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

Close this search box.


The Premier Online Magazine devoted
to Persian & Exotic Shorthair Cats

Close this search box.

What is a Newbie In The Cat Fancy?

Hang around a show hall very long and you are sure to hear someone say, “Who’s that person over there? I’ve never seen her before.” And someone will reply, “Oh, she’s a Newbie.”

The expression “Newbie” is used to refer to anyone who is a newcomer, a novice, a beginner, an inexperienced person. If we still lived in the “Old West” they would be called a greenhorn or a tenderfoot. You may be a CEO in your “real” life, but in the cat fancy, if you are just beginning, you are just a Newbie.

“Newbie” is not a dirty word.

Basically a Newbie is someone who is just getting started, just learning, probably doesn’t know much or have a lot of experience at breeding and showing pedigreed cats. The best way of think about a newbie is to compare it to when children begin kindergarten. A Newbie to the cat fancy is very like a child starting school. And in the same way as children, not all Newbies are alike. 

  • Some children enter kindergarten not knowing how to read. Some kids already know their ABC’s. 
  • Some kids learn fast, some don’t, but they just have to try harder and learn anyway. 
  • Some kids will continue onto college and university. Some kids do fine with just a high school education. Some kids have more natural talent to learn than others. 
  • Some kids have private tutors. Some kids join a study group. Some kids learn completely on their own. 
  • And most kids devote more time and energy to learning about some subjects than others. And some kids dropout.

There is no one way that is the best way for everyone to learn in school. Nor is there one way that is best for everyone on how to progress through the various “grades” in school. It is much the same in the cat fancy world of breeding and showing.

Sally was looking for a kitten to keep her company in her new home. She thought she would go to a local cat show and see which breed she wanted. Although she totally intended to get a shorthaired cat, she fell in love with a Persian. And she decided she wanted to show too! Over the next year, she attended more than 20 cat shows, researched extensively, and only bought her first show cat a year later after learning a lot.

Some Newbies are like a thirsty sponge. They spend a lot of time researching cats and pedigrees, asking questions, making friends, and learning all they can before buying their first cat.

Linda had loved cats all her life. As soon as her children were older she acquired several breeding cats with good bloodlines from local breeders. After she had several litters, she decided she wanted to show some of her kittens and so she started going to cat shows with her homebred babies.

Probably most Newbies start the way Linda did. They love cats, want to have kittens, and they start with purchasing breeding stock locally without doing a lot of research into the art of breeding or having any plans on showing cats. Obviously, you can be new to one aspect of the cat fancy, while being very experienced in another aspect.

Both the exhibitors described above are Newbies to the show ring but bring to it very different levels of experience and knowledge about the cat fancy. Sally has no practical breeding experience at all. Linda has breeding experience, but perhaps less of an idea of what to expect at the show.

No matter how you begin, the real story is where you go from here… and how do you get there?

The Rookie Year

Everyone has a “Rookie Year”. You can have a rookie year when you first start breeding, and a rookie year when you first start showing. And just like in sports, some people have a better rookie year than others.

Even the most experienced breeder/exhibitor is always learning. Things change. There are new medical advancements, new pedigree combinations to investigate, new catteries, new judges… so even the “Oldies” are always learning something new, but they will never be called Newbies again.

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Originally called lop-eared or lops after the lop-eared rabbit, Scottish Fold became the breed’s name in 1966. Depending on registries, longhaired Scottish Folds are varyingly known as Highland Fold, Scottish Fold Longhair, Longhair Fold and Coupari.