager. Should you leave the show hall before closure and without permission from the Show Manager, you may risk your cat’s losing their awards achieved on the day and disqualification.

Once you get the hang of showing and want to get more involved with it all, you may contact your local club to find out how you can assist them with the running of their shows. For some its a long day and keeping busy makes time go faster either by stewarding or helping the Show Manager in some way. The Clubs are always looking for an extra pair of hands to help out.

Article courtesy and copyright KwaZulu-Natal Cat Club

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