Being a cat judge can be pretty hard. The judge must know the “standard” for each breed in the show. A “standard” is a list of things about each breed that tells you what the perfect cat of that breed should look like.
For example, the standard will tell you that a Persian should have a head that is round, that the skull structure should be smooth to the touch, and that it has a short nose. In the photo on the right, a judge examines the head of a black Persian by feeling it all over.
There’s a lot to know about each breed, and that’s why we have breed standards which provide detailed descriptions that help the judge to know what to look for in each breed. It helps the judge to know what they are looking for, because just the descriptions of the many different body types will boggle your mind! Some cats are large with a cobby body (Persian), and some are long and stocky (Birman). Others are long but should have svelte bodies (Oriental) or else the standard says they should be rectangular (Maine Coon). Are you confused, yet?
In addition to the standard telling the judge what the body, head, ears, etc. should look like, it also describes each color and pattern. Remember, we took a look at those back when we were discovering the breeds and colors. If you want to refresh your memory, go here.