We present spectroscopic and photometric observations of the cataclysmic variable CW 1045+525. Both the optical spectrum and the photometric lightcurve show a strong contribution of a K5V-M0V secondary. We derive an orbital period d by measuring the radial velocities of the absorption lines of the secondary. The period and spectral type of the secondary suggest a distance of 350-700 pc. There is evidence for additional sources of line- and continuum emission, but no direct evidence of an accretion disc. We discuss several scenarios for the nature of CW 1045+525 on the basis of our results, finding a dwarf nova classification to be the most probable, although not completely satisfying, explanation for the observed characteristics.



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