General Code of Ethics for Breeders & 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 of cat suited to their lifestyle. They should only keep as many cats as they can care for adequately.

  2. Cats and kittens must be provided with warm and comfortable housing, with plenty of opportunity for exercise and play. Cats 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 coat 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 considerable discomfort to cats.

  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 the age recommended by your veterinary surgeon. If cats are registered on the Non-Active register, this means that under no circumstances should the cats 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 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 cat and must draw the attention of purchasers to the implications of the Non-Active register when selling pet kittens.

  9. Breeders selling a kitten 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 cat 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 the PetLog registration scheme run by the 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 over the cat's head, so 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.


The GCCF strongly recommends that no kitten should be permitted to go to a new home before 13 weeks of age. At least seven days prior to this, the kitten should have completed a full course of vaccinations, including a health check, given by a Veterinary Surgeon or by a listed Veterinary Nurse under the direction of a Veterinary Surgeon. The breeder should ensure that kittens are house-trained, inoculated and in good general health.

Mating Certificates: Section 1, Rule 3d (effective for kittens born on or after 1 June 2002)

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 cat must provide a Certificate of Mating to the owner of the queen upon collection of the queen.

N.B. Transfer of Registration - GCCF 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, 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. If, at the time of sale, the cat or kitten is registered the seller shall provide the purchaser with a transfer form, duly completed and signed by the seller, unless it is jointly agreed in writing by both parties, at the time of sale, not to do so.