Acceptance and Advancement of New Breeds and Colors

Advancement Matrix chart

A new breed first must be recognized for registration before it can be exhibited in the Miscellaneous Class, the Provisional Class, and finally enter Championship show competition. All new Breeds accepted for Registration will be eligible for registration upon acceptance. A new Breed will be eligible for exhibition in the Miscellaneous Class on the first day of the next show season after acceptance. A new Color for an established breed must first be recognized for registration and exhibited in the AOV Class. 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. The establishment of 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 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 can be naturally occurring or arise 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 different 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.

To see the requirements to request Registration of a new Breed and recognition as a Miscellaneous, Provisional or Championship Breed or Color, please see the Advancement Matrix chart.