Instead, about 170 cats and kittens showcased their personalities. From statuesque divas to sleepyheads, they stretched and sprawled under the seven judges' scrupulous eyes.
"The cats are just well-groomed - they don't need to do tricks or anything," said show manager Gladys DiNunzio.
A couple hundred visitors came through the Holiday Inn in West Manchester Township on Saturday and Sunday to get a look at the show, which is put on by the International Cat Association, she said.
The show is a 30-year tradition and has been held at the hotel for the past three years, DiNunzio said.
"It's great. It's a great area," she said of York. "The people are very friendly. The hotel has been great."
'Labor of love': Most of the cats and kittens at the show are people's household pets, DiNunzio. Each breed has a standard, but some that competed are rescued household pets - those are judged on cleanliness and friendliness, she said.
One of the cats who earned his share of ribbons and points toward titles was Ezra Brooks, whose owner called him a "gentle giant."
Brooks is a Maine Coon, the oldest long-haired American breed of cats, said owner Teri Matzkin of Arlington, Va.
And he certainly stood out among a bevy of sleek short- and no-haired cats. With a 20-pound rectangular frame, large ears and a "wild but beautiful look," Brooks has earned quite a few honors in his one year and four months, she said.
He's earned two international wins in the past year, as well as five "Best Allbreed" wins out of 56 cats on Sunday.
"He's just an exceptional example of the breed," Matzkin said.
She has been breeding cats for 26 years, and when she first bought a Maine Coon as a pet, she got hooked, she said.
Showing her cats involves a lot of cleaning and expensive travel - and it doesn't pay the bills, either, Matzkin said.
"This is a labor of love - or insanity," she said.
But to be able to work with other breeders to understand a good pedigree makes it worth it, she said as she played with Brooks, his little pink nose twitching underneath a shiny toy.
"He's very affectionate - dog-like in a lot of ways," Matzkin said.
A special guest: Although Gwyneth Hayes of Lebanon County has been involved in cat shows for seven years, her Abyssinian, Achilles, didn't participate.
As he lay cradled in her hands, his calm demeanor matched his breed, which the pharaohs worshipped, she said.
Achilles is a certified therapy cat with the American Red Cross that visits nursing homes and children at the Ronald McDonald House, Hayes said.
But what makes him extra special could only be seen when she placed him on the ground: A birth injury caused most of his hind legs to fall off, leaving only a "tripod" for him to stand on.
"He's the only cat that won't get on your counter," Hayes said.
As a therapy cat, he loves to give and get love - and he particularly likes to be stroked on the chin, as he can't reach it himself, she said. Achilles also lets people escape from their own problems, she said.
"We just let him be himself. He lets people know that you might have an issue, but you don't have to dwell on it," Hayes said.
And since she got him from a breeder, he also dispels a myth that they discard cats with injuries and other problems, she said.
"He's living proof of that," she said. "He was given a chance."
The Keestone Katz Show runs through Sunday, 9 to 4 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Conference Center on Loucks Road in West Manchester Township. The show is called "Happy Harvest'' and features all breeds and household pet cats.
--Reach Mollie Durkin at firstname.lastname@example.org.