Flashcats Issue 65


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December 2017

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4th Issue 2017 www.nzcf.com Flash C atsThe Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy READY! STEADY! SHOW!! Profile of a Show Cat World Cat show The Experience of a lifetime! Be in to win! 2017 Cat Encylopedia So.. you want to show your cat Issue 17/04 1 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Making everyday an adventure, naturally. AWARD-WINNING NO BAD ANYTHING FOOD FOR CATS Flash Cats Proudly made in Canada by Hagen 2 For more info and stockists visit www.nutrience.co.nz Join our community on Facebook www.faceboIsosku.ceom17/n/0u4triencenz


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EDITOR Gaynor Saxon 272 Kennedy Road Napier 06 842 1011 flashcatseditor@gmail.com ADVERTISING Wendy McComb 06 368 9991 allanandwendy@hotmail.com SECRETARY Chris Lowe secretary@nzcf.com 07 533 4347 TREASURER Marion Petley 259B Mill Road, Otaki 5512 06 364 6314 marion.petley@xtra.co.nz The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Issue 65 Inside this issue 3 Health & Safety First 4 Show Management 101 6 So you want to Show your Cat 8 Breeders Blog 10 Groomed for Success 14 The Norwegian Forest Cat 17 Be in to WIN!! 18 Profile of a Show Cat 20-21 World Cat Show - An experience of a Lifetime! 23 Judging in China - A big Plus! 24-25 From a Judge’s Perception 25 Show Bylaws and Rules 27 Breed Standards Update 28 OOH LA LA! Show Cages from Afar 29-32 NZCF Information COVER PIC Photo sourced from internet article... Some-facts-about-the-Norwegianforest-cat-the-pet-of-Vikings If youyhoouldcaancn-aotMt bleyaarrtnkheaTtnawyial,ointyhoeur wleaayr.n things 2018 SUBSCRIPTION APPLICATION I would like to subscribe to Flash Cats Magazine This subscription entitles me to Associate Membership of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. I am enclosing $40.00 for four issues of Flash Cats. Please send them to the address below: Name: Address: Please copy or cut this form and post to: Executive Secretary Chris Lowe - 1614 Old Coach Road RD6, Te Puke 3186 New Zealand Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc or its officials, and advertised products or services are not necessarily endorsed by the NZCF For permission to reproduce material in this magazine please contact the authors directly or talk to Gaynor Saxon on 06 842 1011


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. CHAIR CHAT First up a thank you to Ian Gray for the work he did for the NZCF both as the Chair and as the Admin/Finance portfolio manager. Ian brought forward some well-developed proposals which we shall be considering in the near future. Another thank you is due to Diane Holtom who was our ‘next highest polling candidate’ and stepped into the vacancy on the Executive Council left by Ian’s resignation. Diane has taken on the Admin/Finance portfolio. As I write this, the November Executive Council meeting looms large on the horizon. This is the busiest meeting of the year and in the lead up to it I’m putting in 20 hours a week for the NZCF, spread across my Chair, Executive Council member, and portfolio manager duties. This is as much as I can fit into my already over-committed days and I don’t always feel as if I’m getting ahead of the incoming work and legacy projects. What if the Chair was a paid position and worked a full 40 hours a week? Or if they didn’t have a portfolio management position as well? It would cost about $3,800 a year for an additional Executive Council member to off-load a portfolio position and this has been raised a couple of times at recent AGMs. I don’t know if there is a ‘right’ answer, but I think there are possibilities we could be thinking about and discussing. On the subject of discussing things I’d like to clarify a few points which have been noted from recent correspondence. At least 28 days before each Executive Council meeting the agenda is circulated to members (both individual and affiliate) and considerable effort is made to get anything on the agenda which may significantly affect or be of particular interest to NZCF members. (Policy changes for the General Rules and Policies are always included, for instance.) As Executive Council members scramble about trying to get everything ready for the dispatch of the agenda we are conscious that these are the things we need to give members a chance to respond to. And those responses, along with any more formal submissions, are circulated for all Executive Council members to review before the agenda items. (The correspondence file runs to about 40 pages, each meeting.) Whether the responses are in favour or against, we are always happier when members respond than when a proposal or draft circulating with the agenda receives no feedback at all. Which leads on to some thoughts I have about the democratic process – a bit of a hobbyhorse of mine! Sometimes we think our votes didn’t count; they do. They always do, whether our point is won or lost, that vote was still cast, that person still spoke up and was heard. When things are discussed around the EC table there is almost always more than one point of view, just as there are often a number of points of views in submissions and responses we receive. When the votes are counted it’s not a failure if the vote is not unanimous – it’s democracy. Without the opinions of those who vote differently our decisions would not be as robust and no doubt we’d fall into a fair few more pitfalls that we had failed to notice. It’s never that anybody’s vote or opinion didn’t count, it’s just that more votes were cast in favour of another option. And now let’s talk about shows. As I understand it cat shows appeared before cat pedigrees so I think we can accept that shows are integral to the whole concept of a ‘cat fancy’. I don’t personally have a long history of attending cat shows – and certainly not 20 or 30 or 40 years or more experience