To understand who the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy are is it important to first get our heads around what “Cat Fancy” is. The peculiar sounding term simply put means someone who owns, shows, collects or breeds Cats.
So a Cat Fancier is someone who has a particular interest in Cats, for example you could say that someone who owns and runs a Cat Cafe or takes their cat to compete in Cat shows such as Birmingham’s Supreme Cat Show is a Cat Fancier, you could even say that someone (don’t worry I’m not naming any names) who buys 4 cat trackers to track every movement of their cats is very much a cat fancier too!
Who are the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy?
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (also known as the GCCF) is a historic organisation dating back to 1910 which is responsible for the registration of all pedigree cats in the UK. It also licenses UK cat shows and hosts the yearly GCCF Supreme Cat Show in Birmingham’s NEC arena every November. The Council, which is based in Bridgwater Somerset, has been an incorporated company since November 2010.
What does the GCCF do?
The GCCF has twelve full time staff members in their head office. They deal with many hundreds of cat registrations every week along with managing cat related publications, organising the administration of cat shows and winning cat title claims. They are also responsible for managing all communications with cat breeders, cat clubs, cat exhibitors as well as the general public and cat breeding advisers. As well as all this they also handle complaints regarding potential rule breaches in cat shows.
The GCCF has board meetings every two to three months where issues from use of finances to cat club registration issues are discussed. The Board is made up of nominees who are nominated from various cat clubs across the country.
Cat welfare is a very important element of what the GCCF does as it has to ensure that cats are bred and cared for in a responsible manner at all of the associated cat clubs. The GCCF therefore setup a charity in 1988 called the Cat Welfare Trust. It exists to collect funds to be used for improving the overall general welfare of Cats through the widest possible range of activities. For example some of their recent activity saw them issuing thousands of pounds of funds to finance research into ringworm vaccinations as well as the feline genome and research into chronic gingivo-stomatitis.
History of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
In 1910 three independent cat clubs who were known for certifying and registering pure bred cats came together to form the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
Over the last 100 years the council has seen huge growth, with 150 registered member clubs now existing nationwide. It now licences and runs 150 Cat shows per year, the biggest being their own Supreme Cat Show, and oversees a colossal 25,000 pedigree Cat registrations every year. The most incredible thing about the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy is that they managed to do all of this solely through the power of donations and volunteers.
Although the GCCF is famed for its documentation of pedigree cats they also frequently have categories for non-pedigree domestic short-haired and long haired cats in many of their cat shows. Many Tuxedo cats are often non-pedigree so this is the category you would probably enter most Tuxedo cats in if you were thinking of entering a cat show.
Pedigree cats which often have Tuxedo markings include the Persian, Manx, Scottish Fold, Siberian and Exotic short haired cats.