Madison Square Garden will be purring with excitement as the annual CFA-Iams Cat Championship opens its doors tomorrow and Sunday. Hundreds of cats from 41 breeds will be competing for Best of Breed and Best in Show prizes, and there are a number of other events, like watching cats compete in the Feline Agility Competition course and seeing the Parade of Breeds. You can buy purebreds or adopt some shelter kitties, too!

We met a few of the cats who will be strutting their stuff this weekend and learned a lot about different breeds. For instance, the Sphynx - the hairless breed - isn't totally hairless -there's just very short hair (some are soft, some are rougher). And they need periodic baths because they don't have enough hair to absorb their bodies oils; the breeder we met brings her Sphynx cats into the shower. On the other end of the spectrum, the Norwegian Forest Cat has a waterproof top coat!


One owner said her Bluepoint Birman, named Almost Heaven and the Best in Breed last year, would become a therapy cat. Another breeder told us that, hours before, her Abyssinian, Aby Castle Hottownsummerinthecity (also known as Pumpkin), ran up the escalator to another level of Madison Square Garden. Luckily, he was wrangled quickly. (Last year, one of the cats freaked out and ran away, but was luckily found the next morning in a carpenter's room.)

And we met a very handsome British Shorthair named Gabe (above, right) - he's from Staten Island!

The CFA-Iams Cat Championship is at the Madison Square Garden's "Expo Center." The show starts at 10AM on Saturday and Sunday and ends at 6PM on Saturday, 5PM on Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults and $13 for senior citizens and children under 12 - and here's a coupon for $1 off admission.