This is about cats trained to do tricks. It is simply about training cats.
People will see this as amusing and fun. It certainly is for many people. Certainly the trainer finds the task stimulating. She has wanted to be an animal trainer all her life it seems and does a excellent job. Of course she does it for herself. The reason why she trains cats to perform circus-like tricks is to occupy herself and make some money.
I don’t want to be critical but it is nice to ask what the cats might get out of this. Do we think that the cats enjoy it or don’t they mind one way or the other?
Although, personally, I don’t like to see cats being trained like this for entertainment, that does not mean it is necessarily a bad thing. We all have personal views on these things.
As long as the cats are well cared for and as long as the stunts they are trained to do don’t result in the odd injury, it would seem to be OK. The trouble I have is that we can’t find out if a cat likes doing it or not. We have to assume the cat is OK with this. He may not be. Then there is the travelling. I am sure Martin travels a lot to get to venues. Cats aren’t normally very fond of travelling.
Although, if I am honest, I don’t find much particularly entertaining in it. This is probably because I am thinking about the cats and their welfare.
One thing for sure; Acro-Cats tells us is that cats are very trainable. Some people think they aren’t. Samantha Martin has trained 14 cats to do stunts including playing in a rock band. It took her many months. She employed clicker training, which is a reward based training. The clicker is a tool which helps to link reward with doing the task well. It is more precise and fast compared to simply handing a food treat to the cat after completing the task. All clicker training is food reward based. It is what motivates cats and dogs.
Through observing her cats Martin selected certain cats to do certain tricks as cats have tastes and preferences just like people. For example she says:
“Some cats like to be high up. Others like to be on the ground…..”