Many years ago, I worked on the set of an audition for a TV game show for cats, assessing potential feline contestants for their TV-readiness. I had the tough job of deciding whether a cat was ready for a screen test, and telling the owners "no" when their cat had been rejected. My role was to ensure that any uncomfortable or stressed out cats were promptly sent on their way home. What was surprising to me was how determined some owners were that their cat get a chance at fame (oh, and a million dollars). It felt a bit "Toddlers & Tiaras" at times. These cats were primped and preened.
Some of the cats were hissing, growling, hiding or even eliminating in their carriers. Those cats were a quick and easy "no." But their owners would often argue with me, begging for their cats to be given a screen test! The quest for money and fame was blinding them from the fact that their cat was in no way interested in this whole process (and was in fact quite stressed out)!
So how do you know if your cat is cut out for fame? If your cat hides when the doorbell rings, or hates traveling in a carrier, or has serious aggressive episodes under pressure, she's probably not ready for her 15 minutes. The signs of stress in cats can vary, but hiding or shaking, tail swishing, a tight, tense body and hissing, growling or swatting are all signs that your cat is less than thrilled with his current situation.