The membership of the World Cat Congress is comprised of the world's major cat fancies, including the founding members; Fédération Internationale Féline - FIFe, Cat Fanciers' Association - CFA, The International Cat Association - TICA, World Cat Federation - WCF and Australian Cat Federation - ACF, as well as, New Zealand Cat Fancy - NZCF which joined in 2001 and the three newest members; Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia - CCC of A, Governing Council of the Cat Fancy - GCCF, United Kingdom, and Southern African Cat Council - SACC, which joined in 2006.
In order to apply for membership a body must be nominated and seconded in writing by two of the foundation members. The requirements to qualify for membership are set out in the World Cat Congress' constitution.
Whilst the members are often competitors on the international cat scene, each has enthusiastically embraced the forum provided by the World Cat Congress to promote the health & welfare of cats, encourage the sharing of resources in the interests of the cats, and educate the participants of the global cat fancy.
The Australian Cat Federation
The Australian Cat Federation (Inc.) was set up in 1972 to act as the umbrella cat body in this continent in order to achieve uniformity across Australia in key aspects of showing and breeding pedigree cats. It was for some 15 years a member body of FIFe and since 1995 has been involved with what is now the World Cat Congress.
The Federation is an Australia-wide, recommendatory body with affiliates (member bodies) representing all states and territories. There is no central registry; rather, each member body runs its own, in co-operation with other member bodies. The ACF has a common judge training scheme, breeding by-laws and standards. It held its first National Show in 1973 and the "ACF weekend" (a rather long one, for those involved with the various activities, such as the Executive, Judges' Guild and Annual General meetings, as well as the show) goes a long way to engender the feeling of 'family'.
Traditionally, the President is not of the cat fancy; since 1972, an impartial chairman has always proven the most suitable option for ACF.
We promote the welfare of all cats, the responsible breeding and showing of all ACF-recognised breeds of cats in Australia, and the showing of desexed domestic cats.
Co-Ordinating Cat Council of Australia
CCCA was formed in 1979 with the aim of uniting the Australian Cat Fancy into a National body. Today eight Australian Registering Councils are affiliates, and CCCA has member bodies in all states and the Australian Capital Territory.
The aims of the CCCA encompass fostering positive public relations regarding cats; promoting the breeding and exhibition of pedigreed cats; fostering feline health; political lobbying for regulation of cat husbandry, including registered breeders and owners, and the wider community; and developing National uniformity regarding registration, breed standards and Judges’ training.
CCCA’s on-going judges’ training program ensures a panel of knowledgeable, competent, accredited, personable judges and licences judges to officiate world-wide.
CCCA has ninety-six qualified Judges; conducts over 150 Shows annually. The CCCA National Show is the showpiece of CCCA. Either a one or two-day event, with six to eight rings, the National Show attracts 500 and more exhibits, and always features national and international judges. CCCA National Awards are presented to the best titled entire and desexed male and female cat in each group. These awards are cumulative, and culminate in Triple Diamond Grand Champion.
The CCCA Feline Health Research Fund’s mission is to raise and direct financial support to important areas of feline research, supporting the advancement of feline health through research and practice. Trustees of this fund include veterinarians, lawyers and academics who negotiate research within eligible universities and research institutes.
The Cat Fanciers' Association
The Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) is a non-profit organization founded in 1906. The first cat shows licensed by CFA were held during 1906 - one in Buffalo and one in Detroit. The first Annual Meeting was held in 1907 at Madison Square Garden. In 1909, CFA published the Register in the Cat Journal magazine. Also in 1909, Volume I of the Stud Book was published in book form. On September 18, 1919, articles of incorporation were drawn up under the laws of the State of New York. By 1920, CFA was on its way to becoming the largest registry of pedigreed cats that it is today.