with them that many of our members do. But even in my time in the NZCF some shows that were held regularly have stopped being held, and others are being run by tiny committees whose members might be a little bit older ... and might also be less able-bodied than they once were. Even larger clubs can struggle to find enough people to do all the jobs needed to run a show and for a few years they can make do with fewer and fewer people doing more and more work, but that can’t go on forever. What will the NZCF show season look like in the future? Will there just be shows in the main centres where the larger clubs are able to field enough workers to run them? Will attending a show mean an overnight stay for almost everybody? Will some enterprising person make a business out of turning up and running show day for clubs for a fee? Then when a show is run, where are the entries? What are the barriers to people entering shows and so keeping them financially viable? Are there financial constraints, travel or accommodation issues, or are shows just not very appealing in these days of busy lives and online friends? Are we as welcoming and helpful as we can be to those new to showing so they want to come back? Another strand in this knotty problem might be the reports by our membership secretary that increasing numbers of people who wish to join the NZCF as breeders but have no interest in showing. Is that going to be the way of the future? If it is, what will these people miss out on? How will they get feedback on the success of their breeding programmes? How will they interact with others in the Cat Fancy? I know I’m only asking questions and not giving any answers but this isn’t something that the Chair or the Executive Council can solve for the membership. This is something that has to be worked on together. And it’s not all doom and gloom – what about the excellent seminar organised by Canterbury All Breeds after the 2017 National show? This certainly ‘added value’ to going to a show, as well as giving those of us who attended a chance to hear some really interesting presentations including the very topical ‘Modern Methods of Show Promotion: Attracting the Millenials’ by American judge, Pamela Barrett. Then there’s the World Cat Show in Amsterdam and our ability to follow on Facebook (almost in real time) the adventures of our intrepid NZCF members who travelled up to attend it. It was fun, it was immediate, and it was a huge event that we were seeing. It’s a reminder that social media has infiltrated and changed our lives in ways that couldn’t have been imagined by the exhibitors of 50 years ago; perhaps those sort of changes are part of the key to revitalising shows, encouraging new exhibitors, and growing the pool of people available to, and interested in, running the NZCF shows of the future. Jane Webster NZCF Chair FLASH CATS CLOSE-OFF DATES FOR CONTRIBUTIONS March Issue - 30 January 2018 June Issue - 30 April 2018 September Issue - 30 July 2018 December Issue - 30 October 2018 Contact Gaynor Saxon (Editor) flashcatseditor@gmail.com Flash Cats 4 Issue 17/04


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www.nzcf.com HEALTH AND SAFETY FIRST...YOU BET!! WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Why is health and safety so important these days? From the older generation, I have heard many times that its just common sense and if people just used it there would be no reason to have health and safety! If that’s the case, why do so many people in NZ not come home from work in the same condition they went to work in, albeit a little tired, or worse, not come home at all? Personally, I believe common sense is not common at all.We learn common sense from mistakes made along the way during our whole life, if as children we lived such a sheltered life, that nothing bad ever happened, we would not have common sense learned by another child who isn’t so protected.There is a vast different between being careful and being overprotective, and these days, parents are left feeling bad if their child sustains an injury of any kind. In the last year, approx. 90% of all injuries or incidents reported to the NZCF Inc involved people being scratched by exhibits.Where was common sense here? Not only common sense was ignored, but a rule that has been in the NZCF Inc since before health and safety became part of the culture is regularly being ignored!!! Of these, 10% were also bitten, and in the biting incidents, it was the cats own owner who was bitten and scratched. Part of a good health and safety programme is reviewing all incidents that have occurred during the previous 12 months, and seeing if any patterns are found. I hear you all saying that cat scratches are to be expected, but this is simply not the case if the cats claws are clipped the night before going to a show. This is one hazard that can and should be avoided. Its not just the injury that occurs, this can be very minor, but a person who has been scratched and hurt can give off a vibe that they are nervous when picking up another cat.This can be felt and misinterpreted by the next cat as something scary is about to happen, and I should be more cautious and protect myself. We can learn to avoid being hurt, but it is so much easier to reduce the risk of injury by clipping those claws!!! I know sometimes we have relied on a groomer to do this, but you need to check it has been done, as it is still your responsibility if it is your cat!. If you are unable to clip your own cats claws, ask yourself if this cat is suitable to be shown. Temperament of the cat is important. Cats like us can go through various stages of attitude, and some are simply not happy being shown. There is nothing more frustrating than having a cat that is outstanding is every way but temperament, however, in the interests of health and safety, if your cat is not happy being shown, or poses a risk in any way, I don’t believe the cat should be shown. Continuing to show a