allbreed (AB): An "allbreed ring" at a show is a ring in which cats of all breeds are judged and ranked against each other. An "allbreed judge" is a judge who is licensed to judge allbreed rings. Compare with specialty.
alter: To spay or neuter a cat. An "alter" is a spayed or neutered cat.
Any Other Variety (AOV): The AOV class at a North American show is open to purebred and registered cats that are not eligible to compete because their color, hair length, or another characteristic does not meet the standard for their breed. For example, a Manx cat with a tail would compete in the AOV class. AOVs compete against each other, but are not eligible to compete for titles, regional awards, or national awards.
bloodline: A group of related cats.
blue: The color also known as "gray" or "maltese."
blue slip: An application to register a cat of a registered litter.
breed standard: The ideal characteristics for the breed, as agreed upon by a group of breeders.
breed true: To produce kittens that closely resemble the parents.
breeder: By convention, the breeder of a cat is the owner of the cat's dam at the time of mating.
breeding program: An ongoing program in which cats are mated together and kittens selected for breeding according to how close they come to an ideal.
breeding quality: A cat that meets its breed standard closely enough to be valuable to aCattery Name cattery name: A name registered with a cat registering association, used to identify cats bred by a particular breeder. A registered cattery name always appears a prefix on the names of cats bred by that breeder. It may be added as a suffix to the names of cats owned, but not bred by, that breeder. breeding program, but may not be competitive as a show cat.
call name: The name that a cat is called. Often a shortened form of the cat's registered name. For example, "Ashley" is the call name for the cat registered as "CH Sheenah's Ashley of Ashmanor, DM."
calling: The characteristic vocalizations (typically yowling, howling, or screaming) made by a queen in heat.
cat fancy: The overall group of individuals, clubs, and registering associations involved with breeding and showing cats.
cattery: A group of cats that are part of a breeding program. "Cattery" is also sometimes used to refer to the physical structure that houses such a group of cats.
cattery name: A name registered with a cat registering association, used to identify cats bred by a particular breeder. A registered cattery name always appears a prefix on the names of cats bred by that breeder. It may be added as a suffix to the names of cats owned, but not bred by, that breeder.
certificate: In European associations like FIFe, cats are awarded certificates at shows, which are accumulated towards titles much in the way that points are accumulated in North American associations.
certified pedigree: A pedigree officially issued by a cat registering association.
championship: The championship class at a North American show is open to whole adult cats that are purebred and registered and meet the standard for their breed. Altered cats compete in the premiership class.
coat: A cat's fur.
crossbreed: The mating of cats of two different breeds. The offspring of such a mating is considered a hybrid.
cryptorchid: An adult male cat whose testicles have not descended into the scrotal sac. This is a disqualification in all associations.
dam: The female parent.
disqualification: A quality that makes a cat ineligible for show. Disqualifications are often mentioned in the breed standard. For example, a Maine Coon with an incorrect number of toes is disqualified from show.
domestic longhair (DLH): A longhair of unknown or mixed parentage.
domestic mediumhair (DMH): A semi-longhair of unknown or mixed parentage.
exhibitor: Someone who shows cats.
heat: A queen's estrus period, during which time she is fertile and receptive to the advances of a tom. Queens in heat usually call, and some may spray.
household pet (HHP): The household pet class at a North American show is open to all cats, purebred or not, that are not eligible to compete in any other class. The term "household pet" is also used to refer to mixed-breed cats.
hybrid: A cat produced by crossbreeding cats of two different breeds together. Some hybrids may be registered as one of the two parent breeds, others may not. This depends on the breed standards. For example, it is allowable to mate a Bombay with a Burmese to produce hybrid Bombays.
inbreed: To mate together closely related cats, for example brother and sister, or father and daughter.
kitten: A young, immature cat. The kitten class at a North American show is open to purebred and registered kittens that are between the ages of four and seven months (inclusive) and meet the standard for their breed. Adult cats compete in the championship or premiership (alter) classes.
linebreed: To mate together cats that have some of the same ancestors. For example, two cats that have the same grandfather.
litter: One or more kittens produced by a single pregnancy. Litter size averages three or four, but some litters may have six to ten kittens! litter: Granulated product normally poured into a pan for use by a cat for urination and defecation.
litter registration: The recording by a cat registering association of the birth of a litter, including the date of birth, number of kittens, sire and dam,breeder of the litter. and the
longhair (LH): A cat with relatively long fur, often varying in length over different parts of the cat. Some longhairs have shortish fur on the body, but all longhairs have long fur on the tail, forming a "plume" or "brush," and most have long fur around the neck forming a "ruff."
mixed breed: A cat of unknown or mixed parentage. Mixed breed cats can be shown in the household pet (HHP) competitive class.
moggy: The UK term for mixed breed.
monorchid: An adult male cat which has only one descended testicle. This is a disqualification in all associations.
national/international award: An award given to cats that earn enough points during a show year to be ranked among the highest scoring cats in the entire association for that year. Some associations add a title to the registered name of each award winner. The number of high scoring cats receiving national/international awards depends on the association and the competitive class (e.g. kitten, premiership, championship, household pet, etc.). For example, CFA gives national awards to the top 25 cats in Championship each year.
neuter: To castrate a male cat. A "neuter" is a male cat which has been neutered. Sometimes the term "neuter" is also used to refer to spaying female cats.
