CATS of all shapes and sizes crowded into the Oasis over the weekend for Europe’s largest international cat show.

The TICA(The International Cat Association) event featured hundreds of fabulous felines who were all examined by international judges in a 20-ring competition.

Domestic cats were judged in separate classes to the pedigree pussies which had been specially-bred in Russia, China and Europe.

There were several cross-breeds which had never been registered before, like the Marguerite, which had been bred from wild Sand Cats normally found in African and Asian deserts.

Jacky Bliss explained how they domesticated a wild animal.

She said: "We took in a male Sand Cat and, though experts say they are solitary, it was pining for company, so we put a girl in with him.

"I believe we're the first to successfully cross-breed a Sand Cat, we've been breeding Marguerites for four years and want them to be as close in look to the Sand Cat as possible without any respiratory problems.

"They're very soft-natured, sweet, and easy to look after, they just want a cuddle."

Pater Monk managed the international cat show, which was backed by Swindon Borough Council, Drove Vets and Vets Kitchen as it was held in Swindon for the first time ever.

He said: "It has exploded in size since we held our first show in Bristol three years ago.

"TICA is an organisation that registers cat breeders, their shows tend to get more unusual breeds like the Munchkin and Lykoi along with typical breeds like the Persian and Siamese.

"The judges operate on a points system, it's like Formula 1, people travel the world to maximise their points in the hope of winning a prestigious award.

"The judges have very high standards, they give and deduct points based on every part of the cat, as well as its weight and healthiness.

"Some cats are natural breeds, some are 'designer', all must conform to strict rules and ethics."

At the end of the three days, the top cats from each class went head-to-head in an informal 'Best in Show' round.

Jane Carter from Drove Vets hosted a raffle at the show to raise money for the Dogs Helping Kids charity.

She said: "We don't get big things like this very often in Swindon, it's amazing, there are lots of cat breeds here that I've never seen before.

"Peter asked us to be involved and we wanted to support local events - our vets did all the health checks for every cat on show.

"It's nice to meet clients and I've had lovely conversations with some of the kids, it's great to see their love of animals."