Grooming

(or "Making Up is Hard to Do....correctly")

New exhibitors frequently are confused about the process of grooming a cat. Often they’ll note that “the show rules states that you shouldn’t use coloring agents or powder!” and are horrified to see seasoned exhibitors powdering and puffing away.

What the rules state are that “the excessive use of powder” is prohibited.
It can be likened to the use of ordinary make-up products versus plastic surgery and a dye job. The former enhances what is naturally there. The later attempts to cover or alter what is naturally there.

So, what is permitted and what isn’t? Ask yourself the question “Am I enhancing what is already naturally there, and minimizing what shouldn’t be there? Or am I attempting to create something that doesn’t exist on this cat?”

Examples:
Bathing a cat in a colored shampoo will accent its existing color. 
Dying it will change the color. (and not always in a good way, as cats’ coats don’t always respond the way human hair does!)

The same goes for removing stains around the eyes/chin and yellow casts to a white coat. The proper method lifts the stain. Attempting to cover/completely alter it will make a cat look unnaturally white or give it a purple or pink cast.

Light powdering will help the coat separate and help to even out the color.
Heavy powdering will also help separate the coat…if the judge can see the cat through the cloud of powder that arises from the cat!

Touching up a scratch or thin area will help even out the color.
‘Painting’ masks, pawpads and the like can result in that coloring agent being left behind on the judging bench or judge’s hands!