Judges’ Code of Ethics


The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. (“CFA”) is a not-for-profit association created to register pedigreed cats, sanction CFA’s clubs, shows and events, protect the hobby of breeding and showing pedigreed cats, and enhance the well-being of all cats. CFA Judges officiate at CFA shows to evaluate cats using CFA standards and policies.

CFA Judges are Ambassadors for CFA to the cat fancy and public. A CFA judge must embody and project unwavering integrity, dedication and ethical behavior that protects the reputation of fair, honest and educated judging. All CFA Judges affirm their endorsement of this code and acknowledge their commitment to uphold its principles and obligations by accepting and maintaining their license in the CFA Judging Program.

The following Code also applies to Social Media, which includes not only text, but also photographs, audio, video and any combinations of these. Social media communications should be regarded as public at all times, even if created with private intentions. If you are going to use social media, recognize that your communications might be read by anyone at any time, and that postings on the internet may be permanent. Commenting on lists or any other internet communication reaching multiple individuals, excluding your private email, is considered use of social media. “Re-tweeting” or clicking on the “like”, “share” or similar buttons on someone else’s social media comment is interpreted as commenting.

Judges’ Code of Ethics

CFA Judges shall at all times abide by and conform to the following code of conduct in their capacity as

  • Abide in all respects by the rules and regulations including but not limited to CFA’s By-Laws, Show Rules, and Judging Program Rules.
  • Conduct themselves in and out of the ring with honesty, integrity, due diligence, and competence as Ambassadors of CFA.
  • Carry out all obligations to the best of their ability including, but not limited to, their responsibilities to the clubs who employ their services, exhibitors who entrust their cats into their hands, breeders who look to them for advice, and to the cats themselves.
  • Base all judging decisions firmly on condition and the standards for each breed. Evaluate the exhibits strictly, fairly and impartially, in accordance with the accepted standard for each breed. Do not put yourself in a position where you give the impression that you have given up your impartiality.
  • Participate in continuing education, and keep current in the standards and rules in a manner that will
    allow judges to render an educated opinion which exhibitors will seek out.
  • Communicate with the public, exhibitors, breeders, fellow judges, and club members in a responsible, respectful, and professional manner. Promote your participation in the cat fancy in a positive light and with a general feeling of pride and professionalism.
  • Do not engage in or facilitate any discriminatory or harassing behavior toward CFA staff, CFA board members or officers, club members, exhibitors, breeders, or others in the context of activities relating to CFA. Positive and promoting comments regarding a show, CFA and club members are encouraged.
  • Act at all times in the best interests of CFA and not for personal or third-party gain or financial enrichment. Avoid placing, or the appearance of placing, one’s own self-interest or any third-party interest above that of CFA. Posting photos of your own cats is allowed on social media except for those cats/kittens currently being exhibited.
  • Do not solicit or accept gifts, gratuities, personal property, or any other item of value from any person as a direct or indirect inducement to provide special treatment to the donor in matters relating to CFA. Never accept any gifts suspected to be inappropriate.
  • Never solicit judging assignments.
  • Do not criticize by act or word the work of other CFA judges. Do not offer criticism of any previously judged cat(s) to anyone including other officiating judges during the course of a show. Avoid any situations where you single out a specific animal or breeder, whether it be a cat currently showing, or one that may be in the future.
  • Advise potential exhibitors not to show their cats in their ring when doing so might give the impression of unfair advantage. For example, if the exhibitor is: Their employer or an employee. A relative. A member of their household.
  • Respect and work together with the CFA Judging Program Committee, the CFA Board of Directors, fellow judges, clerks and stewards, and especially the clubs who hire them, in a spirit of cooperation and harmony.
  • Provide proper care for their cats and maintain them in an exemplary manner beyond CFA’s Minimum Cattery Standards.
  • Honor and respect the CAT.



  • 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).