The AFL has rejected a bid for its foundation clubs to claim premierships won in the 19th century.
Geelong president Colin Carter had led a submission for VFA premierships from 1870 to 1896 to count towards overall tallies.
The Cats were among eight foundation clubs that split from the VFA to form the VFL, which started in 1897.
AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick announced on Thursday that individual clubs could acknowledge their pre-VFL flags.
But those VFA premierships and player records will not count towards VFL/AFL statistics.
The Cats won seven VFA premierships and have claimed another nine since the VFL was formed.
"The VFL/AFL has its own discreet history from 1897 to 1990 when the name of the competition changed to the AFL," Fitzpatrick said.
"But it has been the one organisation since its establishment, until the VFL was used as the foundation to establish our national competition."
The league added it was also up to Port Adelaide, another club with a strong local background, to decide how they would acknowledge their pre-AFL history.