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There Were Plenty of Cool Cats at the CFA Cat Show in Nashville

by Rich and Laura Lynch

There were plenty of cool cats to see at the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) Cat Show that took place at The Fairgrounds in Nashville, Tennessee on December 30-31, 2023. Not only was it two days of competition and cuteness but the CFA Cat Show was also educational and engaging. We had the pleasure of attending day one of this fine feline fest.


The Nashville Cat Show was very warm and welcoming.

A cat contest is composed of a number of separate, concurrently running, individual shows held in the various judging rings throughout a venue. Each ring is presided over by a different evaluator, who presents his or her own awards independent of the decisions of other judges. Hence, a cat which is chosen Best in Show in Ring 1, may not always be given the same title by another judge. Over the course of the two days every contestant was assessed by each judge who uses written standards for different breeds. Most of CFA's judges have between 20 to 30 years of world-wide experience. As they inspect each feline some judges will impart information about that type of cat. The Household Pet Class does not have the same rules so there is perhaps more flexibility in how they are appraised.


Event greeter Hooch was a smart looking participant in the cat costume contest.

The judging started at 10:00 a.m. and ran all day. A little after noon there was an amusing cat costume contest. After that event they unveiled the art piece that was won by an exhibitor at last year's show. In addition to the main event there was Hooch (show name Coonopry's Chattahoochie) an Ambassador Cat who could be pet as generally guests are asked not to touch the competing critters. Hooch was near the Kiddo Korner Corner where there were activities geared towards children although most attendees were adults. There were a number of vendors selling accessories for cats and humans. Well-constructed cat trees were for sale as was an assortment of beds and fun feline toys.


There were ribbons and fancy cats galore in Music City.

Also, of interest was The Agility Course that some contestants visited between grooming and judging. A sizable pen was set up with various obstacles. Treats and toys were used as incentives. Felines first run through is for them to test the course and the next runs were timed. One of the first cats to tackle the discipline was a stunning Oriental that had it mastered in no time while others needed more encouragement. Either way it was very entertaining to watch.


Yup, Dolly and Minnie Pearl were in the house.

We also enjoyed talking with caretakers who were happy to chat about their cats and how the contest works while sharing how most felines are introduced to shows as kittens to determine if their personality suits the demands. They include being handled by the judges, travel and being around a lot of other animals and people. Folks had large carriers with all the comforts a cat might want. Everyone had grooming stations. Some owners were also breeders. So, if you were interested in a certain type of cat, you could get more information and even a possible source for that pedigree. Some breeders had cats on site that were available for an adoption fee. The CFA Cat Show featured a wide range of animals from Abyssinian to Turkish Van.


We were quite taken by the Egyptian Maus; catnip bananas.

The CFA Cat Show was not all about fancy cats. Right at the entrance of the event was Critter Calvary Rescue who were showcasing animals looking for their furever homes. Friendly people were available to facilitate background checks and placement for a fine-looking group of felines. Critter Cavalry Rescue does not have a physical location. They are supported by loving volunteers who care and shelter animals as a temporary placement until they can be adopted by a new family. Also, to help decrease the euthanasia of rescued pets they transport critters from overcrowded rural Tennessee shelters to those communities who are looking for healthy animals to adopt.


Feisty feline agility was on display all weekend long at The Fairgrounds.

The Cat Fanciers' Association is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1906, after breaking ties with the American Cat Association. The Association licensed its first cat shows in 1906; one show was held in Buffalo, New York and another show was held in Detroit, Michigan. Since then, CFA has grown to over 600 clubs. In addition to shows, the CFA promotes the welfare of all cats through progressive actions which ranges from legislative advocacy to the support of feline research and providing breeder assistance with a focus on quality standards and valid registration of pedigrees.


A beauty on display as its competitor looks on.

The CFA Cat Show in Nashville had close to 200 entries with eight judges evaluating all during the two-day event with some of the rings featuring cute kittens and even house cats had an opportunity to show off. In addition to cat parents there was plenty of spectators demonstrating that cat shows are a draw, so The Fairgrounds worked well for this event. This venue located at 401 Wingrove Street, is situated on 117 acres and is less than two miles south of downtown Nashville. Their Expo buildings total more than 132,000 square feet of space along with abundant parking (sometimes free) which makes this place an ideal spot for indoor events such as the CFA Cat Show, meetings and more or large-scale outdoor activities such as their popular Nashville Flea Market that takes place throughout the year.


These sturdy cat trees were doing a swift business over the weekend.

Related Links: For more information on the NASHVILLE CAT SHOW and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - The Cat Fanciers' Association | Nashville Cat Club FB Page | Critter Cavalry Rescue | Nashville Fairgrounds


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