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4-H Cat project


Level 1 Grades 3-5
Level 2 Grades 6-8
Level 3 Grades 9-12

Exhibit may be a project, poster, action demonstration or a combination.

For All Levels

♦  Showmanship/Knowledge program
♦  Adult Long Hair Competition
♦  Cage Decoration Contest
♦  Purebred Short Hair Kitten Competition
♦  Talented Trick Competition
♦  Purebred Long Hair Adult Competition
♦  Kitten Short Hair Competition
♦  Purebred Short Hair Kitten Competition
♦  Kitten Long Hair Competition
♦  Purebred Long Hair Adult Competition
♦  Adult Short Hair Competition
♦  Cat Poster Educational Exhibit

See Indiana Board of Animal Health Rules for all species.
For more information on cat health requirements, call the Indiana Board
of Animal Health at (317) 227- 0320.

All cats must have the claws clipped or be declawed for the safety of the 4-H’er and judge.

It is recommended that all 4-H cats, other than pedigreed breeding stock,
be neutered or spayed. All 4-H cats must have a valid certificate of vaccination
for the 4-H cat project (Form 4-H-777). (The Chlamydia shot is also recommended).
The certification must be signed by a licensed, accredited veterinarian and
must be available at check-in.

Cats must be free of fleas, ear mites, fungus and other communicable diseases.
See the health rules section of the 4-H Handbook CD. Cats will be checked for
fleas and ear mites before the show.

4-H Cat Show exhibitors must have owned the cat or kitten before May 15.

Exhibitors may enter two (2) cats in the 4-H Fair to be shown in two (2)
different classes (see above). Cats may be purebred or household pets.
If registered, member must bring registration numbers to the entry table on
show day.  Each 4-H exhibitor is responsible for bringing both the cat and their
entry number to the show ring. Only 4-H members may show cats at the judging 
table. A 4-H cat entered but not presented or available will not be judged.

It is recommended that all cats be taken to and from the show in secure carriers.
A leash and collar or harness must be used.

All exhibitors are expected to stay in the area with their cats during judging.
4-H cats will be removed from their cages during judging. The member will stay
and watch his or her cat being judged, then return the cat to its cage.
If a 4-H cat is not on the judging table at the time the class is judged,
it will not be judged.

Each cat will be judged on the following criteria: 
(1) health,
(2) cleanliness,
(3) grooming,
(4) personality,
(5) if all categories are equal, the judge will choose a winner by its “star quality”.

After each 4-H cat has been judged, the 4-H’er must remain in the show
area in case the cat is called again for a run-off.

Showmanship, decorated cages, action displays and/or talented cat trick
classes are optional and may be conducted later in the day. Members are to let
the leaders know by June 30 of their intent to participate in one of these events.
Cats must be taken home following official release from the 4-H Cat Show.

Cats are classified as follows:

♦  Household Kittens – Kittens up to 8 months old as of show day.

♦  Household Adults – Cats 8 months or older on show day.

♦  Purebred – Cats of a recognized breed, kept pure for many generations.
    If the cat is registered, it must have a current registration number from one
    of the national cat registries (in the member’s name).

♦   Long Haired – Cats whose coat has long top hairs, with a thick woolly
    undercoat. The length of hair on a cat’s tail is often used as a determining
    factor. Long Hair length is normally 1 1⁄2” or more.

♦  Short Haired – Cats whose coat has only short hairs and a smooth,
    textured coat. Cat tail hair is usually less than 1 1⁄2” in length. 

Showmanship/Knowledge Program 

The purpose of this 4-H activity is to help 4-H members learn and become more
aware of cat fanciers knowledge, show techniques and related cat management. 

1. 4-H’ers will need to make leaders aware they want to compete in this activity
    by the June meeting so it can be scheduled.

2. Contestants must furnish their own pencil and clipboard or similar items for
    writing purposes.

3. Reference material may not be used by participants during the activity.

4. Questions for the activity will be taken from the glossary in the following 
    ♦  Level 1 (Grades 3-5) - BU-6146 “Purrr-fect Pals!”
    ♦  Level 2 (Grades 6-8) – BU-6146 “Purrr-fect Pals!” and 
        BU-6147 “Climbing Up!”
    ♦  Level 3 (Grades 9 & above) – BU-6146 “Purrr-fect Pals!” 
        BU-6147 “Climbing Up!” and BU-6148 “Cat Connections”

5. Activity criteria
    ♦  Part 1 – Written quiz about cats- 100 points
    ♦  Part 2 - Handling, posing and showing your cat - 100 points
    The notebook written on the cat project must be turned in at the
    Exhibit Building prior to noon on the first Saturday of the 4-H Fair.

4-H Cat Poster Educational Exhibit

To promote educational displays by 4-H members who enjoy developing a 
 poster exhibit, the following classes will be offered at the 4-H Fair.

♦  Level 1 (Grades 3-5)
♦  Level 2 (Grades 6-8)
♦  Level 3 (Grades 9 & above)

All posters, notebooks, and display boards must include a reference list indicating where information was obtained, giving credit to the original author, to complete the 4-H member’s exhibit. This reference list should/might include web site links, people and professionals interviewed, books, magazines, etc. It is recommended this reference list be attached to the back of a poster or display board, be the last page of a notebook, or included as part of the display visible to the public. A judge is not to discredit an exhibit for the manner in which references are listed.


Use a 22" x 28" poster board with a stiff backing and a clear protective covering. Posters should be displayed horizontally. A poster label should be filled out and attached to the lower right hand corner of the poster exhibit. One poster from each grade level will be advanced to the Indiana State Fair if the exhibit judge determines they qualify.

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