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2017 Westminster Dog Show to include cats for first time in 140 years

By
Daniel Uria
A Bengal cat is held on stage at the Westminster Dog Show Meet the Breeds event two weeks before the 141st Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 30. Cats will be featured on the show's program for the first time in it's 140-year history.
 Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
A Bengal cat is held on stage at the Westminster Dog Show Meet the Breeds event two weeks before the 141st Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 30. Cats will be featured on the show's program for the first time in it's 140-year history. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Cats will appear on the official program of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for the first time in more than a century.

The Westminster Dog Show announced on its Twitter page that felines will not participate in the actual competition, but will instead be featured in the American Kennel Club "Meet the Breeds" section.

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Cats had been featured in the Meet the Breeds section in the past, but will be featured on the program for the first time in the 140-year history of the prestigious dog competition this year, Today reported.

"Meet the Breeds isn't just dogs lined up and you play with them, there are booths that depict the country and origin of the animal and people decorate the booths," VP of public relations for the AKC Brandi Hunter told USA Today. "So cats are joining that and many will be dressed up and have their booths."

In addition to participating in the Meet the Breeds section, the felines will also take part in an agility competition.

Jungletrax Abiding Ovation, a 3-year-old Bengal cat from Maryland, was introduced at a press conference as one of the first groundbreaking felines to participate in the event.

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The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is set to take place in New York City on Feb. 13 and 14 and will feature more than 3,000 dogs including three new breeds -- the American Hairless Rerrier, the Pumi, and the Sloughi.

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