CFA is dedicated to continue in its mission to preserve the uniqueness and beauty of the pedigreed breeds of cats and to enhance the well-being of all cats.CFA has over 650 member clubs and licenses over 400 high profile cat shows annually, world-wide. CFA shows are judged by individuals who meet high qualification criteria and have completed a rigorous training program that well qualifies them to evaluate the show cat using CFA Breed standards for each one of its 42 breeds.
From keeping breed record books to a full-scale global organization, with over two million cat registrations in its database, CFA is poised to move into its next 100 years. CFA moved its central office from Manasquan, NJ to Alliance, OH in the summer of 2011 and continues to operate from that location.
Fédération Internationale Féline
The Fédération Internationale Féline (FIFe) is a non-profit making federation of national cat fancies, primarily based in Europe, but with members also in Central and South America and in Asia. It was founded in 1949 by three clubs representing Belgium, France and Italy. It is now registered in Luxembourg and has 41 full members in 39 countries with probational members in a further two.
These member organisations follow the same rules in regard to registration of cats, the breed standards, rules for health & welfare, cattery names, shows, judges and student judges. These rules are also democratically decided at the annual General Assembly of the Fédération Internationale Féline at which each member has one vote.
The Fédération Internationale Féline is committed to protecting the health and well-being of cats and these aims are reflected in many of its breeding and registration rules. There are well over 100,000 members in the different organisations who issue well over of 110,000 pedigrees and 3000 cattery names a year. In the region of 650 FIFe international shows are held annually in the member countries with more than 200,000 cats exhibited and judged by over 200 FIFe judges. Currently FIFe has over 160 Student Judges, of which 100 are judges expanding their credentials and 60 are prospective new judges.
The high standards of excellence are maintained by a board of six people together with the five commissions, all of whose officers are democratically elected.
Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
The GCCF was established as an independent body in 1910, formed from four cat clubs that were registering cats at the time. It now has 144 affiliated cat clubs and licences approximately 135 cat shows and registers in excess of 31,000 cats per year. The GCCF is run from its Office in Bridgwater Somerset by a staff of 12, arranging registrations, show processing and title claims, agendas, minutes and correspondence, and dealing with the general public. They also handle the complaints and rule breaking. The Breed Advisory Committees deal with breed standards, registration policies, appointing judges and monitoring Probationer judges as well as those stewards on the stewarding scheme. Any proposed changes have to be agreed by the Executive Committee and then by Council.
Affiliated Clubs elect delegates from their members to attend the three Council Meetings held annually, with the Electoral Meeting in June each year when Officers and Committee Members are chosen. The administration of the Fancy is the responsibility of the Executive Committee, along with the Finance Committee, Investigation, Disciplinary and Appeals Committees. There are also two important sub-committees – Genetics and Veterinary. The welfare work of the Fancy is co-ordinated by the GCCF Office which provides welfare contacts with affiliated clubs and has its own Charity the “Cat Welfare Trust”.
There has been little change in the basic functions of Council since its inception in May 1910, which is to:
- Provide for the registration of cats and production of certified pedigrees.
- Licence cat shows and appoint judges.
- Classify cat breeds and issue Standard of Points by which cats may be judged.
- Prepare and publish rules to control these functions.
- Exercise disciplinary powers.
- Protect the welfare of cats and improve cat breeding.
- Protect the interests of cat owners.
The New Zealand Cat Fancy
New Zealand Cat Fancy is the preferred registry for the cat lovers of New Zealand. With twenty seven affiliated cat clubs holding more than thirty shows a year we cover the entire country and provide for the needs of Breeders, Exhibitors and Pet Owners throughout New Zealand. Our objects are to promote, foster, encourage, improve and assist in every way the breeding of cats registered with the NZCF.
The New Zealand Governing Council of the Cat Fancy held its first recorded meeting on Sept 4th 1930. In 1972 it was replaced by the New Zealand Cat Fancy which was formed as an affiliation of cat clubs.
