To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the Tennessee Valley Cat Fanciers Association Cat Show has expanded to two days on Saturday, March 25, and Sunday, March 26, in the Jacob Building at Chilhowee Park & Exposition Center.
Hundreds of felines will compete in 40 breed categories, and the show is adding a new event this year: feline agility.
“Feline agility is a new event that we’re debuting this year,” said Pennie Pendleton, show secretary for the Tennessee Valley Cat Fanciers Association. “The event features a racetrack for cats to jump, run and race through tunnels, over bars, around obstacles and through hoops. The kitties with the best time win rosettes and regional ranking.”
Cats representing approximately 40 longhaired and shorthaired breeds will compete from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in three different categories: kittens between 4 and 8 months old, championship cats and premiership class. The championship and premiership classes are distinguished by whether or not a cat has been spayed or neutered (with the spayed/neutered cats competing in premiership). The show is also adding a new eligible breed this year, the Bengals.
“Cats are judged against physical characteristics determined by a national breed council for each breed,” Pendleton said. “Those standards change over time, and new breeds are being recognized and added to competition. The Bengal is new to our show this year and is a very popular new breed now accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association.”
All purebred competitors are registered with the Cat Fanciers Association, a nonprofit organization that holds the world’s largest cat registry. The association also presents a household pet competition event for cats that are not documented as purebred. Cats in this category are judged for uniqueness, pleasing appearance, unusual markings and sweet dispositions.
“As breeders and fanciers, one of our goals is to help the public understand the proper care for their cats,” Pendleton said. “We showcase shelter groups and foster groups and invite them to bring cats for adoption. Shelters can enter their kitties who are looking for forever homes in our household cats’ events.”
The Stray Connection feline rescue and other rescue groups will be on-site with adoptable cats and kittens and with booths to sell merchandise to support their organizations. The Winn Feline Foundation, a nonprofit group started by the Cat Fanciers Association to promote feline health through research and education, also will have a booth with information on the latest research for health and behaviors, as well as opportunities to support the organization’s ongoing mission.
The Tennessee Valley Cat Fanciers Association is affiliated with the international organization, which hosts more than 400 cat shows each year across the world. Competition rules are set by the international CFA organization, and judges are internationally certified by the CFA.
The event is open to the public. In three years, event attendance has grown from 800 visitors in 2014 to more than 1,300 visitors attending the show in 2016. Tickets are $6 at the door for adults, and $4 for seniors and students. A coupon is available on the website for $1 off adult admission at www.TVCFINC.com.