On January 29, 1938, Mary Kate Carroll (Kohinoor) & Gladys Donaldson (King Kat), gathered together 12 interested cat lovers to found Cotton States Cat Club. Their first show was held on December 2nd & 3rd of that year at the Atlantan Hotel. Mrs. Laura Graham, a CFA judge, came up from Tarpon Springs, FL, to manage the show, and the famous Miss Winifred Porter brought eleven cats from New Orleans to help out with the shorthair entry. There were 118 cats and kittens entered in this first show.
Mary Kate entered the judging program in the early 40's, and she judged for her own club at Cotton States' 5th annual show in 1944. She continued to judge for 30 years and to breed and show for almost 50 years. Her enthusiasm about cats lives on in the members of this club.
In 1985, the last year that CFA gave out the prestigious "Show of the Year Award", Cotton States hosted one of the most spectacular cat shows ever. Under the show management of Connie Wardlaw, Cotton States was bestowed this honor. In 1999, for its 60th Annual Show, Cotton States, became a Friskies Lead Show, with over 300 entries. Since that time, Cotton States has produced shows with entries averaging 350 cats annually.