American Cat Fanciers Association (ACFA)
The American Cat Fanciers Association was formed in 1955 by a group of Cat Fanciers seeking greater flexibility in the development of cats, the activities of cat lovers and greater freedom for growth and harmony with contemporary needs of the individual breeders and the broadening horizons of the Cat Fancy at large.
The American Cat Fanciers Association was formed in 1955 by a group of Cat Fanciers seeking greater flexibility in the development of cats, the activities of cat lovers and greater freedom for growth and harmony with contemporary needs of the individual breeders and the broadening horizons of the Cat Fancy at large. It was a group of Cat Fanciers in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas area, comprised of individuals highly qualified in business management, organization, legal expertise and knowledge of the Cat Fancy and show procedures that provided the prime force for this endeavor. The founders of the Association, along with many others, felt that a more democratic organization would be able to move forward more rapidly than the organizations or associations current at that time, due to antiquated legislative rules, had been able to do. Their dreams were not unfounded.
Once the policies of this democratic Association were made known to the public, many of the leading breeders and fanciers, who long had resented the autocratic policies of the then existing organizations, joined ACFA. They felt that within the parameters, as set forth, there was room for advancement of the feline. The members set up a Board of Directors who were to represent the various regions in developing the Association policies. Such policies could not be written into the Bylaws, Show Rules or Registration Rules without the approving vote of the membership at large. Separate Breed Sections were presented and Standards of Perfection proposed for each breed; and they, the breeders of the specific breeds, accepted or rejected the standard. Once these standards had been set, they were to be changed only by the approval of the members of the Breed Section concerned, comprised of the breeder members.
Many exemplary changes were advanced by ACFA pertaining to show procedures. Modifications to existing guidelines and new policies first advanced and popularized by ACFA
include the following:
The double, triple and quadruple championship and grand championship were innovations first developed by ACFA.
For the first time in Cat Fancy history, altered cats were accepted for championship competition. These alters did not compete with the whole cats but were given their own championship classification. Still today, the alters compete in the Championship Shows under the same rules as any other championship cat.
ACFA was the first to introduce the ‘multiple’ ring Championship Show, a concept that remains standard in all associations today. However, until ACFA introduced the four ring Show, the common format was simply one Allbreed Ring and one Specialty Ring. ACFA was the first to provide exhibitors the opportunity to go to a show and have their cat judged "FOUR" times, not just twice. ACFA then forged ahead to introduce the five ring show, six ring show, and later, the now popular Back-to-Back show with 8 to 10 rings in a weekend.
In addition, ACFA was the first to require prospective judges to successfully complete ‘written’ exams prior to licensing.
Other firsts include: a training program for ‘trainee’ Judges and official Judges’ Schools [established for new and old judges alike] and special Breed Seminars for interested parties as well as Judges.
You will find many of these concepts are practiced by other contemporary associations.
Through the years, ACFA has progressed with the time, yet never forgetting those precepts on which we were founded. Here are a few reasons we believe our Association is the best, most unique, service-oriented organization of its type in the Cat Fancy today:
Every cat entered, judged and scored in an ACFA Show has a Master Show Record for each show year, which is logged into the ACFA computer database. A specific number of points are assigned for each win in the Show Ring during the show season (e.g., Best of Color, Best Cat in Show). These points are tabulated and the ‘average points scored’ per ring are determined. This final average is used to determine ACFA End-of-Year-Awards. Awards are designated for top three cats/kittens/alters of breed by color, overall top three cats/kittens/alters of breed and top winning cats/kittens/alters regardless of breed. Awards are presented both on a Regional and Inter-American level for cats, kittens, alters and household pets. The unique part of this system is that every Cat Fancier can afford to compete for the top awards each year. Since it is not a ‘total’ point system, exhibitors need not incur the expense of campaigning a cat every weekend to be in competition, as is the case with other award systems currently in place.
As part of your ACFA membership dues, you will receive the quarterly ACFA Bulletin and Parade of Royalty (POR). The Bulletin is designed to provide the ACFA Member with the latest information about their Association. It includes but is not limited to: reports on new policies and actions taken by the Board of Directors; a current Show Schedule; the Classified Mart; lists of Judges and Breed Section/Committee and more. The Parade of Royalty (POR) is a yearly publication of the finest quality, incorporating full color reproductions to best display top winning cats. It also contains breeder advertisements and special features about cats and the Cat Fancy.
ACFA is continually seeking new ways to simplify the registrations of cats and litters, while still maintaining the highest degree of integrity in the Book of Registry. In addition, ACFA continues to investigate and introduce new services to assist our customers. For instance, ACFA members receive special considerations and or discounts from commercial companies (such as hotels and rental car agencies), as well as, discounts on Cattery Registrations and Parade of Royalty advertising. Add to this the ‘personal touch’ you receive from the Staff at ACFA’s Central Office, and it becomes evident how sincerely concerned ACFA is with the quality of service to all Cat Fanciers.