Moscow Cat Theatre

Two words: Cat Circus. Look out, Cirque du Soleil.

Here’s a brief description of the circus, currently performing in NY:

"Compare a task to “herding cats” and it usually means things won’t be easy. Yuri Kuklachev insists he has never heard the expression - but even if he understood English, he’d have qualms about it. Compared to what he does with cats, what’s herding?

Kuklachev, a Russian-born clown, arrived in New York recently with a huge entourage, the majority of the feline persuasion. His 26 performing cats are the stars of the Moscow Cats Theatre, making its U.S. debut at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in lower Manhattan. The supporting cast is composed of two dogs and several fellow clowns.

At a recent news conference, a tardy photographer asked Kuklachev to have a gray cat named Marusa repeat his impressive routine of standing on his front paws atop Kuklachev’s outstretched palm. Marusa soon obliged - but only because he happened to feel like it, Kuklachev said. If he hadn’t, there would’ve been no way of coaxing him."

Well, Kuklachev is lying. Cat trainers use subtle threats and intimidation. The easiest way is to stare wide-eyed at the cat, which makes the cat feel you are a predator about to strike.

There’s a cat trainer in Key West who performs every night to hundreds of oos and aahs, but the cats are doing their tricks because they fear the outcome if they don’t.

Anyway, if you have ever owned a cat, you know that they do not do headstands because they happen to feel like it. :unamused:

Agreed. I’ve had a cat for 13 years, although perhaps a more apt statement would be that she’s had me for 13 years.

Not necessarily. Yes, cats are very strong-minded and independent, but we trained our cat to do small tricks and we never used threats or intimidation. We started when she was young, worked with her regularly and offered her praise and a reward if she performed properly. As I said they were small tricks – not exactly circus acts – but more than most people give cats credit for. Before dinner she would sit, shake hands and speak. When she wanted to go outside she would jump up and hit the doorknob with her paws. Maybe not a huge deal, but they were tricks she was taught to perform and there was nothing cruel about the training. We loved that cat and she loved us; we would not have treated her cruelly.

I’ve also seen these famous cats in myanmar, that were trained by monks to jump through hoops:

Burmese people are the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever met, these monks appeared to be so, and the cats seemed perfectly happy and willing to do their tricks.

So, maybe some cat-trainers use threats and intimidation, but not all.

Cats can do all kinds of cool tricks.

I usually put their sandboxes on newspaper, and when I hear a cat scratch for a long time (poop alert) I often get out of bed, even at night to poop scoop and flush it. First, the cats learned that when I’m at home they only need to scratch the newspaper to get a clean box. Now, whenever they want me to play with them, feed them, look at them, they just walk to the newspaper and start scratching.

Violet can also pick up a cd and slot it into the dvd drive.

No amount of wide-eyed staring does anything for these monsters!

And when the cats don’t do what they’ve ben trained to do, the trainer uses predatory body language to make it comply.

Cool that you can teach cats to do those things you did without cruelty, though.