Cats Set to Crash Westminster Dog Show

Felines will join 3 new dog breeds, though the cats won't be competing
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2017 7:10 AM CST
Cats Set to Crash Westminster Dog Show
Cat breeder Anthony Hutcherson shows off a Bengal Cat during a press conference, Monday Jan. 30, 2017, in New York. The Bengal Cat will be featured at the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in a non-competitive "meet the breeds" exhibition, where cats will be shown for the first time, Madison Square...   (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

A decision by the country's top dog show to admit—gasp!—cats is raising eyebrows. The felines will be added to a side event at the annual Westminster Dog Show called "Meet the Breeds" that permits ordinary humans to "play" with some of the country's most prestigious canines, NPR reports. "There are booths that depict the country and origin of the animal," an American Kennel Club rep tells USA Today. "So cats are joining that and many will be dressed up." There was no word on what the felines might be wearing during the Feb. 11 event, though organizers added the 40 cat breeds will take part in an agility contest where they'll be led through a sort of obstacle course, a rep tells NPR.

The fact that cats won't actually be competing with dogs didn't stop critics from fuming on Twitter. "People are hysterical," BuzzFeed declares. One man wondered whether the felines will be scored on "which cat can ignore their handler the longest?" Plenty of other Twitter reactions had a political twist. Meanwhile, proud cat owners posted pictures of their own prospective entrants. "There's so much love out there in the world, why just limit it to dogs and puppies?" says the owner of a "striking" Bengal cat named Jungletrax Abiding Ovation who will be part of the exhibition. As for the canines, who will compete Feb. 13 to 14, there are three new breeds: the "energetic" American hairless terrier, the sleek sloughi, and the adorable pumi. (A child's best friend really is the dog.)

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