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R & L Pet Products Ltd

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Andrew Rainbow Ockwell
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 a YES! Folder – this will be a valuable means of storing evidence and resource material. Help and support from parents/guardian at this stage is important as their child begins this new initiative.

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 in their household 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.

At shows or at home, the candidate must complete at least SIX worksheets provided for the Novice Level covering a basic knowledge of cats including body and head shape; coat length; colour; self/non-self pattern and the importance of health and safety at a cat show. Candidates may also pursue extra topics of interest about cats through books/internet/cat club information etc that can be recorded in their folder for additional recognition (but 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 Young Novice Exhibitor can work at shows distributing prize cards/rosettes etc or collecting judging slips; the relevant certificates, signed by a member of the show management team, should be filed in their personal folder as evidence of their involvement. At least TWO table work certificates are expected at Novice Level. Candidates may also second steward for judges. They are not 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.

The Novice Level Candidate must present their cat to a judge at a YES! Presentation, receiving a critique on their performance, on at least 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; its daily routine and exhibiting at cat shows with confidence.

The Novice Young Exhibitor 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 candidates should show their work to one of the listed Mentors/Advisors regularly and have this recorded on their evidence sheet. If they feel, when reviewing their work, they 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 Candidate Advisor and, if all is well, a certificate of achievement will be awarded (these awards may be made at the GCCF Supreme Show).


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 and texture; 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/candidate advisors.
A Novice candidate should participate in at least THREE presentations.


  1. Is this your first presentation? (If not, ask how many presentations the candidate has done)
  2. What is your cat’s breed? (Or ask whether a non-pedigree or pedigree pet)
  3. How old is your cat?
  4. Is your cat male or female?
  5. Has your cat been neutered/spayed?
  6. How would you describe your cat’s head shape?
  7. How would you describe your cat’s body shape?
  8. What can you tell me about your cat’s coat?
  9. Would you describe your cat as “self” or “non-self”? Why would you describe it so?
  10. What is your daily routine in caring for your cat?
  11. How often do your feed your cat?
  12. What is your cat’s favourite food?
  13. What do you give your cat to drink?
  14. How do you prepare your cat for a show?
  15. How do you set up your cat’s pen at a cat show?
  16. Why do you think the stewards spray the trolley between each cat?
  17. Why is it necessary to clip a cat’s claws before a show?
  18. 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?
  19. 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?
  20. What do you like best about cat shows?


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