Fast CAT

Our first AKC Fast CAT trial is scheduled for May 21 & 22 and will be held in Gorham, Maine. More to come!!!

Fast CAT is a relatively new sport introduced by the AKC that showcases the running skills of dogs.

Since the American Kennel Club introduced Fast CAT in 2016, the number of events held annually has skyrocketed. Fast CAT is an electronically timed race in which a dog’s speed is converted into mph. Titles are awarded based on points that are calculated by multiplying a dog’s mph by its handicap, a derivative of its height at the withers.

Fast CAT stands for Fast Coursing Ability Test. The dogs chase a lure down a straight, 100-yard course. The track doesn’t have to be fenced-in, but most have the trials in a fenced or partially fenced area. AKC points are assigned to the dog based on its size handicap. Dogs are measured at their shoulders. Shorter than 12 inches multiply their speed by 2. Dogs between 12 inches and 18 inches multiply their speed by 1.5. All the dogs 18 inches or taller get the same number of points as their speed. So, a dog under 12 inches would get 50 points if it ran the track at 25 MPH. A medium sized dog would get 37.5 points and a large dog would get 25 points.

Unlike lure coursing, which is a trial to bring out the hunting abilities of sighthounds, restricted to the 17 sighthound breeds, CAT and Fast CAT are open to all breeds and mixed breeds. The twisty-curvy pattern used in lure coursing and CAT emulates the zigzagged way a rabbit scurries when being pursued, whereas Fast CAT is a 100-yard dash where dogs chase the lure on a straight course.

Chasing prey has long been recognized as a natural instinct for sighthounds. Having long legs, a deep chest, flexible back, and keen vision, they are equipped to overpower fast-moving prey with their speed and agility. That speed comes out in Fast CAT, where sighthounds may power down the course at nearly 40 mph.

How to play Fast CAT:

Dogs run individually and earn points that are calculated by multiplying their mph by their height-based handicap. The handicap system works like this:

  • Handicap of 2.0 for dogs below 12 inches at the withers
  • Handicap of 1.5 for dogs 18 inches or greater at the withers
  • Handicap of 1.0 for dogs 18 inches or greater at the withers

Dogs earn suffix titles based on a point system. Here’s how titles are awarded:

  • 150 points for BCAT
  • 500 points for DCAT
  • 1,000 points for FCAT
  • 500 points for additional FCATs

We are excited to hold Fast CAT trials as part of our club activities. Be forewarned, Fast CAT is addictive to both hounds and humans!!