If lawyers say it's fun, it's really got to be fun!
The agility of felines has always been amazing. Focusing that agility into the routine of jumping bars and hoops is always challenging. Cats DO have a mind of their own, as we all know! CFA's feline agility coordinator, Jill Archibald, has been working hard to train cats - and their owners -- to run through an agility course.
Imagine attendees at a convention of attorneys saying that watching feline agility, and trying their hand at running a cat through the course, is the most fun they'd ever had at a legal convention. Actually happened. In June at the Cat Fanciers' Association Annual Meeting.
Each year at the CFA Annual Meeting, the agility folks hold a workshop to demonstrate just how cool it is to run a cat through the agility course. During the 2010 workshop, the doors were opened to anyone who wanted to come, watch, learn and participate as they wished. Scads of people dropped by to watch, and almost all tried their hand at running a kitten through the course. CFA judges, convention delegates, visitors, hotel staff and other convention attendees all came and enjoyed the fun. Lawyers, attending a convention at the same hotel, lined up to participate!
The Feline Agility program now has training videos! If you've always wanted to work with your cat at home to practice jumping the various hoops and bars, here's purr-fect instructional video on how to do just that! The 5-part training video is certain to be helpful to newbies and experienced handlers alike.
The series of videos will teach you how to construct a set of steps, and then how to convince your cat that running up one side and down the other is a good thing. Purchase a small tunnel at a local store (like IKEA or a kid's store) and chances are your cat will love exploring it. Simple use of a feather will quickly train him to run through the tunnel on command. A hula hoop to jump through, a feather to chase through it, and you're all set - your cat will be an expert in no time.
Training at Pet Expos
The Nebraska Humane Society held their first annual Cat Expo in Omaha, NE in July 2010 and invited agility coordinator, Jill Archibald, to attend. The expo, planned to raise awareness of cats and what wonderful pets they are, was a great venue to demonstrate feline agility.
Jill worked hard to convince the public that CFA Feline Agility was not only a fun way to interact with your cat, but also an activity that anyone could do with their cat!! Press previews on Friday had thirty-five day-campers, and their counselors from the Humane Society's Camp Kindness, learn how to run a cat in agility and demonstrate all the excitement for the press.
Using an agility ring built by Humane Society volunteers, more than seventy-five children, teens, adults and staff members ran a cat through the course of weave poles, tunnels, steps, hoop and bars. On Saturday, well over five hundred spectators cheered on, and rooted for, the individual participants!
The Humane Society now has a full set of agility obstacles, donated by Ms. Archibald, which can be used as a fun way to exercise and interact with cats. Read the newspaper article, complete with video.
And, Finally, Recognition ...
Cats competing in CFA Feline Agility can now earn titles! Completing the course with no errors, within the allotted time, will earn the cat the title of "Agility Competitor" (AC).
The first person to earn a title for his cat was a 9 year old handler at the recent Garden State Cat Show in Somerset, NJ. A total of fifteen cats completed the course and earned their first title at that show.
Try feline agility at a show near you ... we think you'll like it!
By Karen Lawrence & Jill Archibald (CFA Feline Agility Coordinator)
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This program is supported by
The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.
This program is supported by The Cat Fanciers' Association, Inc.