Ready. Set. Let’s Go! Don’t Call Me Garfield!

When you hear the words “Fast CAT” do they conjure up images of a tabby chasing a Dachshund? Does it also bring to mind your dislike of Mondays or your fear of spiders? If so, you’re probably not alone. Set aside your lunaediesophobia and arachnophobia for a moment, if you will, and allow me to introduce you to an exciting and relatively new American Kennel Club sport: Fast CAT. The “CAT” stands for “Coursing Ability Test” and, according to the AKC website, it “provides a terrific opportunity to introduce new participants to the world of AKC sports as one of the few events where all that is needed to compete is a dog’s natural instincts.”

Is your dog at least 12 months old? Is he fit and healthy? Does he enjoy running? Is he fast? Do you wonder if he’ll be able to outrun the Cheetah waiting outside your tent to enjoy breakfast with you at your upcoming safari in Nairobi? Well, wonder no more. Enter a Fast CAT trial and your dog’s speed will be clocked during a one hundred yard dash. Don’t worry, he won’t be racing a Cheetah, he’ll be running by his onesie chasing a lure. His time will be converted to miles per hour (MPH). Besides giving you bragging rights, his MPH will determine the amount of points he receives based on his handicapped speed. The handicap system is calculated by the dog’s height at his withers – 18” or taller has a handicap of 1.0, 12” up to 18” has 1.5, under 12” has 2.0. He can earn titles when he has accumulated a given number of points For the BCAT your dog must get 150 points, the DCAT requires 500 points, the FCAT is 1000 points. For each additional 500 points once he gets his FCAT, he will get another one; that is FCAT2 for 1,500 points, FCAT3 for 2,000, etc. Further bragging rights can come from his ranking in the top twenty dogs by breed per year. Plus, besides being a nice conversation starter, your dog will enjoy himself and you will undoubtedly get sucked into the exhilarating world of racing.

Bragging rights aside, your dog need not be fast to participate. He only needs to have a desire to chase the lure. Whether he runs at 10 miles per hour like the top 2018 Yorkie (plenty of time to finish your venti double shot, low fat, no foam latte) or at almost 41 miles per hour like the top 2018 Whippet (one quick sip of your tall cinnamon almond milk macchiato), you will both undoubtedly enjoy yourselves in a controlled environment. If your dog does not have a good recall and you are worried about him chasing a squirrel instead of the lure, consider entering only trials that have fencing around the course area. This and other pertinent information can be found in the premium.Once you are both more experienced, you can decide how comfortable you are in less restrictive environments. What better way to spend a Saturday than enjoying the great outdoors with your four-legged friend while sipping your Teavana Shaken Strawberry Green Tea Infusion Lemonade and making two-legged friends?

Photo Credit – MLBaer Photography