Cats and their owners flocked to The River Club in Observatory, Cape Town, on Saturday 12 August 2017, to battle it out for top honours at the most prestigious cat show in the country. The South African Cat Council’s (SACC) Cat of the Year (COTY, as it has become known in the cat world), was sponsored by Royal Canin South Africa, and Cape Town set the scene for an exciting event. The competition is the culmination of a year of intensive campaigning by cat owners and breeders at various shows across the country.
Sponsors Royal Canin South Africa were delighted, once again, to be involved in the event hosted by SACC. Marketing manager, Tarryn Day said that the event is a showcase of not only the talent in the industry, but also the passion of breeders and owners that is world-class. COTY brings together the best of the best and the quality of show cats proves that South African breeders are right up there with the best in the world.
To qualify to enter this annual event, show cats are awarded points at each show held across the country during and at the end of the show season, only the best represent their regions at this glamourous event that features the who’s who of the cat industry.
Themed “The Great CATsby” the show took place in two stages. Judging of the cats took place in the morning, followed by a gala dinner where the show’s winners were announced. Cats were groomed to perfection, competing for a range of sought-after titles after which owners were eagerly waited for the announcement of the winners.
The 82 qualifiers represented the best in the country. A panel of five of South Africa’s top judges, which included Ngaio Crawley (KZN), Veronica Knight (Western Cape), Rita Wiseman (Eastern Cape), and Jan van Rooyen and Ingrid de Wet (both from Gauteng), was tasked to select the winners in each class.
And 2017 turned out to be the Year of the Persian! In the Neuter section, the top three cats were all Persians, with Triple Supreme Premier Carmandale Malakai, a gorgeous Blue Classic Tabby Bi-colour neutered male winning the title of SACC Neuter of the Year. Malakai was bred by Armand & Norman, and is proudly owned by Petrina Huelin.
Top honours in the Entire section, and the title of Cat of the Year, went to another Persian, Laurent van der Merwe-Deetlefs’ imported red tabbypoint male, Supreme Champion Alomi’s Bamboozle of Lauvander.
Laurent and Petrina, both from Cape Town, took home a range of impressive silverware and prizes donated by Royal Canin®, with other wonderful prizes donated by a range of companies, donators and cat lovers.
In the Kitten section top honours went to a black and white Devon Rex female, Taldi Shebangs, owned and bred by Johan Groenewald and Ian Taylor, from Port Elizabeth.
The title of Domestic Pet of the Year went to the strikingly marked Supreme Master Gabriella, a Calico Mediumhair spayed female, owned by Irene Sommerfeld of Cape Town.
Day says that events such as this hosted by SACC serves to provide the industry with the necessary impetus to increase consumer interest in responsible pet ownership. It also shows that responsible breeding and cat ownership are the cornerstones of the industry, providing credibility and safeguarding owners from breed purchases.
Royal Canin® is a global pet nutrition company that focusses on highly digestible, highly palatable and specific diets for cats and dogs. Available at veterinary clinics and specialized outlets, Royal Canin provides the perfect nutritional solution for each pet including a full range of tasty prescription foods for those pets with veterinary-diagnosed ailments and diseases. A member of the Pet Food Industry of South Africa (PFI), Royal Canin® is represented globally in many countries on their pet food forums and is active in helping to raise the quality and food safety standards worldwide.
For more information about COTY contact Royal Canin South Africa on 0860 630 063 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Triple Supreme Premier Carmandale Malakai, a Persian Blue Classic Tabby Bi-colour neutered male, owned and showed by Petrina Huelin, is the 2017 SACC Neuter of the Year.
PHOTOGRAPHER Ursula van der Riet