The administration of the New Zealand Cat Fancy managed by a skilled, forward thinking group of six elected Councillors, one of which is selected as Chairperson. Councillors hold portfolios in their specialized areas of Registration, Shows, Judges, Marketing & Publications, Breed Standards Advisory Council, Finance, Administration, and Information Technology. Officers and Officials work in an honorary capacity. We have liaison personnel that connect us to community organisations with whom we share a common interest.
The New Zealand Cat Fancy Is all about the health and welfare of our cats and the growth of our organisation, without compromising the integrity of the standard of our pedigree breeds. Our Breed Standards Advisory Council aims to keep the treasures of the past intact while encouraging creativity and new ventures. Because we are geographically isolated in the southern Pacific Ocean we have developed a tradition of "Do-it-Yourself", and find ourselves to be the forerunners and pacesetters in developing new breeds and colours in an effort to increase the gene pool of uncommon breeds.
Our membership comprises of individuals from all parts of New Zealand, from breeders, exhibitors, pet owners and cat lovers. Many have been with us for decades and have made outstanding personal contributions to the Fancy. New members are encouraged to join in the friendly camaraderie they experience at our many shows and are offered much support from our clubs.
The Southern African Cat Council
The organized South African cat fancy started in 1945 with the formation of the Governing Council of the Associated Cat Clubs. In October 1996 the Southern Africa Cat Council (SACC) was restructured into its current form.
SACC holds multi ring championship shows across South Africa and cats can obtain more than one certificate on a specific show day. Cats may change status and be moved from one Class to a higher class during a show and also gather points at each show to qualify for the prestigious SACC Cat of the Year show. Cats can obtain the following titles within SACC:
- Champion for entires and Premier for neuters – 3 championship certificates are required from 3 different judges.
- Grand Champion or Grand Premier - 6 grand championship certificates are required from 6 different judges.
- Supreme Champion/ Premier - 6 supreme championship certificates are required from 6 different judges.
The SACC Cat of the Year show (COTY) is the highlight of the show calendar. At the gala event that same evening, the winners and placing are announced while their photos are flashed on large screens. The SACC Cat of the Year is the highest scoring cat of the two cats that are crowned as the SACC Adult of the Year and the SACC Neuter of the Year.
The International Cat Association
Wherever you are, you're in TICA's world.
The International Cat Association (TICA), headquartered in the United States, was organized in the summer of 1979. Today, TICA is a truly international organization, with clubs and members all over the world. TICA maintains a central registry and registers cats and issues pedigrees from its Executive Office in Harlingen, Texas.
The strength of TICA is in its members. Breeders, exhibitors and cat lovers are all invited to join TICA and vote on all issues which shape the policy of the Association. Members are also entitled to belong to breed sections of their choice and be elected to TICA Breed Committees. Breed Committees are responsible for continued guidance, development, and/or modifications in the breed standards for the championship breeds and for those breeds, recognized by TICA, that are in development.
The World Cat Federation
In 1988, the World Cat Federation (WCF) was founded in Rio de Janeiro. The founders WCF President Anneliese Hackmann/Germany and Vice President Paulo Ruschi/USA paved the way for a common international set of guidelines for keeping, breeding and showing purebred cats around the world.
Their vision has become reality today on a global scale: an international umbrella organisation cooperating with cat fanciers and coordinating their work across linguistic and national boundaries, with a an enormous growth rate.
At present, the WCF unites 73 Full Member clubs from 35 countries, as well as 82 Patronage clubs from 26 countries and 134 Trainee clubs from 8 countries. WCF has set up world wide breeding standards, organises judge training programmes, examination rules and runs a list of WCF licenced judges. WCF delivers seminars on genetic, medical and animal welfare issues as well as steward training and breeders’ seminars.
WCF unifies international show rules, licences and supervises about 400 international WCF cat shows a year all around the world.
Noted for open-mindedness and experience, WCF is on friendly terms with the WCC umbrella organizations and also co-operates with independent cat clubs.