Benefits to Clubs:
· Increased exhibitors for your shows, “Cat agility is fun for you AND your cat.”
· Increased spectators, and happier vendors. ICAT is great for show publicity, and visual for TV.
· Encourages human-cat bonding, and healthy, happy cats, and respects the well-being of cats
Benefits to Cats:
· Health and happiness, respect, and encourages bonding with owners, “Play with your cat every day.”
· Household pet or mixed breed cats--the majority of cats owned as pets worldwide--compete in ICAT on equal footing with pedigreed cats, and earn the same titles, and recognition in tournaments.
· Educates public about how intelligent, beautiful, trainable and companionable cats are.
Benefits to Owners:
· Development and recognition of the close relationship between cat and owner, “Focusing on the beauty from within.”
· Satisfaction of doing a fun, stimulating interaction with your cat at home and at the shows.
· Earning ICAT agility titles, beginner thru advanced.
· Increasing kitten sales if potential buyers appreciate the kitten having a family full of ICAT winners, indicating a mentally and physically fit family.
· Excellent children’s activity, wholesome, educational.
Benefits to Associations:
· Encourage cat fanciers to work together to promote the health, welfare and exhibition of all cats.
· Encourages the caring, responsible ownership and breeding of cats.
· Encourages a positive image of cats as intelligent, elegant pets.
· Brings new people into the cat fancy, and increases registrations for the associations.
What is ICAT?
ICAT is devoted to creating a new category of cat competition in which cats negotiate an obstacle course designed to display their speed, coordination, beauty of movement, physical conditioning, intelligence, training, and the especially the quality and depth of their relationship with their owner, who trains with them and guides them through the course. “Cat agility is fun for you AND your cat.” ICAT was organized by four founders, Vickie Shields, Shirley Piper, Kathy Krysta and Adriana Kajon. ICAT is for every cat, not just show cats.
ICAT is using lightweight, portable agility equipment. The obstacles are designed with safety, fun for the cat, and spectator appeal in mind. There are three categories of competition (Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced) at which the course can be navigated, depending on the owner’s assessment of the cat’s structure and condition. Cats can earn titles at any category, and there is no pressure to advance to the next higher difficulty category.
Any healthy cat may compete in ICAT, including house cats, mixed breeds, show quality and pet quality pedigreed cats, and partly Felis catus.
Competition is for cats at least 8 months old, when cats reach the equivalent of their early teenage years. Kittens 4 to 8 months are welcome to practice and compete on the Basic level course.
History of Agility?
Dog agility made its debut 25 years ago at the Crufts Dog Show in London in 1978, as a spectator amusement between judgings, modeled on equestrian stadium jumper competitions, and it is the most rapidly growing dog sport in the world. From early beginnings in Napa, California in the 1980’s, ICAT officially organized in 2003 and held its first full demonstration show in Albuquerque, NM, where the exhibitors and spectators got caught up in watching the lively, athletic race of the cats and their handlers through the agility course.