The Cat Fanciers' Association is a non-profit organization founded in 1906, after breaking ties with the American Cat Association. The Association licensed its first cat shows in 1906; one show was held in Buffalo, New York and another show was held in Detroit, Michigan. CFA's first Annual Business Meeting was held in 1907 at Madison Square Garden. In 1906, CFA published the first Stud Book and Register in the Cat Journal. In 1909, Volume I of the Stud Book was published in book form. The Stud Book and Register served as CFA's first published records of cat breeding and lineage as it began a tradition of providing a much-needed service to the cat fancy. On September 18, 1919, Articles of Incorporation were filed in New York State. By 1920, CFA was on its way to becoming the largest registry of pedigreed cats that it is today.
CFA Constitution Objectives
The Association shall be a not-for-profit organization. Its objects shall be as follows: the welfare of all cats; the promotion and improvement of CFA recognized breeds of cats; the registering, recording or identifying by number or by other means the names and/or pedigrees of cats and kittens; the promulgation of rules for the management of cat shows; the licensing of cat shows held under the rules of this organization; and the promotion of the interests of breeders and exhibitors of pedigreed cats.
CFA Central Office, New Jersey
In 1958, Mrs. Jean Rose became the registrar for The Cat Fanciers' Association, working out of her home in New Jersey. At that time, Mrs. Rose donated two large rooms of her home where she conducted all CFA business. In 1965, Mrs. Rose took the unprecedented step of renting office space in Red Bank, New Jersey. Four years later, the organization had outgrown facility and moved its operations. In 1980, due to increased registrations, the association purchased a 5,000 square foot facility in Ocean Township, New Jersey. This office space was quickly outgrown and CFA sought a new location to house its operations.
In June of 1988, at the CFA Board Meeting, the board unanimously approved a plan to purchase and construct a new building to house its Central Office. Construction commenced in 1990, and on February 1, 1991 nine truckloads of desks, files and equipment were moved into the new facility.
Global Headquarters, Alliance, Ohio
With a desire to cut expenses and find a more centralized location, in July 2011, CFA moved its Central Office operations once again. This time, the move was to an entirely new state: from Manasquan, New Jersey to its current home in Alliance, Ohio. A former bank building which CFA renovated to meet the needs of a global operation, the building houses the CFA staff on the top level. The Central Office staff processes litter and cat registrations, transfers of ownership, cattery name registrations, certified pedigrees, title confirmations, show scoring, and other relevant functions related to pedigreed cats and cat shows.
The first floor of this stately, granite 16,000 square foot building is also the home of The CFA Foundation Feline Historical Museum. The mission of the CFA Foundation is to acquire and conserve the history of cats and show the development of the cat fancy through the acquisition of fine art, artifacts and literature. The contents of the former Jean Rose library which was housed at CFA's Manasquan, New Jersey location has expanded to exhibits, including the silver collar presented to Cosey, the Best in Show Winner of the National Show in 1895, an early 1900's cat carrier and other artifacts related to the cat. A non-lending library at the museum is available to individuals or researchers who are interested in cat history. The library houses the complete set of CFA Stud Books which contain the early registrations of the association, CFA Yearbooks from 1958, magazines and periodicals as well as over 700 books on cats.
CFA has grown steadily over the years from its humble beginnings, licensing two shows to licensing approximately 400 shows each season, worldwide. Membership in CFA is granted to clubs who have gone through an application and election process. Currently, CFA has over 600 member clubs. CFA shows are judged by individuals who have met high qualification criteria and have completed a rigorous training program which qualifies the judges to evaluate the show cats using a CFA Breed Standard for each one of its 42 breeds. To date, CFA has registered over 2 million pedigreed cats.
Reflecting upon the objectives set forth in the CFA Constitution, the association continues its mission by:
- Promoting the welfare of all cats through progressive actions which ranges from legislative advocacy to the support of feline research and providing breeder assistance.
- Maintaining a focus on the quality of its breed standards and the validity of its registration and pedigrees.
- Providing support to its member clubs who serve as Ambassadors to the general public
- Promoting the interests of breeders and exhibitors of pedigreed cats.