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A a great ambassador for the YES! Programme who gave passionate support for the programme at the GCCF Council Meeting in June 2010


The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy’s Young Exhibitors’ Scheme


The Novice Young Exhibitor will need to set up their folder which will be a valuable means of storing evidence and resource material.  Help and support from parents/guardians at this stage is important as your child begins this new initiative.

Website downloadable information includes the following - suitable for all Levels

  • Health & Safety (at a Cat Show)
  • Vetting in (at Cat Shows)
  • Stewarding
  • Second Stewarding
  • Second Stewarding Practical Assessment Forms
  • Second Stewarding Certificates
  • Table Work Certificates

Novice Level Information Sheets

  • Evidence Record Sheet
  • Level Guide
  • Do you know
  • Setting up of a Show Pen
  • Catalogue Abbreviations
  • Judging Slips, Colours & Processes
  • Colours & Patterns
  • Shapes & Sizes
  • Head Shapes

Novice Level Course Requirements

  • At shows or at home, the Candidate must COMPLETE ALL THE WORKSHEETS provided for the Novice Level covering
    • a basic knowledge of cats including
      • body and head shape
      • coat length
      • colour
      • self/non-self pattern
    • catalogue abbreviations
    • judging slips and processes
  • The Candidate must complete the worksheet MY CAT and keep it in their folder for evidence. For greater recognition, candidates may use the worksheet as a “skeleton” to build an interesting personal project about their cat.

  • The Candidate must show their cat* (Pedigree, Non-Pedigree or Pedigree Pet) at a minimum of FOUR GCCF shows, keeping a record of the entry and the results in their folder.   At Novice Level the cat does not need to be owned by the Candidate, but it must be a cat where they have some responsibility for its care and welfare. They will need to help set up the show pen and ensure their cat is comfortably and safely settled ready for judging when their cat is exhibited. 
  • The Candidate must present their cat to a judge at a YES! Presentation, receiving a critique on their performance, on a minimum of THREE occasions.  They should have studied the Information Sheets for the Novice Level and looked at the sample questions provided for presentations at this level to help them know what knowledge level is expected, and so present and talk about their cat's shape, colour and coat, as well as its daily routine and exhibiting at cat shows with confidence.
  • The Candidate needs to present a minimum of TWO table work certificates from working on the table.  These can be for a variety of activities such a distributing prize cards/rosettes or collecting judging slips.  The relevant certificates will need to be signed by a member of the show management team and should be filed in their personal folder as evidence of their involvement.
  • Candidates may also Second Steward for judges. They are not generally permitted to handle or touch the cats* but it is hoped they can find out more about the cat's shape, colour and coat quality with this practical experience. It is hoped the judge will take time to explain what they are looking for when assessing different breeds and make this a positive experience. It is realised a whole day could prove overwhelming and suggest a morning working as a second steward is sufficient at this stage.  *Parents who are happy and confident that their child is mature and sensible enough may complete the “Second Steward Practical Assessment Form” with their child ahead of the second stewarding engagement and hand it to the candidates judge prior to judging.  A Second Steward Practical Assessment Form is required for each Second Stewarding engagement where the child/candidate is expected to come into contact with a cat.  It is the exhibitors right to prevent the handling of any cat by a candidate, but they must lodge their request in writing at the time of show entry.
  • Candidates may also pursue extra topics of interest about cats through books/the internet/cat club information etc. that can be recorded in their folder for additional recognition (the downloading of material from the internet to increase the size of their folder without contributing to the candidate's knowledge or experience will not be recognised).
  •  Candidates can also include involvement with their cat club or a visit to a Seminar as valuable evidence of their enthusiasm for and interest in their hobby.

The role of GCCF Mentors and Administrators

Evaluating the Candidates and assisting with coursework

The GCCF has a group of Mentors/Regional Mentors who have formally signed up to the scheme in order to assist the Candidates with their queries at a cat show.   The Candidates should show their completed worksheets to their Administrators/Regional Mentors/Mentors regularly and have this work marked, signed off and recorded on their Evidence Record Sheet.

The Candidate should not ask the same Mentor to sign off their worksheets more than a couple of times, but are encouraged to work with several Mentors and so broaden their knowledge of the Cat Fancy.

If a Mentor should feel, when reviewing a Candidates work, that the Candidate could have made a more successful attempt, it would be valuable to try again and submit the worksheet for re-assessment.

When the Candidate has completed all the requirements for this level and feels ready to progress, they may submit their evidence sheet to their relevant Administrator and, if all is well, a certificate of achievement will be awarded (these awards may be made at the GCCF Supreme Show).

Cat Presentations at Novice Level

At Novice Level every candidate will receive a rosette in recognition of their participation. The candidate is expected to demonstrate a basic knowledge of:

  • their cat’s head and body shape
  • size, muscle and boning
  • coat length, texture and colour, and whether self or patterned.

They should tell the judge how their cat is prepared for a show and how to set up a show pen to give their cat the best advantage. The judge will note the candidate’s knowledge of the daily routine of caring for their cat, and the candidate’s attitude towards their cat.

The judge may prompt the candidate by asking questions if they are reticent, to bring out their strengths and to give them confidence when presenting their cat. If a candidate’s presentation is exceptional, the judge may make a Special Merit Award which will be indicated on the critique and claimed from the Administrators.

Sample Questions For Candidates At Novice Level

  1. Is this your first presentation?

 (If not, then the judge will ask how many presentations the candidate has done)

  1. What is your cat’s breed?

(If your cat is a non-pedigree or pedigree pet, you can tell the judge which they are)

  1. How old is your cat?
  2. Is your cat male or female?
  3. Has your cat been neutered/spayed?
  4. How would you describe your cat’s head shape?
  5. How would you describe your cat’s body shape?
  6. What can you tell me about your cat’s coat?
  7. Would you describe your cat as “self” or “non-self”? Why would you describe it so?
  8. What is your daily routine in caring for your cat?
  9. How often do your feed your cat?
  10. What is your cat’s favourite food?
  11. What do you give your cat to drink?
  12. How do you prepare your cat for a show?
  13. How do you set up your cat’s pen at a cat show?  What equipment should be included?
  14. Why do you think the stewards spray the trolley between each cat?
  15. Why is it necessary to clip a cat’s claws before a show?
  16. Why do you think the Health & Safety Information Sheet says you must not put your fingers in any cat’s pen or open the cage door without the permission of the cat’s owner?
  17. Why is it important to wash your hands using soap and water or an antibacterial gel or spray before eating, if you have touched or handled any cat including your own?
  18. How many results slips are there for each class a judge will judge?
  19. Where do each of the judging slips go after they’ve reached the table?
  20. What do you like best about cat shows?

(*If the Candidate is working regularly with a cat NOT in their household, they will STILL be expected to be aware of the cats daily routine, its grooming feeding regime, and vaccination date and type.) 

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