The Gypsy Guru
Our Members ask "G.G." questions about grooming, showing, breeding and lots of other things too!


Topic: Cotton Coat
I am not new to grooming, but I am not sure in how you groom cats coats, that I call, cottony.I have very soft well water and I have used many products that help rinse soap and oil away, an rinsed over an over, the cats look great for about a day, and they seem to get curly bellies and the coat itself looks ungroomed. No matter how much I brush or comb, it does not look smooth. Need help in TX country. Linda

Answer: The key to dealing with a cottony coat is to condition it with a good conditioner between baths. Perhaps even a hot oil treatment, because the cottony coat starts out dryish, THEN, the key for the show bath is to make sure you degrease the coat very well, right down to the roots. This may require you degreasing with Goop and Dawn 2 or 3 times. Then use a cleansing shampoo, your normal shampoos (volumizing/coloring/etc). Finish with a VERY light conditioner only on the tips of the coat. I also like using a leave in spray conditioner on the tips when I am blowing the kitty dry. Depending on where you live in Texas, like on the coast, humidity can also make your cat's belly hair curl. Try packing the stomach hair with cornstarch or baby powder overnight. Good Luck darlin'!

Topic: Bleaching Stains
How can I safely bleach horrible stain lines out from underneath my white Persian's eyes. He has never been beached before and his first show is coming up soon. Help? Linda

Answer: The trick of course is not to get horrible stains to begin with :-). Read the article titled "Out Damn Spot" for some tips on preventing staining. When bleaching, great care must be taken to recondition the treated hairs A LOT. The facial bleach I prefer to use is Jolene hair lightener for the face. Mix it double strength and leave on 5-10 minutes. When you wash it off, slather with a deep conditioner and a neutral hair filler or else the bleached hair may become dry and brittle. I will be writing a full article on bleaching in a later issue of PandE... so keep watching. In the meantime, good luck with your baby!

Topic: Cat Sitter
I would like to know how to hire a sitter for the cats that stay home while I show weekends. What to look for in a vet tech. How much to pay, any advice?? Also, are there any portable comfortable chairs that offer back support? BOB

Answer: These are good questions. Hiring a cat-sitter is exactly the same as hiring a baby-sitter. Try to get recommendations. And if the first one doesn't work out keep trying to you find someone that suits you and your situation. There are professional pet-sitting services. Check with your local vet and see who they use for hired care of the animals when they are closed on the weekends and holidays. Check with other cat breeders in your area. Pricing varies in different parts of the country. The key IMO is to pay a little better than what you think they are worth :-). And if they do a great job, give them a tip. The peace of mind that a great cat-sitter affords you while you are away showing is worth a few dollars extra.

I don't think there is such a thing as a really portable chair with great back support... but let me know if you find one :-))).

Topic: Kitten Weight
I have 4 week old Persian kittens that seem a bit "light" and I don't know if its my scale or what. They weigh 11 ounces and 13 ounces. Is this normal? Julie

Answer:The general rule of thumb for weight fore MALE Persian kittens that I use is one pound for each month of age. Females can be significantly less. So your kittens may be a little less than normal. Does their mom have adequate milk supply? You may want to try supplementing. They are at an age where you will soon be weaning them. I would watch to see if as they go in solid food they may start a growth spurt. On the other hand, just as there are short people and tall people, there is an acceptable size variation in kittens too. The key is to just be sure the babies are receiving adequate nutrition. Beyond that, size is in the lap of the genetic gods.

Topic: Growing Coat
My year old Persian Grand has finally stopped dropping his kitten coat and is presently in "his pajamas". I am hoping to bring him back out to the shows by mid-October. I am bathing once a week, but will boost that up to twice weekly. Is there anything else I can do to stimulate the coat to grow? Thanks, Bob

Answer: There is no single factor that will produce coat. It begins with genetics, is influenced by hormones and age, daylight and temperature, nutrition and general health and care. Having said that, we are always looking for ways to "help" the coat "bloom". Frequent bathing accompanied by suitable hair conditioners does indeed stimulate coat growth. Keeping the individual hairs clean prevents breakage. Stimulation of the hair follicle and skin during the bath/dry/comb process increases blood circulation and promotes coat growth. The rate of hair growth is influenced by photoperiod - the length of the "day". As our days grow shorter in the fall, mother nature prepares her children for winter by growing coat. You can hasten the process for your cat by artificially limiting the length of its day, steadily shortening the length of exposure to daylight until it is less than 8 hours/day. In other words, create an environment for your show cat where you can control its exposure to daylight. While photoperiod is a major control of hair growth, temperature seems to control hair density... so keep your cat in a coolish environment. Hair is 100% protein so feed a good source of protein in the diet. I prefer steak :-). While there are many popular Vitamin supplements that say they promote good coats, I have found that as long as the diet is balanced, that's all you need. Good Luck in October!.

