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An introduction to International Cat Agility Tournaments. World Cat Congress Annual Meeting Christchurch, New Zealand June 6, 2005 Presented by Kay DeVilbiss, President, TICA. © International Cat Agility Tournaments LLC 2005. What is ICAT?. ICAT provides a new category of cat competition .

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An introduction to


World Cat Congress Annual Meeting

Christchurch, New Zealand

June 6, 2005

Presented by Kay DeVilbiss, President, TICA

© International Cat Agility Tournaments LLC 2005

what is icat
What is ICAT?

ICAT provides a new category of cat competition

In ICAT competitions cats negotiate an agility course, designed to display their speed, coordination, beauty of movement, physical condition, intelligence and training, plus the quality and depth of their relationship with their owner, who trains them and guides them through the course


ICAT embraces the following

3 ideals, which are ICAT’s mottos:

history of dog agility
History of Dog Agility
  • Dog agility made its debut at the Crufts Dog Show in London in 1978, as a spectator amusement between judgings
  • It was modeled on equestrian stadium jumper competitions
  • It is the most rapidly growing dog sport in the world
  • ICAT started 25 years after dog agility started
  • Exhibitors and spectators get caught up in watching the lively, athletic race of the cats and their handlers through the agility course, just like they do at dog agility trials
history of icat
History of ICAT
  • ICAT was authentically organized in 2003 by four cat show friends:

Vickie Shields,

Adriana Kajon,

Shirley Piper, and

Kathy Krysta

With horse, dolphin, dog and cat show backgrounds, the ICAT founders knew how beautiful cats could be when in motion, and how to train and condition their animal friends
The first “proof of concept” ICAT event was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in October 2003 at a TICA cat show hosted by Enchanted Cat Club, of which Vickie and Adriana are members. ICAT and cat agility were a huge success!

This is Paparazzi, a Himalayan kitten, completing the first ever Clean Run on an ICAT cat agility course! Albuquerque, New Mexico, October 2003


Many more ICAT shows followed, mostly at TICA shows, but also CFA, ACFA, Independents, FIFe and solo cat agility shows, in the U.S., Canada and Europe

what does icat do
What does ICAT do?
  • Registers cats - Pedigrees or registration elsewhere are not needed. All cats are equal and welcome in ICAT events

Nemo, a 10-year old domestic, the winner in Florida, August 2004

Trains and certifies ICAT Agility Officials, through apprenticing sessions with ICAT’s Agility Official Trainers
  • Trains the handlers. Training the people is just as important as training the cats

Fast cat, slow handler

The social structure of the domestic cat is a colony, not a pack, and thus the training approach is different than with dogs
Agility Cat titles are awarded when earned by adult cats over 8 months old

While kittens enjoy chasing toys and playing, they aren’t truly professional agility cats, so kittens are scored for time and awards, but not titles

  • Kittens chase toys, have lots of fun, learn navigation of obstacles, and get great exercise

Experienced adults plan  ahead and are guided by hands, toys, or target sticks

Designs and tests cat agility obstacles and courses, gets veterinary approval, and publishes the specifications for building them

3 levels of difficulty, and advanced games

Double Hoop:

Height top of lower edge 26 cm

Distance between tubes 5 cm

Maintains a website,, with photos, discussion group, show reports, training info, equipment and course drawings, newspaper and magazine articles about ICAT cat agility
In summary, ICAT generally does everything it can to encourage healthy, happy cats and playful cat-and-human interactions through ICAT cat agility

James and Spirit

Seth and Dancer

Suzanne and Ziggy

who can hold icat events
Who can hold ICAT events?
  • All cat associations and clubs (TICA, FIFe, WCF, SACC, ACF, NZCF, CCA, CFA, ACFA, CATZ, GCCF, TCF, CFSA, Independents, etcetera), all specialized cat agility clubs (as in Canada), all shelters and humane societies, and others -- as long as ICAT rules and course plans are followed, for consistency of ICAT events around the world

Russelsheim, Germany, October 2004


Agility Cat Canada club holds 6-week training and practice sessions at a community center, and now has some of the best agility cats in the world, including the World Record holder, a cat aptly named Zoom

Strasbourg, France, November 2004

benefits of icat
Benefits of ICAT

The benefits of having ICAT as part of the regular cat activities extend to:

  • Clubs
  • Cats
  • Owners
  • Associations
benefits to clubs
Benefits to Clubs
  • Increased regular ring exhibitors for your shows
  • Increased spectators, and happier vendors. ICAT is great for show publicity, in magazines, newspapers and for TV because it is visually exciting
  • Supports club goals by encouraging, healthy, happy cats, and respects the well-being of cats
  • A whole different group of people might become cat fanciers and club members
benefits to cats
Benefits to Cats
  • Health and happiness, respect, and encourages bonding with owners
  • 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. Being loved is what matters

  • Educates public about how intelligent, beautiful, trainable and companionable cats are
benefits to owners
Benefits to Owners
  • Development of a close relationship between cat and owner doing a fun, stimulating activity with your cat at home and at shows
  • Worldwide competitions are the same
  • Excellent activity for children, wholesome, educational
  • Earning ICAT Agility Cat titles
  • Increasing kitten sales if potential buyers appreciate a kitten having a family full of ICAT winners,

indicating a mentally and physically fit family of cats

benefits to associations
Benefits to Associations
  • Encourages cat fanciers to work together to promote the health, sound structure, 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, increases interest
  • Brings new people into the cat fancy, and increases registrations for the associations
that s beaut
That’s beaut!

Cheers, Cheerio, Goodbye, Thank You