National Cat Show in Christchurch: Kitties strut their stuff

Pussies and professionals poured out in force on Sunday, as Christchurch hosted the National Cat Show.

It's the first time the high-stakes event has been hosted in the city since it was devastated by earthquakes.

International and local judges, known as fanciers, came together to judge cats of all breeds; long- or short-haired, moggy or pedigree - all were welcome.

"This is the national show, so the sort of things we expect to see is the best of cats right throughout New Zealand, and we're doing exactly that," New Zealand Cat Fancy chair Ian Gray told Newshub.

Their efforts weren't in vain, with a number of the furry friends crowned champions.

Dunedin cat breeder Zena Pigden imported her competitive Maine Coon, Samara, from Ireland.

Christchurch National Cat Show Samara the Maine Coon (Newshub.)
Samara the pedigree Maine Coon. Photo credit: Newshub.

"We needed to bring in some new bloodlines, which meant we didn't get too inbred," she said.

"This is just like his crowning glory; it's just amazing."

He ended up being judged best long-hair cat in show - Ms Pigden's first cat to come first nationally in more than 20 years of breeding.

But while the event may seem civil, breeding is highly competitive and fur can easily be sent flying.

"It's a bit catty, if you choose to call it that," Mr Gray said.

While Samara was imported from Ireland, others were more local.

Eight-month-old Sugar, a moggy bought off Trade Me alongside her sister, was brought along for her first time and came away with three best in shows.

Christchurch National Cat Show Samara the moggy (Newshub.)
Samara the moggy. Photo credit: Newshub.

"We're really proud of her," owner Rochelle Friis told Newshub.

More than 200 entrants came to the show from across New Zealand, with the event proving so popular, those wanting in had to wait outside in the rain for half an hour.

There was no prize money for Sunday's champions - just some cat food and the glory of going home with Best Cat.