Are you interested in finding a purebred cat? As you shop for your cat, you may notice the initials CFA in some advertisements. What exactly does this mean? CFA stands for the Cat Fancier's Association, the largest purebred cat registry in the world. The CFA was created to maintain breed standards and register litters of purebred kittens. In addition, this association holds cat shows, where cats are judged to see how closely they adhere to their breed's standard. The CFA recognizes only forty one breeds of cats.
When a breeder registers a litter of kittens with the Cat Fancier's Association, he or she has the option of deciding that the kitten cannot be bred. Only cats with a pin number on their registration forms will be eligible to have their kittens registered. This allows the breeders to continue to better their breeds. Once the litter is registered, each kitten will need to be individually registered by its new owner.
The CFA has placed the cat breeds it recognizes into three categories. These groups are the Championship Class, the Provisional Class, and the Miscellaneous Class. Each of the forty one breeds that the CFA recognizes is placed in one of these groups. When cats are shown, they must win first place in their breed and then their class before they can compete for the title of best in show.
Cats in the Championship Class are those who are solidly established cat breeds. The breeds in the Provisional Class have been more recently established and are still being closely watched to be sure they conform to the new breed standard. Finally, the one breed currently in the Miscellaneous Class is still having a breed standard created and cannot actually compete for the best in show title.
If you live in Canada, you have a second option. You can register your cat in the Canadian Cat Association. This association was formed by Canadians who did not want to register their cats with an association in another country. Other popular cat registries are the Traditional Cat Association, which supports original breed standards and does not uphold current trends that exaggerate breed characteristics, the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy, which is the United Kingdom's cat registry, and the Fédération Internationale Féline, which is the European cat registry.
Although there are many breeds of cats, they all fit into one of two categories, short hair or long hair. Short hair cats include breeds such as the Abyssinian and the British Shorthair, while Norwegian Forest Cats and Turkish Angoras are representatives of long hair cats. Of the forty one CFA recognized cat breeds, the most popular is probably the American Shorthair, which has been in the United States for over 300 years. Although non-pedigreed pet cats often resemble this breed, it has actually been carefully and selectively bred for generation after generation to develop characteristics that would appear in every kitten. Other popular breeds are the Siamese, the Rex, the Main Coon, the Persian and the Ragdoll.
Just remember, a pedigree doesn't make your kitten any more loving and affectionate. There are many wonderful pet cats without a pedigree. However, a pedigree does enable you to pick out a kitten that will have certain characteristics.