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Spectator and Exhibitor Guide
to a TICA Cat Show

(A publication of the International Cat Association)


TICA cat shows are held under the Show Rules, By-Laws, Registration Rules ($7 each) and Standards ($10) of The International Cat Association (TICA). These documents may be ordered by contacting:

P O Box 2684
Harlingen, TX 78551

They can also be viewed from TICA's Internet site.

What is a Cat Show? The show consists of individual Judging Rings, and the cats entered in the show. Each ring consists of a judge, one or more clerks, and one or more stewards.

Pedigreed Cats: Each pedigreed breed has an individual Standard. The judge must evaluate each cat, placing awards based on which cats best represent the Standard for that breed.

Household Pets (HHPs): TICA welcomes household pet exhibitors. HHPs have their own unique Standard and titles which are comparable to pedigreed cats. HHPs are judged primarily on condition, beauty, and show presence. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and colors and patterns are often a whim of Mother Nature.

New Breed and Color (NBC): This is an exciting class for breeds that are registered with TICA, but have not met the requirements for Championship status. The current NBCs are: American Bobtail, American Bobtail Shorthair, California Spangled, LaPerm, LaPerm Shorthair, Munchkin, Munchkin Longhair, Peterbald, and Ojos Azules.

Genetic Registry: TICA is a genetic registry, recognizing hundreds of different colors and patterns.

How to enter a show: Obtain a "show flyer" and entry form for the show by writing to the show's entry clerk. Information on dates and places for shows can be found in various magazines, on the web, and in the bimonthly publication of the Association, the "TICA Trend".

Entry Information: Check the flyer for the closing date and entry fees. Household Pet Adults must be altered to be registered and/or shown. Unregistered cats may be shown only once in TICA without a registration number. All points and/or wins for titles and/or Annual awards acquired by an unregistered cat, kitten, alter, or household pet adult in the second and/or subsequent shows shall be irrevocably lost. The exhibitor is obligated to furnish the registration number to the Entry Clerk or Master Clerk and the Executive Office. In order to obtain credit for any points and/or wins received at the first show where the cat was shown as unregistered, the owner must notify the Executive Office in writing requesting the first show be credited and stating the name, date, and location of the show, and the name, breed (if applicable), registration number, and the entry number.

TICA Show Rules:

Cats that have been declawed shall not be penalized.

All claws of each entry shall be clipped prior to benching. Failure to do so may subject the entry to disqualification.

Cats or kittens obviously pregnant are ineligible for competition.

A cat not having all physical properties, such as eyes, ears, legs, tail (except as specified in breed standards), are ineligible for entry except in the alter classes or household pet classes.

The show committee may permit cats or kittens 3 months or age or older to be entered for exhibition or sale.

Household pets must be registered with TICA and judged by properly licensed judges in order to earn TICA titles and compete for Annual Awards.

Cats entered in any show shall remain in the same status as entered in all rings even though they have qualified for another status during the show.

Entries, regardless of class, shall be accepted as received by the entry clerk, and no class shall be discriminated against by limiting the number of entries in that class in any show.

Classifications: Cats are classified as Championship (Kittens, Adults, or Alters), Household Pets (Kittens or Adults), and NBC (both Kittens and Adults). Kittens are 4 to 8 calendar months of age; adults must be 8 calendar months of age on the opening day of the show.

Exhibition Cages: The Show Management provides a single benching cage for each cat entered. Double cages, and grooming spaces, may be available at an additional coast. Cage sizes vary, so check the show flyer. Cage curtains are important to give your cat some privacy and may be simple or elaborate but should be designed to fit loosely around the outside back, sides, and top of the cage. More elaborate curtains cover the inside as well.

Show Time: Try to arrive early; the check-in line may be long. Check the flyer for the time. The check-in table is usually at the Show Hall entrance. Have your confirmation slip(s) available for check-in. You will receive your cat's catalog number. This number is used in the catalog, as your benching number, and as the number that appears in the Judges' Books for scoring.

Buy a catalog if one is not included as part of your entry fee. Check your entry information immediately; if incorrect, contact the Master Clerk and write to the Executive Office. The judging schedule is usually located near the back of the catalog. Locate your breed on the schedule to find your first ring.

Find out where your cat is benched; set up your cage curtains, litter pan, water dishes, etc. Don't wait until the last minute. Allow yourself plenty of time to set up the exhibition cage for your cat. You will want to make your cat as comfortable as possible as quickly as possible. You and your cat will them be able to relax and enjoy the show.