Topic: Choosing a Stud cat
Question: I'm a bit unsure about what type of second male to select for my breeding program. I know it should make up for qualities I still require and it should be the best I can acquire and afford. My question is whether I should choose a male from wonderful lines but with a different look than I prefer, or settle for one from more mediocre lines but with the perfect look I have in mind. Also what if option 1 above is another color..say a bi-color, when I am working with solids. I'll probably never have more than 2-3 males so selecting the right one is such a mission and I don't want to regret it afterwards Marius

Answer: That's one heck if a question you are asking! And a question I think most breeders struggle with at one time or another. I have known breeders who never know the pedigrees of the cats in their program preferring to select cats based solely on what they look like. I have also known breeders who never look at the cat but swear by breeding based solely on the pedigree. I have seen wonderful cats produced by both methods. I have seen poor cats produced by both too! :-). What you need to do in helping you make the decision is to take an honest look at what you hope to accomplish in the next step in your breeding program. Then decide which of the cats you have ti choose from can most help you take that step. Sit down and actually write on a piece of paper the strengths in your breeding program... and the weaknesses. Now do the same for each of the cats you are considering. Often you will start to see that you actually prefer one cat over the other. As to should you introduce the bi-color gene into a solid program - when you do that, 50% of your kittens will no longer be solids - so if your interest is ONLY in solids, will you be happy with cutting in half your chances of producing a solid colored "keeper" kitten? That's a decision only you can make.

Topic: Change of Habit
I've had all or most of my cats (presently 6) sleep in my bedroom, some on the bed, some on the floor, some in the window, the closet, you name it. I've recently started to rotate them, so that I have only 2 or 3 in my bedroom at a time. I did this because I found one of my older cats (3 years) prefers being with me and one other cat in particular. She's much happier, so when she's in my bedroom at night the others are in other parts of the house. Yesterday I took her to a friend's house to be bred. In her absence, I've moved some of the other cats back into my bedroom. Will moving them around like this cause them stress, or, if they don't seem to mind, is it okay to rotate them? Lee

Answer: What a picture you paint! :-))) Am I safe in assuming you are either single, or your mate is very understanding? Like most people, cats are creatures of habit -- so they like a routine. On the other hand, most cats have a pretty laid back attitude and as long as they have another option (the sofa, a comfy cat bed, a pillow) they should be able to adjust to a different sleeping arrangement without too much stress. Go ahead and do what works best for you. If one of the cats isn't handling the changing routine, I'm sure it will let you will know.

Topic: Sterile?
I have a 2 1/2 year old CEW female. I purchased her with a "guarantee" to breed. When I got her she had been bred, but it didn't take. Since I've had her I've bred her to a proven stud and it didn't take. I've just tried again and am crossing my fingers. She is happy and healthy in all other respects. How many times should I try before accepting that she "can't" breed? Thanks, Ginger

Answer: You didn't mention her total breeding history, and you need to take that into consideration when deciding how long to "keep trying". Has she had a litter before? How long ago? How many times has she been bred unsuccessfully? Is she cycling strongly? Before giving up on your girl, you need to have your vet give her a complete physical. I would especially recommend performing a vaginal culture and sensitivity test. Your female could have a very low grade uterine infection that is not great enough to make her sick or develop obvious symptoms, but is indeed enough to prevent conception. Keep on trying girl!

Topic: Blue Tabby?
I am a new cat fancier and hope to breed my girl next year when she is old enough. She is a Brown Mac Tabby & White out of a Brown Mac Tabby & White sire and a Black & White queen. I would like to ultimately get a Blue Tabby & White or a Blue Patched Tabby & White, and was wondering what color stud I would need to breed her to (besides the obvious) in order to do this? All of the color charts I have seen do not include Brown Tabby in the equation. Thanks, Holly

Answer:When you are looking at color charts, think of your brown tabby and white girl in the same way as you would a black and white cat. In order to produce a blue tabby and white or blue patched tabby and white from your girl, she would have to be masking the dilute gene. If she is a homozygous dominant cat, you will never get a dilute cat from her. If you want a patched tabby, you will also need to introduce the red factor into your equation, so your male must be red or cream - or red/cream and white, or red/cream tabby and white, and again, he should be dilute or masking dilute if you can even hope to produce a dilute. Read the series of articles on Color Inheritance, starting with"Simple Color Inheritance" that is for the beginning breeder. It presents color inheritance in simple terms rather than the more correct scientific, but often intimidating, terms. It is really simple to learn how to do simple color inheritance in your head, rather than using charts - just take it one step at a time and don't be intimidated by it all.

