What do all the ribbons mean? Ribbon explanation for a CFA cat show

What do the ribbons mean?? What about the terminology??

If you decide to stop in and visit a cat show one weekend, you may notice lots of ribbons going on all the different cats. Some cats seem to get more than others and several are taking the best. You wonder, what does this mean? How does this work?

At a cat show you will see 6 rings (normally), sometimes 8-12. Each ring is a show unto itself with each judge independently choosing his/her best cat of all the best cats at the show.

The cats are all judged in categories first, such as all of it's own breed, color and sex.

For example for the Persians, all of the Solid Persians are judged against each other first. Next the Parti-colors are judged against themselves then the Tabbies and next the Bicolor's. Last in the Persian judging is the Himalayan Class.

Each of these color classes are divided up into colors themselves and sex. For example all black Persian females will complete against each black Persian female, while black Persian males compete against all Persian persian males.

The best black Persian female will get a first place ribbon, and the best black Persian male will get a first place ribbon.

Then the blue solid Persians, and the red solids and cream Persian and even the solid whites too are judged by color and by sex.

Next the best of each color is judged- so which ever is the best between the black female Persian and the black make Persian for example will be placed best of color- a black ribbon.

Once each color class is judged, a best will be chosen among all the best of each color. This cat will receive a best of breed and the second place is second best of breed. The brown (1st) and orange(2nd)  ribbon is awarded.

This routine is done for every color, every sex, and every breed of cat. Once the entire Long Hair class is judged- then the same process is done with each Short hair cat class.

The judge then decides from those Judged who received top per ring, which will be called back to the final and awarded a rosette.

An Allbreed Ring awards a mix of top 10 to include all breeds- Short Hairs and Long Hairs.

A Specialty Ring brings back 10 Long Hairs and 10 short Hairs - 2 separate finals.


  • First Place: Blue ribbon
  • Second Place: Red ribbon
  • Third Place: Yellow ribbon
  • Black: Best of Color Class
  • White 2nd Best of Color Class

The top ribbons desired per ring is:

  • Brown ribbon: Best Cat of Breed or Division
  • Orange ribbon : 2nd Best of Breed or Division
  • Purple ribbon : Best Champion of Breed or Division*(Counts for Grand Points)

Rosettes are given to the 10 Best Cats in each ring in Kitten, Champion, Premier and Household Pet Classes.

All Cats (except Household Pets) are judged in individual color classes (i.e.: Black Persian)

Cats who have placed 1st or 2nd are eligible to compete for Best and 2nd Best of Color Award.

Cats who have placed Best or 2nd Best of Color are eligible for Best of Breed or Division.

All 1st Place Champions are eligible for Best Champion of Breed or Division.

All Cats who have placed high enough in their own breed are eligible to compete for a place in the 1-10 best cats in show.

Some information for a CFA cat show

If you have never been to a cat show or shown, many of the terms may be confusing. The following CFA terms should help you to understand just a little better, I hope!


ENTRY TITLE - Who can enter a cat show?

  • Kitten -Any cat between the ages of 4 and 8 months old. Must be registered and they can not be declawed.
  • Open -Any cat which has not yet shown under 6 different Judges, and not withheld can move to become a Champion or Premier, once form paid and is recieved by CFA office.
  • Champion -Any cat which has presented itself as an open under 6 different Judges and has sent in the Championship paid form prior.
  • Premier -Any neutered or spayed cat which has presented itself as an open under 6 different Judges and has sent in the Premiership paid form prior.
  • Grand Champion -Any Champion cat which has defeated 200 Champion cats
  • Grand Premier -Any Premier cat which has defeated 75 Premier cats
  • HHP (Household Pet) - you'll only need to include color, name and sex. No parent information is needed. They must be neurtered / spayed and can't be declawed.

All forms can be submitted via ecats.

Past International Purrinlot Show winners!

Other Articles on Cat Showing interest:


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