The cat fancy in the United States is made up of three large national registries:
- American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)
- The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA)
- The International Cat Association (TICA)
These national associations register cats and litters and maintain these records in a data bank.
They also sanction cat shows, train and license cat show judges and award titles to the cats who have earned them. They sponsor awards at the end of the cat show season recognizing the best adult cats, kittens and altered cats of that show year. They recognize the beauty of the non-pedigreed or pet-quality pedigreed household pet.
They also produce publications with articles of interest and yearbooks featuring the cats that were exhibited during the previous show season. I addition, they may have programs that enable breeders to have their cattery inspected and approved by the association, and they all work toward educating the general public on cat care and responsible cat ownership.
Registering a Cattery
Once you have decided you will be showing pedigreed cats, whether or not you have decided to breed them, you should apply for a cattery name. Without a name or file with the cat registry in which you are showing, your cat will be shown without your cattery name, although you still can claim titles.
Registering your cattery in all active registries will provide your cattery with the following benefits:
- The cattery protects its name so that it cannot be used by anyone else.
- The cattery is able to register its litters and kittens with the cattery name affixed in each of these registries. Even experienced breeders sometimes forget that no association will accept as a prefix (or suffix) any cattery name that is not registered with it.
It is also a good idea to register your cattery in any regional or state-level associations where you expect to show or which appear to be good markets for your kittens.
One other reason to register your cattery in all three major national registries is because registering your cattery name with one registry does not protect it everywhere. In fact, the opposite is true. If, for example, you register your cattery name with TICA, that name is recognized only with TICA, but not CFA or ACFA.
How to Register
First, you need to obtain the current official form from each registry you want to register with. Next, decide who will be the owner of this cattery. You need to consider the following:
- The co-owner of the cattery is automatically a co-owner of every cat owned by the cattery.
- Every litter registration from the cattery will have to be signed by at least one owner of the cats involved in the breeding. However, a registry may require every co-owner of the cattery to sign litter registrations.
- It takes the signature of every co-owner of the cattery to add another co-owner.
- Joint ownership of the cattery and its cats is one way of handling the transfer of ownership and care of your cats in case you become ill.
Selecting a Cattery Name
Once a registry has approved a cattery name, it cannot be changed. The rules of naming your cattery are shown below:
- When counting the length of a cattery name, you have to include all spaces and characters, such as dashes and hyphens (if they are allowed). After you have settled on a name, call the registry to see if that name is available. Remember that even you are told that a name is available, it is only available then and for that registry only. Once your cattery name has been approved, all new litters for which you are the breeder (that is you own the queen) will carry your cattery name as a prefix when they have been properly registered. That prefix is permanent. Any cat you buy from another breeder can have your cattery name added at the end as a suffux. Your name is added following of, so the kitten you bought from Breeder cattery will be Breeder [Cat’s Name] of Your Cattery.
- A suffix, but not a prefix, can be removed or changed, but only after you have applied to the registry to do this. That usually happens when you sell a cat you have previously purchased. You can add a new owner to the cattery name, but you have to apply to each registry to do it, and that application must be signed by every registered owner of the cattery.