(c) THIRD EDITION, Copyright 2000, 2006 - Vanadis Crawford, Chris Unangst, and First in Flight Cat Club
TICA Show Rules state that the top, bottom, and three sides of each benching cage must be covered. Exhibitors follow this show rule in one of the following ways:
In this short article we will describe these three different methods and give you some ideas on where you can purchase them.
Please note that the companies listed in this article are not being endorsed by the authors. They are included here for your information. Only companies with e-mail or web sites are listed. If you know of other companies or individuals carrying these products, please let us know so we can include them in future updates.
Cage curtains are the most popular method of covering your show cage. Each club provide wire cage space with the entry fee. These cages vary in size depending on the location of the show. The most common sizes are 22" x 22" x 45" (regular), 27" x 27" x 54" (oversized), and what I call California single.
California single cages are used mainly in some parts of the western USA. Each cat entered gets one of these cages. The cages are not as long as regular cages, but are significantly taller and have one door. The measurements are approximately 27" x 24" x 36"
Regular and oversized cages have two doors and swinging wire divider to divide them into two smaller single cages (regular: 22"x22"x22", oversized: 27"x27"x27"). Each entry is entitled to ONE SINGLE CAGE (i.e. one half of the full cage.) Most clubs offer you the option to purchase a double cage ... which is the other half of the cage that comes with your entry.
Knowing the type of cages used at the show you are entering and the space you purchased is important when deciding what cage curtains you need. In areas where cages are divided, if you only have one entry and did not purchase the extra half of the cage, you need to make sure that your cage curtains can fit in one half of a divided cage. This means that the curtains must fit on the inside of half the cage. Larger curtains can always be folded to fit the smaller area.
Cage curtains come in all shapes and sizes. Some are designed to specifically fit a single cage type. This is OK if you show in one area, but if you plan on traveling you may encounter cages of different sizes and you may find your cage curtains don't fit.
If you plan on making your own curtains, the following is a very simple design which will fit regular, oversized, and California single cages. For the regular and California single cages you will need to fold the excess fabric as you put the curtains on the cage..
Most cage curtains are of a similar design.
Here's how to put the curtains on the cage ...
First, you removed the cage and put the bottom piece on the table. Place the cage on top of the bottom piece with the open side down.
Next you put on the inside piece. This can be put on inside the wires of the cage (which is what most people do), or on the outside. Secure the top with binder clips (available at most office supply stores), safety pins or clothes pins. Binder clips work the best since they do not tear your curtains, give a secure hold and fold flat
Finally, put the top piece on top of the cage.
If you are using only half of a double cage, make sure to secure the center divider (which is made of the same wire as the cages) with binder clips or twist ties. Remember you will only be putting your curtains on one half of this cage. The other half will be used by another exhibitor. You will have to cover your half of the divider with your cage curtains.
If you are using the full cage, you can either divide the cage with the wire divider or push it to the back of the cage to make the cage one big cage. If you put your curtains on the inside of the cage they should hold the wire divider back, but many people secure the wire divider to the back of the cage with twist ties just in case. If you are using the divider you will probably want to bring a piece of curtain material to cover the divider. This will keep your two cats from seeing each other, plus it will make the cage look much neater. If you are planning on using your cage curtains in a divided cage, make sure the inside piece has a slit in it which will let you put your inside curtains on over the center divider.
IMPORTANT: At the end of the weekend, make sure you remove all twist ties and clips from the cages before you leave.
Cage curtains can be purchased from:
Rigid show cages are made out of wood, plastic, or lucite. Some are also made with wire. Most come with their own carrying cases. These show cages replace the wire cages and show curtains many exhibitors use.
When using a rigid show cage, make sure that your cage isn't larger than the space available to you in the show. For example, if you have a rigid show cage that was designed to fit where a 27" x 27" x 54" cage would fit and you attend a show where they use 22" x 22" x 45" cages, your rigid show cage will not fit!
Unfortunately most manufacturers of these products are not online. However, some do advertise in publications targeted at the cat fancy.
One example is a wire cage made by companies like Ultra Lite. Note: If you bring your own wired cage, you still need to cover the top, sides, and bottom with cage curtains.
To assemble your rigid show cage, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
For information on ridged show cages from Ultra Lite, click below:
The newest cages on the market are pop-up or other soft-side cages that are reinforced with PVC piping or fiberglass slats. Just like the rigid show cages, you need to make sure your pop-up or soft-side cage will fit in the space of a regular wire cage.
Here are some examples of pop-up or soft-sided cages:
The above is a PVC style cage. The pipes come apart and the fabric folds up. The above cage is made by Zippy Cat Cages.
The "Purr-Fect" Showcase made by Stopgap, shown above is one of the most popular soft cages recently developed. It uses fiberglass slats to keep it rigid.
Sturdi-products also produces a soft cage called the Show Shelter, shown below:
To assemble your pop-up or soft-side show cage, refer to the manufacturer's instructions.
Pop-up and soft-side show cages can be purchased from:
Do you have any questions on this document or suggestions for improvement? Please email us and let us know!