The 2007 World Cat Congress (WCC) was held on 30 March - 2 April in Dortmund, Germany at the Congress Center of the Dortmunder Westfalenhallen. This year’s WCC, which was hosted by the World Cat Federation (WCF), with the assistance of WCC’s partner, Royal Canin, marked the Congress’ return to continental Europe for the first time in six years and the second time the WCF has hosted the event.
All nine members of the World Cat Congress were represented: Lesley Morgan-Blythe, delegate from the Australian Cat Federation (ACF), Cheryl U’Ren, delegate from the Co-ordinating Cat Council of Australia (CCCA), Pam DelaBar, Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) delegate, Eric Reijers, the Fédération Internationale Féline’s (FIFe) delegate, Betty Shingleton, delegate from the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF), Albie Jobson, delegate from the New Zealand Cat Fancy (NZCF), Kaai du Plessis, delegate from the Southern Africa Cat Council (SACC), Kay De Vilbiss, delegate from The International Cat Association (TICA) and Otrun Wagner, representing the World Cat Federation (WCF).
Eric Reijers, vice-president of the WCC, opened the four-day event with a welcoming speech to the attendees of the seminar, followed by a welcome from Anneliese Hackmann, president of the host member WCF and from Alban Morin, International Marketing Director of WCC’s partner, Royal Canin. Mr. Morin also presented Royal Canin’s book Practical Guide: Cat Breeding, which was made available to the guests free of charge and in several language versions.
The first speaker was Dr. Susan Little, DVM from Ottawa, Canada, President of the Winn Feline Foundation and frequent guest speaker at WCC events. The first of her two lectures was on Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), a disease that causes abnormal thickening of the left ventricle heart muscle and is the most common heart disease in cats. The lecture was well illustrated by a large-screen Power Point presentation,
Olga Mironova, WCF all-breed judge from Russia introduced one of the WCF’s newest breeds - the Ural Rex. Mrs. Mironova stated that this curly-haired breed is native to the area around Ekaterinburg on the eastern side of the Ural Mountains in central Russia where they were first sighted in the middle of the last century. The Ural Rex was recognized by the WCF at its 2006 General Assembly.
The next speaker was, Dr. Chiara Noli, DVM from Cueno, Italy, whose presentation regarding food allergy in cats detailed the difficult and lengthy process of accurately diagnosing this type of allergy.
In the afternoon Mrs. Marion Schacht, a German Turkish Van breeder, introduced another breed to the seminar audience - the all-white Turkish Van. This breed is considered in its native land to be the true Turkish Van, the name having been taken from the area around Lake Van where the cat originates. This cat has now been granted preliminary recognition by the GCCF in the UK under the name of Turkish Vankedisi and TICA has also approved the addition of the all white Turkish Van to the Turkish Van standard.
Two breeders, Joyce Ouderkerk and Anke Baks, along with WCF judge Olga Mironova, treated the seminar audience to a first-hand look at several live examples of all-white Turkish Vans.
Dr. Noli’s second presentation was on Trombicula, Notoedres and Fleas. Trombicula are chigger mites and Notoedres are cat mange mites. Dr. Noli explained, all three can be diagnosed and eliminated fairly easily. Chigger mites (Trombicula) and cat mange mites are both easily identified and treatment is relatively simple. Of the three parasites Dr. Noli spoke about, flea infestation, in most cases, causes the least harm to the animal, though are the most difficult of the three to eliminate due to their highly developed survival skills and the need for an extended treatment period to interrupt the flea’s life cycle. Dr. Noli concluded her lecture by recommending some very effective products for flea control/elimination.
Dr. Susan Little’s second lecture was on Feline Pediatrics. She explained the needs of newborn kittens and outlined ways of dealing with situations which might occur when the national procedure is interrupted. She also explained the problem of blood type incompatibility which can occur in some breeds. This was an extremely interesting and useful lecture for all breeders.
At the end of the seminar, the WCC President Pam DelaBar introduced the WCC delegates and opened the seminar to questions from the audience. After a short question and answer session, the seminar was adjourned.
The following morning the doors of the Congress Center of the Dortmunder Westfalenhallen were opened to the Dortmund public for a two-day World Cat Federation cat show. Over six hundred cats, representing over thirty breeds were present during the course of the exhibition. The World Cat Congress delegates Penny Bydlinski, Pam DelaBar, Kay De Vilbiss, Kaai du Plessis, Albie Jobson, Lesley Morgan-Blythe, and Cheryl U’Ren were, as has become tradition, among the judges for the two-day event. The Best in Show for Saturday was Tombrock’s Supertramp, a black Persian owned by Helen and Thorsten Zimmer, from Germany, and for Sunday the Best in Show was a white Norwegian Forest Cat, W.Ch. Toralf Tabaluga av Senja, owned by another German, Sybille Bauer.
As usual the business meeting of the World Cat Congress took place on Monday. Each organisation was represented by its delegate and there were a number of onlookers.
Amongst the matters discussed were the proposed incorporation of the WCC to make it a legal entity, the need for all members to have a ‘Code of Ethics’, Disaster Relief, the animal trade in Asia, protocols for artificial insemination in cats, information on vaccination protocols in different countries and the role of the WCC web site for disseminating information.
The closed session was for the matter of a problem between two of the members and also for the financial matters.
Pam Delabar was re-elected as president for another term, Ole Magne Grytvik was elected to a new term as vice-president and Penny Bydlinski was re-confirmed as secretary/treasurer.
The meeting in 2008 will take place in the United States where it will be hosted by the CFA. Details of the venue will be available at a later date.