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The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy

The UK's Premier Registration body


Importing & Exporting

Kitten declaration explained for breeders & new owners

GEMS Codes

GCCF Rules for the Registration & Showing of Cats

NB. The relevant rules for Breeders and new  owners  are covered in the first section (1-11)

Registration Explained

Thinking of having a kitten/cat?

Checking the registration details will enable you to get the right cat for your requirements.  Always let your breeder know when you make the first contact  if you want to buy a kitten for breeding and/or showing or for pet only.  Also see the explanation about Kitten Declaration in the links on the left.

Are you buying a kitten as a family pet only, not to breed or show?

It is still important that your new kitten is registered; the breeder will have registered it as "non active" (see explanation of registers below).  Without a registration document, there is no proof of the pedigree of your kitten.  It is also assurance that your kitten is bred from two "active registered" parents, and that they conform to the registration policy for their breed - that will also include any necessary mandatory health testing.  When you buy a GCCF registered kitten, the breeder is bound by a Code of Conduct and the GCCF Rules. You can read more about what to expect from a registered breeder here.

GCCF Registers affect showing and breeding

Breed Advisory Committees (BACs), made up of the Clubs responsible for that breed, have Registration Policies which dictate which register the kitten is registered on for the benefit of the breed and its development.

You can find the registration policy for your chosen breed when you click on its picture for more breed information. Look on the left hand side for a link.

FULL REGISTER (before 15 July 2016 registration number begins CS)

A cat/kitten resulting from a mating ideal to produce that breed; it can be shown, and if agreed by the breeder, it can be used for breeding.

SUPPLEMENTARY REGISTER (before 15 July 2016 registration number begins CSSR)

A cat/kitten that will have a slightly different background, as the breeding may be more experimental in terms of colour/pattern, or the kitten may be part of a breed development programme that is nearing completion. All kittens on this register can be shown, and if agreed by the breeder, they can be used for breeding.

REFERENCE REGISTER (before 15 July 2016 registration number begins CSREF)

There will be something more unusual about the cats in the pedigree of a reference registered cat. It may be that an outcross has been recently made to a cat of different breed, or there is an import from a country where recognised registration of cats is not common (these cats are often termed foundation cats for the breed).   A reference registered cat/kitten is NOT ALLOWED to be shown in pedigree competition classes, and future breeding will be part of the planned programme of an experienced breeder with a knowledge of breed development and register progression.

You can read more about breed development and progression in the breeding policy of your chosen breed (listed with the registration policy if there is one) and see the GCCF’s Outcrossing Policy to learn of its importance.

EXPERIMENTAL REGISTER - discontinued 21 October 2015

A cat/kitten of a relatively new breed used to be EXP registered. This is not used anymore, but you may see it with an ancestor in your cat or kitten’s pedigree.

GCCF Breeding Status via Registration 

In addition to the registers above which can affect breeding and showing, the suitability for breeding will also be controlled by the Breeder by a decision on each kitten’s breeding status.
You are advised to read GCCF Rules 1 & 2.

ACTIVE REGISTER - the breeder has registered the cat as suitable for breeding from. Kittens produced may be registered with no restrictions provided the mate chosen is suitable according to the Registration Policy for the breed.


NON-ACTIVE REGISTER - the breeder is selling you a kitten who is going to be a pet for companionship and possibly showing.

In some circumstances (for example white cats of all breeds) non-active registration is compulsory until a specific physical or genetic test has been made that proves the cat free from a medical or genetic condition. 

If you are buying a cat that you expect to be transferred from the non-active to the active register, please make sure you and the breeder have discussed any conditions and you have a copy of these in writing and signed by the breeder.I

 GENETIC REGISTER – The Genetic Register (which takes the form of overstamping) is only ever used for  cats with active status.  Its purpose is to highlight a potential breeding risk, possibly the cat is a carrier of a genetic anomaly, or it may be a cat that is untested when there is known to be an unwanted genetic trait within the gene pool. They are cats that may be bred from, but they should be partnered with cats already proven clear, and progeny required for breeding should then be tested.  Such cats may be used for breeding, but this should be by an experienced breeder as part of a breed development programme.



1.    Choose your breed

2.    Read through its registration and breeding policy

3.    Take a look at the GCCF Rules (1-10) about what breeders should be doing when they register kittens, advertise them for sale and transfer to new ownership - link on the left-hand side of this page.

4.      Check out the GCCF Breeder Scheme

5.      Talk to breeders about your requirements.

6.      Then go and play with some kittens!