Guide to Showing

Showing your Burmese cat can be a positive and rewarding experience for people of all ages and from all walks of life.

Is my Burmese cat suitable for showing?

  • The most important thing to consider is your cat’s welfare. Is it confident and friendly with strangers?
  • Does it enjoy being handled?
  • The cats are penned individually in rows at shows, will your cat be upset by seeing other cats across the aisle?
  • A nervous or shy cat will not show itself well and will not enjoy being taken to a show. It is a good idea to introduce them to shows as kittens but older cats can take to it very well if they have the right temperament
  • Is it GCCF registered? – you will need the pedigree details for your entry into the Pedigree section. If not you can still enter in the Pedigree Pet section.
  • The cat MUST be registered to you. If not yet done you must apply to the GCCF for transfer of registration at least 10 days before the show.
  • Is it of “show quality”? Check the Burmese Standard of Points page to see what criteria your cat will ideally need to meet.
  • Read the Standard of Points on the club website as a guide to the “perfect” Burmese. You could contact your cat’s breeder or you are welcome to contact one of the committee, as long as they are not judging at the show. They don’t need to be perfect – very few are.

When is the next show?

  • All GCCF shows are listed here;
  • Select your most convenient show, either an All-Breed show or a Burmese Breed Show.
  • Download schedule and entry form.
  • Entries normally close a few weeks before the show so check the dates carefully.
  • You must leave a 13 day gap before and after a show. This means you can’t enter two shows on consecutive weekends.
  • Don’t post any details of which cat your are showing beforehand on social media. It may get you disqualified as judging is anonymous.

Schedules and entry forms

The schedule will look similar to this, so if you have a Blue female neuter, enter Breed Class 62. The judge will be listed on the right. You will automatically be judged for Best of Breed if your cat wins it’s Breed Class.  Breed Classes are split into Adult, Kitten or Neuter, then male and female. Kittens are aged under 9 months ON SHOW DAY.

Be sure to read the schedule carefully.

Miscellaneous Classes

Next, select your miscellaneous classes. You don’t have to enter any but you might find it useful to get a different judges opinion. There are usually 2 or 3 included in your entry fee so check the back of the entry form for details. Always consider your cat’s welfare and don’t be tempted to enter too many classes. Six is the maximum number of classes allowed overall at one show. There may be extra judging if they win BOB or BOV so bear this in mind. Kittens and older cats can tire easily and often prefer to sleep in the afternoon. There are no certificates awarded for Miscellaneous classes , normally just rosettes or prize cards.

Entry Forms

  • Print double-sided if you can. Fill in your name, address and contact details.
  • Enter the FULL PEDIGREE NAME of your cat
  • You will need the date of birth, EMS code, registration number, breeder’s name and Sire and Dam’s name. Use the details on it’s registration card or pedigree certificate to ensure it is correct.
  • Fill in the Breed and Miscellaneous class numbers you have selected.
  • Read and sign the Rules and Declaration on the back of the form.
  • Don’t hesitate to phone the entry clerk for advice if you are stuck. Much easier for them to guide you through it then have to amend it later.
  • Scan in or keep a copy of your entry form.
  • Post entry in good time before the closing date enclosing payment and an SAE for acknowledgement of receipt of your entry. Some shows now accept Paypal fees and email entry receipts

Pedigree Pet Section

  • In the Pedigree Pet section, cats are judged on four criteria: Presentation, Condition, Temperament and Personality.
  • If your Burmese is a rescue or rehomed cat it and has no registration papers you may show in the Pedigree Pet Section
  • The Pedigree Pet section is for cats of pedigree appearance with either known, unknown, full or half pedigree background.
  • No titles, registration papers, prefixes or pedigree names are required to enter, just their pet name and approximate age
  • Sections are split into Long hair, Semi-long hair and Short hair groups. Cats of Burmese type will be in the Short Hair section.
  • They are NOT judged against the Burmese Standard of Points
  • Competition is just as high in this section and Master Cat certificates are awarded to winners of the Colour classes and then Best of Colour instead of Best of Breed. They can also go forward to the HHP/PP Best in Show
  • Pedigree Pet and Household Pets (non-pedigrees) must be neutered by 6 months of age.
  • All the other show rules such as vaccination cards and the 13 day rule apply equally.

