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Le LOOF, une organisation incontournable !

Le mot « LOOF » est souvent rencontré lorsque l’on recherche un chat. Une annonce peut par exemple mentionner : « inscrit au L.O.O.F. » Et pour les néophytes en simple quête d’une boule de poils à laquelle vouer un amour inconditionnelle et une dévotion sans limite, le terme est un peu barbar : Ligue Obscure des Obsédés des Félins ? Lobby Officieux des Oppréssés qui Feulent ? Légitime Organisation des Oggy’s Fans ?…

Le LOOF, c’est quoi ?

Non… Le LOOF est la fédération pour la gestion du Livre Officiel des Origines Félines en France. Plus simplement, c’est une structure qui s’occupe de la gestion des races de chats en France, depuis 1996. Chaque année, le LOOF édite en moyenne 32 000 pedigree pour 6 000 éleveurs ou particuliers.

Aujourd’hui, 53 races de chats sont répertoriées par le LOOF. Certaines sont connues de tous, comme le Persan (notre Jeannette !) ou encore le chartreux (notre Loulou !), mais d’autres sont plutôt étonnantes. Connaissez-vous le Selkirk Rex, un petit chat aux poils frisottant ? Qu’en est-il du Munchkin, un chat aux pattes minuscules?

Les principales missions du LOOF : 

Cette organisation française s’occupe d’attribuer un pedigree aux chats de France. Sans ce précieux pedigree, un chat ne peut pas prendre l’appellation d’un chat de race et est considéré comme « chat d’apparence » plus communément appelé « chat de gouttière ». (Car oui, un chat sans pedigree, tout Bengal ou tout Birman qu’il a l’air reste un chat « européen »).

C’est la LOOF qui définit l’orientation, les standards et les objectifs de sélection de chaque race. Plusieurs critères rentrent en compte, telle que la morphologie en fonction de la race, les mariages entre chats autorisés, les couleurs de robe.

Cette fédération va également contrôler les expositions félines ou concours LOOF et valider les titres obtenus.

Enfin, c’est le LOOF qui décide de la première lettre du nom du chat en fonction des années. Cela permet de savoir l’année de naissance du chat seulement avec son petit nom. En cette année 2016, la lettre à l’affiche est le « M » ! En 2017 ce sera au tour de la lettre « N ». Aucun chat avec un pedigree ne peut porter un « nom LOOF » ne commençant pas par cette lettre. Il peut avoir un nom d’usage ou on peut ajouter la lettre de l’année devant son petit nom (exemple pour un chat né en 2016 qu’on souhaiterait appeler « Elsa » et qui officiellement s’appellerait « Melsa » ou « M’Elsa »).

Et dans l’histoire, c’est quoi un pedigree ? 

Le terme pedigree est souvent utilisé, mais tout le monde ne connait pas forcement la signification exacte. C’est en fait l’arbre généalogique d’un chat (et oui comme nous). Dans cet arbre doivent être répertoriés les parents, grands-parents et arrière grands-parents du chat, soit au total 3 générations.

Le pedigree renseigne sur la race ou la couleur de la robe des ancêtres du chat, et permet avant tout la traçabilité. Avoir le pedigree d’un chat permet de mieux connaître son origine et surtout son génome (pour éviter de le croiser avec un chat de la même race ayant un « problème » génétique commun).

Ainsi, tous les chats de races inscrits au LOOF reçoivent un pedigree qui prend la forme d’un arbre généalogique. Il ne vous reste plus qu’à le positionner dans un cadre pour en faire un objet principal de votre salon.

L’élevage de chat, tout un art !

En France, moins de 5% des chats sont inscrits au LOOF. En effet, nul besoin d’avoir le petit « diplôme » de votre chat pour adorer sa petite boule de poils domestique. Néanmoins, il existe des règles très strictes que peu des futurs acquéreurs de chats connaissent : il est interdit se gagner de l’argent sur la vente d’un chat qui n’est pas inscrit au LOOF… Ainsi un éleveur ne présentant pas le pedigree du chat (ou les papiers attestant de l’obtention en cours) ne peut pas demander au futur maître de payer plus que les frais qu’il a du avancer (croquette, puçage, vermifuge, etc.). Beaucoup l’ignore et débourse 300, 400, 500€ pour un chat « d’apparence X ». L’éleveur est dans l’illégalité.

Chaque élevage français est affublé d’un petit sobriquet sympathique qu’on appelle l’affixe. Cet affixe est généralement placé après le nom du chat sous forme d’un suffixe (« Jeanne du GentleCat » – ce qui au demeurant n’existe pas puisque nous ne sommes pas une chatterie et que Jeanne nous vient d’un élevage professionnel…) ou placé avant le nom ce qui est plus rare, sous forme d’un préfixe (« Gentle Jeanne »).

L’identité d’un chat comprend donc en quelque sorte son nom (l’affixe de la chatterie) et son prénom (qu’on appelle communément son nom, c’est à dire le petit nom de votre chat). En ayant cette identité, on sait donc d’où vient le chat et de quelle année il est !

L’avis du GentleCat

Dans notre Néko café Lyonnais, nous avons souhaité intégrer des chats de race pour une bonne et simple raison : la race de chat définit son caractère et c’est presque toujours vrai (le Persan et l’Exotic Shorthair sont des « tranquilles », le Sacré de Birmanie et le Chartreux sont des « sentimentaux », etc.). Le caractère d’un chat européen est une surprise… Et avec six chats en cohabitation, il fallait réunir les ingrédients d’une bonne colocation !

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