Chapter 4: Different Cat Organizations


When Jeanne Ramsdale published her book "Persian cats and Other Longhairs" in 1964, her book primarily refers to the USA cat fancy. At the time of its publication, several national cat fancies existed across the world, most of which covered only one country or one region. Each fancy developed its own standards setting body, resulting in breed standards that may not being exactly the same. A comparison between different breed standards are discussed in Chapter 6: The different Breed Standards.

Fifty years later, the internet transformed the cat fancy into a global fancy where information about each cat organization is published on their websites. At the time of writing of this book, nine cat organizations have already united to collaborate working towards international co-operation in the cat fancy. This united body is called the World Cat Congress (WCC) [6].  

Therefore, this book is set in an era of a globalized cat fancy.  

The World Cat Congress (WCC)

Who is the WCC?

A good analogy is to compare the role of the WCC to that of the United Nations. The purpose of the WCC is to provide harmony within the cat fancy worldwide and to include as members those organizations with similar philosophies on the health and welfare of cats, standards, judge training, registrations, titles, and respect for the constitution and by-laws of the WCC. [6.1]

The membership of the World Cat Congress is comprised of the world's major cat fancies. The five founder members are indicated with an asterisk:

  • Fédération Internationale Féline – FIFe *

  • Cat Fanciers' Association – CFA *

  • The International Cat Association - TICA *

  • World Cat Federation – WCF *

  • Australian Cat Federation – ACF *

  • New Zealand Cat Fancy – NZCF

  • Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia - CCC of A

  • Governing Council of the Cat Fancy - GCCF, United Kingdom

  • Southern African Cat Council – SACC.

History of the WCC

1994 – International event

In 1994 an Italian cat club, Associazione Nazionale Felina Italiana, organised a major event in the cat fancy under the title “Cats and Man”. This event took place in Venice in June of that year and consisted of a seminar in which some distinguished Italian scholars from the fields of art, literature and science took part. There was also an international cat show and a meeting between the representatives of several of the world’s major cat associations:
  • USA - the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA)
  • United Kingdom - Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) 
  • Europe - FIFe 
  • Global - World Cat Federation (WCF).

Better Understanding and Co-operation

Most of those taking part in this first meeting saw the importance of international co-operation and it was decided to establish a regular meeting of the presidents of the associations, to study and to seek solutions for problems of common interest.

Establishing Tradition

Subsequent meetings have followed the pattern established in Venice: seminars, an international show at which the participating heads of organisations are invited to judge and a meeting of representatives of the world’s cat associations.

In 1999 a charter was accepted. In 2001 a constitution was established and accepted. Over time the number of member organizations grew to the eight listed above. The rest of the chapter gives some information on each of the members.

Fédération Internationale Féline – FIFe

A founder member.

Cat Fanciers' Association – CFA

A founder member.

The International Cat Association - TICA

A founder member.

World Cat Federation – WCF

A founder member.
Website: [42]

The WCF Breed recognition process

1. Recognition of new breeds

The rules for the process requirements to apply for the recogninion of a new breed is documented on the WCF website [42.1]. Recognition of new breeds is only possible by decision of the general assembly through voting of the general assembly after the WCF judges’ commission had been heard.

Here are the steps:

Step 1: Application

Application must be submitted by a WCF affiliated club. The club must send the following documents to the general secretary: 
    1. A report about the origin, history, genetics and breeding rules of the breed;
    2. The proposed new breed standard;
    3. A proposed place and date for a breed recognition show;
    4. Pedigrees of at least 15 cats that will participate in the breed recognition show and
    5. Pictures of the cats, where the single parts of the body can be clearly seen.
The general secretary will forward the documents to the chairman of the judges’ commission.

Step 2: Breed Recognition show

The chairman of the judges’ commission will announce two judges, who will participate in the recognition show.

The club has to present at least 15 cats to both judges in the recognition show. All cats presented must have a complete pedigree with 4 generations. At least 7 cats must have a pedigree with 3 generations pure bred.

The judges will evaluate the cats on the breed recognition show. They will compile a written report for the chairman of the judges’ commission not later than one month after the recognition show. If necessary, a revised standard will be attached to their report.

Step 3: Approval by the Judges Commission

The final standard report will be inspected in a meeting of the judges’ commission.  If approved, it will be submitted as proposal to the next general assembly for voting upon it.

Step 4: Voting by the General Assembly

The WCF General Assembly takes place every second year. It is attended by members from over 30 countries. At the meeting, the proposal is presented to the members. All members have a vote. After voting, the breed is either accepted or declined. 

2. Recognition of new colour varieties for already existing breeds

To add a new colour variety for an already existing breed may only be recognized by voting of the general assembly, after the judges’ commission had been heard. The procedure is very similar to that of applying for breed recognition for a new breed. 

The report to be submitted for application must include a description about the origin, history, genetics and breeding rules of the colour varieties as well as a description of the colour varieties, or name of the colour varieties according to the existing list of colour varieties.

Australian Cat Federation – ACF

A founder member.

New Zealand Cat Fancy – NZCF

Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia - CCC of A

Governing Council of the Cat Fancy - GCCF, United Kingdom

Southern African Cat Council – SACC. 

Last update: 1 January 2015.