Some people have a cat for a pet. It provides entertainment and companionship. Other people breed and exhibit them in show competition. A cat registry is an organization that maintains information to insure the authenticity of the breed and the guidelines for showing the animal. A registry keeps the pedigree, registered catteries, list of studbooks, breed description, standard of points and qualified show judges. The judging at a show is based on this information.
The first cat registry, National Cat Club, was established in England in 1887. Another registry, Cat Club, was established in 1898 but was replaced by the Cat Fanciers Association in 1903. Since cats could only be registered in one registry, the two merged to become the GCCF in 1910. In the U.S., the registry started out as the Chicago Cat Club in 1899. In 1906, the American Cat Association appeared and became the Cat Fanciers Association in 1908.
Cat registries are very independent. Many still do not allow a cat to be registered to more than one registry. The registries have their own rules, own shows and usually do not acknowledge each others’ awards. Two organizations, Federation Internationale Feline and the World Cat Congress, are striving to coordinate the activities of all cat registries. There are some independent registries that do not participate because of breed restrictions.
There are usually five levels of registration. Full is a breed that competes for championship titles. Provisional until it can meet registry standards. Experimental for breeds in development. Exhibition a new breed shown to attract breeders. Registration where it can be registered but not exhibited. A registry can refuse to register it or expel it if it does not meet and maintain its’ standards.
A number or code is established to identify a breed. Sometimes the number is common among registries and other times it is unique. When a new color is added through outcrossing, a new number is usually assigned.
Coordinating organizations are the World Cat Congress and the World Cat Federation. International registries are the Cat Fanciers Association, Federation Internationale Feline, The International Association and the American Cat Fanciers Association. The Felis Britannica and the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy are in the United Kingdom. The Cat Aficionado Association is in China.
Breeding and showing a cat is a lot of hard work and time. It takes time to raise and groom a cat to meet the standards required to compete. If you can bring home a champion, it is worth the effort.
Frank Loethen lives with his wife and three cats, Sunny, Sinclair and Midnite, in Georgia. If you enjoyed this article, please visit my cat products website, http://www.purrfectcatproducts.com, your one stop site for all your cat and kitten needs. Cat treats, cat toys, litter accessories and cat treats are among the many items on the site. You can also see my three cats on the site.