PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats
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PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine
devoted to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

PandEcats

The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Search
Close this search box.

Hands Off

I do it all the time. I know you’ve done it too. We all do it occasionally. What am I talking about? I am referring to the fact that I judge a cat without ever actually handling it. I might be watching a class of cats from ringside and in my head I am evaluating and handing out the ribbons the way I would place them if I were the judge. I make my judgment based on what I can see as I sit in the audience. Or I might be visiting with a couple friends in the benching area and rehashing the finals when I give my opinion about why a cat placed Best Cat in one ring and didn’t make the final under another judge. Or I am clicking through a website or thumbing through a Yearbook and I like the look of one cat over another — all without handling the individual kitties.

Making a judgment about a cat without handling it is a skill that every cat breeder and exhibitor develops. It is something each of us will find necessary at one time or another. Whether we are looking at a photo of a kitten we are thinking of buying on the internet or watching from the audience at a cat show, each of us are honing our skills at evaluating a cat “hands off”.

While I believe judging without handling the cat is something we must try to become better at by necessity, I also think it is sort of like buying a sofa without sitting in it. You can tell a lot about the quality of a sofa by just looking at it , BUT you cannot tell the full depth of its quality until you actually try it out. Of course, I am not suggesting you need to actually sit on a cat to judge it. It is important, however, to realize and acknowledge the things you can’t tell about a cat unless you actually handle it. For instance:

  • You can not tell balance of the cat.
  • You can not feel the smoothness of the tophead.
  • You can not tell the weight of the cat.
  • You can not tell the muscle tone.
  • You can not tell the feel of the coat.
  • You can not tell the depth of the break.
  • You can not feel how the cheeks flow into the chin.
  • You can not feel the boning.
  • You can not check the bite.
  • You can not check for tail kinks.
  • You can not check for testicles.
  • You can not see how agreeable the cat is to being handled.

Yikes! That seems like a lot of “can nots”. So, does this mean you can’t have a valid opinion about a cat unless you can actually handle it? Of course not. There is still plenty you can tell just by looking at a cat from ringside or from photographs. Just remember that there is nothing that can compare with actually handling a cat to get the true picture of its quality.

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