Frolicking felines and knavish kittens will have their day in the spotlight when the International Cat Agility Tournament and show takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 21 and 22 at Century Center, 120 S. St. Joseph St., South Bend.
The event is open to cats of all ages and varieties and they don’t need prior agility-course experience, according to Susan Lee, an agility official with International Cat Agility Tournaments Inc.“We set up the cat agility tournament course in the middle of the cat show and cats who have entered in the show can use the course between judging. Some cats will stretch and yawn and some will just play around. Some cats are so excited to go on the course and quickly learn they’re on a course.”
The track is much like one used for horses, but on a smaller scale, says Lee who, as an official trainer, believes that cats are very smart and more like horses.
“Cat agility people are looking at what horses would do (when designing the course) ... and some have worked with dogs and horses.” Lee adds that folks are welcome to use the track, when it’s open, to get in some practice runs. An official will be on hand to record times. The best course times can then used for the competition. The top three cats from the agility competition will be awarded cash prizes and their times will be recorded into the international competition books. The top three kittens and top three junior handlers (through age 17) are also honored.
Families are welcome. “Kids and cats can run around the course while competing,” Lee says.
The event, for cats of all ages and abilities, is sponsored by Cat Agility Tournaments Inc. and Great Lakes Area Cat Enthusiasts Inc.