Description: Youth will learn how to care for, groom, and show a cat or kitten.

State Fair Entries: Any eligible 4-H cat project member may elect to exhibit their 4-H cat in State Fair competition. All 4-H cats and/or kittens must be owned and cared for by May 15. Check State Fair website for entry information. Enter online at

 Exhibit Guidelines:

  1. If the paperwork listed in the box above is not turned in by the designated deadline, the member may still exhibit his or her cat; however, the exhibit will not be eligible for any award above a blue ribbon placing. A merit award will be presented for the most exceptional manual in each level.
  2. A 4-H member may enter and show a maximum of 2 cats in the 4-H Cat Show. Each cat may be shown in only one cat class.
  3. 4-H cats and kittens MUST BE OWNED BY THE 4-H MEMBER AND/OR FAMILY BY MAY 15. In addition, cats and/or kittens must be fed, trained, and cared for by the 4-H member. 
  4. Evidence of purebred status must be provided if cat or kitten is to show in Purebred class.
  5. At least one Workshop and a Shot Clinic may be held. Details will be mailed.
  6. Required vaccinations for all cats are: Rabies, panleukopenia, calcivirus, rhinotracheitis, and feline leukemia. The Certification of Vaccination, signed by the veterinarian administering them, shall be attached to the 4-H Cats Record Sheet. Papers will be checked prior to judging. Vaccinations must be received at least 2 weeks prior to the show in the year of exhibition. Those vaccinated after that date will not be allowed to show.
  7. It is recommended that all cats, other than pedigreed breeding stock, be spayed or neutered.
  8. Cats in season or pregnant will not be permitted to show. 4-H members should still attend the Cat Show without their cat and will not be penalized. In order to receive a ribbon placing, a Cat Poster should be made and exhibited. . See the “4-H Poster and Notebook Requirements” section for more information.
  9. Cats must be free of fleas, fungus, ear mites, parasites, or other communicable diseases. The Vaccination Certificate states that “Cats will be examined by a vet (or vet tech) at the time of exhibition.  Any sign of a communicable disease will result in the cat being sent home.”
  10. The cat is to be brought in a suitable cage or pet carrier with kitty litter included. Please do not use cardboard boxes as carriers.
  11. Each cat must wear a collar. Exhibitors are responsible for providing water/feed containers and grooming aids.
  12. Prior to and during the Show, cats should be removed from carriers only for grooming or judging. Only cat owner or family member should remove cat from carrier.
  13. Cats will be brought for the Show and taken home immediately afterward.
  14. Cats will be judged on health, cleanliness, grooming, personality, and if all categories are equal, the judge will choose a winner by its "star quality."
  15. Each animal will be suitably caged in a cage or carrier provided by the 4-H member. Cats must be on a leash when not caged.
  16. Cats will be shown in the following classes:
    1. Short Hair Household Kitten, 4-8 months
    2. Long Hair Household Kitten, 4-8 months
    3. Short Hair Household Cat, 8 months and over
    4. Long Hair Household Cat, 8 months and over
    5. Short Hair Purebred (kitten and adult)
    6. Long Hair Purebred (kitten and adult)
  17. OPTIONAL EXHIBITS (not required, but give them a try!)
    1. The purpose is to help 4-H members learn and become more aware of cat fanciers knowledge, show techniques, and related management. Members will compete in one of the following 3 grade levels: Beginner (grades 3-5), Intermediate (grades 6-8), and Advanced (grades 9-12). The judge will ask questions to measure the 4-Her’s cat knowledge. A Workshop may be held prior to the Fair to acquaint 4-Hers with showmanship techniques and practices.
    2. Carrier Decoration. If a member chooses to decorate the 4-H cat cage, the following judging criteria will be used: a) color coordination; b) originality; c) appropriate covering of the 2 sides, back, and top. Front of cage should not be covered. Copyrighted figures such as Garfield, Mickey Mouse, etc. should not be used in decorating cages.

Members may exhibit educational poster in addition to or in place of live animal. See Animal Education Project guidelines. The posters should be submitted to the 4-H Office before or on the day of the animal education judging.


Level 1 (grages 3-5): Purr-fect Pals (BU-8148)
Level 2 (grades 6-8): Climbing Up (BU-8149)
Level 3 (grades 9-12): Leaping Forward (BU-8150)