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Code of Ethics

Giving Cats Care Forever!

In order to maintain the GCCF’s position as the premier registration body for breeding and showing pedigree cats in the UK it maintains a Code of Ethics to operate by.

The GCCF is the premier registration body for breeding and showing pedigree cats in the UK. The health, welfare and wellbeing of all cats is our mission. Whether you are a breeder, cat owner or someone looking for a specific breed or a household pet, we offer information, advice and expertise to help you breed, own or choose the right cat for your circumstances and lifestyle.

General code of ethics for breeders and owners

Registered owners of all GCCF registered cats/kittens accept the jurisdiction of The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy and undertake to abide by this general code of ethics.

  1. Owners should think carefully and take advice before getting a kitten and choose a breed suited to their lifestyle. They should only keep as many cats as they can care for responsibly.
  2. Cats and kittens must be provided with warm and comfortable housing,with plenty of opportunity for exercise and play. The cat should be kept indoors at night for their own safety. Drinking water must be available at all times and cats must be fed regularly and adequately. Breeders will supply written details of all dietary requirements and give guidance concerning responsible ownership when placing cats in a new home.
  3. All cats need some grooming to keep the cat in good condition and to check for parasites, e.g. fleas. Longhair cats need daily grooming to prevent the formation of knots and matted areas of fur which cause them considerable discomfort.
  4. Veterinary attention must be sought whenever a cat is showing signs of illness.
  5. Cats that are bought as pets, not for breeding, should be neutered or spayed at an age recommended by your veterinary surgeon. If cats are registered on the Non-Active register, this means that under no circumstances should they be bred from; no progeny from these cats will be registered by the GCCF.
  6. Breeders agree only to sell cats where there is a reasonable expectation of a happy and healthy life. An offer should be made at a the time of sale to help with the rehoming if at any time circumstances require the cat to be found a new home.
  7. Owners should not sell any cat to commercial cat wholesalers, retail pet dealers or directly or indirectly allow cats to be given as a prize or donation in a competition of any kind.
  8. Breeders must not knowingly misrepresent the characteristics of the breed nor falsely advertise cats nor mislead any person regarding the health or quality of the cats and must draw attention of purchase to the implications of the Non-Active register when selling pet kittens.
  9. Breeders selling kittens on the Active register should offer advice and support to the new owners. Owners should not breed cats in a way that is deleterious to the health of the cat or the breed.
  10. Owners should consider carefully the best means of identifying their cats in case it should become lost. This can be done by means of a microchip which can be painlessly inserted under the cat’s skin by your veterinary surgeon and then registering the number of your cat with PetLog registration scheme run by Kennel Club/RSPCA and also by notifying the GCCF of the cat’s chip number. The alternative is for the cat to wear some form of identification on a collar. However, there are dangers for cats wearing collars, as they may become hooked up and caught by them or more likely the collar will break or come off the cat’s head, therefore preventing easy identification.
  11. Breeders/owners must ensure that all relevant Governing Council of the Cat Fancy documents are provided to the new owner when selling or transferring a cat in accordance with Rule 10 (see below), including a copy of this code.

Mating Certificate – Section 1 Rule 3d

When a litter is registered, the application to register must be accompanied by a copy of the certificate of mating unless the person registering the kitten(s) is also the registered owner of the sire. The owner of the stud must provide a Certificate of Mating to the owner of the queen upon collection of the queen.

Transfer of Registration – Section 1 Rule 10

10a When a cat or kitten is advertised or sold as a pedigree cat or kitten, the breeder shall at the time of sale provide the purchaser with a properly completed pedigree signed by the breeder, carrying 3 generations at least showing all the breed numbers and registration numbers, and also the breeder’s name and address. If the vendor is not the breeder, the pedigree must additionally be signed by the vendor. If the cat/kitten is not registered, a copy of the mating certificate (Rule 3d) shall be supplied by the vendor to the new owner.

10b. i. If, at the time of sale, the cat or kitten is registered the seller shall provide the purchaser with the registration card provided by the GCCF to enable a transfer of ownership. If this card is lost, damaged or otherwise unavailable a manual transfer form must be provided, duly completed and signed by the seller. (Amended 16.10.19)

ii. All cats and kittens must be fully vaccinated against infectious enteritis (FPV), FHV and FCV (“cat flu”) at least one week prior to sale and/or leaving for a new home. Note: in the event of an emergency that requires a cat or kitten to be rehomed that is not fully vaccinated, the office should be informed as soon as possible. (Amended 21.02.2018).


The GCCF recommends that new owners check they have all their paperwork for a new kitten including a pedigree, registration card and vaccination details showing two entries three weeks apart. A kitten cover note giving five weeks free insurance is strongly advised.

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