The CFA Foundation, Inc.
Through the efforts of Vaughn Barber, Don Williams, Michael Brim, Tom Dent and Sy Howard, the CFA Foundation was established on June 22, 1990 by the Cat Fanciers’ Association Board of Directors. Its purpose was to be a forum that would educate the general public about the history of the cat and the cat fancy.
The CFA Foundation’s collection started with financial donations from cat clubs at the 1990 CFA annual meeting. Other donations of cat books, stud books, past issues of the CFA Yearbook, the Cat Fanciers' Almanac, other CFA publications and other cat-related periodicals quickly followed. Today, donations to the CFA Foundation have expanded enormously and have helped position the foundation to be a recognized authority on historical information about the cat and the cat fancy.
The Feline Historical Museum
A long-standing goal of the Foundation was to establish and maintain a permanent display for the benefit and use of the general public. The opportunity to achieve that goal came when The Cat Fanciers’ Association moved to Alliance, Ohio and offered to lease the ground floor of their newly purchased building to the Foundation. The Feline Historical Museum was established by the CFA Foundation, and now contains an exhibition of works of art relating to cats, historical artifacts from the early cat fancy, and a research library.
The first major donation to the foundation, from the National Capital Cat Show, was funding to purchase the silver collar and medal presented to Cosey at a Madison Square Garden cat show on May 8, 1895. Cosey was a brown tabby Maine (Coon) cat owned by Mrs. Fred Brown of Long Island, NY.
From time to time, the museum will have special collections on exhibit. Currently, we have the following on display:
The Maneki Neko Collection contains over 200 Maneki Neko, the Japanese “welcoming cat”, in a wide variety of mediums, colors and sizes.
The Cat Doll Collection contains a number of unique dolls, dressed in period costumes. Many of the dolls are artist proofs created for specialty stores and catalogs. Several dolls are one-of-a-kind, commissioned for private collectors.
The Research Library
More than 1,400 books about cats can be found in the research library at the Feline Historical Museum. In addition, hundreds of magazines and periodicals dating back to the early 20th century provide historical documentation about the development of the cat fancy in North America. While the library is non-lending, the Foundation's resources are available for on-site reference to the general public and researchers.
YOUR Museum. How Can You Make Sure It Continues to Grow?
Many of us have realized that our cherished collections will not be treasured by those we leave behind, or we are searching for a place where those special items will be appreciated. Every passing year sees more material destroyed because CFA breeders and their heirs do not consider it as having value or interest.
The Foundation provides that place where your collections, books, artwork, or other items will always be enjoyed by other cat lovers. To donate funds or memorabilia please contact us through our web site, via email, or call the museum (330-680-4444) and speak to the director about your planned gift.
When you do decide to part with your collectibles, the Feline Historical Museum would be honored to be the permanent caretaker of your historical paperwork and photos as well as your treasured cat collectibles.
Museum Location and Hours
The Feline Historical Museum is located at 260 East Main Street, Alliance, OH 44601. Directions can be obtained on Google Maps.
The museum is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10am-4pm, and Saturday 9am-12pm. While admission is free, donations are gratefully accepted.
Keeping in Touch
The CFA Foundation posts regularly to its Facebook page and produces a regular email newsletter. Subscribe here!