The Supreme (which was held on Saturday 17th November this year), is the largest cat show in the UK and is run by the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF). To qualify for entry to the Supreme Show a cat must first win at a GCCF Championship Show. So as you can expect the standard is very high.It’s also one of the best shows if you want to see any breed of cat, meet cat breeders or go shopping for cat products.
It’s held at the NEC in Birmingham, and last year I went by train, which meant I couldn’t get as much cat goodies as I wanted to because I couldn’t see myself lugging bags of cat litter back on the train. It was a shame because cat shows are the best places to see what was new on the market, buy in bulk, receive discounts, or to get free samples of cat products.
This year I was lucky. My new kitten owners were curious to see what a cat show was like, plus they wanted to do some cat shopping. They were going to drive there, so I cheekily asked if I could have a lift there – no problem, they said! So this year, I did the journey there and back in an extremely comfortable car. As an added bonus, the said car had a lot of boot space so we could really stock up.
And my, these new kitten owners were smart shoppers. They came prepared with trolleys on wheels so we wouldn’t have to carry everything by hand. Definitely a good idea, those trolleys – in fact, we probably could have set up a stand selling them as we saw loads of people struggling with bags while we sauntered by.
So what did we buy?
Cat food: Applaws Cat food by the box because there was a case discount. Applaws is the UK-equivalent of Almo Nature Cat food – very very high quality, human-quality, in fact food. Real bits of chicken, or fish. No preservatives, soya, filler, carbs, apart from a little rice or pumpkin. You could make a sandwich with the tinned chicken – it’s that good. Bozita cat food by the case as well. Bozita is a Swedish brand, it comes in nifty tetra-packs which fold over at the top so you can store them easily. They were giving away kitten packs with every case – the box containing the kitten pack had a house printed on it, and the windows and door of the house were perforated so you could take them out and the kittens could play in the house! Interesting flavours – crayfish, for one. Bozita has an 88-95% meat content. Unlike Applaws, it’s meat that’s reconstituted into chunks, not real pieces of meat, but without any soya or grains which is good because you want to avoid feeding carbs to cats. Some of the ingredients seemed expensive to me, like crayfish, but maybe crayfish in Sweden is not an expensive food? We got some free samples of a new brand of canned cat food from the US – Evangers – premium ingredients again, like organic chicken, or pheasant, and high in protein. I went home and opened the can, and it was pate-type cat food which unfortunately aren’t to my cats’ tastes – pity. Royal Canin had a large stand there – they make dried cat food and are priced at the higher end of the market. I was curious about their breeder scheme, and was told that breeders received 30% discount (or thereabouts) or RC cat food. However, you couldn’t just fill in a form to join, but you had to buy a 20kg bag from the stand, and then one of their sales reps would sit you down and talk to you. What about I asked, but they wouldn’t tell me. I didn’t have the time nor the inclination, so I declined.
Cat Litter: There were a few new-ish brands of cat litter on the market. It seems the trend is moving towards biodegradable cat litter in a bid to capture the eco-conscious cat lover. Which is all very well, but how good is the odour control and is it easy to clean? I bought some Cat’s Best Nature’s Gold – it’s pellets made from fir and spruce wood. I was interested in it because I’d used Cat’s Best OKO Plus previously which is more granular. Nature’s Gold is supposed to track less, and not stick to the furry bottoms of long-haired cats. There was a special offer on: a 20kg bag for £12, 2 bags for £11 each etc. World’s Best Cat Litter had a stand and I mentioned that my kitten packs never arrived, and they promised to send them to my kitten owners, so fingers crossed.
Cat toys: we were hoping that Da Bird cat toys would be available, but the person who has the sole distributorship in the UK wasn’t there. We got some catnip toys – an El Gato catnip Cigar and a Yeoww! Catnip Banana. So far I haven’t found a more potent catnip toy, and one which lasts and lasts. Some of the catnip toys on the market look large, but the catnip doesn’t fill the whole toy. With an El Gato the whole of the catnip toy is packed with catnip. And it seems to stay potent for a long time. I still have a catnip cigar that’s a year old and still gets revisted by my cats. These catnip toys are more pricey (RRP is £5.50), but we bought ours from a cat club table for £4. I also bought two spiders made from pipe cleaners from another club table. My Bengal loves these pipe cleaner spiders – it seems to trigger something in her predator brain and she will pounce and kill them over and over.
Which brings me to the cats, just in case you thought we were only there for the shopping. Did we look at the Maine Coons? Of course we did. We saw some really huge fellas – the largest weighed in at 25 lbs!!! My new kitten owner was a walking endorsement for me – she showed off her kitten photos, and I was really chuffed. I’ve been hoping for a red stud boy for Ananda next year, and someone who saw the kitten photos was a breeder with just such a stud, so watch this space!
Which brings me to the final topic in this post: the Sphynx cat. I wrote briefly about the Sphynx in my post last year on the Supreme. They are an extreme-looking type of cat, and not to everyone’s taste, but there’s something so alien, yet noble about their looks that I love them. Despite their strangeness, they are cats through and through, and love a cuddle and are very friendly. My new kitten owner hadn’t seen a Sphynx, so I dragged her to the exotic cat section. She wasn’t disappointed. In most cat shows, the owners don’t allow their cats to be handled by the public in case of germs. The Sphynx owners were more obliging than most others – we got to touch and hold two Sphynx cats.
This is Infurno Kismet owned by Sara Allwright. When I held him, he just lay in my arms, purring. I put my cheek to his flank and it was warm and felt just like a peach. Sphynx cats aren’t totally bald – they have little bits of fur at the base of their ears, and a few hairs on their tails.
See you next year at the Supreme!
(with many thanks to the Zealands for a fantastic day out, and without whom this post wouldn’t have been written)