cat that has shown in a previous show that it isn’t happy is asking for trouble, and as exhibitors we need to ask ourselves why we continue to put the cat through it. It may be a good idea to get a health check from a vet if the cat is usually fine, and a break from showing with a slow return to it after a period of time. Incidents that happen at shows need to be reported. It does not make your club bad if an incident occurs, but it is frustrating and does look bad if someone else starts talking about it and it hasn’t been reported.There have been several cases of this in the last season, and Janice and I have had to try to chase up reports, which have actually been denied. If an incident occurs and you are aware of it, you need to fill out a report and hand it to the show secretary, floor manager or health and safety person. The club needs to know this has happened so they can take steps to prevent it happening again. It is not acceptable to phone or email Janice or myself a few weeks later and ask if we got a report!! If you filled out a report, it would be dealt with. Cat scratches and bites are willingly reported on the day, yet people falling down stairs and over guard ropes haven’t been officially reported to us. Fill out the form, take a photo of it on your phone, hand the original to one of the people mentioned previously and then email it to us!You are covered as reporting it, and we can chase up and make sure the incident has been dealt with!.These types of incidents are preventable, and can cause serious injuries to people, and if the hazard isn’t dealt with, then someone else can be hurt, perhaps more seriously than the first. Hazards can be present in venues that we use. Most should have a hazard register, as well as information on where fire extinguishers can be found.Tap into these if you can, it will save you from doing that initial check when you arrive before setting up. Keep a copy of the venues register, and remember every year to get a new one, as more hazards may have been identified, or equipment put into the facility.After setup, another hazard check should be done to make sure we haven’t created any further hazards and that any control measures placed on hazards identified when we entered are appropriate. Try to imagine how it will look when there are crowds in there, do you think people milling around might not see ropes etc that are obvious when it is empty. Do you need to place flags at eye level? Or is it just not safe to have them. Floor wardens should be walking around, making sure nothing presents itself as a hazard during the show. At the opening of the show, please take the time to listen to what show officials say. If you are unsure, ask them to explain.They should tell you where toilets and exits are, and should brief you on where to meet outside if there is an evacuation.They will tell you where to report hazards or incidents, and where to go for first aid supplies. It is fairly “common knowledge” that in an evacuation you are to go to the cages nearest you, secure the cats in the cages below unless the cages are the more modern fully enclosed ones, and take them to the exit. Do not go specifically to your cats as this can create confusion and mobs, and you are not to reenter the venue until told by , for example, the Fire officer, that it is safe to do so.This rule also predates health and safety that we see today. Social media is common now, very few people don’t have a facebook or twitter account. Make sure that what you put up for everyone to see is appropriate, and not of a personal nature. If you are feeling negative or angry, don’t put it on your feed or comment, it can be difficult to remove later when you come to your senses, and can be used as evidence you did it.Talk to someone about how you are feeling, preferably someone who you know will talk you down from doing something you might regret later. We all have a friend we know who will back us to the hilt, but sometimes this is not the best person to talk it over with, they may encourage you to do something you will regret later. Under new legislation, use of social media can be considered bullying, and should be avoided. There will always be disagreements between breeders, but try not to make it worse by making public comments the person (or their friends) can read. Showing and breeding cats should be fun, and no one should get hurt. Health and Safety is here to stay, although it should be evolving it will never go away.Take it seriously, after all, the whole purpose of it is to ensure that everyone gets home safely after each show.The health and safety doesn’t stop at the end of the show, we have an obligation to make sure people can leave safely, if something happens (eg.Adverse weather etc) check that everyone can get home safely. We now say good bye to the show season of 2017 and hello to litters of wonderful new babies.We all hope this breeding season is your best yet, and that we can all celebrate with you at the shows in 2018.Take care over the festive season, Merry Christmas and Best wishes for the NewYear!!! Sue McKay NZCF Health and Safety Officer Issue 17/04 5 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. Show Management 101 And what I’ve learnt along the way…. By Anita Cheetham When I was voted in, we were in a state of flux. There had been many comings and goings from the committee, and this was reflected in the public image of the club and the show scene. First things first: Look after the people, without them there is no club, committee or show. Without the exhibitors, the club will cease to exist. Then look after the gear: If it’s not in good condition, you don’t have anything to set up a show with. Learn from our experience please. If you open your storage container and there is a strong musty odor, do something about it. Ours was ‘left’ and it eventuated that we lost 90% of our original show gear to rampant damp and mould. We even lost the majority of the early records