How does this work?
A (rather long) note on breeds and genetics which should be read to avoid confusion
In Real Life, nearly every cat association has their own standards for cats. Sometimes, the same breeds or colors are called differently in different associations and countries. I tried to combine these different ideas and ideals as well as possible. If you're missing a breed or two, check the standards -- maybe the breed just goes under a different name here.
The standards have been "translated" into game code. The scripts check each cat if it conforms to one of the standards and figure out that cat's breed and color. If none of the standards fit, it is declared as a "mixed breed". Please note that this also goes for cats that have the right body type but a color that is not recognized for this particular breed (like for example a bicolor Abyssinian).
The same goes for the genetics. I wrote the genetics page of the CCA specifically with virtual cats in mind, so they are a bit simplified to make things easier. Also, in Real Life, there are sometimes many different theories about the way this or that trait is inherited, so I just picked one that made the most sense. For this game, I left out the colors that are very rare in RL anyway (like the dilution modifier, albino, and amber), and too complicated (eye colors). I added some that are not listed on the page (genes for ghostmarkings, mittens (white paws), van, LaPerm, Munchkin). You don't need to be knowledgeable in cat genetics to play this game, but it does help with selective breeding.
What I said for the breeds also applies here -- there are sometimes several different names for just one color, and I had to pick one. Also, in some breeds it's common practice to give a color a new fancy name (for example, "lavender" for lilac Oriental Shorthairs, "ruddy" for black ticked tabby Abyssinians, "snow marble" for tabby point Bengals, etc.). These have been (in most cases) left out here and instead just listed the actual color with its "normal" name. One day when I feel like coding a lot, I might consider adjusting it, but for now you will have to deal with the default color names.
There are three ways to find a cat for you to adopt.
Search for cats for sale via the search function or take a look at the litter announcements board. You can either buy a cat at the sale price the owner specifies, or you can enter a bid. If you bid, you'll have to wait for the owner to accept the bid. Only the highest bid will be shown.
The rescue shelter
Cats that have been neglected by their owners are sent here. Bringing up its fullness, health and condition can be costly, and if it is aggressive or shy, it will take time to become friendly again!
Adopt a stray cat
This option is very limited, to keep them kind of "special". If you're a Star player, you can adopt one stray cat per month (the adoption limit will be reset at the first day of each month). These cats will have more or less random genetics, gender and age, so most of them will be mixed breeds, but they can carry hidden genes that you might be looking for in your breeding project, or maybe you just want some fresh blood in your lines.
Star players can also exchange Tokens for an adoption license to adopt more than one cat per month.
Important note: The cat's name cannot be changed once the cat is over 7 days old, unless the name begins with a "#" sign, so choose carefully!
Basic players have a limit of 30 cats per account.
You start with $1000. (The money is, of course, only virtual money.) Each week you can go to the bank and withdraw an additional $1000 (for Basic players) or $2000 (for Star players). You also get money if you sell a cat or an item, or win first place in a show (depending on the prize). If you are a Star player, you can also earn a little money from hosting shows or offering expert opinions and catsitting.
You can only breed cats that are not neutered (duh...). Cats need to be at least 10 (virtual) months old to breed and can't have any more children when over 80 months old. If a female has recently had a litter, she has to wait for 13 months before she can be bred again. There is a limit of 2 breedings per (real) week per account. Also, Basic accounts who have 30 cats or more cannot breed.
Considerations: Before you breed, you should make sure you will be able to care for the offspring in case no one adopts them. Do you have enough money left to pay for the food and vet bills?
Breeding: To breed two cats, go to the male's cat info page and click on "breed with one of my females". This link will only appear if you are the owner of the male or if he is available for stud (when using a stud, you will be charged the stud fee the owner set). Be careful: shy and aggressive cats might refuse to breed!
Pregnancy: If the breeding was successful, your female will be pregnant for two virtual months (two real days). During this time, you should care well for her -- she will eat more than usual and if she gets too sick, there is a chance she might lose the babies!
Birth: If the pregnancy goes without problems, you will see a button on your cats page (at the bottom under "actions") which you have to click to make the cat give birth. If you don't do this within three days of the button appearing, your cat will have a miscarriage and lose her kittens. If you don't want one of the kittens, you can send it to the Rescue Shelter for a fee of $200 as long as it's under 5 days old.
