Monday 1 March 2021

What is the cat fancy?

The cat fancy is that group of people who breed purebred pedigree cats for adoption and for showing at cat shows and it also includes those organisations called cat associations which govern cat shows and provide guidelines in the form of breed standards for breeders to follow.

Lynx point Siamese cat at a cat show. Cat shows are part of the cat fancy.
Lynx point Siamese cat at a cat show. Cat shows are part of the cat fancy. Photo: Pixabay.

In short, it is that group of people who are involved with showing, selling and breeding purebred cats. The word "fancy" is an interesting one because you may have also heard of the phrase 'pigeon fanciers'. These are people who breed racing pigeons. There are other fanciers concerning other animals. The word 'fancy' in this context means 'to like', to put it simply.

So cat fanciers are those people who like purebred cats and therefore they like to breed them. And if you breed purebred cat you want to breed the best purebred cat you can. This means that you want to win a cat show or win a category at a cat show. 

You do this by making sure that the cat that you breed fits in as near as possible perfectly with the breed standard as provided by the cat association to which you are affiliated and where your purebred cat is registered.

All purebred cats should be registered with a cat association. In some countries you will see purebred cats, often Persian cats, for sale which probably are not registered with any cat association and therefore you can't be sure that they are genuine. Their appearance may be slightly dubious as well.

A lot of countries do not have a cat fancy. The biggest cat fancy is in America and the idea of a cat fancy was started in England in the late 19th century. The largest number of purebred cats are in America. America is a nation of cat lovers with the world's largest number of domestic cats and the highest number of purebred cats. However, like all nations there are those who dislike cats of which there are many millions in America.

The most popular purebred cats in America are probably the Persian, Siamese, Bengal and Maine Coon. You can find out which are the most popular by finding out which cat breed sells the best and that information should be available with the cat associations and if not they can at least tell you the number of cats that they register of each particular breed. That is an indirect way of finding out which breed sells the best.

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