Applying to the Judging Program

CFA’s judges are respected worldwide and sought after for their knowledge, expertise and handling abilities. Prior to applying to the Judging Program, applicants are expected to have a solid foundation in their knowledge of breeds. Unfortunately, there are no programs available such as Abyssinian or Persian 101 for judging program applicants to take, so CFA offers the following suggestions for obtaining this expertise.

Actual breeding and exhibiting is the best personal experience, and CFA suggests working with at least two of our most popular body types, the short and cobby as well as the oriental style. The majority of our exhibits fall within these two body styles. Added experience with one or two moderate body types with consideration to coat length would be helpful.

Breed seminars and presentations are frequently given at Breed Club level as well as at shows where a particular breed is honored. These can provide an in depth study of the standard and its application.

Agenting can provide hands on experience to the various breeds and the subtle differentiations of approach to achieve favorable handling response vital to the examination and presentation of the exhibit in the judging situation.

Cattery visitations – a day long visit in a casual, relaxed atmosphere where cats can be carefully amined and viewed in their usual habitat has proved invaluable to the learning process. Many of our most successful breeder-exhibitors enjoy discussion of their breed standard and will openly share the good and bad points of their show and breeder cats. Cattery visits/ agenting. Longhair applicants must submit a minimum of five (5) cattery visitation reports. Shorthair applicants must submit a minimum of seven (7) cattery visitation reports. In all cases, a variety of breeds is recommended. The owner of the visited cattery must belong to the Breed Council of the breed to be examined. Agenting forms (signed by the owner of the agented exhibit) will be part of the Exhibitor’s Resume. Complete care and custody of the cat is required by taking the cat to the show, grooming the cat at the show, having the cat in your care the nights at the show, taking it to and from the rings. If possible, the agent should also be responsible for before-the-show bathing and grooming of the cat.

Clerking is one place to learn about breeds. Once you have established yourself as interested in judging, and have the ability to maintain the confidence of information shared with you, many judges will gladly share their experiences, and you will have a close up view of all the cats at a show.

Education rings are becoming ever popular events at our shows. Depending upon time and availability of exhibits, these may provide cursory and in depth knowledge of a breed.

Note: be sure to reference the current Judging Program Rules for detailed requirements

Before considering applying to the judging program, please be aware that all requirements are to be met before applying and you must:

  • Be of good reputation, both in the cat fancy and your community.
  • Have a complete understanding of the most current CFA Standards, CFA Show Rules and the CFA Judging Program Rules.
  • Be at least eighteen (18) years of age.
  • Have a current Master Clerk License.
  • Have had Custodial Experience
  • Attend a CFA Breed Awareness and Orientation School for the appropriate specialty within two years of applying.
  • Have exhibited outside of your region of residence. (requirements vary by region)
  • Have a CFA Cattery registration certificate for seven (7) years breeding experience
  • Have a club membership verification, indicating five years of active, continuous membership, which must be signed by the club President and Secretary.
  • Meet the Scorecard requirements.
  • Have a litter registration certificate, proving that you bred your first litter, with your cattery name as prefix, at least seven (7) years prior to your date of application.
  • Have an Exhibitor Resume.
  • Provide a statement of why you want to be a CFA Judge.
  • Have a copy of your application filled out, signed by your Regional Director and sent directly to the Judging Program Applications Administrator.
  • Three CFA Club recommendations.
  • Have marked a catalog with an Allbreed Judge. Have a statement that the paperwork was found error free.
  • Have three letters of personal recommendations/character reference be sent directly to the Judging Program Administrator.
  • Have created two copies of the application, one for CFA and one for your files.
  • Provide the current application fee and photo of yourself.
  • Meet the applicable application deadline date. (See Deadline Dates).


Application forms and information:

If you have any questions, concerns or comments, please contact the current Applications Administrator:
Kathi Hoos
1753 Blakewood Drive
Chambersburg, PA  17201
Tel: (717)-2635915

Or for general questions, contact:
The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc.
260 East Main Street
Alliance, OH 44601
Tel: (330) 680-4070
Fax: (330) 680-4633