When you see CAT associated with dog sports, do you think of mewing kitty cats?
Well, we’re not talking feline here; we’re talking canine, at least we are when it comes to CAT and Fast CAT.
CAT is short for coursing ability test, and it is an easy way for newcomers to enter the wide world of dog sports. Each dog chases after an artificial lure on either a 300- or 600-yard-long course and must finish in less 1½ minutes and 2 minutes, respectively.
Fast CAT is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs, one at a time, chase such a lure. And Fast CAT is one of the fastest growing canine sports recognized by the American Kennel Club. Such trials are held throughout the state of California and are great fun for dogs and spectators alike.
Fast CAT events are open to dogs of all shapes and sizes, purebred and mixed breeds. All they need is a little bit of prey drive — the natural instinct your dog has to chase a moving object — and a sense of adventure.
To participate in Fast CAT, your dog must be at least 1 year old, be in good physical and mental condition, and have registration number through a registry the AKC recognizes such as AKC Purebred Registration, AKC Canine Partners (for mixed breeds), AKC Purebred Alternative Listing (PAL) Program, or Foundation Stock Service (FSS).
Information on how to get your dog registered with these programs and the dates and locations of future Fast CAT trials can be found by visiting the sports and events section at the AKC website: AKC.org.
One of the best photographers around for Fast CAT action is Mike LeCuyer of Mike LeCuyer’s Event Photography, which specializes in canine sport and conformation events. LeCuyer can be hired as a personal photographer for competitors at dog shows, trials, and events and is available by appointment on site.
Fast CAT events often occur in Prunedale, Sacramento, Pleasanton, Rancho Murieta, and Moorpark and other places not so far from the East Bay. Hope to see you there.
Susan Oliver of Fresno, a retired registered nurse, pursues her passion for dogs as an animal behaviorist with Therapy Pets Unlimited and is a Canine Good Citizen certification test evaluator. She travels throughout California competing in canine sports with her family of cocker spaniels. Learn more about Mike LeCuyer’s Event Photography at MikeLeCuyerEventPhotography.zenfolio.com or find him on Facebook.
See how fast you dog can run at Fast CAT.
Main article photo by: Photos by Mike LeCuyer Event Photography