Preparing your Cat for Show Day

  • Ensure they are in tip top condition by show day with top quality food and exercise.
  • They need to enjoy being handled and good at travelling. Try taking them for short trips in the car to get them used to it.
  • Vaccinations must be current and completed at least 7 days before show day. Bring your vaccination card with you as the vet will want to see it. Make sure the cat’s pedigree name, or pet name in PP section and your name and address are on the card.
  • Clip all claws just prior to the show. Do this carefully, just trim the sharp point or it will hurt them and bleed.
  • Apply any flea treatments at least a couple of days before the show so the residue has gone
  • Check ears and eyes are clean. Check under chin for grubby food stains, especially in paler coated cats. I use cotton wool pads and warm water to wipe them clean. Bathing is not normally necessary with Burmese and can strip their coat of oils, making it dull.
  • Polish their coat up with hand grooming and a soft cloth, chamois or velvet cloths are good. Don’t over – groom as this can strip their coat out if you are over enthusiastic.
  • Make sure it has no lesions or scratches as it may get rejected at vetting-in

Things you will need at the show

  • Secure cat carrier, top opening preferred.
  • Show whites – plain white litter tray, food bowl, water cup, blankets. These can be purchased online or at larger cat shows, or or via ebay.
  • Vaccination card
  • Spare white blankets
  • Litter
  • Food and a bottle of water
  • Comb or grooming cloth
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towel
  • Litter scoop
  • Don’t use any sprays or coat powders at the show.

Show Day

  • Set your alarm half an hour earlier than you think you need to. You need time to let your cat have some breakfast and use the litter tray. Do a quick re-check of eyes, ears and coat. Many a top show cat has picked up a scratch the night before – if in doubt stay at home.
  • Wear comfortable shoes
  • You might want to pack your show kit in the car and set the sat-nav the night before, leaving you to concentrate on your cat.
  • Aim to arrive at the show hall by 8.00-8.30am. Follow the signs to Vetting-in. Each cat will be examined by a Vet or Vet nurse and their vaccination card checked before you are allowed in the show hall.
  • You pen number will be on your envelope. Find your pen and make your cat comfortable and do any last minute primping. Offer a little food and water and allow it time to settle.
  • Observe hygiene rules, do not touch other exhibits unless invited to by the owner and disinfect your hands afterwards
  • Judging commences around 10am. You must remove food bowls but leave the litter tray and water. Exhibitors will be asked to vacate the hall or the judging area until 12.30. Grab your catalogue – time for your breakfast!
  • Remember not to speak to any judges until after they have completed judging for the day – ask the Show Manager if you have any queries.

Show Procedure

  • Each cat is judged for it’s Breed or Title class first. The judge or steward will take your cat out of it’s pen and examine it individually on the trolley before replacing it the pen. Hands and trolley are disinfected between each cat.
  • Placings and any awards will be posted on the Awards Board, either in the show hall or a side room.
  • At around 12.30 pm exhibitors are allowed back into the hall and judging area. You can go to see your cat’s comfort, change litter trays and give them their lunch. Food bowls can remain in the pen for the rest of the day.
  • Be courteous to judges and stewards with trolleys. They may be examining a nervous cat so give them a little room. If they are at your cat’s pen give them a few minutes until they have finished. Do not identify yourself as the owner to the judge, take a few discreet steps away.
  • It’s a good idea to “buddy-up” with someone who can keep an eye on your cat while you socialise or go shopping at the stalls. There are usually lots of goodies for sale.
  • If you are nimble on your feet ask at the show table if you can give out rosettes – they will be delighted with offers of help.
  • Remember that everyone involved in running the show is a volunteer and commits a huge amount of time and effort into making your day enjoyable. In the event that you have any queries, ask the Show Manager on the day.

Progressing up the classes on show day

  • If your cat wins it’s Breed Class it will then be automatically be judged for Best of Breed (males & females of the same colour together) This is included in your entry fee. Classes are split into Adult, Kitten & Neuter.
  • If it wins Best of Breed it will then be judged against all the winners of each colour for Best of Variety. Usually Adult, Kitten and Neuter are judged separately for BOV Burmese Adult, Kitten and Neuter
  • One of the three Adult, Kitten or Neuter BOV will then be selected for BIS Burmese
  • If it then wins BIS Burmese in an All Breed show it will go forward to be judged against all the different section winners for OVERALL BEST in SHOW
  • If it wins BEST in SHOW at your first show do let us know about it!!
  • If your cat is entire and it wins it’s Breed class it is awarded a Champion certificate , neuters are awarded a Premier Certificate. Kittens do not win titles in Breed Classes at present but can go on to win BOV and then Overall BIS if they are Best of Breed winners.
  • The certificates and rosettes will be brought round to your pen in the afternoon usually when judging is completed.
  • If you win 3 CC’s or PC’s under 3 different judges you can claim your GCCF title and your cat is officially a Champion or Premier. At some joint all-breed shows you can win 2 certificates in one day.

Do remember

  • A cat show is a beauty contest so take pride in your cat and it’s presentation and comfort
  • Always put your cat’s health and welfare first. Some people isolate show cats from their other cats for a few days after a show in case of any possible cross-infection. This is unlikely if hygiene procedures are followed but it can happen
  • Be considerate to your pen neighbours and to Show Officials who are all volunteers.
  • Have fun!
  • You always take the Best Cat in Show home with you