CLEVELAND, Nov. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Stressed out by election anxiety? Scientific studies show that looking at pictures of cats helps reduce tension. That means now is the PURRFECT time to check out the fabulous multitude of cats competing for prizes on The Cat Fanciers’ Association VCC web site! (vcc.cfa.org)
VCC stands for Virtual Cat Competition—the cat fancy’s solution to self-reinvention in the midst of Covid-19 isolation. Originally conceived to help promote the enormous variety of pedigreed cats to the public, VCCs have exploded in popularity as in-person cat shows vanished due to the pandemic. One recent event drew 796 entries from all over the world. That’s a lot of kitty pictures!
According to CFA Marketing Director Desiree Bobby, most VCCs raise funds for cat-related causes. Spectators can vote for their favorite cats and prizes go to the most popular cats. Money raised supports organizations like local shelters, a charity that helps provide assistance to cats affected by wildfires and other natural disasters, and most recently, a research project devoted to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Sphynx (hairless) cats.
These events aren’t just parades of pedigreed cats, though. They feature “fun” classes, providing cat owners an opportunity to showcase their feline travel buddies, agility antics, costume contests, and just plain kitty weirdness. Some competitions have featured celebrity guest judges, such as Steve Dale (certified animal behaviorist and radio/TV personality of www.stevedalepetworld.com), Kate Benjamin (cat style expert, designer and blogger of www.hauspanther.com) and Trisha Seifried (a professional animal trainer and talent agent of www.catbosstv.com) presenting their top picks on video.
The virtual excitement culminates in December with CFA’s International Top Cat Challenge, a massive event featuring twenty conformation judging rings and an exciting array of fun classes. The “CITCC” is the brainchild of breeder-exhibitor Lorna Dawn Friemoth, whose intention was to attract people who have never heard of cat shows or pedigreed cats and enable them to easily explore all the breeds CFA recognizes. The event also celebrates mixed-breed cats, who can compete in the Household Pet classes.
Iris Zinck, chair of CFA’s Virtual Cat Competition Committee, expects the enthusiasm to continue far beyond December. “The cat fancy has never before been so accessible to so many people,” she says. “This isn’t just a placeholder for regular shows, it’s something new that offers the online public a whole different way to share their love of cats!”