Governing Council of the Cat Fancy
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The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) is a cat registry, established in 1910 and the largest organisation that registers pedigree cats in the United Kingdom. It was formed from a small number of cat clubs which were registering cats at the time when the modern cat fancy was in its first stages. It is considered to be the original prototype for cat fancy registries. It is an independent body with around 150 member clubs, including specialist breed clubs and area clubs covering particular regions. The GCCF became an incorporated company on 5 November 2010. It licenses cat shows put on by its affiliated clubs with about 135 shows per year. Pedigree cats shown at these shows can gain the titles Champion, Grand Champion, Imperial Grand Champion and Olympian. The latter having three levels, Bronze, Silver and Gold. The word Champion is replaced by Premier for neutered cats. The showing of non-pedigree cats (often referred to as Domestic shorthair and Domestic longhair) and Pedigree Pets is also popular at GCCF shows.
The GCCF also co-ordinates its own show: the Supreme Cat Show, which is famous for being the world's largest cat show and often referred to as the feline equivalent of Crufts. Special awards of UK and Supreme Champion can be gained at this show only.
The GCCF offices are based in Bridgwater and are staffed by people who deal with registrations, publications, show processing & title claims, agendas & minutes and correspondence from breeders, exhibitors, Clubs, Breed Advisory Committees and the general public. They also deal with complaints and breaches of rules, which can sometimes result in disciplinary action and even suspension from Cat Fancy activities. The GCCF is a member of the Cat Group and the World Cat Congress.
The GCCF has set up its own charity: The Cat Welfare Trust, which uses funds raised through the GCCF to find ways of improving the welfare of cats. To date the trust has granted thousands of pounds into key research projects in ringworm vaccination, the feline genome and chronic gingivo-stomatitis in cats.
The top three most popular cat breeds registered in the GCCF are the British Shorthair, the Ragdoll and the Siamese. The GCCF registers around 20,000 pedigree cats each year, and currently recognises the following breeds:
- Maine Coon
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Turkish Van
- Turkish Vankedisi
- British Longhair
- British Shorthair (Several different colours and patterns)
- Selkirk Rex
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Egyptian Mau
- Thai Lilac/Thai Pointed
- Foreign White
- Oriental Bicolour
- Oriental Shorthair (Several different varieties, including Havana)
- Oriental Longhair