This article was specifically written for MCPI by Elektra Hammond,

TICA Allbreed Judge and was first published in MCPI’s Ezine. 


This article was specifically written for MCPI by Elektra Hammond, TICA Allbreed Judge and was first published in MCPI’s Ezine. 

New Traits & Advancement through TICA

It’s a lot of fun. It’s also the most frustrating thing in the world. New Traits is a melting pot class where they toss in absolutely any variation of a breed already accepted for championship. Different hair length, non-championship colors, curled or folded ears, curly coats, and of course polydactyly. Any variation known to be caused by a single gene is fair game.

The purpose of the New Traits class is to expose that particular new trait to the cat fancy as a whole. In order to gain acceptance and support for a new trait, the cats need to be out there–at the shows. Your fellow breeders, the judges and the other exhibitors all need to be made aware that these cats exist, are healthy and meet the standard for their breed. 

It’s a ton of fun to share your cat with the world, especially if the judges cooperate. When judges do their job, they should be evaluating new traits cat against the breed standard. They have the option of judging new traits cats at the same time as other cats of the same breed, if they like. They can also interact with the exhibitors more than with other classes–a judge can ask what the goals of a breeder working with a new trait is. 

When the judges don’t cooperate–then it isn’t any fun at all. Some use the new trait class as a platform to share their personal views on particular mutations, or hybrid breeds. As exhibitors looking for acceptance for our new traits, all we can really do is “nod and smile.” 

Getting Accepted for Championship

From the Registration Rules:

33.8.3 Requirements for Championship Status. A new trait or traits may apply for Championship Status upon completion of the following: At least ten individual examples of the new trait or traits have been shown, documented on the approved form. At least ten TICA members in good standing actively breeding and/or exhibiting the new trait or traits in the New Traits Class, documented on the approved form. A minimum number of cats expressing the new trait or traits have been registered in the 3 years prior to application as follows: Ten cats in breeds registering fewer than 100 cats OR Ten percent of the cats registered, not to exceed 50 cats, for those breeds registering 100 or more cats. Notification has been given to the parent Breed Committee Chairperson and the Breed Committee Chairperson of any other member of the same breed group, all members of the Breed Committee(s), and all members of the Genetics Committee, requesting acceptance for championship and signed by at least ten TICA members in good standing, at least 120 days before the next Board meeting. At least 90 days prior to the Board Meeting, the Genetics Committee has provided a report on the new trait or traits, and has indicated that the new trait or traits is genetically valid. Individual committee member comments may be included. The Executive Office has polled all members of the related Breed Section(s) at the request of those breeders working with the new trait or traits. All polls have been sent to the TICA Ballot Judge for counting. The expense of any poll shall be the financial responsibility of the individuals requesting the poll. The poll has included the original letter of intent and the report of the Genetics Committee members. A majority of the Breed Section Members voting, vote to approve the new trait or traits. In cases of a Breed Group, a majority of the Breed Section Members voting in EACH of the Breed Groups, votes to approve the new trait or traits. The results of the poll shall be forwarded to the Executive Office by the Ballot Judge for inclusion in the Agenda and to each member of the Genetics Committee at least 60 days prior to the meeting of the Board of Directors. Cause a Notice of Intent to Apply for Advancement to Championship Status to be published in the TICA TREND at least 120 days prior to the meeting at which the application for advancement will be heard, and which invites comments about the breed to be forwarded to the Executive Office.

33.8.4 Meeting the requirements set forth in these rules does not guarantee advancement. The Board of Directors shall judge each request for advancement on a case by case basis.

So there are some very basic numbers requirements to meet, that we need to document: ten different polys shown, ten breeders breeding and/or exhibiting polys, and in the three years before we apply, fifty polys registered. We also need to get genetics committee approval. We need to fill out all the appropriate forms and send them to the specified people, and put a notice in the TICA TREND (no cost). All of these should be easy.

The hard part. Rule Polling the breed section. We need to get a majority of the members voting from the breed section to approval adding polydactyl allowed to the standard. That’s why we show, and why we educate the other breeders. The more breed section members we bring over to our side, the better chance we have of a positive result in the poll.

Although the Board is not required to approve the change to the standard, if we get a majority of the breed section vote, they are extremely likely to allow it. We already have a precedent for the poly in the pixiebob breed; and the historical evidence of polydactyly in the maine coon from the origin of the breed is a strong argument in our favor.

Let’s go for it!

Respectfully Submitted,

Elektra Hammond
TICA Allbreed Judge



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