of the club. A working bee to completely empty, sort, clean and paint may take some time but it’s worth it in the long run. Maintain your storage facility and stop any leaks before they become too big to fix. Now to plan, and this means lists. • What do you want to achieve, improve on, change, aims and goals • List of all your show gear and what state it is in – then you know what you need to update/change • List of all your consumables – awards cards, ribbons/rosettes, judges sheets, certificates • Make a budget, you know what you can afford or not as the case may be • Know your obligations as per the Show Bylaws – keep updated so you don’t miss something important Now that you have plans, your biggest asset is COMMUNICATION! We as a club spent a few years hiring other clubs equipment to maintain a show presence, at some expense. While sad, we were extremely lucky that another club not far from us closed down, and we were invited to tender for their container and all it contained. We won that tender process, and from this we were able to start again with replacement gear. A few working bees, to empty, clean and fix the leaking container, to clean and paint show cages showed its worth and we could start to make small improvements season by season. We will always be grateful to Franklin Feline Friends; without them we may not exist as a club today. A committee is a group of like-minded individuals all striving for the same thing – the success of the event and survival of the club. Communication is such a huge part of this, and the decision making process. Acknowledge and respond to messages and emails, attend meetings as often as you can - everyone’s input is important. If you are not involved in a committee and you have a little spare time, please offer to help, a little can go a long way! Also, any communication that you receive regarding the show, prospective exhibitors etc always acknowledge. You don’t know when the visitor becomes the exhibitor, committee member and who knows, in time the next top Judge. Show Preparation takes time. You have just finished holding your annual show, you’ve paid all the bills, the paperwork is all finished and submitted, certificates and mail all posted. You’ve finished. Well, sort of………. Yes, give yourselves a small break but within a month or so, you will need to be starting the list for the next event. It might be 11 months away, but that time can slip through your fingers like gossamer, and suddenly it’s only eight weeks away and you wonder where all that time went. And so the list starts again... Without going into a ton of detail, these are the main headings on our list. While this can start off with just a couple of pages, by the time you have finished, you have added all of the detail and it can encompass upwards of 12-15 pages of information. You find out what works, what doesn’t, and creates the template for the future. Flash Cats 6 Issue 17/04


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www.nzcf.com • VENUE - If you have a favourite, pre book it and keep a booking ahead if you can. • EXHIBITOR GIFTS - Something small to show your appreciation. • SET UP CREW – find a group who is looking to fundraise, it’s called motivation, repeat help is invaluable. • CONTAINER/GEAR – book the transport to get it to the hall - no gear, no show. • SHOW SCHEDULE - Prepare early, check, release. • RIBBONS/ROSETTES - Top Ten, Supremes, specials • CATALOGUE - Template, data entry, advertising, printing. • JUDGES - Who, including reserve, contracts, flights, transport/shuttles, accommodation, meals, Itineraries, judging lists, standard of points. • GIFTS – Be original, local if you can, and remember it’s got to travel too. • VETS - Who, when, NZCF instructions, thank you gifts. • SPONSORSHIP Who, contractual obligations, where(ring), when(delivery? • STALL HOLDERS - Who’s coming, tables. • PASSES - Exhibitors, Meal Passes for workers, car passes for committee/judges/disabled access At the end of things, this is a team event. Everybody has value, an opinion, and puts into the event what they can at any point in time. If we can all support each other to the best of our ability, then the club will go on to manage a successful event and; as we know, success breeds success. Keeping a level head and a positive attitude can go a long way to making every event a success. • TIME FRAMES AND CONTRACTS, storage, labelling, transport. • PRIZE DISTRIBUTION AT SHOW - How are you going to achieve this, who will look after this? Anita Cheetham, current Secretary/Treasurer, Hamilton Cat Club Inc CHECK LIST Show Gear Cages, Tables (own or hire) Bunting, paper, tape, rubbish bags, water bottles, paper towels, disinfectant, litter Printing Judges sheets, certificates etc BAMs ex NZCF on hand Posters Kitchen Caterer Show dinner menu Show day menu incl workers options Advertising Print advertising Social media promotion – website, Facebook, NZCF no reply forum City events pages promotion Poster distribution Pet friendly accommodation Raffles - How many, cost, include workers raffle Workers list Committee job list to cover all show management positions Stewards, handlers, scribes, paper walkers and backups Workers thank you packs Photographer Show results NZCF package v own package Points aggregation, data entry Entrance management Good door workers are your show introduction Efficient money handling Issue 17/04 7 Flash Cats


