Interview with Vickie Fisher, President of TICA
1. What is TICA?
TICA is the world’s largest genetic registry of pedigreed cats and the world’s largest registry of household pet cats. TICA is more than 30 years old and truly international, having members and clubs all over the world.
2. How is TICA different from CFA?
While sharing many similarities, the two organizations differ in several ways. First, from TICA’s inception, it has always encouraged the showing of and registration of non-pedigreed cats. Referred to as Household Pets, our non-pedigreed cats and kittens compete, worldwide, for titles and top honors, just like the pedigreed cats.
Secondly, referring to our genetic base, TICA is more accepting of color variations and hair lengths within breeds and more open to accepting breeds already recognized in other worldwide registries and in developing healthy breeds. The Bengal, for instance, which is the most registered cat in TICA and extremely popular throughout the world, was first registered and recognized in TICA.
Finally, several organizational variations set the two organizations apart. TICA is a membership organization, allowing each member to have a say in developing the rules for the Association. CFA is club based. Titles and awards are different, as is the level of information that is available to judges while judging. In CFA, the judge is privy to the current title status of a cat while in TICA, the judge knows only the age, sex, color and breed. TICA’s Board of Directors truly reflects its international presence with elected directors from both northern and southern Europe, the United Kingdom, Japan and South America.
3. As a pet cat owner, should I be involved with TICA or is it more for people that like to show their cats and breeders?
This is an interesting question. For sure, TICA has more to offer those who are breeders or who like to show their cats. However, by encouraging people to register their non pedigreed cats, we do hope that people will join us at our shows, enjoy themselves, and just have fun with their cats. Many of TICA’s members are also involved in cat rescue and find that the shows are useful in placing cats in need of homes and educating the public on the care of cats. Being a part of a larger, cat-oriented organization, allows people access to more cat care and welfare information and more opportunity to interact and share their passion for cats. Finally, cat shows are a great family activity. TICA has a Junior Exhibitor Program which allows a youngster to become as involved as they want in learning about cats and participating at shows.
4. What are the benefits of being a member of TICA if I am just a pet owner?
In addition to those things answered in the prior question, members do receive TICA’s bi-monthly magazine, the TICA TREND. Including information about caring for cats and recognizing our winning cats, it also shares the fun of the cat fancy all over the world.
5. If a breeder is registered with TICA, does that mean they are reputable?
Well, unfortunately, it does not. Remember, TICA is primarily a registry of cats. We do encourage breeders who register with us to sign a voluntary code of ethics and we do try to help breeders become better educated about breeding. However, we always advise people to take care in making an investment in a pedigreed cat. Folks should always ask for references and should always make sure they have a signed contract and that they are comfortable with the terms of that contract. Downloadable brochures can answer questions on looking for a kitten and what to expect.
6. What is TICA University www.ticau.com and who does it target?
TICA University is a website dedicated to all things “cat.” Its target is cat lovers all over the world, young and old. Constantly adding more and more to the site, it’s a great place to learn about cats. From traveling with your cat, to clipping nails, to making toys and treats for your cat, it’s all there. Folks can sign up for free and be notified when new information or features are added to the site. A special section for children includes a free, downloadable, coloring book.
7. If I am interested in showing my purebred cat, how do I go about getting involved in cat shows?
Probably the best source of advice and guidance is from the breeder a person purchased their cat from. We always recommend visiting a show first. You can also find a lot of information about shows and showing on the TICA website. Check out some of the videos from shows on TICA’s home page, too.
TICA also has a Mentor Program, and we highly recommend that newcomers to the cat fancy apply for a Mentor to help them. Once at a show, folks should find a whole room of TICA exhibitors happy to answer questions and help both the newcomer (and cat) have a great experience!
8. If I’ve never been to a cat show, but would like to go to one, where do I go to find out about shows near me?
TICA’s online show calendar can be found at: www.tica.org
9. I recently read on your blog, that Ragdoll cats are the second most popular cat. How is that determined?
The Ragdoll is the second most popular cat in TICA, based on annual registrations. The Bengal is the most registered breed. For many years, these top spots were held by Persians and Siamese and later by the Maine Coon.
10. What exciting things are happening at TICA in 2012?
We are looking forward to partnering, once again, with the AKC for Meet The Breeds in New York City. It is such an incredible opportunity to share our beautiful cats and our respect for them with thousands of pet lovers. The event will be held in mid-October this year.
We also expect to welcome some new breeds to our Championship show classifications as both the Kurilian Bobtail breed and the Savannah breed will be asking the Board of Directors to advance to this competitive status.
Finally, we’ll see our first cat show in Ireland in 2012 and look forward to welcoming the cat fancy to other countries around the world. After all, “wherever you are, you’re in TICA’s world!”
Vickie Fisher, President
The International Cat Association, Inc.
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,
I just enrolled in TICAU.Com thanks to this post : ) Thanks so much for this article!