Let’s be honest: Most cat shows may tend to be boring. The formality of the show may be a usual event for most fanciers, professionals, and those who often join the competitions, but not for a normal feline lover. They may doze off, sleep, or you know, leave. 

But not anymore.

Feline Council of the Philippines, In. (FCPI) is aware of the situation, noting that most guests run out of interest before the event even reach its peak, so they organized their first public event that does not just cater for the knowing, but also for those who seek more learning.

Who is FCPI?

Just like any other animal lovers in the country, FCPI started as a membership club filled in by cat enthusiasts. With their dedication to promote cat welfare and to bring back the glory of “cat fancy” in the country, the group made it a priority to become a member of World Cat Federation (WCF) since its establishment in November 2017.

“The Philippines was one a powerhouse in Southeast Asia in terms of the variety and the quality of ats being shown in exhibition, [but] our Asian neighbors overtook the initial progress we built up,” Rino Paez, president and founder of FCPI, told Animal Scene. “The growth of at fancy in [our country] stunted [because] we do not have an internationally affiliated registry for cats.”

Now, the Philippines do. FCPI is the only WCF-affiliated club and the only club in the country that is authorized to issue WCF pedigrees and cattery names.

Match for all

It might have been raining cats and dogs outside Robinson’s Magnolia, but humans inside the mall were happy to spend their Sunday afternoon as felines literally rained on them!

MeowCon Manila, a fun match organized by FCPI, drew a lot of attention and gained more than they expected. 57 cats competed in the event and about 700 people dropped by to witness what happens during a cat show.

“We wanted to expose people to how cat shows are conducted, but at the same time, make it a learning activity for those who are new at cat fancy,” Paez said. “One of the reasons other cat shows are not actively participated is because some cat parents find shows intimidating.”

In collaboration with the Manila Cat Fanciers Society (MCFS), FCPI modified the format of the show, merging WCF and Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) show styles to mimic the rules of a championship show and hold a “fun match” instead.

Domestic cats, whether pedigreed or domestic shorthairs, were all eligible to join.

Several prizes and trophies were given to the top cats. As expected the longhairs, like Ragdolls and Persians, won the hearts of the people. Abyssinnian, Sphynxes, and American Curls stunned most guests, especially because they were not a usual breed to see.

When asked who were the standouts for the group, Paez claims it was the PusPins.

“I believe the biggest winners were the PusPins. Before, PusPin owners thought that cat shows are just for pedigreed cats. We made sure that in the fun match, they can compete side by side with other cats,” Paez said.

Speaking of PusPins, FCPI’s event partner Cats of Manila successfully managed to have six of their rescued cats adopted.

Unlike other cat shows, this fun match also gave guest professionals to take the stage and share their expert knowledge with feline owners on health, grooming, and other aspects of cat care.

“We are very happy with the turnout and we honestly did not expect the overwhelming reception we got from the crowd,” Paez added.

Fur-ture plans

With the good feedback from the event, the real question is: What could people expect in the future? Will there be more fun matches to watch for?

Paez confirms there will be more shows in the future. He also emphasizes on more seminars, too, which the organization hopes to do in Cebu or Davao, but the venues are still unclear at the moment.

They are also scheduling a WCF international show early next year, inviting judges from Europe and guests from other countries.

“We want to emphasize that shows are not just for bragging rights but it serves as an avenue for owners to showcase the work that goes into caring for, and raising healthy and beautiful cats,” Paez said.

On top of all this, feline lovers could expect FCPI to continue its work into improving fun match shows that includes both pedigreed and non-pedigreed cats.

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