Showing Cats with TICA

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How it Works

This page explains how a TICA show works, as it is very different from a GCCF or FIFe Show. There looks like there's a lot to take in here but in reality once you've completed a couple of shows you'll wonder why you thought it sounded so difficult. And there will always be people around to help you out - there's a friendly atmosphere at the shows and we do live up to TICA's motto of "for fabulous felines, fun and friendships"!
The topics covered on this page are:

  • Entering Shows
  • Arrival at the show
  • Benching
  • The Catalogue
  • When to take your cat to a ring
  • Judging
  • Taking your cat out of the ring
  • Judging sequence
  • Finals
  • Earning Titles
  • Regional and International Awards

Entering Shows

You do not have to register a cat, kitten, alter (neuter) or HHP (Household Pet) in TICA to enter a TICA show (unless it is a Korat, a New Trait or a New Breed). If you want to claim titles in TICA your cat needs to be registered with TICA. If you want to enter a TICA show, first consult the club's website or contact the entry clerk for a flyer and entry form. The flyer gives all the details about the show - when, where, who is judging and how many rings in the show. It should also give details of the show hotel, the cost of entering, penning options, where to send your entry and the closing date for entries.
Some clubs will also offer on-line entry on their web-site and may also accept payment by PayPal as well as Cheques or Postal Orders. Please note that, under TICA Rules, entry fees are not refundable.
The entry form (whether paper or on-line) includes the usual information required - exhibit name, breed, colour, registration number, date of birth and sex; plus the exhibitor's own details. Watch how dates are requested, as some may use American format (mm/dd/yy).Unlike GCCF shows, there is no need to specify any classes, as each exhibit will be judged in all the relevant rings.
All regular entries should receive a confirmation - a copy of what will appear in the show catalogue - so this must be checked carefully and any errors should be notified to the entry clerk as soon as possible. Neutered cats will be described as neuter (male) or spay (female), and entire cats as male or female. Check carefully that age, sex. breed and colour have been described properly as these impact upon judging.
Confirmations may be sent by email or may be posted to the exhibitor, and should normally be within 10 days of receiving your entry.
Two exhibits can share a double pen, and you can ask the entry clerk to bench you near your friends. This isn't always possible but Entry Clerks will try to meet your wishes.

On Arrival at the Show

On arrival at the show venue, someone will check you in at the arrivals table, and hand you your show paperwork and catalogue. Your cats then need to be vetted-in. The vet will check that each cat is not showing signs of mites, fleas, fungal infection, or any other illness. The vet has the final say on whether a cat is admitted to the show hall. Some shows may allow vetting-in at the show hotel on the previous evening, while other Vet once the Cat is inside the show hall allocated pen. The show flyer will tell you which options are available.
You will need to produce a current vaccination certificate (showing vaccinations for cat flu and feline enteritis) for each of the cats with you. Each club has their own policy on what "current" means - consult the Show Manager beforehand if you have any questions.
TICA rules forbid obviously pregnant or lactating cats from attending shows. Cryptorchid or monorchid cats aged 8 months or older are not permitted. Note also that all claws (front and back) should be clipped before a cat is judged.


After vetting-in, please take your cat(s) to their assigned pens in the benching area. The cat numbers or the exhibitor's name will be on the front of the pens and there will sometimes be a plan of the hall as well to help you. Cats from the same owner are benched together rather than by class as is more usual at GCCF shows. Pens can be decorated (as at the GCCF Supreme or at FIFe shows). Exhibitors can also provide their own pens (e.g. Sturdipens)
Please make sure that your cats have access to water and a litter tray. Food and toys can be left in the pens at any time. The cats are only handled by the exhibitor or the judge, so cats are not required to have tags round their neck.

The Catalogue

At TICA shows, the cats, kittens, alters (which is how TICA describes neuters) and household pets are divided into Long-Hair and Short-Hair categories and then into breeds.

  • LH Kittens are numbered from 1 to 50
  • SH Kittens 51 to 100
  • LH Cats are numbered from 101 to 200
  • SH Cats from 201 to 300
  • LH Alters use numbers from 301 to 350
  • SH Alters from 351 to 399
  • LH HHPs are numbered from 401
  • SH HHPs are numbered from 451

On receipt, please check your catalogue for any errors in the cat's breed, colour, sex, or age - you must see the Master Clerk to get any catalogue corrections made before judging starts. Other errors (such as spelling mistakes) can be notified to the Master Clerk during the day as these do not affect judging.
It is important that the TICA registration number (if the cat is registered with TICA) is correctly recorded as this is used when being scored for Annual Awards. TICA catalogues are working documents - you use them to record the results for each of your cats.