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Acceptance and Advancement
of New Breeds and Colors

Advancement Matrix

A new breed or color first must be recognized for registration before it can become a Provisional Breed and finally enter Championship show competition. CFA is willing to register any litter which fulfills the requirements for registration as set down in this outline. Registration does not guarantee eventual progression to Provisional and Championship status.

The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc. is the largest registry of purebred cats in the world. For purposes of registration, CFA has arbitrarily divided cats into the following groups: Natural, Hybrid, Established and Mutant breeds. Since the British cat fancy has been established long before that of the American, the artificial boundaries of four large groups was necessary to encompass those breeds present and those to come in the future. It should also be pointed out that registration rules need not also follow the laws of genetics.

The purpose of a registry of purebred cats is to provide a continuing history of cats as a service to breeders. Because of changes in registration rules that have occurred from time to time in the history of CFA, these rules have been prepared to offer guidelines to breeders interested in developing new breeds and colors of cats.

New breeds of cats occur either as spontaneous mutations or result from the hybridization of two previously known breeds. When two cats come together and produce offspring unlike either parent, a mutation is strongly suspected. It does happen that a diff erent offspring may occur as a result of different breeds or colors in the ancestry of the parents. Such a kitten is not a mutation, but rather a reflection of its ancestry.

Mutations take the form of skeletal changes (Manx, Scottish Folds), new coat forms (Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, American Wirehair), and new colors (Red Abyssinian). Examples of hybrid breeds are the Himalayan-Persian, the Exotic and the Oriental.

CFA wishes to impress upon those breeders who would consider hybridizaton to create a new breed the consequences of such an undertaking. Not only must the breeder consider the validity of the planned breeding program, but whether the product of this proposed hybridization will enhance the fancy by its addition. Will sufficient breeding stock be available from those breeders who will be called on to participate in the breeding program, and most importantly, is the proposal possibly simply a whim?

CFA believes that the import of these considerations must be weighed carefully. The future of the proposed breed depends upon just this evaluation; indeed, the future of the fancy is dependent on such conscientious, moral judgments.

Although CFA is eager to aid in the development of any cat offering a unique and healthy addition to the fancy, CFA does assume the position that not all hybrid crosses will be acceptable to the fancy. CFA feels that any new breed of cat should be an asset to the fancy both in health and beauty. Realizing that some new breeds will rarely attract the following of some older ones, CFA still insists that there be sufficient numbers of breeders and sufficient numbers of specimens of the new breed to warrant registration. It should be emphasized that registration of a new breed or new color does not automatically ensure future championship status.

Requirements for Recognition as a Provisional Breed

A. Request for recognition as a provisional Breed may be made to the CFA Executive Board after not less than 100 individual specimens of the new breed or color have been registered with CFA over a period of not less than five years. The current breeder list must include twenty-five active breeders.

B. Presentation of a definite standard

C. A list of acceptable colors for Provisional show status. (Note: Colors for Provisional Breed status need not include all colors recognized for registration.)

D. The cutoff date for breeds allowed in the background ancestry.

E. At least one breed club, a CFA member.

F. Recommendations for Breed Committee Members - a Secretary, and two other breeders familiar with the breed (to be appointed by the CFA Board).

G. Sufficient facts to demonstrate the potential value to the fancy of the proposed breed, the differences between the proposed breed and existing recognized breeds.

Compliance with the requirements of these rules will not necessarily guarantee acceptance of the breed or color by the CFA Board.

It is highly desirable that examples of the breed or new color be presented to the CFA Executive Board at one of the regular meetings. It is essential that a breeder, thoroughly knowledgeable in the history of the new breed or color and absolutely familiar with every aspect of the breed or color present the cats and information to the Board.

Every request for recognition, at whatever level, with all required material must be in the Central Office prior to August 1st of each year.

Once Provisional Breed status has been achieved, there must be evidence of the new breed extensively shown in all regions. Judges are required to submit objective reports regarding new breeds and colors exhibited under them.

Requirements for Recognition as a Championship Breed

The Board of Directors, on its own motion, will accept any Provisional Breed for Championship competition when, in the opinion of the Board, such action is proper. Again, it is emphasized that acceptance at the two previous levels does not insure automatic acceptance for Championship status. CFA recognizes that quality and benefits to the fancy are more important than mere numbers. Before such action, the CFA Board must have:

  • A standard agreed upon by the breeders.
  • A list of acceptable colors for Championship competition. (Note: Colors for Championship competition need not include all colors recognized for registration or Provisional Breed status.)
  • Proof that at least twenty-five different cats have been shown throughout all the regions in CFA shows.

Every request for recognition, at whatever level, with all required material must be in the Central Office prior to August 1st of each year.

Acceptance of New Colors in Older Breeds

New colors in older breeds face other problems. The most obvious of these is the prejudice of established color breeders. Breeders of such new colors must be prepared to present acceptable evidence that new colors have appeared spontaneously and are not the result of hybridization in natural breed classes or they must provide evidence of derivation of color from other breeds. Breeders must be prepared to present evidence of the dominance or recessiveness of new colors. This can be done by statistical evidence of all colors appearing in all litters bred for at least three years. New colors must request registration in the same manner as new breeds. New colors must be shown in the AOV (Any Other Variety) class in numbers comparable to those required f or new breeds.

Every request for recognition, at whatever level, with all required material must be in the Central Office no less than sixty days prior to the Board Meeting at which formal requests for recognition are to be made.