The Daily Meow – China Cat Fancy
Competitive Felines and the Humans Who Love Them Pose For Noah Sheldon in Beijing. China’s most pampered cats await their moment of glory in front of the heavy red velvet curtain at the Jin Hui Hotel’s Grand Theatre in this series by photographer and NOWNESS contributor Noah Sheldon. Having traveled to North Beijing with their owners from the wide reaches of the country, these 144 participants were ranked by the world-class judges of the 15th annual China Cat Fanciers Association competition. Hundreds of small tents, adorned with frilly curtains or leopard print throws, filled the halls peppered with brushes, combs and long feathers, all to groom these top pets. Persians, Maine Coons, a hairless Sphynx, and an elfin Singapura were among the most striking breeds vying for the CFA’s coveted rosettes. As incomes continue to rise across China, the country’s emerging leisure class is lavishing time and money on their furry companions with increasing enthusiasm, keeping the animals in custom shampoo and multi-vitamins. “We feed our show cats fresh red meat,” explains Wang Zi Jing, a breeder who raises American Shorthairs and Persians at a cattery in Northeast China’s Dalian. “My husband goes early to the slaughterhouse to get the freshest we can find.” Her finest show cat, Zhu Zhu, or Pearl, has already visited 20 cities around China on the awards circuit. At the event, which took place in late October, Beijing breeder Shi Ming Ju proudly lifted the flap on her miniature tent to reveal a huge Maine Coon. “She’s going to be on a special set of postage stamps. She’s going to be famous.”
STATS FROM ON SET
Entry fee per cat
800 yuan ($130).
A top cat’s monthly costs
3000 yuan ($480) including shampoo, conditioner, brushes, de-greasing lotion, food.
Most valuable breeds
Persian, Maine Coon, Exotic (up to 50,000 yuan or $8000).
Most expensive stud fee
40,000 yuan ($6,400) for the services of a male Main Coon from Beijing.
Raw beef, cooked chicken, dry biscuits.
Average age of a show cat
From a few months to two years old.
Allan Raymond from Australia, a cat show judge for more than 30 years, can spot a winner at 10 paces.