Showing Cats with TICA

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When to take your cat to a Ring

Judging takes place in the judging area, which will have a number of rings. Each ring is presided over by a judge, who has a Ring Clerk and perhaps a steward to help him.
The Ring Clerk ensures that the right exhibits are called up to the ring at the right time, and also records the judge's decisions.
Exhibits within a group (e.g. LH Cats) are normally judged in numerical order. The steward is responsible for keeping the holding pens clean and, unlike GCCF or FIFe shows, stewards will not handle any cats or transfer cats to/from the benching area.
There will be a judging schedule to give you some idea of when your cat will be judged in each ring. Sometimes this is printed in the catalogue, or may be provided as a handout.
Each Ring Clerk will also make a series of announcements, for example "This is Ring 1, can we have Shorthair cats 251 to 256 to Ring 1 please"
It is your job as the exhibitor to ensure that your cat goes to the relevant ring, and is put into the holding pen with its number on it. All grooming must be completed before taking your cat to the ring.
It is important that you watch the progress of the ring and/or listen out for your cat's number and get to the ring promptly when your number is first put onto a empty judging pen.
If the judge is transferring a cat to/from a holding pen, then please wait until the cat is either on the judging table or back in the pen before penning your cat.
Unlike FIFe shows, you may not sit holding your cat unless you have explicit permission from the judge.
If your cat is already in another ring (e.g. for judging or Finals), then please let the Ring Clerk know immediately and they will guide you on what to do if this happens.
Ring Clerks will make up to 3 calls for a cat - if it is not in the ring by then it will be marked as absent from that ring.
Individual cat numbers are not announced for "Finals", so when the ring clerk announces that (for example) "numbers are posted for kitten finals in Ring 3" you may need to check if your cat's number is on a pen in the judging ring.


Do not speak to the judge unless you are specifically addressed by the judge. Should you need to relay any information to the judge, speak first to the ring clerk and they in turn will notify the judge.
In judging, kittens, cats and alters and HHPs are judged separately. All that the Judge knows about the cat is the breed, colour, sex and age. There are no separate classes for males and females.
The judge takes the cat from the holding pen, places it on the judging table, evaluates the cat against their knowledge of the written standard, returns the cat to the pen and continues on.
Although the speed of judging may be faster than you have experienced before, the judges have been trained to properly evaluate your cat. Generally, TICA judges handle a cat for as long as a FIFe judge does, but because there is no written report it seems so much faster!

Taking your cat out of the Ring

Once the judge or the ring clerk has turned the number card on the pen face down, this is a signal for you to remove your cat from the holding pen.
If you have time, first note down in your catalogue the Colour or Division results hung on the pen. Don't worry too much if you can't do this at your first show - someone else can often help you fill in the blanks afterwards.
During Finals, once the judge has announced the Best Cat/Kitten/Alter/HHP, then you can take your cat out of the ring, along with your Finals rosette.
If you have to go immediately to another ring after a Final, take the cat first then return to collect your rosette. This way you avoid showing the other ring that your cat Finaled with another judge.

Judging Sequence

There is a pyramid of evaluation - first all cats of the same breed and colour are judged against the TICA standard for that breed. Up to 5 cats are selected as the best-five representatives of their breed in that colour, and the judge will place different coloured ribbons on the pens to show the placings.

  • Blue is Best of Colour
  • Red is 2nd Best of Colour
  • Yellow is 3rd Best of Colour
  • Green is 4th Best of Colour
  • White is 5th Best of Colour

After judging each colour class within a Division, the judge will then award Division placings.
  • Best of Division (black - or sometimes grey - ribbon)
  • 2nd Best of Division (purple ribbon)
  • 3rd Best of Division (orange ribbon)

Awards are again shown by placing the ribbons on the pens. The five TICA pattern Divisions are: Solid, Tabby, Tortoiseshell, Silver/Smoke, and Particolor (i.e. cats with white). If a judge chooses to announce their Best of Breed, 2nd Best of Breed and 3rd Best of Breed, she/he may do so. Like GCCF BoBs, these don't count towards any titles.

Best of Breed

Being placed in Breed, may mean that your cat is called to a Final. However with only 10 places available in a Final, not every Best of Breed cat will Final.