Despite believe to the contrary, cats can be trained and they can be trained to run an agility course just like dogs do. The course and obstacles are sized for the felines. The winner is the cat with the fastest time and fewest mistakes. The International Cat Agility Tournaments sanctions competitions that are held by cat clubs around the world. The contests are open to all cats no matter what their pedigree as long as they are at least eight months old.
A cat can learn to navigate an agility course as long as he can follow a feather on the end of a long stick. Use the feather dangling from a cord on the end of a long stick and set up an easy course at home. Have the cat follow the feather around the course. Just put it under or over the obstacles in the way you want the cat to go.
The courses are designed with cats in mind. The trials are held in a 30 foot by 30 feet square that is enclosed by a 7-1/2 foot high cat fence. Just the cat and her handler will be in the enclosure, so there is no one to spook the animal.
The equipment is made out of PVC piping and is light weight and safe. It includes carpeted ramps where the cat goes up one side, across the top and down the other side, platforms, open tunnels which are long flannel tubes laying on the ground, bar jumps, hoop jumps, tire jumps, weave poles which are straight poles set up in a straight line that the cat has to weave through and tables for them to take off from on distance leaps. Buy or make your own equipment similar to that used in the trials. Once the cat is used to it, it is easy to transition him to the ones on the course. It will be just like using the ones at home.
Take some time to contact cat clubs in your area and make arrangements to be a spectator at one or more of the agility trials. This way you can see how the operation works. Watch the trainers and see how they move and coax their animals through the course.
If you like the idea and train your cat, get him registered at ICAT. Then the cat is able to compete and earn titles.
Cats and kittens not registered are able to compete and earn prizes at their local events.
The cat will start out at the basic level and once she has mastered it, will move on to advanced level1. In basic, the course is set up in a simple circular pattern. In level 1 it is a more challenging set up and the obstacles are set higher. In order to qualify for advances level 2 the cat has to have earned a title in level 1. This level is for the best of the best, the ones in the best physical condition and those who communicate best with their trainers.