When you enter a CFA cat show, a single cage will be assigned to your entry and the cage will be provided by the sponsoring club. To make your cat comfortable and feel secure, you will want to have a small towel or other covering on the bottom of the cage, cage curtains around the sides and a light covering for the top of the cage.
The size of show cages will depend upon where you are exhibiting. It is required by Show Rule 19.01(i) that the cage size be printed on the show announcement so you'd be best to check that for any show you plan to enter.
On the east coast, full cage size is 44" wide x 22" deep x 22" high for a cage that either holds two entries, or breaks down for two single entries with a size of 22" wide x 22" deep x 22" high. If you enter only one cat, you will be benched in a cage that is 22" wide x 22" deep x 22" high. You will normally have the option, when entering the show, to purchase the "double cage" space for a set fee, in which case the cage size for one entry will be 44" wide x 22" deep x 22" high . You may occasionally find cages that are 27" high instead of 22".
There are shows on the west coast that use large singles that are 36" wide x 24" deep x 27" high. If this is the case, double cages are not available for purchase.
Security Cages: Normally a double cage space is required to accommodate a security cage, and you will be required to purchase the double cage if you enter only one cat. . Note that the 36" wide cage space does not allow room for a security cage and a groom space normally must be purchased to accommodate the security cage.
The next essential item is show curtains. These are used to line the inside of your cat's cage. They prevent him from seeing his neighbors in the adjoining cages, and thus create an atmosphere less conducive to verbal and physical altercations. The ideal curtains are cut to fit the size of the cage and can be made of one piece of material or several pieces. If you have neither the time nor the inclination to make your own curtains, bath towels and safety pins will do nicely, provided you take the time to fasten them to the cage properly.
The curtains can be used to show off your cat. For example, for a pure white cat, curtains of deeper hues (perhaps to match his eyes) would accentuate his color, whereas white curtains will make him appear washed out. The material should be sturdy and easy to clean. If you really want to use silk or velvet show curtains, by all means do so, but more work and more difficult maintenance is involved.
An alternative to a regular wire cage at a show is a "security cage" which is purchased and brought to the show by exhibitors. A "security cage" is a sturdy nylon-type fabric cage with mesh or plastic doors that have zipper openings, and are available in a wide variety of colors. The security cages set up and fold down easily, and fit into a nylon carrying case.
If you plan to use a security cage, you will most likely have to purchase either a double cage space or a grooming space in order to have sufficient space for your cage at the show. It is always wise to advise the entry clerk that you will be bringing your own security cage so that the setup service does not put up a regular cage in your benching space. There is a check box on the CFA entry form for this purpose.