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SO YOU WANT TO SHOW YOUR CAT By Zena Pigden Want to show your cat but not sure how to go about it? (OK I know lots of Flashcats readers are more than familiar with the show scene – but if you’re not, this guide might help – and if you are – perhaps it will be handy for a kitten owner or a friend who wants to show). IS MY CAT A GOOD SHOW PROSPECT? Very timid or skittish cats, cats that don’t like being touched or handled by people they don’t know, and cats that hate other cats won’t enjoy showing. Kittens are usually happy to be shown and many adult cats too.You might need to try your cat out at a local show to find out how she feels about it all. CAN I ENTER MY CAT? HE’S A PEDIGREE BUT HE HASN’T GOT PAPERS Yes, most shows have a ‘Companion’ section for purebred cats without papers, part pedigrees, and full pedigree cats who don’t quite meet the standard for their breed. Cats in this section are judged on health, temperament, condition and pleasing appearance but are not expected to conform to any particular standard or look. WHAT ABOUT MY MOGGIE? Yes, most shows have a ‘Domestic’ section for non pedigree ‘moggies’ aka domestic longhair and shorthair cats. These are also judged on health, temperament, condition and pleasing appearance. WHERE ARE THE SHOWS NEAR ME AND HOW DO I ENTER? You can find a list of the shows for the year on the NZCF shows page – and this is also where you will find the show schedule and entry forms when they come out. About 6 weeks before the show date, the schedule and entry forms come out. The schedule contains important information about where the show will be held, start time, cost to enter, who the judges will be, and who can enter (some shows are just for one breed, some do not have a section for companions and domestics, or are only for longhair pedigrees or only shorthair pedigrees). The schedule and entry forms will be available as downloadable documents from the shows page, with the download link beside the show date. The closing date for entries is usually about three weeks before the show. Entries can be posted in or emailed to the entry clerk. For registered pedigree cats most of the information you need is on the registration certificate you will have received for your cat. For companions and domestics, the entry form is usually very simple just asking for the cat’s name and age, colour (for moggies) and your contact details. Most shows have 4 or more ‘rings’ or judgings (which means four or more chances to do well and win awards). Most people enter their cat into all rings, but you can enter fewer if you prefer. The entry fee on the schedule is ‘per ring’ so for a four ring show, multiply by four. The benching fee is also per ring, and is an extra charge just for the first exhibit (if you enter two cats you only pay the extra charge for the first cat) It can be confusing the first time you fill in a show entry form - if you have trouble, contact the show secretary whose details will be on the schedule, and they will be happy to help. HOW DO I GET MY CAT READY FOR THE SHOW? Good food, regular grooming and a little bit of play and practice with a feather teaser or similar are great. Most judges use a feather teaser or similar to attract the cat’s attention and get him or her to look at them. All judges will handle the cat and feel the head shape, look at the profile, length of body etc so getting your cat used to being touched around the head, stood on a surface, stroked along the back and perhaps held with forelegs off the ground for a minute or so can only help. Flash Cats 8 Issue 17/04


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www.nzcf.com Longhaired cats usually benefit from a show bath, in the few days before the show. This removes the grease from the coat and shows off your cat at his or her best. If your cat is a pedigree, the breeder you got her from can help with some tips. Or have a look at the show bath article in this issue of Flashcats. Your cat will need to be free of fleas (so make sure you are up to date with flea treatments) and completely well – don’t bring him or her if they are sneezing, have runny eyes, or any other sign of illness. Whether or not you bath your cat, you must clip his or her claws (especially front claws). This is not difficult, just gently squeeze each toe from top to bottom to allow the claw to poke out and then clip the tip, avoiding the pink quick which you can usually easily see.You can use human nail clippers or pet nail clippers. WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING ON THE DAY? On show day you will need a towel, blanket, or cushion for your cat to sit on in the show cage. Most people also provide show curtains.You can make these, buy them, or borrow them (your breeder may be able to help if they show regularly).You can bring a litter tray (about shoe box size or full size if you have an adult large breed like Maine Coons or Norwegian Forest cats and have arranged to bring or use a large cage.) Cat litter is normally provided free at the venue. Some clubs like you to also supply a white towel, bath mat or similar which you leave on top of the cage, this is used for your cat to stand on, on the judging table. Check the show schedule to see if this is required. If your cat is a kitten you will need to bring his or her vaccination certificate. They need to have had a vaccination at least a week before the show and the minimum age a kitten can be on show day is four calendar months old. Don’t forget your cat or kitten (yes it has happened!) – they need to come in a carrier (this is a safety precaution in case the hall needs to be evacuated in an emergency). For longhaired cats you may like to bring a brush or comb in case they need a ‘touch up’ between judgings. When you arrive at the show you will be given an envelope that contains your receipt, exhibitor pass, and on the outside, the number of the cage your cat has been assigned to. Set up the cage with blanket and curtains and settle your cat in it.You’ll need to wait until the vets have been around to check all the cats. Vets initial or attach a sticker to the cage number to show that a cat has been checked and is OK. Occasionally a cat is ‘vetted out’ if the vet feels that the cat is not well (or has signs of fleas or other parasites) and must be removed from the show venue or placed in a separate area if it’s not possible to take him/her home right away, Once your cat has been vet checked you are free to stay and watch the judging