Selling: If you want to sell some of the kittens, you might want to post a litter announcement in the forum. The kittens can only be sold once they are 3 days or older. To sell a cat, enter a price in the "for sale" box on the cat's page. If you want to sell a cat to a specific player (your friend, for example), just enter a very high number as a sale price, and ask the person to bid on the cat. You can then accept the bid.
Only purebred cats can be entered in shows. Enter your cats in shows by clicking on the "Shows" link in the menu. If you are a Star player, you will also have the option to host a show here. To enter a show, search for shows that were set up for your cat's title, and click on a show name to view the cats that can be entered in the show. If you are a Star player, you will see checkboxes next to the shows and cats (it's pretty much self-explanatory). A cat must be 7 days or older to compete in a show.
When the show is run, the cat's traits will be compared to the standard by a script (it's not the show host who chooses the winners). The more a cat conforms to the standard for its breed, the higher it will place. Rufusing and ghostmarkings are generally not desirable (exceptions are there for a few breeds and colors) and will lead to point deduction if the cat has those. Cats that are sick, hungry, or in bad condition have less chance to win a show, so make sure your cat is well fed and healthy before entering a show! An aggressive cat will bite the judge, and a shy cat will try to run away, both of which also leads to point deduction. Each time a cat is one of the first five winners in a show, it will win a certain amount of showpoints (sp). If it has earned enough sp, it will get a champion title. The more points the cat has, the higher the title. Check the FAQ for details about the sp needed for each title.
As a winning cat's owner, you also benefit -- you will receive "Tokens" if your cat is one of the first five winners. The owner of the cat that gets first place will also receive the prize money.
Want to get an expert's opinion on your cat, telling you how well it would perform in shows? Only purebred cats (i.e. cats with a breed any other than "mixed breed") can be judged by an expert, since mixed breeds don't have standards to compare them to.
The report is automatically generated by a script the game, not written by the player himself. Your cat's genetic data will be compared to the breed standard, and you will be told how well it conforms to the standard. The traits that are relevant for this can have the following values:
Body type: cobby - semi-cobby - semi-foreign - foreign
Body size: small - medium - big - large
Head shape: round - oval - rounded wedge - wedge-shaped
Ear size: small - medium - big - large
Nose length: very short - short - medium - long
Eye shape: round - oval - almond-shaped
The report will tell you if your cat's value for a trait is just perfect, or off by a bit. If it's not exactly the "ideal" value, you will be told in which "direction" the ideal value should go, defined by the extremes. For example, if you are told your Birman's head should be more wedge-shaped, it does not mean the cat should have a wedge-shaped head (Birmans have round heads). It means that the head is too round for this particular breed and should go slightly in the other direction (while it will still be defined as a "round" head).
To give expert opinions, you need to buy licenses first. Star players can buy them on the "Experts" page; Basic players can only get them by collecting Tokens, and they can't give expert opinions to other people's cats, just their own. You need one license to give one report. Requests for expert opinions by other players that have been waiting for more than 14 days will be deleted from the database automatically.
You will receive "Tokens" if your cat is one of the first five winners in a cat show. With Tokens you can get a few special things in the game (more to be added). Go to the "Tokens" link in the menu to see what you can exchange them for.
If you are too lazy or know you can't care for your cats for a while, you can hire a catsitter (click on the "Catsitters" link in the menu). Once you have assigned a catsitter to a cat, go to the cat's page to pay the fee. Only Star players can become catsitters.
You can still feed/vet your cats on your own if you want, even if you have hired a cat sitter. Remember to pay the fees regularly if you want to keep the sitter. Once the number of days you paid reaches 0, the catsitter has the option to clear the spot the cat occupied and you'll have to look for a new sitter. You can always choose to remove the cat from the sitter's care if you go to the sitter's home page.
Star players who want to become a sitter: Just go to the "catsitters" menu and set the fee per day per cat, and the maximum number of cats you want to accept. The player requesting catsitting will pay the fee for the amount of days he/she specifies. Then you will see the cat on your homepage where you will be able to feed the animal and take it to the vet. Food and vet costs will be paid by you. You will have to calculate that into your fees. Catsitters can also use items on cats in their care.
Kittens under the age of 5 days can be sent to the Rescue Shelter for a fee of $200 per cat. There, they can be adopted by anyone (including the former owner) for a set price. If a cat is not adopted within 3 days, it will be retired. There is no way to get it back.
Cats will automatically go to the rescue shelter if an account has been inactive for a month or longer, and the cats in the account are sick and/or hungry.