not for breeding: A cat that has been designated by the breeder as not to be used for breeding. Such a cat cannot have registered offspring.
odd-eyed (OE): A cat with one blue eye and one green, gold, or copper eye.
open: A cat that is not yet a Champion.
outcross: The mating of cats that have no common ancestors within several generations.
papers: The pedigree and registration slip for a cat.
pedigree: A document recording the ancestors of a cat. Pedigrees may show few or many generations. A "3 generation pedigree" shows the cat itself plus three generations back. Most pedigrees show three to five generations.
pedigreed cat: A cat with a pedigree. Note that this does not necessarily mean that the cat is purebred or registered!
pet quality: A cat that does not meet the breed standard closely enough to be valuable to a breeding program. Of course, pet quality cats are just as healthy and friendly as other cats.
points: Units of achievement awarded to a cat in a show that are accumulated towards a towards a title, a regional award, or a national award. Each association has its own way of determining how many points are awarded for a particular type of show win, and may have several different point scales for different titles or awards. In European associations such as FIFe, certificates are awarded and accumulated towards titles instead of points.
prefix: The cattery name at the beginning of the cat's name, indicating the breeder's cattery. For example, in the name "CH Sheenah's Ashley of Ashmanor, DM" the prefix is "Sheenah's" ("CH" is a title).
premiership: The premiership class at a North American show is open to altered adult cats that are purebred and registered and meet the standard for their breed. In some associations, this class is called the "alter class."
prepotent: A cat who has such a strong genetic influence on its offspring that the offspring consistently resemble the parent. Most prepotent cats are linebred on one or more outstanding ancestors.
pyometra: An illness of female cats in which the uterus becomes infected and filled with pus. It is most common in cats who have gone through several heats without being spayed.
queen: A whole female cat.
red: The coat color also known as "orange," "ginger," or "marmalade."
region: A geographic area that makes up some of the territory of an association. Each region typically has its own regional director, awards its own year-end regional awards, and may operate under slightly different rules. For example, CFA has nine regions: seven in the US, one in Japan, and one in Europe.
regional award: An award given to cats that earn enough points during a show year to be ranked among the highest scoring cats in the region for that year. Some associations add a title to the registered name of each regional award winner. The number of high scoring cats receiving regional awards depends on the association and the competitive class (e.g. kitten, premiership, championship, household pet, etc.). For example, CFA gives regional awards to the top 25 cats in Championship in each region.
registered cat: A cat whose ancestry is documented and recorded with a cat registering association.
registered name: The official name of a registered cat. This name is often quite long, and may include one or more titles and cattery names.
ring: An area at a show where one judge examines cats and awards prizes. A show may have several simultaneous rings.
semi-longhair (SLH): A longhair that does not have an extremely long coat. For example, the Maine Coon is considered a semi-longhair, but the Persian is not.
shorthair (SH): A cat with a relatively short coat. The coat may be very close-lying and sleek, or it may be thick and plush.
show: An exhibition of cats, during which the cats are evaluated by licensed judges and awarded prizes for their conformance to breed standards.
show cat: A cat that is exhibited in show.
show quality: A cat that meets its breed standard closely enough to be competitive in show.
show year or show season: The year long period during which show catspoints for regional, national, and international awards. In North America, the show year traditionally runs from May to April. accumulate
sire: The male parent.
spay: To surgically remove the reproductive organs of the female cat. A "spay" is a spayed female cat.
specialty: A "specialty ring" is a ring where the breeds are separated into categories such as "longhair" and "shorthair" for the purposes of judging and awarding prizes. A "specialty judge" is a judge that is licensed only to judge in a specialty ring, not in an allbreed ring.
speuter: An agglomeration of spay and neuter. Another word for alter.
spray: The behavior, commonly seen in the tom cat (but occasionally in queens as well) of urinating everywhere (typically on the walls, floor, etc) to establish territory.
standard: A breed standard.
stud cat: A whole male cat that is part of a breeding program.
suffix: The cattery name at the end of the cat's name, if any, indicating the cattery in which the cat resides. Usually preceded by "of." In the name "CH Sheenah's Ashley of Ashmanor, DM" the suffix is "Ashmanor" ("DM" is a title) which indicates that this cat lives at the Ashmanor cattery.
title: An award earned by a cat that may be added to the cat's name according to the rules of a cat registering association. Depending on the particular title, it may be earned either by defeating other cats in one or more shows, earning some number of year-end points, or producing some number of offspring that earn titles themselves. Typically, a title is added to the beginning of the name of the cat, before the cattery name prefix, Champion) is at the beginning of the name. The title "DM" (Distinguished Merit) is at the end of the name. See the List of Titles for more information. but some titles are added to the end of the cat's name. For example, in the name "CH Sheenah's Ashley of Ashmanor, DM" there are two titles. The title "CH" (Champion) is at the beginning of the name. The title "DM" (Distinguished Merit) is at the end of the name. See the List of Titles for more information.
tom: A whole male cat.
van or van pattern: A color pattern which restricts color to the head and the tail, leaving the body and most of the extremities white. Most standards for this pattern allow for no more than two small spots of color on the body. The name comes from the Turkish Van breed, which always exhibit this pattern.
whole: Not neutered or spayed.