or go away and come back later. HOW DOES THE JUDGING WORK? Each judge will judge the cats independently of the other judges. The registered pedigree cats and kittens are divided into sections for judging, by age, whether desexed or not and whether longhair or shorthair. (So entire longhaired cats will only compete against other entire longhaired cats) Domestic and companion cats must all be desexed, and in these groups cats and kittens are judged together, but are divided into longhairs and shorthairs. All are judged on health, temperament, condition and pleasing appearance, in that order. In the registered pedigree sections, the judge will first look at cats of the same breed within a section and decide the best, second, and third of that breed. Then they will judge the breeds against each other and decide their top ten for that section (eg Top Ten pedigree shorthair neuter/spay cats). In these sections, the cats are judged against the standard for their breed which describes the ideal appearance for that breed.You can find the breed standards on the NZCF website. Awards are often also given for best temperament, eye colour and grooming. At many shows a Supreme award is also given for the best longhair cat (in all pedigree sections), best shorthair, best companion, and best domestic. ARE SHOWS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC? Yes – although sometimes judging is started before the show is open to the general public. There is a small fee for members of the public to get in. WHEN CAN ITAKE MY CAT HOME? The show manager will announce when the show is closed – until then you can’t take your cat away unless you have got special permission from the show manager. Don’t be surprised if your cat is tired after their big day! Issue 17/04 9 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. BREEDERS BLOG By Zena Pigden Someone mentioned the words ‘show stress’ to me the other day. It made me think about the human stress we can experience going to shows (as well as about cat stress). When I think back to when I first started showing about 20 years ago I remember that I hardly slept the night before a show. Excited – and nervous. I suppose there were lots of reasons for that ranging from the anxieties around getting to the show on time, remembering the important things (like kitten vaccination certificates and all the gear in case of accidents – of the poos/wees/vomit variety), to wondering just how my cat would go, to concern about whether my cat would be relaxed and show himself or herself off well, or be nervous or even aggressive. Sometimes an extra worry if I heard a random sneeze the night before that my cat would turn out to be getting unwell or even (oh! the shame) be vetted out. I’ve never (to date) had a cat vetted out – but I have had a cat become symptomatic during a show (and a judge speak to me about it) and believe me, I never would have taken him if I had realised he was getting sick. Many years later and I don’t get so nervous anymore (and usually sleep pretty well). What’s the secret? I had better mention that I am actually naturally quite a calm person and that’s just lucky genes. But there are some other things that help 1) I’m pretty organised. I have a show list for the cats and another one for my own stuff since nearly all the shows I go to are out of town and involve an overnight stay somewhere. So less worry about forgetting things. I review the list (which is on my phone) and add or remove any items in the few days before. 2) I trust my phone alarm to wake me up in time for the super early start that is usually involved 3) Most of the time I go with a friend and breeding partner. Not all of us are able to do that but it means we can help each other, share the ups and support each other through the downs. 4) I have fully embraced the concept that “It’s just the judge’s opinion on the day”. In other words, judges vary, and my own cats can vary in how they look and how they present themselves. If things go well I enjoy it. If they don’t go so well I console myself with the thought that it may be quite different next time. 5) I love showing – but it’s only one part of my life. In the grand scheme of things, the fact that other important parts of my life are positive (like having an amazing lovable baby grandson) outweighs any negative experience at a particular show. 6) I don’t go to shows just for the showing/competition. I enjoy learning from judges and I love catching up with people in the cat world that I don’t see much outside of shows (because we live in different cities.) 7) Although I will try exhibiting any cat that I think is show worthy, if they make it clear that they are unhappy or stressed, I don’t show them again. I try to only show cats that are reasonably happy in the show hall. This greatly reduces my stress! This of course leads onto some thoughts about the stress that cats can experience at shows and why it isn’t really fair to show a cat that clearly indicates that they don’t like it. There are some aspects of the show environment that are potentially stressful for cats. For one thing it’s a different place. A cat that is a homebody who is happiest in a familiar environment will find this a bit challenging. Then, there are a LOT of strange cats around. Territorial cats will struggle with this. And then there are all those people looking at the cats – for some cats this feels really threatening. I really enjoyed showing Romeo (Gold Double Grand Champion Gradach Ferdiad) back in the day, but at his last few shows he was definitely on the grumpy side. This was unusual for him – and I wasn’t sure if it was the people or the cats, but having him on display promoting Maine Coons at a National Show gave me the answer. We had been placed quite separate from the main show hall and he was back to his usual relaxed, happy and charming self. Didn’t mind the people at all. But no longer comfortable surrounded by other cats. It was the right time