Topic: Double Entering a Show
I am new to showing and campaigning, but I have a wonderful red Persian premier who I think is worthy of at least a Regional Win. I have heard people saw that I need to enter more than one show per weekend. I don't understand why? Lesley

Answer:A first campaign is SO exciting!! You will learn a lot and have a lot of fun, and maybe a few tears. Now... lesson one... no one HAS to double or triple enter shows for any weekend. The reason campaigners do enter more than one show on any specific weekend is so that after they hear the COUNT for the shows they have entered, they have the OPTION of choosing the show at which they think their cat will obtain the most points. If you do decide to enter more than one show on a weekend, only ask for a single cage. Once you hear the count and decide which show you will attend, you can then call and order your double and a grooming space (usually available). This saves you paying for doubles/grooming spaces at the shows you do not attend. Good luck with your campaign!

Topic: CPC
I am just starting my breeding program specializing in blacks and copper eyed white Persians. I have been offered the opportunity to purchase a wonderful black male who is everything I could hope for in a foundation male. However he has a 3000 registration number, so is a CPC (color-point-carrier). Some people are telling me I shouldn't use a CPC in a solid breeding program. But no one will tell me why they would not buy a cat carrying a 3000 number other than not wanting to ever throw a himmi. I just don't get it. Darryl

Answer: This is a bit of a toughy and a very personal decision. No one has to justify why they do or do not want to use a particular color or pedigree in their breeding program. That is a matter of individual choice. However, the fact remains that many breeders don't want himi's behind the cats in their breeding program. Some don't want bi-colors. Some don't want smokes or shadeds or silvers behind their cats. Some silver breeders don't want solids behind their breeders. Sometimes these preferences have a basis in fact and other times the basis may be more in myth than fact. In either case, its still a personal decision that doesn't have to be justified -- any more than one should have to justify wanting to use certain lines or not use certain lines. However, one thing any breeder must consider in choosing breeding stock is the marketability of offspring. If you're breeding for the pet market, then IMHO it doesn't matter what's behind your breeders. Pet buyers typically couldn't care what's behind their cat as long as it has a "pedigree", is healthy, and has a good personality, and as long as they like the "look" of the cats. On the other hand, if your are breeding to produce breeders and show cats, then you must take into account the biases of your potential market. It really doesn't matter what those biases are or whether you agree with them or not. If, for example, half the potential buyers of a breeder or show cat won't purchase a cat with a 3000 number then you've limited your potential market by 50% if you use a 3000 number cat in your breeding program. If the only breeders/show quality cats you produce will be for your own use, and everything else will go to pet homes, then do whatever pleases you. If you plan to sell breeders and show cats, do what maximizes your potential for selling those cats at a reasonable price. The choice is yours... just make an informed choice and don't complain about the consequences afterwards :-).

Topic: Show Entry was lost
: I recently entered my cat by fax in a CFA show. I always send the entry clerk an email shortly after faxing, just to confirm that he had received the entry safely - you know how sometimes things can happen with fax machines - they run out of ink or they jam and the entry is lost. Well, the entry clerk emailed me back and said he had received the entry no problem. Now he just called, 12 hours after entries closed and told me that the catalog had gone to the printer that morning but he just found my entry under some papers on his desk and my cat never got entered. NOW, I am trying to grand my cat and she is cycling and 3 of the judges in this show have used her before!! I am so disappointed, and just a little angry at missing out. I know no one is perfect and mistakes happen, but I did everything right and still my cat isn't entered. Is there something I can do so that this never happens again? Lydia

Answer: Fear Not! You can still exhibit your little angel at THIS show. In cases where a cat's entry has been properly received and accepted prior to closing, but has been accidentally left out of the catalogue and judging books, the entry clerk can make an "addendum". The circumstances under which an addendum may be made to a catalogue and the paperwork required are very specific so it's always a good idea for you and/or the entry clerk to double check with Central Office prior to the show so that everything is acceptable. Now you go get some grand points, girl!

