The annual meeting of the World Cat Congress in 2008 was hosted by the Cat Fanciers Association and took place in Houston, Texas on 28th – 31st March.
The traditional Seminar & Open Meeting was held at the Hilton Americas Hotel on the Friday. The early part of the meeting was set aside for the delegates to give a presentation of their respective bodies. The delegates were as follows:
ACF Inc, Australia – Mrs Lesley Morgan-Blythe
CCCA, Australia – Mrs Cheryle U’Ren
CFA, USA – Mrs
FIFe – Mr Eric Reijers
GCCF, UK – Mrs Betty Shingleton
NZCF, New Zealand – Ms Deb Armishaw
SACC, South Africa – Mrs Ingrid de Wet
TICA, USA – Mrs Kay DeVilbiss
WCF – Mrs Ortrun Wagner
A very generous lunch was provided by Sturdi Products who was one of the sponsors of the weekend.
Following lunch the Seminar opened with a presentation on ‘CatGENES DNA Program’. This presentation was made by Dr Melba Ketchum, Dr Gus Cothran and Dr Roger Brown. Dr Ketchum, a doctor of Veterinary Medicine and a Moody Scholar, is the president and founder of DNA Diagnostics Inc. which has become a leader in all types of DNA testing. Dr Cothran, a clinical Professor of the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Science, Texas A & M University, is involved in research in genetic mapping, genetics of specific characteristics, population genetics and conservation genetics of rare breeds. Dr Brown is a retired veterinary surgeon and a breeder and exhibitor of Ocicats. He has been involved in the CatGenes project and is currently CFA Director-At-Large and Scientific Advisor to CFA.
The various methods of acquiring DNA were discussed, primarily the buccal swab as well as hair samples. With newborns a couple of centimetres of umbilical cord is also suitable. CatGENES offers most of the DNA tests available at other labs and they anticipate that in the very near future they will also be able to test for long hair, agouti and type B blood. They might also explore the genes responsible for the folded ears, deafness, cryptorchidism and cleft palate. This was an exciting presentation and of great interest to all cat breeders.
Another sponsor to the event, Dr Bruce Elsey of Precious Cat Inc. presented a review of different litters appropriate to different ages of cats. Dr Elsey is a veterinary surgeon with a feline specialist practice. His foal is to produce reasonably priced natural products that help cats live happier, healthier, longer lives and his company produces litter boxes suitable to every stage of a cat’s life.
‘Maintaining Peace & Sanity in a Multicat Home’ was the interesting title of a presentation by Dusty Rainbolt who is an award-winning cat writer. Ms Rainbolt has written various humorous books on cat care and writes pet product reviews for the Tufts’ University publication, Catnip. She is a cat behaviour consultant and, as a former exhibitor of Turkish Van cats, she is vice-president of Vantastix Turkish Van Breed Club.
Midway through the afternoon the delegates were happy to be presented with a live cat. Kathryn Sylvia, the CFA American Bobtail Breed Council Secretary who has been breeding American Bobtails for over fifteen years brought along a delightful boy who was happy to be patted and inspected by the audience. She gave a detailed description of the breed, well illustrated in a Power Point presentation.
The last speaker was Dr Pamela Fonti who is the Scientific Communications Manager for Royal Canin with wide experience in other fields of veterinary medicine. She spoke on nutrition and ingredients under the title of “Sometimes Looks DO Matter’ and turned the subject into an interesting and lively one to end up an interesting day.
Saturday and Sunday were given over to a two day show hosted by the Houston Cat Club and held in a large venue adjacent the hotel. The hall was beautifully decorated and there were a large number of interesting stalls. Unfortunately there were only 232 cats in the show which was probably because of various other shows on the same date. There were some very nice cats present and a wide selection of breeds was represented.
Four of the delegates officiated as judges at the show - Eric Reijers (FIFe) Cheryle U'Ren (CCCA), Ingrid de Wet (SACC) and Pam Delabar (CFA). The non-judging delegates had an enjoyable time chatting with exhibitors and watching proceedings generally.
The Business meeting of the WCC took place on the Monday and the full minutes may be found in the Library section of this site.