TICA Cat Shows – Are they Biased Toward Certain Colors?

Black Classic Tabbies are Sweeping TICA Cat Shows!

I’ve been to alot of TICA cat shows. Mainly as a spectator, and recently as an exhibitor. On my quest to be one of the Best Maine Coon Breeders anywhere, and my thirst for knowledge about how to improve this breed, cat shows are pretty mandatory.

My latest one was the MaineCoonVention 2018 in Kissimmee Florida that was on June 16-17, 2018.  I’m still learning how everything works like the scoring, the rings, and the ribbons.  Noone really ever explains that when you enter your cat.  You have to figure it out on your own, or ask someone what’s going on.

This last show was Omega’s third show (this was his first time as an Alter at a CFA Cat Show), and Illuminati’s first show (kitten class).  The kitten class is for ALL Maine CCoon kittens between the ages of 4 months and 8 months old. It’s a good place to start them off to see how they do as a kitten and start training them for the big boy rings.

There were 4 cats in the Alter class, and 22 kittens!! That’s a lot of kittens.

My husband Dan went with me this time. He’s not totally into it, mainly because he believes its all connections and politics. But he suffered through it. LOL

TICA Cat Shows Research

Dan has a very high level of situational awareness. it’s one of his gifts. After watching 2 Maine Coon rings he noticed that the judges were commenting and “favoring” the Maine Coons that were of Black/Brown Classic Tabby color. One judge even said “I’m partial to black classic tabbies with a little bit of white”. This same judge referred to other colors as “designer colors”. Guess what won first place in her ring?

I’m not bringing this to light in a negative sense, but more of an enlightenment fashion. You see, I would’ve never realized this until he brought it to my attention. I’ve always heard that Cat Shows were political, it’s a show of “who’s who”, and you have to be established as a breeder to win anything. There’s undoubtedly some of that going on there.

At the end of Saturday, we packed up our cats and headed back to Jacksonville Florida which was only about a 2 hour drive. The cats did ok in their carriers, mostly just starting out of the holes and occassionally nodding off.

Since I had to time to waste as a passenger on the way home (I’m always the passenger) – Dan and I decided to go to the TICA website and research the Top 25 Winning Cats and see how accurate his observation was.  Remember his observation was: The Judges only give first place and second place ribbons to the black classic/White tabbies!

Data Used for Infographic

On the TICA website, they have a directory for the TOP 25 Cats for each cat show season. The cats are divided into different categories, and it displays the Top 25 for each category.  Each category can contain ANY registered breed of cat.

I compiled a list of ONLY Maine Coons that were in the list of Top 25 cats for the following categories:

  • Top 25 Cats [Overall]
  • Long Hair (Maine Coons are in this class)
  • Alters (Spayed or Neutered)
  • Kittens (less than 8 Months old)
  • Best of Breed (1 cat per breed is chosen)

If there was a Maine Coon in any of these categories for these years posted on the website, which is 2013 – 2017, then I put them in a chart.  Overall from 2013 – 2017 there was a total of 72 Maine Coons that made it into the Top 25 in one of the categories listed above.

Just have a look at the Infographic that I created to break these numbers down in a visual sense.  I’m not saying they’re partial to black classic tabbies with white, but the data doesn’t lie!!

In order to make it onto the infographic, the color class had to have won at least 3 times.   There were some “one-off” winners like a red smoke and a black and white Maine Coon, so they aren’t part of the calculations. They ARE part of the overall 72 count, though.

This was just very interesting to me. The black classic tabby does carry alot of the “traditional” looks that the judges love. I even own a 4 year old altered Black Classic Tabby with a little white. He’s not show quality, however, because he has a huge nose bump!!

and the Winner is……

I definitely don’t get into the politics, but I’m DEFINITELY up for the Challenge to breed a Black Classic Tabby with White Maine Coon and turn him or her into a Grand Champion at the TICA cat shows!

This is just my opinion but I feel like the odds are stacked against me with any of the other 84 Maine Coon Colors.

Again, this wasn’t written in a derogatory fashion, these are all facts I’m using. I’m a BIG data and analytical person, so I like to see the numbers – and decide whether or not something is in my favor.

I’m going back to my Maine Coon Cattery now and give some love and hugs to the furry felines!

1 Comment

  • Kimberli Nelson on June 22, 2018 12:18 pmReply

    And… this is the reason I don’t show.
    You can not tell me that all those other colors were not great cats and if it comes down to a judges personal prefence in color it’s not worth showing.
    As in all animals a good animal is never a bad color.

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