The cat's general well-being
There are three bars of fullness, health and condition:
Health drops when the cat has gone hungry for a long time, or if it is in a poor condition. Therefore, animals that are fed and groomed regularly have a higher chance of staying healthy. Sometimes, health will drop by a few points on its own, even if the cat is fully fed. How much it drops depends on the fullness, the condition, and a bit of luck. Health can also drop if your cat gets into a fight with another cat (see "Personality and Moods" below), and they can be infected by other cats if you have a sick cat in your cattery. The health of newborn kittens will be the average between the mother's and the father's health. They will be fully fed because they can drink their mother's milk.
To improve health, go to a vet (link is on the cat's info page). A vet can only add 10 points per day, though. You'll have to keep coming back each day if your cat is not in perfect health (or you can exchange Tokens for health points). Exception: When the cat's health is below 30 (like when you adopted it from the Rescue Shelter), you can keep visiting the vet until the cat has 30 or more health points. Some items can also raise health points.
Condition is not as important as fullness and health, but will also reflect your cat's general well-being and outward appearance. It is also important when entering your cats into shows. Condition can be improved by using some of the items that are available in the pet store. Longhair cats require more grooming/care than shorthair or hairless cats. Newborn kittens will have the same condition as their mother, but never higher than 70.
Personality and Moods
Activeness and Attitude: Cats that are very active and outgoing need to be played with often (at least twice a day). If a lazy cat is constantly bothered by a very active, outgoing cat who wants to play all the time, it can become grumpy, and the active cat who gets no response will become frustrated. Both will result in their moods becoming "worse".
The activeness of newborn kittens will be passed on from the parents. The attitude will be passed on from the parents, too, but since kittens are generally more open and adaptable to everything, they can sometimes be more outgoing than their parents.
A cat is "friendly" when its mood is somewhere between 40 and 60. If it rises above 60 or falls below 40, the cat will start to behave in a shy or aggressive way, which can have negative consequences:
In cat shows, an aggressive cat will bite the judge, and a shy cat will try to run away, both of which leads to point deduction. An aggressive cat can damage items and get into fights with other cats in your cattery, which might cause their mood, condition, and/or health to drop. Shy and aggressive cats might refuse to breed.
Your cat's mood cannot be influenced directly. It will change each night based on the cat's general well-being and its attitude: Reserved cats will become shy and outgoing cats will become aggressive. A cat's mood will get "worse" (either aggressive or shy) if the average between a cat's fullness and health is less than 80.
Mood will only get worse (or better) by one point each night, so it will change slowly -- in either direction. Exception: If a cat's attitude changes from "reserved" to "outgoing", the mood will also change from "shy" to "aggressive", and vice versa. Also, pregnant cats are generally "moodier" than regular cats and their mood will change by two points instead of one. As always, the general guidelines apply: take care of your cat's general well-being, and the risk of something bad happening is very low.
You can buy food, toys and grooming items in the Pet Store or from other players. All items have four options:
Use Item: This will let you use the item on a cat. The game will know automatically what to do with the item -- feed the cat (food), play with the cat (toys), or groom the cat (grooming items). If you are a catsitter, you can also use the items on the cats in your care. Not all items can be used on all cats. It will say in the item's stats which type of cats the item is suitable for, if there are any restrictions.
A cat can use up to 5 items per day. Items can affect a cat's personality and traits. For example, toys that require your interaction with the cat will make it more outgoing, and toys that the cat can use to entertain itself will make it more reserved. Cats that are fed when no longer hungry will become more lazy. The personality of kittens (0-9 months) can be influenced more strongly than that of adult cats. Most items will work most of the time, but sometimes, it happens that there are just no changes about your cat. There is a bit of luck involved, for some items more than for others!
Items (usually) have a set number of "uses". This means the item will "break" after a while and you'll have to buy a new one.
Sell Item: Obviously, this will put the item up for sale, so that it can be bought by another player. Only "Basic Food" cannot be sold.
Give Away: This lets you give an item to another player for free.
Discard: This removes the item from your inventory completely.
If you have two accounts, you can link them by entering your second UserID into the "link account" field on your "Edit User-Info" page. Linking is permanent and cannot be reversed, since no one is supposed to have more than two accounts anyway.
Once you have your two accounts linked, you will see a button on each of your cats' pages that allows you to transfer the cat, either to or from your linked account. You can also transfer money easily by going to the bank and entering the amount of money you want to transfer into the field.