Cat competition shows off breeds from around the world

Catvention_ 1

The International Cat Association’s (TICA) cat show and competition was this weekend and yes, you probably missed it. 

Walking through the aisle of sleeping ragdoll cats, I dodged out of the way of frantic cat-carrying owners rushing to one of 12 judging circles.

More than 50 different breeds of pedigreed and household cats were featured at last weekend’s cat show competition at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue.

Among the global breeds spotted at the show were the British Short/Longhair, Korat (Thailand), Peterbald (Russia), Scottish Folds and the Norwegian Forest Cat.

It was hard to tell exactly what was going on in the crowded booths where international judges propped cats up on stands, stroked their backs and stretched out their tails to enthusiastic applause. The show’s guidebook broke down the judging process like this:

Household pets are judged 50% on condition (health, cleanliness, nails, ears, etc), 30% on personality and 20% on beauty.

The pedigreed cats are judged on a more nuanced set of international standards that are specific to each breed and broken down by age, color and patterns.

It certainly didn’t draw the nerdy YouTube, cat-GIF generating crowd I expected. So be forewarned if you attend next year’s show: this fluffy cat parade is serious business.

Catvention_ 2Yukimasa Hattori, a judge from Japan, holds up a shorthair tuxedo cat. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 3Catching a quick cat nap between judging rounds. (Photo by Sara McCaslin) 

Catvention_ 4A cat gets a cheek scratch from passing admirers. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 5Although tempting, cat show rules ask visitors to not pet any of the cats unless given permission by the owners. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 6Owners line up to receive first and second place ribbons. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 7Judge Alberto Leal, from Argentina, holds up a cat competitor for the audience to admire. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 8Manny the Manafred Cat, held up here by his owner, has his own Facebook page. (Photo by Sara McCaslin) 

Catvention_ 9The most important thing to know about this cat is that its name is Fergalicious. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Catvention_ 11Judge Alberto Leal holds up the winner of a fierce judging round to raucous applause. (Photo by Sara McCaslin)

Sara McCaslin is an editor and visual journalist for The Seattle Globalist. She worked for several daily midwest newspapers including The Flint Journal, The Columbia Missourian and The Boone County Journal before moving to Seattle. Sara trains the next generation of journalists through the Globalist Apprenticeship Program and is a graduate of the Journalism School at the University of Missouri.

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