Cat Dressage: Is This a New Trend for Kitty-loving Horse Enthusiasts?

Since it’s hardly any secret that I am 150% totally passionate about kitties, I don’t have to go into great detail about what draws me to cats like a magnet. I have yet to meet an ‘ugly’ feline, or one which hasn’t almost immediately stolen my heart.

athletic and agile tabby cat

Photo credit: The United States Cat Dressage Federation Facebook Page

At the same time, many of our readers also are more than aware that I am wild about horses. As far as I am concerned there is hardly anything more appealing than their velvet nose and their “heady” scent. I love the sounds that horses make; a greeting whinny or nicker and a happy snort is always music to my ears.

This magical and mystical species have taken us into battle, delivered our mail, served us unconditionally, and make the hearts of young girls beat more than just a little bit faster. Their uncanny understanding of people with disabilities makes them perfect ‘therapists’ in the many specialized riding programs throughout the world.

Since horses are both truly intelligent and noble creatures; as long as they are trained and cared for with an abundance of love, patience and compassion, they make one of the most amazing animal companions that anyone who avidly loves the species could possibly want.

I have often met cat lovers who go gaga over horses. Cats not only keep the barns free of rats and mice, kitties seem to be attracted to equines. Many cats show their appreciation for horses by actually curling up next to them while they are fast asleep in their stalls.

With the exception of one of my horses, most of them seem to enjoy the company of a feline. For some inexplicable reason, my horse ‘Sweet and Low’ was terrified of them, and if one crossed her path while I was on her back in the riding ring, she gave me a performance that would rival that of any bucking bronco. Had I not, for the life of me, hung tightly onto her mane, there were occasions when she was close to unseating me with me landing on the ground, totally embarrassed, spitting out a mouthful of dirt.

Speaking of cats and horses, today there are many folks who are passionately involved in Feline Agility training. Since many cats enjoy being challenged and stimulated by this activity, several of the Feline Regulatory Associations are now including Agility Training classes at their cat shows. Associations similar to the International Cat Agility (ICA) Tournaments are popping up, inviting folks to participate.

However, the other day I accidentally ran across one of the most integrative and fascinating Facebook Pages that, in my opinion, clearly demonstrates to a tee the passion that many cat lovers have for horses. The United States Cat Dressage Federation is the only national membership organization dedicated to the ancient art of cat dressage.

As you watch your kitty happily trotting across a room, it is easy to be blown away while observing your cat’s flowing movements which many cat/horse lovers describe as breathtaking. In fact the cat’s motion often resembles the stunning action that horses in dressage classes exhibit.

The folks who created this page launched a wonderfully unique site where kitty loving-horse fans can interact, sharing humor and interesting ideas about how to keep cats stimulated, exercised and entertained.

For an illustrative taste of an excellent feline mover, take a moment and enjoy the short, but fun kitty dressage video uploaded to YouTube by ellie 99.

Do you think your kitty would enjoy participating in Dressage for Cats? Share your opinion in a comment.


Photo credit: The United States Cat Dressage Federation Facebook Page

Facebook Discussion


Cat Dressage: Is This a New Trend for Kitty-loving Horse Enthusiasts? — 13 Comments

  1. I have tried agility with my cats, but they are so easily distracted (Look, a squirrel, hahameow). But I so admire cats and their handlers/owners that have diligently worked to achieve success.

    And that video, I still feel that cat has a neurological problem and should not be promoting cat dressage at all…

  2. I don’t know about agility for cats, but the kitty in this video prances like a Walking Horse. I really enjoyed watching it. Puts a smile on my face.

  3. Interesting article and posts. I’ve seen this video several times and thought it was pretty silly, actually — and I wonder what it is about this society that compels so many people to want to change everything natural. Why can’t people appreciate cats for their innate beauty, grace, agility and catly qualities, I wonder? But some of the posts point out that “training” might increase some cats’ chances of finding loving, forever homes and staying in them — and that is everything I dream of and want.

  4. My cats would only participate in Feline Dressage in a supervisory capacity, because they are older cats and move in a more stately and sedate fashion unless they are participating in The International Cat Races, when they are all kinds of silly all over the place. They hasten to add that they are ALL in favor of feline MASsage.

  5. Hi Natalie,

    What an adorable story. I loved the photos. Thanks for adding that link!

    I agree with you in hoping that no cats will be abused, but from what I am reading, so far everthing seems totally fine.

    Cat Fancier’s Association really is into the Cat Agility training, since it does provide kitties with a lot of mental and physical stimulation, and the cats seem to be enjoying it a LOT. Cats, in my experience, won’t do things if they don’t want to- but from all I am reading and the discussions I have had with cat guardians who are involved in the sport- report that their cats really are enjoying the activity:)

  6. Haha, that’s funny – the cat dressage 🙂 (I do hope no cat will be abused! 😉

    I also find that horse owners have cats (or cat owners have horses 🙂 We have a lovely pair in Australia – Morris and Champy. A lovely relationship (

    Some horse owners say that you should be careful as not all horses are positive towards cats and the cat can get injured.


  7. That’s so cute!, I didn’t know Joe you liked Horses as well. Rebel used to walk like he was walking quickly. Used to call him dainty. My younger sister had a horse when she was 15, i couldn’t handle it. Cute video though

  8. This is an interesting topic. For me the debate is whether it is OK to train a cat to participate in agility shows or whatever they are.

    Some people won’t like it but I do because it is stimulating. It is both good for a cat’s mind (a mental challenge) and body (physical exercise). The domestic cat in general does not get enough of either of these.

    The downside for agility shows is that a cat has to travel and most don’t like that and be with other cats in noisy places.

    I do believe though that cat owners need to do more to encourage cats to do more.

    • I agree Michael. . .Agility “shows” would be good for kitties, and most people don’t think cats can be trained — well, they are wrong!!! Cats are quite trainable — if one has the patience and time to do so.

      On the brighter side, I just rescued another cat tonight. . .I am now back up to 12 — all adopted or rescued. . .

        • I know I can’t take more than this though, and be able to take care of them properly. So I am done as far as any for me, but I will continue to share and crosspost, and help folks out here locally as I can. . . <3 <3

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