Topic: Show Results Mistake
My friend and I often spend our lunch breaks reading and analyzing the show results published in the CFA Almanac. We like to compare how each cat did under each judge. And we like to see where one judge placed the cats compared to how another judge placed his finals. Now, here is our question. Every now and then, there seems to be a placement missing in Kittens. Sometimes there is even no Best Kitten listed for a judge!! This is very peculiar. What's up with the disappearing show results? Evan & Cynthia

Answer: First let me congratulate you on dedicating your lunch hour to studying your show results! There is a lot you can learn about judges' preferences and the consistency of placements by simply checking out those pages in the Almanac. Now... as to why there are sometimes some placements that are absent from the results, CFA allows exhibitors to enter a kitten in a show before it is registered. It therefore has no identifying registration number. If the kitten should make a final at the show, although its name and placement is sent to head office along with all other show results, there is no way for CFA to be able to identify or report that particular kitten's show results without a registration number. When this happens, the kittens name and placings simply do not appear in the Almanac show results. And thus - the "missing" finals!

Topic: Reluctant Queen
: I am a little embarrassed to ask this question, but I don't know where else to turn for help. I have a queen who is in heat, but will not let my male anywhere near her. They are best buddies usually, but she is a virgin and just doesn't seem to know what to do. Now she is being nasty to him and I'm afraid he is losing interest in her with such a cold reception to his advances. What advice do you have for me? Laurie

Answer: What a problem! :-) Been there. Done that. Often you must just try different actions until you see what particular method is most successful with your pair of reluctant lovers. Some kitties are better if left together in private so they become more accustomed to each other. Some kitties are better if separated to increase the frustration level, then reintroduced. Some cats prefer the dark. Some kitties will cooperate if closely supervised. I have heard of people sprinkling a few drops of dilute bleach water on the cats as an aphrodisiac. And finally, some breeders use aroma therapy. They put a aroma light with clang ylang oil in the room. 9 out of ten times it only takes a few hours for the queen to accept the male. (It also seems to work on humans ;-) ) Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) is an essential oil, used in aromatherapy, and said to be an aphrodisiac. It has a deep earthy type of smell, and comes from the Comores islands, or Madagascar. And if all else fails, maybe you could arrange a romantic dinner for two and a movie.

Topic: Trimming Ears for show
I am new to grooming and so is my Himalayan kitten. I am concerned that he doesn't sit still for his grooming, especially when I am trying to trim his very hairy ears. What's the best way of trimming the hair from the tips of his ears without cutting him? Ryan

Answer: I once had a wonderful black Persian who had long luxurious hairs on the tips of his ears. They were so long that he was often accused of having a Maine Coon somewhere in his ancestry. He certainly could have had a wiggle worm somewhere back in his pedigree because he would never sit still for his ear trim! I found the best solution was to wrap him tightly in a towel to minimize his movement. Then when I trim the ear, I grip it between my left thumb and forefinger and slide my thumb nail along the ear surface until it just barely slips over the edge of the ear tip. I can then safely trim along the edge of my nail with no fear of cutting into the flesh of the ear. Also, refer to the sculpting articles Subject index under Sculpting A Persian.

Topic: Water Bottle
I keep my Persian show baby on a water bottle at home. But what do I do when I go to a show and must stay overnight in the show hotel? I tried hanging it on my carrier door, but its too low down for my boy to drink from comfortably. What shall I do? Marnie

Answer: I have shared many a chuckle with friends at the various "solutions" I have seen over the years to this problem - most have been very creative. I've see water bottles duct taped to a turkey baster placed on the floor like a teepee. I've seen bottles bungee corded to a lamp base. I even once watched while a good friend hand held the water bottle ever half hour for her pampered Persian! But sweetie, there is a VERY SIMPLE solution. Go to any craft story and purchase a large doll stand - about $5. It collapses into 2 parts for convenient packing. If you find the bottle slips through the arms when filled with water just wrap an elastic band around it above where the arms of the stand grip the bottle.

Topic: Curling Coat
I am very frustrated. My Persian looks beautiful right after I blow him dry for the show. He has a light cotton coat. Then overnight his coat begins to curl and he looks awful! help me G.G!. India

Answer: There can be a lot of reasons why a Persian cat's coat starts to curl. The most common problem is that it is "damp". Always dry the roots of the coat for 10 minutes more then you think necessary to make sure that the hair is truly dry. But it sounds to me like you may have a humidity problem. If the humidity is high, the hair will absorb moisture overnight. That will make the hair curl because it's just as if you didn't get the cat's coat quite dry in the first place. If that's the case, try powdering the coat with corn starch or baby powder over night. You need to part the coat in sections and get the powder right to the roots. The powder will absorb the moisture. Next morning, blow all the powder out of the coat with your hair dryer and see if that helps with your problem. Good Luck, Darlin'.

