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 To Wear To The Cat Show

Recently, a group of “cat show” friends were attending a pet expo together and decided to check out the dog show. Wandering around the puppy palace, the cat ladies were struck with the fashions the dog owners and handlers were wearing. Most of the woman were dressed in skirts and dresses. Men were often in suits and ties. While footwear was suitable for running canines up and down in front of the judges, there was a decidedly more formal fashion sense in the dog show than at a typical cat show.

The explanation for this is obvious. In a dog exhibitions, the owner or handler is part of the “show”. The handler is actually in the show ring with the dog while it is being judged. The handler is part of the animal’s presentation to the judge. At the cat show, it is only the cat that the judge sees, so the owner is free to dress more casually, and most cat exhibitors embrace casual attire with the enthusiasm of a kitty chasing after its favorite catnip toy.

People wear all sorts of outfits at a cat show; some dress to a theme; a few might dress very fashionably, while others are in jeans  and t-shirts. In fact, anything goes at a cat show. There’s no dress code. It’s the cats that everyone is looking at after all. 

The “Do Wear” Rules

There are some easy rules to help one dress appropriately at the cat show:

  • Be Comfortable: The first rule of “do wear” at the cat show is to dress comfortably.
  • Dress In Layers: Show hall temperatures vary widely. Some halls are cold in winter, boiling in summer, and often drafty any time of year. Dress in layers so you can add or remove a sweater as needed.
  • Easily Cleaned: You will be amazed at the how dirty you can get at the cat show, so wear something washable.
  • Hair Resistant: Even if your cat isn’t shedding, other cats in the show hall will be and their hair will float through the air. You will be surprised how hair will cling if you are wearing a material that attracts it — this includes anything with a rough texture. Smooth, silky or satiny fabrics will tend to let loose hair slip off.

The “Don’t Wear” Rules

Don’t wear:

  • Anything Too Precious: Don’t wear anything you love so much that you will be devastated if it’s ruined. There are dangers at the cat show — bleach, claws, blood, tears and more can all ruin a favorite blouse.
  • Anything Too Tight: Don’t wear anything too tight (for obvious reasons).
  • Anything That Snags: You want to be able to reach inside cages easily without catching your sleeves on the wires.
  • Beware of Clothing That Shows Off “Cracks”: There is a lot of bending over at the cat show; putting carriers under the table, retrieving stuff out of bags, helping cats out of cages. Avoid the “plumber’s crack” or gapping blouse front that reveals too much. 

Embracing the Cat-Crazy Look

In your non-cat-life, if you wear a tee with kitties on it, paired with cat silhouette earrings and a purse with eyes and whiskers, you just might be labeled the “Crazy Cat Lady”. The same ensemble worn at a cat show just makes you a cat lover. Go ahead and indulge your urge to wear cat-themed clothing at the show. You won’t be the only one.

Promoting Your Breed

Don’t by shy of promoting your breed. You can have it’s picture or name on your shirt. If you have a spotted breed, any clothing in a spotted animal print is appropriate.

Clothing With A Smile

At the cat show, you can indulge your urge to be feline funny. There are so many choices you are sure to find clothing that tickles a kitty funny bone.


The single most important thing to wear to the cat show is comfortable shows. For many exhibitors, this will be a thick soled sneaker or walking shoe. If your feet are happy in a more stylish shoe, there is kitty-themed footwear from which to choose.

Cat shoes are purr-fect as long as they are also comfortable.


If you want to sport cat-themed fashion, but prefer to be more subtle than wearing an image of a giant cat head on your chest, there is a huge variety of jewelry with a feline theme; necklaces, watches, earrings, brooches, rings, collar pins and more.

Regardless of the breed of cat you are showing, you will need a clothes brush to remain hair-free. Even if you own a Sphynx, hair floating in the air from all the other breeds will be attracted to your clothing.

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“Like all pure creatures, cats are practical.”
*William S. Burroughs (author, The Naked Lunch)