What to bring to a cat show: Litter is often provided by the Show Committee; however, a litter pan, water and food dishes will be useful. You'll also need cage curtains and clips for hanging them; something soft for the bottom of the cage; nail clippers; any necessary grooming equipment; confirmation slip received from the Entry Clerk; vaccination records for each entry; pedigree and registration papers if applicable.

Judging: Your cat will be called to the Judging Ring using the catalog number given to you. When you hear the number being called, take your cat to that ring. Look for your cat(s) number on a judging cage and place your cat in the cage and be sure the cage door is secure; then leave the ring. When judging is completed, the judge or the clerk will dismiss the cats, and you may pick up your cat. [Note: If the clerk or judge turns your cat's number down, that means the cat is dismissed.]

Judge's Books: A TICA judge does not know the cat's name, the owner, the breeder, or the status (Novice, Champion, Grand Champion, etc.) of the cats being judged. The judge's book contains the entry numbers, breeds, categories, divisions, colors/patterns, age of the cat on the day of the show, classification (kitten, adult, alter, etc.) and the sex of each cat to be judged. Judge's books do not contain genetic information. In TICA, for example, a Siamese produced from two Oriental Shorthair parents would be shown as a Siamese. To the judge, this cat is a Siamese.

Exhibitor Etiquette: Exhibitors are expected to be familiar with and comply with all TICA Show Rules, Registration Rules, and By-Laws. Some of the rules governing exhibitors follow:

All claws of each entry shall be clipped prior to benching. Failure to do so may subject the entry to disqualification.

Exhibitors shall not sit in the ring holding cats prior to or during judging except with the explicit permission of the judge.

An exhibitor shall not, in any way, make known to an officiating judge which entry(ies) belong to him/her.

An exhibitor shall not, in any way, make it known to am officiating judge where his/her entry(ies) have placed in any other ring.

An exhibitor shall not request that his/her entry(ies) be judged separately from the regular class(es) for the entry(ies).

An exhibitor shall not take any action which might cause physical harm to come to a cat or a person, during the show.

An exhibitor shall not groom an entry while it is in the judging ring. If a cat requires special caging in a judging ring, the exhibitor shall relay this information to the ring clerk before the cat's number is posted and in time for special arrangements to be made without inconveniencing any other cats and/or exhibitors.

Ribbons: The cats are called up according to breed, division, and color/pattern. TICA does not have Best of Breed ribbons; nor are any title points given for breed awards. Judges will announce their best, second best, and third best of breed, however, and will so note in their Judges' Books. TICA Color and Division Awards are:


In order to obtain the title of Champion, Champion Alter, or Master (HHP), your cat must earn 300 points plus one final award. Points are accumulated from color, division, and final awards.

Best of Color (BOC): The judge will choose 1 - 5 Best of Color Awards. Example: Seven black Persians present; the judge awards 1 - 5 Best of Color to five of the seven competing.

Best of Division (BOD): From the BOC winners, the judge will select the best, second best, and third best of division. Example: Black Persians would belong to the Solid Division. Other solid colors of Persians, (white, blue, red, etc.) may also be entered in the Solid Division. The judge will select a best, second, and third best of division from the BOC winners in the Solid Division.

Best of Breed (BOB): The Persian Breed is accepted in all divisions of the Traditional, Mink, and Sepia Categories, Solid, as well as Tabby, Tortie, Silver/Smoke, and Particolor. The judge will select the best, second, and third best of breed.

Finals: This is the Big Moment!!! Final numbers are not announced; the clerk will announce "kitten finals in Ring 4" and exhibitors must go to Ring 4 to see if their cat(s) numbers are up in that ring. Final awards are selected from breed winners, although it is possible to have fourth and fifth place color awards in the finals, provided the first, second, and third place winners are placed above them. In the finals of an allbreed ring, the judge will select the top ten eligible cats (longhairs/shorthairs) based on 25 cats competing in the ring. If there are only 24 cats competing, the top nine are selected; 23 competing, eight are selected, 22 competing, seven are selected, 21 competing, six are selected, 20 or less, five are selected. Finals are awarded to Cats, Kittens, Alters, Household Pets, Household Pet Kittens, and NBCs. In the finals of a specialty ring, the judge selects the awards above for both the longhair breeds and the shorthair breeds.

Spectators: It is very important that spectators behave responsibly. Loud noises upset everybody, including the cats; children must be kept under control. Fingers, toys, feathers, or anything else should never be placed in or near cat cages. Judging rings are off limits; however, spectators are welcome to view the cats in the benching areas and the judging from the seating areas at the front of the rings.

Enjoy the Show!!!!


The above information is the property of TICA
Copyright © 1997 TICA, Harlingen, TX

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