Did you know that your household mixed breed cat can join in The International Cat Association, Inc.’s Fabulous Felines, Fun and Friendship and be shown as championship cats in their own household pet category?
Since TICA was organized 32 years ago, household pet cats and kittens have been eligible to register and compete for the same titles, regional and international awards as pedigreed cats.
TICA defines the three general groups of household cats as:
- Mixed breed/random-bred cats;
- Half-pedigree “oops” cats;
- And pedigree cats which are either unregistered or do not meet the breed standard (such as straight-eared Scottish Folds or non-curly Selkirk Rex, or even a Persian whose nose is too long).
With thousands of members and hundreds of clubs around the world in Latin America, North America, Asia, and Europe, TICA was the first and now the world’s largest cat registry to allow household cats and household kittens to compete for the same titles at cat shows and awards as pedigreed cats. Since 1979, close to 20,000 catteries and over 300,000 cats and kittens have been registered with TICA.
So why write about TICA? One would be remiss to write about continental cats without talking about the TICA cat shows held all over. Unlike other shows, TICA allows new cat breeds, including the Savannah, and Tai cat to compete. TICA recognizes these newly developing breeds or traits which are in the foundation registry and have not yet been accepted for championship competition. Those breeds also include the Chausie, Highlander, Kurilian Bobtail, Savannah, Sokoke, Thai, Ojos Azules, Serengiti, Minskin and Donskoy.
I became familiar with the organization when visiting the 2011 Meet the Breeds in New York City in November. TICA co-hosted the popular event with the American Kennel Club (AKC) on Nov. 19-20. More than 160 breeds of cats and dogs were on hand. For more information about the 2011 event, visit http://www.tica.org/public/mtb.php.
Household Pets compete in a class of their own. They have their own unique standard and titles which are comparable to pedigreed cats. They are judged primarily on condition, beauty, and show presence. Almost any cat that’s at least four months old can be shown. Almost all associations require that adult Household Pets, over eight months) be altered. TICA allows declawed cats and cats with physical handicaps, such as three legs or one eye, also to be shown.
Fifty five breeds of cats from the Russian Blue to LaPerm, Sphynx to Norwegian Forest Cat, Persians, Maine Coon Cats, Turkish Angoras, compete for titles as well as regional and international awards. Shows are held throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, Japan, Canada and beyond.
There are three main areas at a cat show’s show hall: vendor booths, a benching area and the show rings.
The benching area is where cats are kept in cages while waiting to be judged in the rings. You can visit with the breeders and exhibitors at the benching area, and is a good way to for visitors to get an up close look at the cat.
When a cat’s number is called for judging, the cat is taken from the benching area to the judge’s ring. Each ring has a different judge. There are specialty rings with longhair only and shorthair only rings. These specialties are judged separately from one another.
An all breed ring will have shorthair and longhair cats judged together and against one another.
Upcoming TICA shows for 2012 on the East Coast include but are not limited to:
Jan 6-8, 2012, Central New Jersey Cat Fanciers, Parsippany, NJ. Contact Susan Adler, at 570-620-1599 or email email@example.com
Jan. 28-29, Jersey State Feline Fanciers, Cherry Hill, NJ. Contact Linda Swierczynski, 856-753-9155 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
March 3-4, Cats On The Beach Club in Providence, RI. Contact Melissa Alexander, 508-415-9406 or email Melissa@iwcats.com
March 16-18, Nauticats, Augusta, Maine. Contact Donna Madison at email@example.com
Aug. 11-12, Celtic Cats, Sturbridge, MA. Contact Francine Hicks at 207-353-2633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Sept. 20-11, Cats on the Beach, Marston Mills, MA (Cape Cod). Contact Melissa Alexander, 508-415-9406 or email Melissa@iwcats.com
Oct. 27-28, 2012 Bella Gattti, Hartford, CT. Contact Donna Madison by email, email@example.com
December cat shows listed for 2011 in the US northeast if repeated would be:
Yankee Cats, Milford MA, contact Melissa Alexander, 508-415-9406 or email Melissa@iwcats.com
For a complete listing of 2012 TICA shows in the United States and beyond, click here.
TICA is about a lot more than cat shows. It’s website (www.tcia.org) is full of information about grooming, cat agility, cat health, and even implementing a disaster program. TICA University (http://www.tica.org/public/ticau.php ) is listed on their website as a favorite school for finicky felines around the world and the largest school of feline educational courses and cat information. Founded by TICA, the site features information about psychology, nursing science, history, arts, business and more.
TICA’s mission is far ranging including:
- To encourage our members to be caring, responsible owners and breeders of cats; and to work together to promote the preservation of pedigreed cats plus the health and welfare of all domestic cats.
- To have the most accurate and comprehensive certified pedigree registry in the world.
- To provide sanctioned cat shows which promote both pedigreed and non-pedigreed cats in a professional manner, and which are both enjoyable and educational for exhibitors, judges and the general public.
- To encourage our members to take an active role in the community, to foster responsible spay/neuter awareness through public education, to become active in voluntary service at local animal shelters or outreach programs for schools and/or senior or disabled citizens, and to become involved in citizen advisory groups to foster responsible legislation regarding the health and welfare of cats.
- To promote friendly relations between breeders in this country and other countries around the world.
- To disseminate information to breeders, owners, exhibitors, and the general public concerning breeding, exhibition, improvement of breeds, the care and welfare of all cats; and to provide materials and information regarding feline issues of regional or national importance.
- To set up a foundation to encourage research on feline health issues, and to provide readily available lists of resource materials on health issues to our members.
Have you ever considered entering your household cat in a TICA cat show? If so, please share your experiences in the comment section.