to retire him. Now, Romeo had been an absolute show pony in his earlier show career, and I could have been forgiven for expecting that he would continue to enjoy showing just as much as he got older. However, it is really quite common for cats (especially, but not only, entire cats) to become more territorial as they transition from young adulthood to mature adulthood. Throw a few hormones into the mix and the potential for cat stress levels to ramp up is increased. Cats also respond to owner distress (if you are tense or upset, they will pick up on this and may feel that there must be something to worry about) or to another upset cat. Unexpected noise or other activity may turn a previously acceptable experience into a frightening one. My very first Maine Coon stud boy started well and happily at shows but as young adult was frightened (I think by children jumping off the stage) and then became a lot more nervous. Flash Cats 10 Issue 17/04


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As owners, I do believe we have a responsibility to listen to what our cats are telling us. Stressed cats at shows generally show this either by becoming aggressive, especially when removed from the show cage, vocalising, swiping, or biting, or by curling into a tense ball, making themselves as small as possible and refusing to relax when handled by the judge. It’s really not fair to subject these cats to repeated showing. They belong at home. But what about the milder instances – a cat who is usually fine but just seems to be having a bad day? A cat that is a bit nervous at shows but not showing major signs of stress? In that case you might be tempted to ask your vet for a calming medication or resort to a herbal remedy or that old favourite Rescue Remedy. Anti-anxiety medications may have a place when working on behavioural issues with cats. But while an issue that means a cat is unhappy or engaging in unacceptable behaviours in its own home needs to be addressed, it’s questionable (to my mind) whether showing is in the same category. Still, I see no harm in using Feliway spray in the show cage or on the cat’s blankets, and/or giving a couple of drops of Rescue Remedy (a Bach flower remedy from the health food shop) to help a cat feel more confident in a show environment. The owner may benefit from some Rescue Remedy too! Many years ago I gave one of my Birmans Pet Calm (a herbal remedy) before a show. I don’t know why, he was a pretty chilled out cat to start with. This resulted in him being so sleepy that judges could barely wake him – and did not help his show results that day! Bottom line for me is that it might be OK to try using a herbal or homeopathic remedy once or twice for a cat that is only mildly stressed at shows. If you have to keep on giving it every time to enable your cat to cope with the show environment, then that cat isn’t really meant to be a show cat. www.nzcf.com When Stressed, they will hide under bedding it with you. FROM THE EDITOR.... Hello everyone, Welcome to the last issue of Flash Cats Quarterly 2017. We have some very interesting reading for you in this Issue. It’s our ‘Showtime Issue’ and hopefully our articles are helpful to those thinking about showing their cats, and a reminder to those who already do. Again I stress that our articles are for your reading enjoyment only. We cannot guarantee the authenticity of the writings and emphasize that you should always check with your vet first before acting on any advice you read in the articles. Let me say once again, that we always welcome and need the input from our membership, so please... get involved, send in your stories, anecdotes, or health advice you feel we need to publish to us at flashcatseditor@gmail.com Wide eyed, inquisitive and contented It’s always great to share stories of kindness. I heard of this letter and asked for a copy, I couldn’t resist sharing it with you all. To Deb Armishaw. “At the Sunday show at CABCC, you were judging the Doms & Coms and nearly finished, a child with learning difficulties was trying to grasp what you were doing, you treated her with caring and respect and most of all took your time to show and explain in simple terms the art of judging. Thank you for this act of kindness, something rarely seen in a public area. I was also impressed with the genuine care you gave each cat, I am the owner of the wee cream point Birman you used for the demo. Keep up the good work, NZCF has a very good ambassador”. Susan Moffat Finally, grab a cuppa, put your feet up and do enjoy this issue of Flash Cats. Gaynor Saxon Editor WISHING YOU ALL A VERY SAFE AND PEACEFUL HOLIDAY SEASON BEST WISHES FROM THE FLASH CATS TEAM Issue 17/04 11 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. GROOMED FOR SUCCESS Both shorthair and longhaired cats need preparation for showing. Don’t start the week before and expect your cat to be in top condition especially longhairs. • Keep your cat free from loose fur. • Groom regularly to avoid matting but don’t over groom. • Regularly flea and worm your cat. Fleas cause hair breakage.  • One to two days before show :• Clip back and front claws. • Clean ears.  • Make sure eyes are clean. • Groom and Bath your cat. For longhaired cats use a degreaser to achieve a lovely flowing coat. Shorthair cats bath one to two weeks before).    Longhaired cats regroom once dry or to get rid of curls blow dry brushing periodically.  What top do on show morning:- • Check ears and eyes again • Quick groom and if you have prepared your cat correctly this is all you will need to do. • Make your cat beautiful. A well presented cat will put you above a cat that is poorly presented.   It is disappointing for a judge that has to put an otherwise fabulous cat down because of poor grooming.      