Topic: Gossip
I have what perhaps may be a strange question, but it has been bothering me for some time now so I am going to ask it. It seems to me that people in the cat fancy can be awfully cruel sometimes. They seen so eager to gossip and say hurtful things. Why is that? Lanie

Answer: Oh my, oh my. That is indeed a very good question. And I hardly know how to reply, Sweetie. The best I can say is that because the cat fancy is in fact a very small community in the grand scheme of things, it just seems like people feel like they need to know everyone's business. I know this can be very trying at times - and certainly can be hurtful. The best thing I can recombined is to try always to not be part of the gossip circle. In the other hand, the part about being a small community and knowing everyone's business can also be a positive thing. When someone is sick, or in an accident, cat fanciers have a reputation for incredible generosity, for going the extra mile to help someone in need. Like a small town or a big family, the fancy can certainly show be at their best in times of trouble.

Topic: Showing a Breeding Female
I had always understood that you show girls until they are bred and then they are retired as breeders. Is this true? Are female cats who have had kittens ever shown? Why and why not? Mary

Answer: While most breeders hope to grand their girls before retiring to the breeding box, there are many instances of an older female returning to the show ring after a litter or two. Trying to show between breedings is a challenge, however. There is a very short time where they are in condition -- they are usually getting over having kittens or cycling and losing weight because they want to have kittens or blowing coat - you get the idea :-). But never say die! One of's Featured cat stories tell the tale of GC Cedar Valley's Truffles, a black female who granded at 5 years of age in between having babies, and despite having an eye scar. It's inspiring!!

Topic: Cling Ons (poopies, not space aliens)
I am feeling very frustrated. I have a big three year old male Persian who I have retired from breeding, had neutered, and now I am conditioning him for show to bring back out to grand. My problem is that he has a ton of coat and he keeps getting poopies stuck on his butt. He is white and not only are these poopies a big inconvenience, but they are also staining. What can I do to prevent these unwelcome "cling ons"? Laura.

Answer: Oh my. You do have a problem. There are several solutions though! You can purchase several children's hair barrettes. Get the small plastic ones which have teeth to help "grip" the hair. Then pin his hair back on both sides away from his anus. Use two barrettes on each side, one behind the other. This helps them stay in place longer. The other solution is to spray the hair that the poos are clinging to with mink oil. This makes the hairs "slippery" and makes it harder for the poos to catch and hang on to the hair, Good luck!

Topic: Finding a Show Kitten
I am interested in finding out the best way of looking for a top show kitten to buy, Rachel

Answer: I love this question! I think the BEST tools you can use in helping to find the special kitten is knowledge and patience. The more educated you are about what makes a good kitten, the better. Many people rely on other person's opinions more than their own. But it's you who have to be happy with your new baby. So go about educating your "eye" for a kitten. Once you feel confident in your ability to judge a kitten's potential, look at as many kittens as possible. Now a couple things to remember: In choosing a breeder to approach, look for a breeder who has a track record of having the quality of kitten you are looking for. But it's not good enough just to have the special kitten. Look for a breeder who has a track record of selling the quality of kitten you want. And remember, looking is part of the fun. Check out our articles for Newbies to get great tips on things to look for - and things to avoid.

Topic: Summer Coated Persians
I acquired a brown tabby Persian in April and I'm interested in running him for a RW in Premiership. Of course, due to the season (and possibly the neutering) he has no coat. I've been getting all sorts of suggestions for bringing him back into coat before fall - one breeder told me (jokingly) to put him in the icebox, and I'd like to know if there is a tried-and-true method that really works, or if what I'm hearing falls into the old-wives-tale category. Is it possible to bring a Persian back into coat during the summer? Claire

Answer: While many things are tried in the cat fancy, few things are true for all ;-)That said, coat growth is controlled/stimulated not by temperature, but by photoperiod... the length and intensity of light that a cat receives. To help your cat coat up sooner, you will need to mimic the daylight changes that occur when summer turns into fall... meaning you will want to be steadily decreasing the intensity and hours of light your cat experiences. So choose a room in your home where you can both filter the light during the day and totally exclude all daylight for a portion of the day. Most often this will be your bedroom. Begin by filtering the daylight using opaque curtains or blinds. Make a schedule and start steadily reducing the number of hours of daylight your kitty is exposed to by using blackout drapes. This will mimic the shortening daylight hours of autumn. Of course since you cat has already blown his coat, he has nowhere to go but to grow more coat. Good health and a quality diet is essential.

