FIFe Breed Standards
FIFe's Easy Mind System for Identifying Cats
Recognized Eye Colours
Cats With White
The FIFe's Easy Mind System for Identifying Cats
The FIFe's Easy Mind System (EMS) simplifies and replaces the combination of letters and numbers formerly used to identify cats.
In the old system, identification codes were not uniform across breeds.
In the EMS they are. A black cat, for example, is always identified by the small letter "n" no matter what its breed.
A pointed cat, regardless of breed, is always identified by a "33" in its code.
The first part of the EMS code, written in capital (uppercase) letters, denotes the breed.
EXO = EXOTIC
PER = PERSIAN
MCO = MAINE COON
NFO = NORWEGIAN FOREST
RAG = RAGDOLL
SBI = BIRMAN ( "SBI" is used to identify this breed because it actually called the "Sacred Birman.")
TUA = TURKISH ANGORA
TUV = TURKISH VAN
ABY = ABYSSINIAN
BEN = BENGAL
BML = BURMILLA
BRI = BRITISH
BUR = BURMESE
CHA = CHARTREUSE
CRX = CORNISH REX
DRX = DEVON REX
EUR = EUROPEAN
GRX = GERMAN REX
JBT = JAPANESE BOBTAIL
KOR = KORAT
MAN = MANX
MAU = EGYPTIAN MAU
OCI = OCICAT
RUS = RUSSIAN
SOK = SOKOKE
SOM = SOMALI
BAL = BALINESE
JAV = JAVANESE
ORI = ORIENTAL
SIA = SIAMESE
SIB = SIBIRIAN
ASL non = ASIAN LONGHAIR
ASS non = ASIAN SHORTHAIR
CYM non = CYMRIC
SFL non = SCOTTISH FOLD LONGHAIR
SFS non = SCOTTISH FOLD SHORTHAIR
SIN non = SINGAPURA
SNO non = SNOWSHOE
SPH non = SPHYNX
TON non = TONKINESE
The second part of the EMS code, which identifies a cat's colour, is always written in small (lower case) letters.
f Black tortie
g Blue tortie
h Chocolate tortie
j Lilac tortie
n Black ("n" comes from the French "noir," meaning "black")
Seal (in Himalayan-patterned cats, Burmese, Burmillas and Tonkinese) Ruddy (in Abyssinians and Somalis).
o Cinnamon (sorrel in Abyssinians)
q Cinnamon (sorrel) tortoiseshell
r Fawn tortoiseshell
x Any unrecognized colour
The pattern codes, which follow the breed and colour codes in the EMS designation, are:
09 Unspecified amount of white
21 Unspecified tabby pattern
22 Blotched tabby
23 Mackerel tabby
24 Spotted tabby
25 Ticked tabby
31 Burmese shading pattern
32 Tonkinese shading pattern
33 Himalayan pointed pattern
The preceding are the most important elements of the EMS. Using them you can work out most breed codes. For example, in "PER ns 11" the "PER" tells you the cat is a Persian; "n" means the cat is black; "s" indicates that it's silver, and "11" identifies it as shaded. Thus, you can identify this cat as a black, shaded-silver Persian. A black-smoke, which is also a silver cat but which isn't tipped or shaded, would simply be "PER ns."
Don't forget that "x" signifies a variety not recognized within a breed that is recognized. For example, the code for a tabby-point Ragdoll colourpoint is "RAG x* 21" The asterisk leaves room to insert "n" for seal, "a" for blue, etc. A blue-tabby colourpoint Ragdoll would be "RAG xa 22." As the Ragdoll always carries the Himalayan pattern, it is not necessary to add "33," which identifies the Himalayan pattern, to the Ragdoll code, nor is it necessary to add "33" to the Siamese code because they are all pointed cats. (One special case among Siamese is the all-white cat previously known as the Foreign White. The code for this cat is "SIA w 67.")
