Agility is a sport much more commonly associated with dogs than with cats. But did you know that cats can do agility, and that they can do it very well?
Cat agility is an increasingly popular sport that offers a great physical and mental workout for your kitty, while at the same time strengthening the bond the two of you share. Best of all, it's a sport you and your cat can train for at home.
By constructing your own agility course, either in your yard or even in your home, you can give your fabulous feline the "pawfect" environment in which to hone their skills. Then all you have to do is train your cat to run an obstacle course — keep reading to find out how.
Training your cat to run an obstacle course is a little more difficult than teaching a dog the same skills. This is quite simply because cats aren't always as eager to please as many dog breeds, so you'll need a patient and consistent approach to help your pet understand the basic skills necessary to complete the course.
Whichever of the two methods below that you choose when training your cat, there are a couple of different ways to go about it. One is to rely on the clicker training approach, which basically involves using a click sound and giving your pet a treat when they exhibit a desired behavior, such as jumping over an obstacle.
Alternatively, you might like to try luring your cat through the course with their favorite toy. It all comes down to what works best for your cat, so it might take a little trial and error before you find the right approach.
Of course, the athletic skills your cat will need to learn will vary depending on the obstacle course you create. You may want your kitty to dash through tunnels, jump hurdles, weave between poles, climb ladders, or leap through hoops. Training these talents will take time, but the results are impressive and make the hard work well worth it.
Some cats will get the hang of agility training straight away, but others will take a little longer to grasp what you want them to do (or to find the inclination to do it). Regardless of which method you choose, stay calm and patient at all times, and remember to keep your sessions short and fun. This will allow you to set your cat up for the best chance of success.