Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) booth at the 2008 CFA International Cat Show in Atlanta on November 22, 2008.
The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) was established in the United States in 1906 and is the world's largest registry of pedigreed cats and the predominant pedigreed cat registering association in North America. Originally headquartered in Manasquan, New Jersey the CFA moved to Alliance, Ohio in 2010. The organization's stated mission is to preserve and promote the pedigreed breeds of cats and to enhance the well-being of all cats. CFA's first licensed cat shows were held in Buffalo, New York and Detroit, Michigan in 1906.
CFA has grown during the last century and celebrated its centennial in 2006. In May 2006, CFA recognized 39 breeds for its Championship Class, one in Provisional Class and one in Miscellaneous Class.
The CFA offers a number of services to catteries, purebred feline owners, and the general public. One service the CFA offers is certified pedigree lists for registered cats. Registered cat pedigrees going back from three to six generations are available.
CFA recognizes 40 pedigreed breeds for showing in the Championship Class and 2 breed as Miscellaneous (this became effective with the 2008-2009 show season). Since 1994, the CFA has hosted the CFA International Cat Show, described as the "Rolls-Royce of cat shows", the largest of its kind in the USA. The 2008 event was held in Atlanta as will be the 2009 event.
Other activities of the CFA include setting breed standards and offering breeding guidelines, training show judges, promoting and inspecting catteries, supporting and publicizing research on cat health issues, influencing legislative issues, providing disaster relief and breed rescue programs, publishing books and magazines and informing the general public on topics relating to cats.
While no two shows are identical, CFA cat shows follow certain procedures and guidelines:
A CFA cat show actually consists of a number of simultaneous cat shows running at the same time within the same place. Depending on the size of the show, there are anywhere from 4 to 12 "rings" (or miniature shows) which generally run 1 to 2 days in length. Each "ring" has its own judge who independently scores cats and awards the top 10 places (or top 15 depending on the size of the show).
Rings are of two kinds:
"All Breed" rings allow cats of every breed approved by the CFA to be judged... From Sphynx to Persian and everything in between.
"Specialty" rings separate out cats into one of two types: "Long Hair" category include cats like Persians, Main Coons, and other long-haired cats. "Short Hair" include Burmeese, Sphynx, American Short Hair and other short-haired cats.
Points are awarded to cats based multiple of their placement within each ring combined with the number of cats that the cat has "beaten" in the ring.
At the end of each show season, the top 25 cats in the country with the most points for the show season are awarded the coveted title of "National Winner" (NW).
Cats in the top 25 of their "region" (usually several states) are awarded the prestigious title of "Regional Winner" (RW).
Adult cats who are not neutered and achieve a point ranking of over 200 points are awarded the title of "Grand Champion".
Neutered cats can be shown in a class called "Premier" and achieve the title of "Grand Premier".
Cats which meet the standards of the breed as confirmed by six judges at one show are awarded "winners ribbon" by each judge and are awarded the lowest title of "Champion".
Kittens from the age of 4 to 8 months compete in a separate "Kitten" class, and are also able to achieve the title of "National Winner" and "Regional Winner", but can not become Grand Champions or Grand Premiers until reaching adulthood at 8 months of age.
Adult cats being shown at a show with no existing title are referred to as "Open".