Best in the show “Little Boy”


Western Province Cat Club has the distinction of being the oldest cat club in South Africa, beating two others by a few months. The year 1948 was a momentous one for the embryo Cat Fancy in South Africa when, on February 27, the WPCC was founded. In July, Natal Cat Club made its appearance, and in September, the Siamese Cat Society, the forerunner to Transvaal Cat Society, came into being.


WPCC’s first show was held in the Athenaeum Hall (then called La Rochelle) under the Railway Bridge in Newlands with a fair turnout – according to the musty tomes that survive. The winner was Little Boy, entered as a Russian Blue but of uncertain parentage, owned by founding member Mrs R Gilmour. That first show was the forerunner to those that have followed until the Club is in the position it is today: vibrant, with an active committee and exciting, innovative shows.

From those early days, the club went from strength to strength and was the only one in Cape Town until the All Breeds Cat Club made its debut in the early seventies. In 1982 there were a record 782 members.


The WPCC has always been innovative an example being the introduction of a points-scoring system for the domestic section being the first to introduce special awards for “doms” that could accumulate certificates in the same manner in which pedigreed cats attained their championship status. In 1998 the Master’s Certificate was born and any “dom” earning three of these became a Master – and was treated with due respect. Three Grand Master certificates and the title of “Grand Master” is earned.

The club was also a prime mover of the Cape Top Cat show, an annual event in which the top Cape cats – 10 neuters and 10 entires – vie for the title of Cape Top Cat. Contestants gain points in a similar manner to those accumulated for the national finals of Cat of the Year, but only Western Cape cats are eligible. From the first show, in 1999, the highest-scoring domestics also competed for the title of the Cape’s Top Domestic. Cape Top Cat has become a fun event, originally put on jointly by WPCC and All Breeds Cat Club, but now organised by an independent committee. The shows have caught the public imagination and drawn big crowds who have flocked to the special breed and interest tables with excitement mounting before the final judging.

“Misty”, a Persian, owned by Mrs D. Fern, was the biggest cat in the show. and was awarded a prize of £3 3s.
“Mitzi”, the best Siamese on show, owned by Mrs P.F. Theron.

In 1969 the late Marjorie Simpson of WPCC attended a meeting in Bloemfontein of delegates from all cat clubs in South Africa to discuss a constitution for the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy of South Africa, the inaugural meeting of which was held in January 1970. Over the years, several specialised breed groups have been sponsored by the club and affiliated to the GCCF of SA, now the Southern African Cat Council. Several of them, notably the Abyssinian and Somali Association of South Africa, the Siamese Breeders Group and the Burmese Interest Group (which has subsequently become the BIG Cat Club), have been holding successful annual shows under the auspices of WPCC.

Over the years, WPCC has invited many overseas judges to shows in South Africa and, on the whole, their impressions of the standard of Cape cats have been favourable.

As in all things, if you want to stay ahead you have to be innovative and cater to your members and public alike. In this respect, WPCC goes all out to give members the chance to show their cats to their best advantage and to give the public valuable insight into the world of the Cat Fancy, the cats themselves, and a better appreciation of an animal that has stolen the hearts of countless millions the world over.

Miss Fania Pocock (left), founder of the WPCC judging at one of the shows.

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