A pedigree is a diagram that depicts biological relations between an organism and its ancestors. It comes from French, “pied de grue” (crane’s foot) because the branches and lines of a pedigree resemble a crane’s thin leg and its branching toes.

The purpose of a pedigree is to have an easy-to-read chart depicting the characteristics of an individual. A pedigree is important for animals being selectively bred for a certain characteristic. It makes it easier to understand whether that animal will pass on certain characteristics to its’ offspring.

The cattery names must be issued by the WCF office. Breeders with a proven registered cattery name in another organization wishing to join the WCF are allowed to retain their cattery names if possible. If necessary, by adding the country code. The cattery name must have a suffix or a prefix (a prefix is ideal for working with databases). The cattery name must be used together with the given name by the breeder. Often there is confusion where some breeders co-own queens. In these cases both breeders should be registered owning the cattery name. Pedigrees cannot be issued for a queen not registered in a breeder’s cattery.

A pedigree must carry all the information that can be found on that individual.  The issuing club logo should be clearly visible, along with the WCF logo. 3 Generation pedigrees are acceptable, but many organizations demand 5 generations. By WCF rules, all pedigrees must be issued in one of the three WCF languages (German, English or French) , no national letters like Cyrillic can be used. (Appendix 2 for download)

The details of the individual to be on the pedigree:

  1. The cat’s full name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Sex
  4. Breed and colour in words
  5. WCF EMS code for breed and colour
  6. Pedigree number
  7. Microchip/tattoo (no duty and not possible for a kitten younger than 8 weeks!)
  8. The breeder’s name
  9. The club name and WCF club code, date of Issue (and signature of the responsible)
  10. If required, the additional certification by hologram sticker
  11. A note about no use for breeding can be added
  12. The size of the litter can be added
  13. Genetic test results of parents or the kitten itself can be added if proven

And for the parents:

  1. Full name and all awarded titles
  2. The ORIGINAL pedigree number 
  3. EMS code for breed and colour
  4. Microchip, if available

Data of the Grandparents (and possibly Great Grandparents, Great Great Grandparents):

  1. Full name and all awarded titles
  2. The ORIGINAL pedigree number
  3. EMS code-breed and colour

Full details of the breeder including address and phone number. It is up to the breeder when homing his kittens to give his full details to the new owners as he wishes.

  1. The cat’s full name

This must have the approved WCF cattery name either before or after the name given by the breeder.

  1. b) Date of birth

This should be written in the European way, dd/mm/yy

  1. c) Sex

This should be written as Male or Female, M or F. – 1.0 or 0.1 is not understood in some other organizations.

  1. d) Breed and colour in words
  2. e) WCF EMS code for breed and color

 The EMS code is sequential, starting with the breed, color, amount of white, tabby pattern, eye color, and on to the different characteristics of the breed.

Individual EMS codes will always be separated from each other by a space, unless specifically indicated otherwise.

Individual numerical EMS codes are always to use in ascending order.

Examples: – SFS ns 03 21 71, MCO w 64, SIA n.

  1. f) Pedigree number (registration number)

May indicate the issuing club, must indicate LO or Riex and some sequential number and if desired, a date.

(less mistakes are made if this is kept short when the cat moves to other clubs or organizations).

  1. g) Microchip/tattoo

It has happened a couple of times that a kitten’s microchip migrates and has to be re-microchipped. Both microchips may be on the pedigree in case the migrated one shows again. Tattoos are used less frequently today.

  1. The breeder’s name

It is not ideal to put addresses or phone numbers on pedigrees as these details change. WCF can easily identify the breeder through the cattery register if ever needed.

  1. The club name, WCF club code, date of issue (and signature of the responsible) Always in latin characters

Only one original pedigree can ever be issued for a cat. If the breeder already has the pedigree for the kitten and there is a mistake on it, it must be returned to the registrar to destroy before re-issuing a correct pedigree. If a pedigree ever gets lost or mislaid a copy can be requested, but must state it is a copy.


LO stands for ‘Livre de Origine’. RIEX stands for the ‘Registre Initial et Experimental’.

It is an LO when there are four consecutive generations of the same breed. RIEX is used when the cat does not have this, or if it is a breed or color that is not (yet) recognized by the WCF.

The non-recognized breed/color must be written in words. For the WCF EMS Code may only be used XLH, XSH or XHL instead of any breed code, the color code must begin with an “X” too.


In creating a new breed RIEX is used for the first outcross. The next 3 consecutive generations remain RIEX, even if it is the same breed without further outcrossings (see example below).

Only after breed recognition by WCF can it become LO afterwards.

RIEX is also used when introducing new colors to a recognized breed, but must also first be recognized by WCF to become LO.

If breeders with more than one breed in the house have a mistake breeding, the kittens will be RX, taking into account the WCF rule, ALL kittens are to be registered.

The registrar is also responsible for ensure validity and updating records of cat titles. Breeders are required to scan the title certificates and forward to the registrar to update the records. A form can be used which helps both the breeder and the owner keep track of the titles.

A certificate of agreement between the breeder of the female and the owner of the male must be signed and forwarded to the registrar, along with the male’s pedigree and litter registration document. This ensures that no disagreement in the future could occur between the breeders.

This can cause a lot of confusion but is actually very simple. The original pedigree is issued to the cat, and the original must always stay with the cat. A scanned copy given by the breeder to the registrar is sufficient, registrars do not want the responsibility of the original pedigree being misplaced. When entering the data into the database all the information must be entered, along with the original pedigree number. The original pedigree must never be changed or taken away from any issued pedigree.

A registrar may assign a club pedigree number and put in brackets after the original pedigree number. This makes it very easy to find in databases. If the cat has been registered several times by several clubs it is permitted to drop those numbers as it can get too long, but never the original number.


Transfers are required when cats are transferred to other organizations, but not necessary between WCF clubs. Registrars are permitted to communicate with each other if there is any question on a pedigree. 

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