The above are some basic tips to follow. For more detailed information  on products and grooming you can contact me on ph numbers below and I would be happy to help. Wendy Anderson  Transfurmation cat grooming and boarding  Ph 03 3816089  or 021651237 THE SHOW BATH If you plan to show your longhaired cat, a show bath is more or less essential to present your cat at his or her best. A few cats have perfect coats without this, but even these will often (amazingly) look even better if bathed. A perfect coat is soft, flowing, every hair is separate and any pattern shows clearly because of the way the hair sits. (To be fair, coat texture will vary a bit between colours and also breeds, but a correctly bathed coat will always look and feel better than the same coat unwashed). While this general guide works well for most longhaired cats, you may like to consult the breeder of your pedigree cat for any tips and tricks that relate to that breed in particular. Assemble what you need: A good degreaser. This is essential. Even if your cat does not look greasy there will be greasier areas behind the ears, under the arms, over the lower back and tail. Show Go from Wendy Anderson (Transfurmation) in Christchurch is great. Jell “Lightning” Citrus formulation mechanics hand cleaner (available from Repco) is also very good – make sure you get the citrus one and not the non-citrus one which contains pumice. Pumice will damage the coat. Dishwashing liquid such as Morning Fresh or Palmolive Shampoo – you can use human shampoos, dog shampoos or cat shampoos. All mammals have the same skin pH. Dog shampoos that are developed for particular colours can be good (eg for whites and silvers). But human shampoos work just fine. Comb and brush, nail clippers and laundry pegs (if you haven’t already clipped nails) Hair dryer or fan heater Shower attachment for tap (if your tap will take one) – just one of the push on ones that you can get at hardware stalls. Or a jug for pouring if your tap isn’t suitable. Flash Cats 12 Issue 17/04


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www.nzcf.com A well presented cat will put you above a cat that is poorly presented.  It is disappointing for a judge that has to mark an otherwise fabulous cat down because of poor grooming.  Towels (optional) A non slip mat to put in your sink or bath – cats don’t like skidding about. dishwashing liquid into the coat till the cat is wet to the skin. Add as much water as you need to achieve this. Hand cream (for you – your hands will have been thoroughly degreased by the end) Before the bath: Comb through your cat’s fur and make sure there are no knots BEFORE you bath – if there are, disentangle by pulling apart a bit, then comb out gently. If you are too vigorous you may end up with a rather threadbare cat. Clip claws – front claws essential but ideally back claws as well. You can use human or animal nail clippers. A couple of pegs on the scruff of the cat’s neck will often calm them if they are not very cooperative. Squeeze each toe gently between thumb and forefinger to make the claw stick out, then clip off the point, avoiding the pink quick. Decide where to bath: Sink, bath, laundry sink, shower – they all work. It depends what’s easiest for you. Sinks are usually a better height – but rather small. Start your heater or hairdryer before you bring the cat into the room to be bathed. A hairdryer can be propped up in a jar or jug. That way there isn’t sudden frightening noise in the middle of bath time when you turn it on Step 1: Apply degreaser. For breeds or cats with greasy or very full coats (Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, Persians), slather it on all over the cat’s coat while still dry. Be generous. For breeds with less greasy coats (eg Birmans) you may only need to apply to the greasy spots – behind the ears, under arms, hips, top of tail. If your cat has been recently show bathed (in the last fortnight) only apply to areas that are starting to look greasy again, as you don’t want to over dry the coat. Don’t put it on the cat’s face. Step 2: Drizzle over dishwashing liquid. Apply some to the stomach as well. Now add small amounts of warm water and work the degreaser/ Step 3: Rinse, rinse, rinse. Try to get most of the degreaser out but don’t worry if a little is left, the shampoo will wash the rest of it out. Step 4: Apply shampoo all over and work through the coat Step 5: Rinse, rinse, rinse. This time you do want to get every last bit of shampoo out of the coat. Some people use a slosh of white vinegar in water in a jug to get rid of the last of the shampoo. Step 6: Condition or not? Generally conditioning is not necessary. If your cat’s coat is inclined to be dry you may like to include a conditioning step (exactly like the shampoo step). Usually immediately after bathing and drying, the coat may look a bit dry, but by the next day it will look perfect (even without conditioning) Step 7: Towel dry to get the worst of the wet out and then dry your cat using a hairdryer or fan heater. Get the coat partially dry and then use the brush to brush the coat backwards as the air flow is directed onto the fur, this separates the hairs to enable better drying. If your cat hates the dryer, just make sure the room is warm and once the coat is nearly dry, give it a bit of comb or brush out. They will still look surprisingly good the next day. Step 8: This can be done on a separate occasion or when your cat is wrapped in a towel before hair drying. Use a warm wet washcloth to wash face ensuring eyes are free of crusty bits and ears are clean. Zena Pigden Issue 17/04 13 Flash Cats


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The Official Publication of the New Zealand Cat Fancy Inc. NZCF CA Flash Cats Q 14 Issue 17/04


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P E T K I Twww.nzcf.com The technology that cares FIT P2 Pet Activity Monitor EVERSWEET Smart Pet Drinking Fountain FRESH Smart Antibacterial Bowl MATE Multifunctional Pet Remote Moni- Issue 17/04 For further information and stockists contact: customerservice@ppd.net.nz 15 Flash Cats



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