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  What Do All Those Initials Mean???

Yes, sometimes cat's names look very peculiar with the various letters combined with strange, sometimes repetitious names. Here's a quick guide to sort some of the confusion out. Titles explained are Cat Fanciers' Association titles - other associations use different titles and scoring methods.

Cattery Name
Each cat's name begins with it's "cattery name," the name of the cattery of the owner of the dam (or mother). For example, all cats born to queens (breeding females) that we own will have names that begin with "Platina Luna." This includes pet kittens as well as show cats, so if a pet buyer registers his new kitten (as he should do), his cat's will also include "Platina Luna" at the beginning. You will often see a cattery name at the end of a cat's name with "of" in front of it (as in "GC Kaybill's Zhabinka of Platina Luna). This indicates that the cat was born to a female born in a different cattery and either later sold to another cattery, or that that cattery owned the sire and kept a kitten from the breeding. There are a number of other possibilities, but "of..." always indicates where the cat currently resides. (Note - "of" is often part of a cat's name. This is officially indicated with hyphens on either side of that word, such as with GC Platina Luna's Time Out-Of-Mind.)

Names can be a total of 35 letters long, including one or both cattery names. Some breeders do themes for particular lines (such as naming all kittens from a certain queen with the same letter), others may name all of their cats within a theme. Most Platina Luna cats are named with a "celestial" theme.

Champion/Premier Titles
When a pedigreed cat becomes an adult (8 months old), it may compete in either the Championship class (whole cats) or Premiership class (neutered or spayed cats).
They are first shown as "opens" (titleless). When a judge has determined that a cat has met its breed's standard, and it is without a disqualifying trait, then it earns one winner's ribbon. Earning 6 winner's ribbons give it the title of Champion or Premier (depending on its class). Another open of the same sex may defeat it during this judging, and it may have to go to additional rings to earn a total of 6 ribbons. A Champion will have the letters CH in front of its name, a Premier will have PR.

Grand Champion/Grand Premier Titles
These Champions or Premiers may then earn advanced titles by defeating other cats in judging - points are based on a percentage of the number of cats defeated. When a Champion earns 200 points, it becomes a Grand Champion (signified by the letters GC).; when a Premier earns 75 points, it becomes a Grand Premier (signified by the letters GP). Points need to become a Grand Premier are lower because there are fewer cats competing within that class - however, competition is still just as strong as in Championship.

Regional and National Win Titles
These cats (and kittens also) may additionally compete for Regional and National Awards. Each region (there are seven within the United States, Japan is the eighth) gives it own awards for the top 25 highest scoring cats in Championship, and the top 20 highest scoring kittens and cats in Premiership. These cats earn the title of Regional Winner, abbreviated RW.

On the National level, these same type of awards are given to the top 25 highest scoring cats in Championship, and the top 20 highest scoring kittens and cats in Premiership in all of the regions combined. These cats earn the title of National Winner, abbreviated NW.

The title of Breed Winner is also awarded at the National level and is abbreviated BW. It is won by the best cat of each breed. A cat may be a National Winner, but not a Breed Winner, and vice-versa.

Distinguished Merit
The Distinguished Merit title honors a stud that has sired 15 Grand Champions or Premiers or a queen that has produced 5 Grand Champions or Premiers (a male can produce more offspring than a female, thus the difference) and is CFA's highest breeder award. Its abbreviation is DM and is always at the end of a cat's name.

So, you can learn a lot about a cat just by learning how to read its name