What is cat agility used for ?
Cat agility proves that it is possible, as with the dogs, to train a cat to carry out particular movements. The idea here is not to turn kitty into a circus animal but to spend a moment of play with him and deepen the relationship you have together. By making him do these agility exercises, you will also allow him to do a physical activity and to get some exercise (especially if it is a house cat).
Remember that the practice of cat agility must be a pleasure for you and your cat : do not force him if you see that it does not please him. Generally, it will be easier to train a young cat to this practice. The ability to do this sport is also not so much a matter of cat breed (all types of cats are potentially compatible) but of individual character. The most suitable cats for cat agility will be curious, players, active (they like to run, jump, climb ...) and motivated by the rewards. Is this the case of kitty ? If so follow our advice.
What do you need ?
The practice of cat agility in competition is done in a fenced area (so that the cat does not escape) and with special accessories for the obstacle course : jump barriers, hoops, weave poles, stairs or tunnel. A course generally has about ten obstacles, arranged in an order that can vary.
If you want to create a cat agility course at home, you do not need to invest in expensive equipment. Use the objects of your daily life : a broom handle placed on shoe boxes to make a jump barrier, a cardboard cut and bent to make a tunnel, jars of tomato sauce to make poles, etc.
How to train your cat ?
Training a cat at an agility course is a little more complicated than a dog. It usually takes a little more patience. Cats will also need to be motivated by a reward (a treat they like), whereas the dogs simply want to please their master ... However, cats have assets for cat agility : they are natural player and have better memory skills than their canine colleagues !
To train kitty to perform an obstacle course, you can use a game or toy and pass them over the obstacle to be crossed. The clicker training method of associating an instruction with a distinctive sound is also very effective. But you can also simply use gestures and voice to give your instructions to your cat. Two methods are then possible to help your feline memorise the course : either train him on each obstacle one by one, or start with the last obstacle of the course and then gradually add to the previous steps. Try both to find the one that best suits your feline. With only a few short training episodes every day, it is normally possible to get very fast results !
Wondering what cat agility looks like ? Or do you doubt that you can really train cats to make an obstacle course ? We will let you discover this video of the cats Puffy and Cashmere, both very gifted for this exercise ...