Definition of a Breed

The Breed Definition Report, which well over 60% of individual breed council members and 80% of the individual Breed Councils voted upon favorably, was finally endorsed by your elected Board by a 2/3-majority vote at the Albuquerque, NM Board Meeting. Let’s take a look at what the Board has done and how it will affect you, the individual CFA breeder – the heart and soul of our organization.

The Breed Councils were given three opportunities to provide input to us on an overall CFA breed policy. Each time, they told us by a resounding majority that they wanted CFA to remain a conservative registry that maintains the right of your own breed to be unique on the show bench and in the eyes of the public. The key word in this statement is “remain”. What this policy does NOT do: The policy just adopted by the CFA Board does not change any breed policy in place in CFA – it simply formalizes the unwritten policy that has served CFA so well over the years. It does not change any outcrossing policies currently in effect in CFA. What this policy DOES do: This policy protects the integrity of your breed identities now, and will continue to do so as new breeds are accepted by CFA. It establishes boundaries in order to safeguard the interests of breeds being used as outcrosses. The charge has been made that consideration of this policy has been harmfully divisive to CFA. The majority of your Board believes that the lack of a policy is what led to the divisiveness. It was, in fact, the growing alienation among several breeds that led the Board to address this situation in the first place. Because so much misinformation has been circulated about this action, following is the Breed Definition Report as passed by the CFA Board.

It is my hope that you, our valued CFA breeders – no matter on which side of this issue you have been during the past three years – will now give this policy an opportunity to work. The important thing to remember is that, as a policy, it can be amended by the Board to meet future needs that may not be apparent now. It is my further hope that we can now move past the constant turmoil over this issue, so that our organization can concentrate its energy and efforts on other important areas, such as promoting pedigreed cats and fighting anti-breeding legislation.

Donald J. Williams

A breed is a group of domestic cats (subspecies felis catus) that the governing body of CFA has agreed to recognize as such. A breed must have distinguishing features that set it apart from all other breeds. The definition presumes the following:

  • At the time of recognition for registration CFA will assign a new breed into one of four classifications – Established, Hybrid, Mutation or Natural.
  • No breed of any classification may be merged in whole or in part with a Natural or Established breed.
  • For those breeds who do not have any other source of new bloodlines; i.e., importation, other registries or current outcrosses to other recognized breeds; and for whom the need to outcross for health and vitality appears necessary, the CFA Board will grant approval of an outcrossing plan when 60% of the voting breed council membership approves such a proposal. In addition to this required breed council approval any such outcrossing proposal must include the following:

a. A summary of the problem and/or problems that have caused the request to be made.
b. Relevant statements from qualified veterinary and/or genetic professionals establishing that outcrossing is the best course to follow to correct the problem cited in (a) above.
c. A statement establishing that no other source of new bloodlines is available to the breed seeking this option.
d. The source of the desired outcross.
e. A guarantee to breeds that might be used as an outcross in such a program that any look-alike cats produced by such outcrossing will not at any time seek to be returned either to the registry or show classes of the breed and/or breeds being used for outcrossing nor will petitions to show such offspring in any other breed classes be entertained.
f. A description of the registration procedures to be used in the establishment of the outcrossing program and approval by the CFA Executive Director of such procedures.

  • The establishment of classes in any breed which:

a. in the case of a hybrid or currently outcrossing breed, mimic* the parent breed(s); or,
b. in the case of a new breed, mimic* an existing breed, will not be permitted. AOV classes are not affected by this stipulation.

Definition of mimic:

A class of cats would be said to mimic either (a) the parent breed, or (b) an already existing breed, when such a class of cats so closely resemble (a) the parent breed, or (b) already existing breed, that the defining features of the two groups are considered to be basically the same and the differences between the two groups cannot be said to be definite.