The Cat Fanciers Association is one of the most influential, respected organizations concerned with cats and cat breeding. Its story begins in 1906. It licensed the first cat shows in Buffalo, New York and Detroit in 1906.
Although the non-profit became known for its cat shows, it has published magazines and books on cats as well. Over the whole 113 years it has existed, the organization has grown tremendously. It has a library and a museum chronicling the history of the cat fancy.
In fact, one of the most well-known artifacts there is a collar earned by a cat named Cosey, the winner of an 1895 cat show in New York for being the “best in show,” according to the Cat Fanciers Association website.
The Cat Fanciers Association doesn’t only put together cat shows, it sets the breeding standards, offer guidelines for breeding, and select and train the judges for cat shows.
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They also support and publicize facts on cat health. Thus they play a role in doing research on different cat diseases and other health issues, according to the WOW website.
They keep a registry of all the cat breeds in existence. Today the group has branched off into a number of small organizations nationwide and in different states, as well as around the world.
To date they recognize 41 different cat breeds, and have registered over 2 million pedigreed cats.
As the Catlovers Only website points out, the list of felines recognized by this organization is by no means closed.
The Cat Fanciers Association has grown in all the years it has been active–sometimes too fast for their headquarters to keep up.
Its original headquarters were in New Jersey, at the home of a Mrs. Jean Rose, who became the group’s first registrar.
They had several headquarters in New Jersey, outgrew those buildings. Their present location is in Alliance, Ohio.
A far cry from its humble beginnings, The Cat Fanciers Association has grown into perhaps the most respected organization in the world of cat fancying.
Its opinions of what constitutes a legitimate cat breed are well-known, even by those who do not know that the organization exists.