Cat Shows

The Turkish Angora cat was recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) in 1973, with the coat color limited to the color white. In 1978, Turkish Angoras of various colors were also recognized by CFA. Today you will still find amber-eyed white, blue-eyed white an odd-eyed white Turkish Angoras, and they remain strikingly beautiful, but you will also find an array of colors providing greater depth and grandeur than one can imagine! To learn more about some of the colors of the Turkish Angora Cat, visit the Colors! page of our web site!

We here at Zirdeli thank Doreann Nasin of Gilles cattery for her permission to use this gorgeous photo of "Mitch".

To register a Turkish Angora cat in CFA, strict pedigree requirements must be met. CFA will not register any imported Turkish Angora cat except those which are documented and verified as being from Turkey. All Turkish Angora cats born in the United States must be able to trace their pedigree to Turkey. To protect the breed and to prevent the loss of the breed's unique characteristics, such as occurred in Europe in the early-mid 1900's, there is no out-cross breeding (interbreeding between a Turkish Angora cat and a cat of another breed) permitted.

Today, the Turkish Angora cat is still considered a "rare" breed, and a "minority breed" in CFA, The International Cat Association (TICA) and the other registries. In the world of pedigreed cats, the Turkish Angora cat competes against 40 other breeds of cat in CFA. While there are hundreds of breeders of Persian and Maine Coon cats across the United States and Europe, there are probably less than 30 Turkish Angora breeders worldwide.

In the world of Cat Shows, Turkish Angora cats also compete against one another, according to a "standard", written for each registry. To learn about the standards for the Turkish Angora cat, visit our Breed Standard page.

Competing in Cat Shows encourages the growth of the breed as a healthy and thriving breed. Breeders of purebred cats believe that their catteries serve a three-fold mission. To promote and share their unique breed with the world by making it available to the general public, to preserve the breed, and to maintain the accepted standard for the breed. To achieve these goals, breeders ultimately place their kittens into one of three categories - pet quality, breeder quality or show quality.

The show quality cat is usually kept by the breeder and is taken to cat shows, where the cat is evaluated against the breed's standard. The cats that best meet the standard are rewarded. To show a cat, the cat must be registered in the registry sponsoring the cat show. For example, to show a cat in a CFA show, the cat must have registration papers from CFA. To learn more about CFA, click here. To find a CFA Cat Show near you, click here.

When you go to a CFA cat show, you will find several "rings". Each ring is, in essence, it's own cat show, with it's own judge. Each cat entered into the show will be evaluated against it's breed standard by each judge. So, if the cat show is a six ring show, there will be six judges, and each cat will be evaluated six times.

A cat will be entered in one of three competitive categories. Championship is where all "whole" (un-neutered or un-spayed) cats will compete against one another. Premiership is where all "altered" (neutered or spayed) cats will compete against each other. And between the ages of 4 and 8 months, cats will compete against each other in the Kitten class.

You will find rings called "Allbreed" rings and rings called "Specialty" rings.

In an Allbreed ring, the judge will see all of the cats in one of the competitive category, regardless of the length of their coat. For example, in an Allbreed ring, a judge will ultimately evaluate the nearly naked Sphynx cat, considered a Short Hair (SH) breed against the full-coated Maine Coon cat, considered a Long Hair (LH) breed, and every breed in between. If there are 100 total cats of 30 different LH and SH breeds in Championship, each judge will evaluate each of these 100 cats.

The Specialty judge will follow the same basic procedure, except that he or she will judge all of the Short Hair cats separately from all of the Long Hair cats.

A cat entered in Championship or Premiership must first be judged by six judges and deemed to be without any disqualifying faults. These cats are entered as an "open" and are awarded a red, white and blue ribbon, called a "Winners Ribbon". Once the cat earns six Winner's Ribbons, that cat will become a "Champion" or "Premier".

A Champion needs 200 points, obtained by winning over other cats, to be able to transfer to a "Grand Champion" (GC). A Premier needs 75 points to transfer to a "Grand Premier" (GP). Each judge will choose the Champion or Premier that he or she believes best meets the breed's written standard, and will award that cat a purple ribbon for the Best Champion or Best Premier for it's breed. There is no similar title or procedure for kittens. They are simply shown as adorable, entertaining and fun little creatures!

In each of Championship judging, Premiership judging, and Kitten judging, the judge will ultimately choose the cat that he or she believes is the best representation of it's breed according to his or her understanding of the breed's written standard. This cat will be awarded a brown Best of Breed (BOB) ribbon. This cat will also earn points for each cat within it's breed that it has competed against to earn the BOB ribbon.

Then, from these cats, the judge will choose the cats that he or she believes are the top 10 (or sometimes 15!) cats in Championship, Premiership or Kittens, in the show. These cats will be called back for what is called a "final", and these cats will be rewarded with a ribbon called a "rosette", pictured to the right.

Each judge brings along his or her own unique understanding of the standard for each breed, so it is possible that six different judges will come to six different decisions for their finals!

Cats in finals earn points for each cat they place over. Points are accumulated throughout the show season and the top 25 cats in CFA in each of Championship, Premiership and Kittens, are awarded a "National Winner" (NW) title at the close of the show season. Similarly, each of CFA's regions will also award a "Regional Winner" (RW) title to the top 25 Championship, Premiership and Kittens in the region. The cat with the most points for the breed will earn the title of "Breed Winner" (BW).

Through the course of the show, the Allbreed judge will then repeat the same process with all of the cats in Premiership and all of the kittens, and the Specialty judge will repeat the same process with LH cats in Championship, Premiership and Kittens, separate from the SH cats in Championship, Premiership and Kittens.

There are other ribbons awarded to cats in a cat show. To begin to learn more about showing cats and the meaning of the ribbons, visit these helpful links:
CFA's For Kids, "What do all those ribbons mean?" or
Cats Centerstage "How Are the Ribbons Awarded?"

Cat shows are organized with each cat entered being given an number. When that cat's number is called to a ring, the person showing the cat, called an exhibitor, will take the cat to the ring to be evaluated by the judges. So if you are at a cat show and there is a cat you would like to follow, ask the exhibitor what the cat's number is, and listen for the cat's number to be called to a ring! Then go and enjoy the show!

One other category of show cats that we need to tell you about is the Household Pet (HHP) category. This is where YOU can bring your little fluffy to a cat show to be evaluated by a judge. Not all CFA shows will have HHP entries, but many do! To the left is the ribbon awarded to HHP cats by the judge. Some CFA regions around the country have established a point system for Household Pets and give awards to the highest-scoring HHP at their annual banquets each year, so if you've got a cat at home with a nice disposition who might enjoy some unusual attention, please consider giving CFA's HHP competition a try!

Beyond the cat show...

We also need to discuss the differences between a "breeder quality" cat and a "pet quality" cat.

The breeder quality cat is usually a cat that might fail one or more of the points of the standard in a cat show, but has other traits meeting the standard, that the breeder would like to achieve in his or her cattery. These cats are typically kept by the breeder or sold to a fellow breeder.

The pet quality cat is by no means to be considered inferior or inadequate. This cat is the true heart of the cattery, and allows those of us who already love the Turkish Angora cat to introduce the world to our exquisite, lively and devoted breed. My first pedigreed Turkish Angora cat, Snowflake, pictured here, was a "pet quality" cat that stole my heart and forever has captured it for her breed. Many breeders find their love for a breed through a pet quality cat. These cats are the ones that birthed our love of the breed, and we believe, with all of our hearts, that once a Turkish Angora cat has charmed it's human, one cannot help but but return the devotion!

If you are interested in owning a Turkish Angora cat, please go to our Owning a TA page!