Recognized Eye Colours
The codes for eye colour are:
61 Blue eyed
62 Orange eyed
63 Odd eyed
65 Burmese eye colour
66 Tonkinese eye colour
67 Siamese eye colour
The next element of the EMS code is eye colour, which must be used with breeds that are judged in separate classes according to eye colour. In white Persians and British, for example, there are blue-eyed, orange-eyed and odd-eyed white colour classes. The blue eye colour that results from the Himalayan gene in Siamese cats is also different from that of other blue-eyed white cats. Therefore, Himalayan blue eyes are given a different code. The orange or yellow eye colour of most Persian and British cats is also different from the yellow eye colour of Burmese. Thus, yellow eyes in Persian and British cats are given a different code.
The code for eye colour can be omitted when a breed, the Burmese, for example, is limited to one eye colour. The same applies with Siamese and with some Persians and British, for example, the blacks, blues, creams, reds, etc., which all must have orange eyes according to the standard. It is, however, necessary to write the eye-colour code with the white cats -- Persians and British and some other breeds, as we have explained. So a blue-eyed white Persian is written: "PER w 61"; an orange-eyed white British would be "BRI w 62"; and an odd-eyed white Maine Coon would be "MCO w 63."
Eye colour must also be encoded for silver tabby Persians because they are now judged in two classes according to their eye colour, green or orange. Thus, a silver tabby Persian with orange eyes is "PER ns 22 62." The EMS code for a green-eyed silver tabby Persian would be written "PER ns 22 64." (In these notations the breed code, "PER," is followed by "n" for black, "s" for silver, "22" for a blotched tabby pattern and, finally, "62" for eye colour).
Coding the various tabby patterns can present a problem, especially in longhaired breeds where the tabby pattern is not clear.
Tabby-and-white cats such as we see in Persians, Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest Cats are identified by "21," which indicates that the cat is a tabby without specifying which pattern. This also applies to all Himalayan Pointed cats where the amount of tabby pattern is too small to identify.
Because the tabby pattern is easier to see on shorthairs, they are usually designated by a number that corresponds with a specific pattern. A British black blotched tabby would be written "BRI n 22." The British silver spotted tabby is "BRI ns 24." Ticked tabbies are confined to the Abyssinian/Somali and the Oriental Shorthair at present. The Abyssinians/Somalis are all ticked tabbies, so it is not necessary to add "25" after the colour code; but the orientals, which have different colours of ticking, must be identified by a pattern code. A chocolate ticked tabby Oriental would be written "ORI b 25."
A special code that applies only to one breed is the tail code, which is really an indication of the amount of tail. This code is used with the Manx and its longhaired counterpart, the Cymric.
The code is:
51 Rumpy -- no tail
52 Rumpy riser -- a tiny rise in the bone at the end of the spine
53 Stumpy -- a rudimentary tail not longer than 3-4 cm (1.2 to 1.6 inches)
54 Longie - a regular or near regular tail (these cats are used for breeding but may not be shown)
With this information you should be able to work out your cat's EMS code without looking at its pedigree.
First, locate the three-letter code for your breed. When you write it down, remember that breed codes are always capitalized.
Second, find your cat's colour in the colour codes, which are always indicated by lowercase letters. Leaving a space after the three-letter breed code, write the colour code. If your cat is a silver, it will always have an "s" after its main colour code. For example, a black silver is "ns," a blue silver is 'as.'
Next, if yours is a patterned cat, find the code that corresponds to its pattern. All patterned cats except smokes must be identified by a pattern code. Persians, British and burmillas can be shell or shaded. A chinchilla is a shell, which means that only the tips of the hairs have colour on them. The code for shell is "12." Thus, a Persian chinchilla would be identified by the code "PER ns 12." (Note that there is a space between the colour and the pattern codes, too.) A shaded silver Persian, whose tipping goes farther down the shaft of each hair, is written "PER ns 11."
Cats With White
Cats with white on them present interesting cases. A black-and-white bicolour is "n 03," for example; but a Turkish van, because it always shows the van pattern, needn't be identified by the code for that pattern, "01." We simply write "TUV" for the breed, followed by the colour code and the eye-colour code because this is a breed that may have more than one eye colour. (The code for unspecified white, "09," is confined to those breeds where it is recognized, i.e. Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, the rex varieties and Manx.)
One special case among Siamese is the all-white cat previously known as the Foreign White. The code for this cat is "SIA w 67."
The EMS, which is not a genetically based system, is intended to be both easy and logical. With a little practice any cat breeder should be able to speak EMS as fluently as his or her native tongue.