People flock to Wisbech for Exotic Shorthair cat show

They are renowned for their calm nature, warm personality and always grinning like a Cheshire cat.

But for the Exotic Shorthair cats who travelled from across the country with their owners to Wisbech on Saturday it was time to get serious.

The adorable pets were competing to claim top prize at the Exotic Shorthair Cat Society's tenth championship show which was held at the Queen Mary Centre, in Queens Road.

Barbara McEwen, assistant show manager, said that although there are cat shows held across the country throughout the year, this one caters specifically for Exotic Shorthairs, which are cross between a British Shorthair and a Persian.

She said: 'People have come from across the country to be here - places like Manchester and Sheffield - all wanting to claim top prize.

'The show went brilliantly and we also had a fantastic turnout from the public when we opened the doors in the afternoon.

'I have had Exotic Shorthair cats since 1986 because I decided that although I love Persians, I didn't have the time to keep up with their coat.

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'Exotics are much easier to look after. They are also very laid back, love a fuss and a cuddle and I've got three called Lacy, Merlin and Milo.'

There were 28 Exotic Shorthair cats which were entered into the show with Jane Peed bringing her two cats Dude and Ruby to strut their stuff in front of the judges.

Mrs Peed, who lives in Swardeston, near Norwich, said: 'I have travelled to Kent, Birmingham and even Luton to enter competitions.

'It's a nice day out and the good thing about this show is that you get to see the same people every year because they have the same breed of cat.'

Fellow Exotic Shorthair cat lover Meg Smith, from Mulbarton, near Norwich, also brought her cats Ellie May and Jasper to the breed show.

She said: 'I have been coming to this show for as long as it has been running because I have Exotic Shorthairs and this show caters for that breed.

'They are very friendly, quiet, lazy and when they get really big they look like Garfield.'

As well as having some of the best Exotic Shorthair cats in the country, the show also had 24 cats of a different breed, including a sphynx, competing for other prizes.

These included Louise O'Shea, from Sheringham, and Catherine Bernard, who lives in Thorney, near Wisbech, who brought their Tonkinese cats Champagne Charlie and Zozo, respectively.

Mrs Bernard said: 'This is a small cat show compared to some I have been to but people do drive from far and wide to get here.

'There are quite a lot of people out there who are quite competitive and like to see their cats do well but it's not cheap covering all these miles to get to shows.

'These sort of shows are very enjoyable and you do get to meet new people and for me, as a breeder, I like to see my cats doing well.

'You can always tell if you cat enjoys coming to the shows because they will be showing off and you can tell they like it.'