Ragdoll Show Grooming

amyjsmith

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Hello, I have a 8 month old show quality Ragdoll who is entering her first show this weekend
I can find basically nothing online in terms of products and tips to really get her ready for the ring as well as what brushes and combs. I went a little crazy on amazon. I would love any tips any of you can give me. One question is I think she looks best at home right after a bath. Should I do it the morning of the show or the night before??
Dolly is from Springvale Dolls in Wisconsin. We think Cindy is amazing. She doesn't show her cats even though many of her cats have shown successfully. I would love advice from those of you who do show regularly. I want to do my part to not make mistakes and help her shine!
 

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Lotsofspots

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Aside from visiting shows and asking, your breeder should be helping or passing you on to those who show her cats and are familiar with her lines coats.

Ours are SH so very easy to prepare, just wash and towel dry.
 

Maurey

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Show groomed cats are generally best 2-3 days after being bathed, as it gives the coat time to re-settle, though the number does vary by breed. Definitely don’t bathe the day of, you’re just going to be adding to the stress of a first show, and the coat will be worse off for it.

Make sure to use a mask/conditioner to return moisture to the skin (and wash it out very well), or you’re going to end up with dandruff and issues with coat quality (make sure your cat is on a very good quality wet or raw diet, with fish oil sourced omega to help this, generally). Also need to blow dry extremely well, or the coat won’t look neat. Need warm air, not hot, or you’ll damage the fur. Make sure to thoroughly brush before bathing (remove mats, begin deshedding), as well as during the blow dry to help the flow of the coat, much like you would when blow drying human hair.
If the air is dry where you are, spray conditioner (specifically for cats, not human) is a must, imo. You can get by with misting water to brush if it’s fairly humid, though. I’ve always been taught that brushing fur dry is a huge no-no, as it builds static that can tangle and damage the coat. Personally, I wouldn’t blow dry either of my cats without spray conditioner, but that’s down to the climate and their coat type.
You’ll want to take a comb, some shampoo wipes, and a small bottle of either water or conditioner to mist with so you can touch up your cat before the ring.

In terms of brushes, all you really need is a comb (greyhound style, long enough to brush through to the skin), slicker (to feel for dead undercoat), and an undercoat rake (to be used very sparingly, especially with your breed, only when you feel undercoat buildup with the slicker brush). Completely avoid furminators, and be very careful with any silicone brushes (e.g Kong Zoom Groom).

ETA: in terms of products, I typically use Iv San Bernard, as recommended by a local feline show groomer, but I don’t know if that’s readily available where you are, as I’m based in Europe.

TBH, as mentioned above, you’re best off talking to the breeder, they should be able to guide you. Perhaps give you a referral to a feline show groomer, if there are any in your area. Show grooming is one of those things that’s learned by doing, and that you really need to see in person a few times, imo.
 
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Wegiesrule

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I have only owned Siberians and Norwegian Forest Cats, and I don't know if their coat is greasier than Ragdolls, but I always bathe 2 days before the show, but that is after having bathed them a week before the show and three weeks before. I degrease (Dawn), then shampoo, then use color enhancing shampoo - purple for the high-whites. Blow dry from the bottom up or the butt and belly fur gets wavy and that is not good. I take grooming spray (anti-static/texturizing) with me to use if they need it. We also spend a lot of time with teaser/feather training and handling (watch the judges videos on YT to get their routine down).
I also let them spend time in their sturdi cage from time to time so it is familiar when they are at the shows. I attended a few cat shows before taking my cats, and the cats that I purchased who were already Regional Winners were obviously much easier to show because they had been to probably 20 shows by the time they were 2, but my Wegie was compliant enough and a really good example of the breed so he was timid but almost granded in one show. By the second show he hated it and the judges will usually not final a cat that is beautiful but miserable, so just remember that you can only do so much - the rest is up to the cat and the judges.
 

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