Topic: Classic or Mackerel Tabby?
I have a brown classic tabby Persian that I'm showing. In our first show after he got his winner's ribbons, we encountered a judge who thought he should have been classified as a mackerel. I talked to some exhibitors who work with tabbies and was told he's definitely a classic (with a butterfly pattern partly obscured by his ruff). I'm considering a regional campaign with him, and I can see that this judge will be at many of the shows I would choose to enter. I don't mind being faulted for a classic pattern that isn't ideal, but I hate to see him penalized unfairly for misclassification. Do I have any recourse when I encounter this judge again, or is this one of those cases where one should just smile sweetly and be thankful that RPA is gone? Carla

Answer: Yours is an ideal example of how much fairer things will be with a elimination of RPA. You do not have the option of disputing a judge's opinion. However, most judges are open to a friendly discussion. Ask your local tabby breeders to help you approach the judge. But remember, do not challenge their opinion.

Topic: Blocked Nostril
I have just bought a black kitten that has a partial blockage in one nostril. I will have this blockage removed when she is a little older. If I show her now, with this "Stenotic Nares" will she be disqualified? Thanks for you help. Sheryl

Answer: She will not likely be disqualified. Depending on how it looks, a judge may not even notice it. If it makes her face look asymmetrical, you might consider having it fixed prior to showing her. Persians who have surgery done for stenotic nares are eligible for showing, since it is considered an operation for their health, not for cosmetic purposes. You may want to review the article, Enlarging Small Nostrils on a Persian Cat. It shows clearly how simple and effective Laser surgery is in helping such a kitten as yours. Good luck with your girl!

Topic: Registered Name
I have a question about registering a cat and choosing a name in CFA. I am purchasing a cat who already has a name and been registered. When I add "of" and my cattery name, it is more than the 35 letters that CFA allows. What can I do? I really really want my name on this cat. Mauri

Answer: Sometimes you just can't add you cattery name if it's too long. You can change the cat's name to make it shorter, but if the cat has been shown, you would lose all points he earned under his previous name. If his breeder's cattery suffix has an [ 's ] as in Bigbreeder['s] Kitty, you can drop the apostrophe "s" and gain 2 letters with no penalty. This situation is a good reason for having short cattery names. Good luck.

Topic: New Scoring in CFA
With the change in CFA scoring this season for National and Regional titles, what do you think will be the new numbers necessary to make a national win? Linda

Answer: Let me get out my crystal ball... :-)))Truthfully, no one can accurately predict how much the numbers will change except perhaps to say it will definitely go up. In theory if all a cat's shows were 6/2, and all the specialty rings were replaced by all breed rings, the points would go up 25%. But this is far too simplistic an approach. The Cat of the Year for 2000-2001 had 11,018.40 in her top 100 rings using the old system. Using the new scoring, her top 100 rings give a total of 12,325.85. A difference of 1307.45. That's an increase of 11%. However, with the new system it is cats further down the national standings who will be less penalized by a missed final, and so would probably see a greater percentage gain in numbers. Also, with the new system, choice of shows will change, so in some ways we really cannot make any predictions about how many points will be necessary for a national win in 2001-2002. But it will make for an exciting race this year! :-).

Topic: Finding a Good breeder
I am interested in buying my first really wonderful show cat. How do I go about finding the right breeder to work with or buy from? I have heard so many horror stories. I really need some good advice. Mary

Answer: Finding the right cat and the right breeder can be a great challenge - and it involves research, patience, and a bit of luck. Check out old yearbooks looking for the catteries who are producing the look you want. Look in the Grand section and see who the parents are of the cats you like. Go to shows and sit and watch all the judging. Go on the Internet and visit cattery websites. When you have a good idea of the bloodlines and catteries whose cats you like, look to see if they SELL good cats. That's very important since while some catteries produce nice kitties, if they don't have a track record of placing good cats with other exhibitors, it is unlikely they are going to sell a newcomer a good one. Speak with other people who have purchased a cat whose quality you like. If finding a breeder who has sold a winning cat is important to you, look at our list of cats who have earned an NW or RW but have a suffix "of" another cattery after their name. Those are winning cats that have been purchased. And keep a four-leaf-clover under your pillow at night, say your prayers, save your pennies... and be patient. And keep on learning, learning, learning.

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