A regular old Tom cat is not sufficient for everyone, including some of us. We are looking for high-quality feline companionship that comes with a pedigree, and the only way to be certain that a cat is of purebred lineage is to get in touch with either a national cat association or an organization that operates in a manner analogous to it in another country.
The Cat Fancier’s Association is a good place to start if you are looking for a purebred cat. The Canine Fanciers’ Association (CFA) was established in order to uphold breed standards and to register litters as purebred. In addition to this, the association hosts cat shows, which are then judged according to how well they comply with the requirements. They only acknowledge 41 different breeds of cats.
The breeder registers a litter of kittens with the Cat Fancier’s Association. Then they have the option of deciding whether or not to allow the kitten to be bred. Only cats with a pin number on their registration forms will be eligible to have their kittens registered. This allows the breeders to continue to better their breeds. Once the litter is registered, each kitten will need to be individually registered by its new owner.
There are three categories of recognized cats. They are the Championship Class, the Provisional Class, and the Miscellaneous Class. Each breed that the CFA recognizes is in one of these groups. They must win first place in their breed and then their class before they can compete for the title of best in the show.
The Championship Class are those cats who are established cat breeds. The breeds in the Provisional Class have been more recently established. They are still being watched to insure that they conform to the new breed standard. Finally, the one breed currently in the Miscellaneous Class is still having a breed standard created and cannot actually compete for the best in the show title.
In Canada, you can register your cat with the Canadian Cat Association. This association was formed by Canadians who did not want to register their cats with an association in another country. There are other popular cat registries including the Traditional Cat Association, which supports original breed standards and does not uphold current trends that exaggerate breed characteristics, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, which is the United Kingdom’s cat registry, and the Fédération Internationale Féline, which is the European cat registry.
All cats fit into one of two categories. They are either short hair or long-haired. Short-haired breeds like the Abyssinian and British Shorthair. The long-haired beads include Turkish Angora and Norwegian Forest Cats. The most popular of them all is the American Shorthair which has been in the US for over 300 years. They have been carefully bred for generations to develop characteristics that would appear in each kitten born. Others include the Siamese, the Rex, the Main Coon, the Ragdoll, and the Persian.
Choosing a cat with a pedigree allows you to choose a cat that has the characteristics that you want it to have. They are no more affectionate than other cats but they can be a prized possession no matter what.
Registration of Pedigree Cats in the USA, Canada, Britain & Europe
If you are searching for a pedigree cat in the United States and happen to live there, you will inevitably come across the term CFA, which stands for the Cat Fanciers’ Association in its complete form.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) was established in 1906 with the purpose of preserving the genetic purity of various cat breeds. Today, the CFA maintains the world’s largest registration of pedigree cats. In addition to maintaining the registration of purebred kitten litters, the association is responsible for the organization of cat shows the provision of judges, as well as training programs for show judges.
The CFA currently recognizes thirty-nine breeds of cat for showing in the Championship Class and one in the Miscellaneous Class, the Ragamuffin. The Provisional Class is for breeds that have not yet been accepted for Championship Class and neutered males and spayed females may be shown in the Premiership Class. There are also show classes for pedigree kittens and household pets. Those in the Household Pet Class can be of any origin, color, length of coat, etc. but must be neutered or spayed if over eight months old and must not have been declawed. Interesting colors and markings and a friendly personality are a must.
For kittens to retain the pedigree of their sire and dam the litter must be registered with the CFA by their breeder. When kittens become rehomed, their new owner must register them individually. The owner may only register a cat for breeding only if the breeder provides the appropriate pin number for use on the registration form, otherwise, the cat’s offspring, if any, may not be registered as purebred.
There are other associations around the world for the registration of pedigree cats. In Canada, the Canadian Cat Association was formed in 1960, in the United Kingdom the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), was established in 1910 and in Europe, the Fédération Internationale Féline, founded in 1949, based in Luxembourg but representing forty-one countries around the globe. These organizations, like the CFA, are dedicated to maintaining breed standards, ensuring the proper care of all cats and organizing and staffing cat shows as well as educating judges and the general public alike. The GCCF currently registers approximately 32,000 pedigree cats each year.
In the USA, Breeds of cats are categorized as short-haired such as the Siamese, the Abyssinian and the British Shorthair while the long-haired breeds include the Persion and Turkish Angoras. In Britain, the categorization is more complex and includes Persian, British, Foreign, Burmese, Oriental and Siamese, while in Europe the categories are Persian and Exotic, Shorthair and Somali, Siamese and Oriental. Both include the semi-long haired e.g. the Turkish Van and the Maine Coon.
Of all the many breeds, the American Shorthair is the most popular in the USA while in Britain, the British Shorthair breed has had the most registrations since the year 2000, having gradually overtaken the Persian whose numbers have dwindled significantly since the late 1980s.
If you want to be sure of certain characteristics in your cat, you need to select a recognized breed and any one of the above organizations has extensive websites full of information that will help you make your choice.