Claddagh Cats - an in-conjunction CFA and TICA Cat Show
    March 30-31, 2019  - Holshauser Building - NC State Fairgrounds

Saturday, March 30, 2019 - hosted by Midlantic Persian and Himalayan Fanciers (CFA)
Sunday, March 31, 2019  - hosted by Vision Cat Club (TICA)

New to TICA shows?  Want to know the basics of TICA judging?  This page should give you a start.  If you want to know the show rules in details, here is a link to the full show rules.

First, what does a cat's entry number mean?  Entries are grouped into competitive classes so you can tell which class is being judged by the numbers being called:

Longhair Kittens
Shorthair Kittens
Longhair Championship
Shorthair Championship
Longhair Alters
Shorthair Alters
Longhair Household Pets (Kittens & Adults)
Shorthair Household Pets (Kittens & Adults)
Preliminary New Breed
Advanced New Breed
New Traits

Note: In the rare instance where there are more cats than in the range of numbers, the next class starts with the first available number. For example, If there are 55 longhair kittens, then those kittens are numbers 1-55. The shorthair kittens will start with 56.

If a cat is entered in the show as a late entry after the catalog is printed, it may have a number ending with a letter so that it will fall in sequence with other cats of its breed and color. For example, if kittens 51 and 52 are brown classic tabby American Shorthairs and 53 is a brown spotted Bengal, a late entry brown classic tabby American Shorthair may be 52A.

If a cat was entered in the wrong class, and is transfered to the correct class at the show, it will retain it's original entry number.

The information provided to the judge about the cat is its:
  • Breed
  • Color
  • Sex
  • Age
Judges don't know the cat's existing titles.

Judging is a pyramid of eliminations within the class:



First all cats of the same breed and color are judged against the written standard for that breed. Up to 5 cats are selected as the best-5th representation of their breed - looking only at cats of that color. The judge awards these cats ribbons with colors indicating their placement.

Note: Judges judge the cats against the whole written standard, not just the color. For example, if there are two red Persians, the two red Persians are judged against how they fit the full written Persian standard. The "best of color" does not necessarily mean that that cat has the best red color. Instead, the best of color red Persian best fits the entire written Persian standard including head, structure, coat, etc.

Household pets and household pet kittens are evaluated against a written standard as well. That standard states that the cat should be in good condition, well groomed, be of the right weight for his or her frame, have clean ears, and trimmed nails. The judge then uses his or her opinion as to the household pets he or she feels are the best.

Unlike cats in all other classes, if a household pet meets the basic requirements of the written standard, it will receive a best of color (in this case also known as a HHP merit) award - even if there is more than one HHP of the same color.

Next, the judge looks at all the cats, within the breed, within the same division. For example, all solid Persians would be judged in the solid division. After judging all the white Persians, blue Persians, black Persians and red Persians and selecting the top Persians of their respective colors, the judge will now look at the the solid Persians and select the top-3 of the solid division. These are indicated by the judge with colored ribbons.

Household pet adults are also selected for division awards. For example, all shorthair tabby household pets will compete for best, second, and third of the tabby division.

Cats in preliminary/advanced new breed, new traits, and household pet kittens are not selected for division awards.

Next, the judge will look at his or her best cats of each division and select the top-3 representatives of the breed. In our example with the Persians, now the best solid Persians would be compared against the best Tabby, Silver, Tortie, and Particolor (any color and white) Persians in the show.

The judge is not required to name his best of breeds but must write down the top-3 best of breed in the judge's book. If the judge does tell the audience how the cats were placed within breed, the judge may name them, without hanging anything on the cages, or the judge may hang ribbons of the following, or similar, color, or might have some other indication of best of breed

Household pets and household pet kittens are not awarded breed placements.

Cats exhibiting in preliminary/advanced new breed or new trait are awarded breed placements. The judge will also award one merit rosette to the overall best example exhibiting in each of these three classes.

The very end of this process is the finals. During the finals the judge names the cats felt the very best representations of their breeds in the class. The number of cats the judge may final depends on the number of cats in competition for the class:

Best - 5th Best20 or less in competition
Best - 6th Best21 in competition
Best - 7th Best22 in competition
Best - 8th Best23 in competition
Best - 9th Best24 in competition
Best - 10th Best25 or more in competition

Note: The only exception to this rule is Household Pets, Household Pet Kittens, and Allbreed Alter Finals. A maximum of 10 places are awarded regardless of the number of cats or kittens in competition. So, if only 7 Household Pet Kittens are competing, the judge will award 7 placements. Also, with the exception of the one merit award per class, finals are not awarded in preliminary/advanced new breed or new traits classes.

Finals can be allbreed or specialty. Allbreed finalist are the cats the judge feels are the very best of both the longhair and shorthair cats for that class. Specialty finals only take the longhairs or shorthairs of the class into consideration. For example, an allbreed kitten final may have both longhair and shorthair kittens in it. A shorthair specialty kitten final would only have shorthair kittens. 

IMPORTANT: In TICA the clerks do NOT announce the numbers of the finalists. Instead the clerk will announce the final and say "Please check your numbers". You will need to go to the ring to see if your number has been posted and then bring your cat to the ring for the final if it has been.  

Note: Judges are allowed to "hang on empty" cages during the final if you cat is being judged elsewhere or if it is not in the ring for the final for some reason.  You might be called to the ring to pick up your award in this case.

Also note: If there are too many males than can be accomodated in the judging ring for a final you might be asked if you can hold your cat for the final.  This is acceptable practice in TICA shows and avoids having to do finals in "multiple parts".

Frequently asked questions ...

"I'm used to showing in CFA and I'm finding my cat, which shows in CFA as a longhair (shorthair) in TICA is a shorthair (longhair).  What's up with that?"

In TICA if the breed has longhair - it is shown as a longhair.  If it has shorthair - it is shown as a shorthair.  
  • Exotic Shorthairs - are in the shorthair class
  • Somali - are in the longhair class
  • Longhair Japanese Bobtails - are in the longhair class
  • Shorthair Japanese Bobtails - are in the shorthair class
  • and so on