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Too Many Cat Associations

cat show cat in a bed

Are there too many cat associations? I am talking about the USA primarily and not the various associations specific to different countries. The USA is by far the biggest domestic cat "market", with some 90m domestic cats (not including, as I understand it, feral domestic cats). By contrast another big market is the UK with 7m cats, a fraction of the US numbers. When one talks of the cat fancy you really have to think of the US mainly and they are the main driving force.

The multitude of cat associations in the US is due to natural evolution much like the domestic cat itself. The cat fancy started at the end of the 19th century. In the UK the first was The National Cat Club formed in 1887. They were the governing body of the cat fancy in the UK until the formation of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) in 1910.

In the USA the first was the American Cat Club, formed in 1895, after the cat show in Madison Square Garden, New York of the same year. Thereafter the US cat fancy pulled in different directions, with splinter groups forming and different factions pursuing different goals. All very human and very normal but not that great for the cats in my view.

The current position is that there are a number of different and competing cat associations, with slightly different views on the development of the cat fancy generally and on the development of particular cat breeds specifically.

This only serves to create confusion, compounded by breed standards written, it seems, by different people within each cat association and in slightly different styles. This causes a lack of clarity of vision and purpose.

What I am trying to say is this: the reasons why there is more than one general association (i.e. not breed specific) are the wrong reasons. This has created a weakness in the management of cat breeding.

These are the associations based in the US. TICA is international and of course includes the US. The CFA is, I think, also international but if it is it focuses on the USA.
  • American Cat Association (ACA)
  • American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)
  • Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA)
  • Cat Fanciers' Federation (CFF)
  • The International Cat Association (TICA)
  • American Association of Cat Enthusiasts (AACE)
  • United Feline Association (UFO)
  • Traditional Cat Association Inc ®(TCA)
In Canada there is:
  • Canadian Cat Association (CCA)
  • Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF)
  • Federation Internationale Feline (FIFe)
  • World Cat Federation (WCF)

Photograph of Persian cat in his pen on a bed copyright by whizchickenonabun

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