Guest post by Jordan Fuller. Jordan is a retired golfer and businessman. When he’s not on the course working on his own game or mentoring young golfers, he writes in-depth articles for his website, Golf Influence.
Cats are much more amazing creatures than we give them credit for! They have a reputation for being aloof, snooty, and not enjoying our company, but the opposite is true for most of them. Sure, you get the occasional cat with attitude, but that’s no different from the occasional dog or human.
If you’d like to spend more time with your fluff, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s an array of interesting sports that you can enjoy with your cat. Technically they’re not “cat sports”, but with some planning and training, you can easily take your kitty along for the ride.
Obviously, you’re not going to be able to teach them how to play golf or throw a football around with them! But you may be surprised at some of the sports you can include them in.
Here are some of the top sports you can enjoy with your cat:
Just like you can train your dog to fly through an agility course, you can do the same with your cat. It starts at home, where you can design and build agility courses for your kitty. You can find plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to start training them.
It’s a fun sport to do together because it’s not just about the cat. As the owner or “handler”, you’ll need to train yourself, too, because you’ll be leading your cat through each obstacle. You can use a laser pointer or a feather-on-a-string toy to do this.
Once you and your cat work well together, you can start training for competitions. If you enter a competition, know that your cat will have to complete the agility course in under 270 seconds, with good form, and without food or treats as motivation.
Cat agility competitions are much less common than dog agility contests. Most of them are held by one of two organizations—The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) or The International Cat Association (TICA). Be sure to check them out if you’re interested in doing this with your cat.
If your kitty enjoys a good game of fetch, then feline frisbee could be for them. If you’ve trained your cat to fetch (and bring items back to you), then you’re already halfway there! All you need to do is train your kitty to do the same with a frisbee.
It may take a little time, as the frisbee may not be a natural shape for them to play with. But using your clicker, combined with food treats, can work wonders!
You may need to find them a smaller, softer frisbee than the conventional kind, though. While a dog’s jaws and teeth can easily handle a normal frisbee, your kitty’ mouth and teeth are smaller and more fragile.
Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Got a cat that enjoys water? Go stand-up paddleboarding together! This requires you to have some knowledge and experience of the sport already because there might be some falling involved while learning. We advise only getting your cat involved once you can stand and paddle easily.
You’ll need to make sure your cat has their own life jacket if you plan on doing any water sports with them. Don’t neglect this just because your cat can swim. If something does go wrong and they get swept away or knocked unconscious, that life jacket will be a lifesaver—literally.
Please don’t try this with cats who dislike water or who aren’t expressly fond of it. Your poor feline will only end up traumatized, which will have the opposite effect of what this should do—help you to bond with your fluff!
Hiking with your cat is a great way to show them some of the great outdoors and bond with them at the same time. You can always put them on a leash and let them explore the territory a bit, but be careful in case other people are walking their dogs the same way.
You can get cat hiking backpacks, which are a bit like a hotel on your back for cats. It’s a carrier in which your cat will sit as you walk, so they’re safe but still get to experience the scenery and have a bit of excitement.
Don’t forget to take some food along for your kitty, as well as plenty of clean water. Stop regularly giving them a drink—remember, your cat can’t tell you when they’re feeling thirsty. Even if the weather is on the cooler side, make sure your cat is well cared for.
Kayak with Your Cat
Yes, you can take your cat kayaking too! Again, make sure your cat is used to water before you even consider this, and you also need to be quite comfortable in a kayak first too.
Take it slow and allow your cat to get used to the motion, the sound of the water, and the wind in its fur. Again, don’t let them set paw onto a kayak without a life jacket—you can find some specifically designed for cats or even use one for a small dog.
Don’t venture too far from the shore, at least the first few times you take your cat out on the kayak. If kitty spooks, you want to be close enough to shore to get them safely off the kayak as fast as possible. Don’t forget to take a towel in case they get wet!
Whatever sport you choose to do with your cat, make sure they’re safe and cared for. Never force your kitty into doing something they don’t seem to enjoy. This is an opportunity for the two of you to bond, so make sure they’re happy, calm, and comfortable.
If you’re going to be outdoors for a length of time, don’t forget to take ample water for your cat, as well as a source of shade if they need to rest. This can be as simple as a towel draped over some branches, but make sure there’s a way for them to get out of the sun.
You can also get cat-friendly sunscreen, which is an excellent idea to protect your fluff’s vulnerable areas in hot weather. Don’t forget the treats, and you’ll be good to go!