Unusual breeds keep the fur from flying

18:54, Mar 16 2014
Cat show
BEST PAW FORWARD: Sharyn Van Aalst with her 11-month-old Sphynx cat, Elton.

Fancy felines and pampered pusses put their best paws forward in the annual Burmese Cat Club show, with their owners hoping to pounce on a prize.

There was nary a cat fight in sight at Saturday's show, where everything from an SPCA-adopted moggie to the hairless sphynx and the vividly patterned bengal came together to vie for the title of top cat.

Show secretary Christine Yeung, who herself had cats in the show, said 75 cats from throughout the North Island were entered.

Barbara LaRocca, one of five judges, flew to New Zealand from Queensland for the show.

The variety and quality of the cats stacked up well against their Aussie counterparts, she said, and New Zealand was slightly ahead when it came to showing the mandalay breed.

Sphynx breeder Sharyn van Aalst hadn't had her cat Elton for long, but he was already stacking up the prizes. Elton, an 11-month-old sphynx, arrived from the United Kingdom about six weeks ago.


A lot of people were taken aback by the look of the hairless cats, but once they got to know them they were irresistible, she said. Sphynxes were very loving and had a lot of personality.

She had fallen in love with the sphynx after seeing them with a breeder friend years ago, and had three others at home.

"[They're] like potato chips - you can't just have one."

Also drawing a lot of attention were Scarlett Booker's exotically patterned bengals.

The athletic animals were the epitome of independence, but still liked a seat on a lap when they chose to have one, she said.

Manawatu Standard