Cat shows hold a very important part in the history of cats as household pets. While cats have chosen to live with humans for thousands of years, they were really only became the type of house pet they are today after the Victorian Era’s cat shows made pet cats popular. This past Sunday I had the opportunity to go to a cat show for the first time. Our regional division of The International Cat Association (TICA) held the show about an hour from where I live.
The Setup of the TICA Cat Show
The showroom of the TICA cat show was split into 4 separate areas:
- An area of judging the cats.
- An area where the cats that were not up to be judged were showcased by their owners.
- A vendor area.
- 2 small refreshment areas.
Judging the Cats
Quick Note – Each cat fancier’s club has a different way of judging cats, so you may experience something different that what I experienced if you attend a show other than a TICA cat show.
The judging area of the cats was along one of the walls. There were 7 rings of cages side by side, each with a table that had a few cat toys and scratching post in the center. The judges took each cat out of the cages one by one and examined them. The judges looked for different characteristics in every breed. Overall, they looked at coat color, length, thickness, pattern, muscular structure, the size of the cat, the positioning of the facial features and ears, and other breed specific characteristics. Most of the judges performed their duties quietly, but they would answer questions from the audience watching them.
Cats were first grouped by breed and color and/or pattern. By this I mean that, for example, all of the brown spotted Bengals were judged against the brown spotted Bengals. The next round of judging would be even more competitive with, say, all of the spotted Bengals being judged against one another regardless of color. The third round would get even tougher yet with the best of the spotted Bengals being judged against the best striped Bengals. The rounds get more and more competitive until the best cats in the show are judged against one another.
Mingling with the TICA cat show breeders
I made a point of going through and seeing every cat that I could. Some of the breeders were willing to talk to me about their cats while others were more aloof. I came on the last day of the TICA cat show so I assume many of the cats and breeders were very tired. Almost right away I met a really friendly Bengal breeder who explained the judging process and general TICA cat show rules to me. I was very glad that she pointed out to me that most breeders do NOT want anyone coming in contact with their cats (fear of spreading disease from cat to cat). However, she was working on socializing one of her little Bengal kittens, so she allowed me to hold him. I was so in love with that little baby! It was hard to put him down.
There were around 250 cats at the TICA cat show. I saw breeds of all kinds; Bengals, Siamese, Balinese, Oriental, Sphynx, Persian, Seskirk Rex, Cornish Rex, Savannahs, and more! There was a cat rescue group present as well. The rescue group wasn’t competing, but they were offering adoptions.
The TICA Cat Show Vendors
One of my goals in going to the TICA cat show was to get familiarized with some of the other pet industry people in my area. It was great to see a few local people with great products! Hopefully I will be able to feature a few on here soon.
The 2 stand out vendors for me were Magic Zymes and The Pet Beastro. Magic Zymes is a company that produces an odor eliminating product. It is a liquid that is “total benign” as they call it – the owner of the company put some in his own mouth in front of me. It was able to remove the smell of ammonia from a cloth instantly. I have a sample to try, so I will definitely be letting everyone know how I feel about it.
The Pet Beastro is a local holistic health and nutrition store. I didn’t even know we had one in our area. This is something I would LOVE to see more of in Metro Detroit. I also love that they offer pet education courses at the store (nutrition, first aid, etc). I plan to get to know this company better. They seem to have goals similar to my own for Playful Kitty.
I’m really glad I went. It was a great time for my husband and me. Hopefully I will have the opportunity to go to more local pet industry events!
Have you ever gone to a cat show?