The Standard of Perfection: Show Cats

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The Standard of Perfection: Show Cats
Show Cats DVD cover.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byMark Lewis
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
ProducersMark Lewis
Ben McNeill
EditorRobert DeMaio
Running time90 minutes
Production companyRadio Pictures
Original release
  • April 19, 2006 (2006-04-19)

The Standard of Perfection: Show Cats is a 2006 American documentary television film directed by Mark Lewis about the lives of show cats and their owners.[1][2][3]


Filmed at the 2004 Cat Fanciers' Association International Cat Show, in Houston, Texas and in other locations in Houston,[4] filmmaker Mark Lewis gives viewers a comedic look inside the world of cat owners and cat shows, sharing the idiosyncrasies of owners who name cats after celebrities and who sometimes treat their cats better than family members.[1][4][5][6] Some of the cats featured in the documentary were named after Jacqueline Kennedy, George W. Bush, Candice Bergen, Nicole Kidman, Colin Powell (the cat actually met his namesake),[7] Wolf Blitzer, Monica Lewinsky (the cat was referred to as "Ms. Lewinsky"), and Spider-Man. There were others by other names that were owned by other people featured in the documentary, but they were not focused on as much as the celebrity-named ones listed here.


Anita Gates of The New York Times described The Standard of Perfection: Show Cats as "a pleasant if slightly mean-spirited hour on PBS stations" where cats live up to their reputations as "haughty, arrogant" pets. Gates said that the documentary reminded her of the 2000 mockumentary Best in Show with similarities in the owners' eccentricity. She noted the documentary's most interesting moment as a freaked-out cat in competition jumping into an audience. She concluded, "'Show Cats' is all about watching beautiful, fastidiously groomed animals looking their best for the cameras and the judges."[1]

Ranny Green of The Seattle Times writes that "Mark Lewis' Show Cats is a compelling mix of expressive close-ups from the giant show hall to the tiny playroom at home, plus revealing interviews with owners and judges." He adds, "Lewis captures a buoyant, playful camaraderie as competitors get ready." He says that "Show Cats gets a silver for entertainment and education, while appearing a bit too formulaic."[4]


  1. ^ a b c Gates, Anita (April 19, 2006). "On PBS's 'Show Cats,' Beauty Is a Befurred, Lordly Thing". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  2. ^ Sandra Choron; Harry Choron; Arden Moore (2007). Planet Cat: A CAT-alog. 2007 (illustrated ed.). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 228. ISBN 9780618812592.
  3. ^ Chung, Jen (April 19, 2006). "Meow! PBS Has Something for Cat People". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 1 September 2009. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  4. ^ a b c Green, Ranny (April 19, 2006). "What makes a show cat? Try turning on the vacuum". Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  5. ^ Adamson, Judy (July 14, 2005). "Standard of Perfection: Show Cats". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  6. ^ Newman, Sarah Casey (April 19, 2006). "Glamour Pusses Claw Their Way To The Top". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved 1 October 2010.
  7. ^ "Secretary Powell Meets Colin the Cat". Bureau of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of State. Retrieved 1 October 2010.

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