The Breed Standard

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A breed standard is a document developed by a breed club to define the hypothetical perfect specimen of the breed.

What is a Breed Standard?

A breed standard is many things:

  • A Breed Standard is the description of what a perfect specimen of any particular breed should look like.
  • Each cat registry or federation formulates a written Breed Standard for each particular breed it recognizes.
  • A Breed Standard includes a text description of the ideal specimen.
  • A Breed Standard includes a point system - a certain number of points allotted to each different "part" of a cat (coat, color, head, body, etc) which helps determine which characteristics of a particular breed are more important than others.
  • A Breed Standard also includes allowable outcrosses, accepted colors, disqualifying faults and can even include a description of temperament and personality.

Who Uses The Breed Standard?

The Breed Standard is the road map created by the breeders that came before you to help guide you in your pursuit of the perfect cat.

It is this standard that a judge uses in evaluating the cats presented at a cat show, and eventually in his or her finals.

The breed Standard helps both judges and breeders "weigh" the importance of different aspects of the cat... the point system shows the breeder and judge where to place the most emphasis.

Are Breed Standards Identical In Every Organization?

Not all Breed Standards are alike. Breed standards for different cat registering organizations will usually be similar for the same breed, but can have differences - sometimes a minor difference, other times it may be something major.

A breed standard is a living, breathing thing - it can and does change over time as breeders respond to the need to change directions, refine, and clarify the standard.

The Persian standard is one of the most stable and consistent of all the breeds standards around the world.

Who Writes the Breed Standard?

Have you ever wondered how a breed standard comes about?

Before a breed is "recognized" by a cat registering organization, interested breeders write and submit a breed standard. Through the years and generations, changes in a breed's standard can be made by members of the Breed Council for each particular breed through a voting system.

The proposed changes then require approval of the Board of Directors of the governing body.

Where Do I Get a Copy of the Breed Standard?

Every registering organization will have a copy of the breed standard for each breed available - often on their website or as a printed brochure.

It is essential that every breeder know and understand their breed standard. While every person may interpret their breed standard differently, the standard remains the foundation on which breeders and judges rely in making their evaluations.

Breed Standards Online:

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