This Traveling Cat Circus Has a Secret and It’s Saving Lives Every Day
Most people think of cats as soft, cuddly and cute pets. Okay, usually “lazy” as well. They’re not exactly the kind of animal that can be trained to do tricks.
But Samantha Martin has combined her love of cats and desire to rescue homeless animals into a traveling cat circus that is pretty much amazing. Not only that, but the cat show she has created has saved the lives of a whole lot of cats and kittens — over 200 so far!
The Unique and Amazing Acro-Cats
Martin has created a distinctive show in which a traveling group of house cats perform tricks that would easily surprise most cat owners. These cats walk on tightropes, jump through hoops, ring bells and turn on lights, to name just a few of the tricks they perform.
Every single cat in this traveling circus is a rescue cat, orphan or stray. Martin is a devoted cat lover who frequently takes in stray cats and kittens. Over the years, she and other human members of the Acro-Cats team have fostered over 200 cats and kittens, some of which ultimately became performers in her traveling cat show. When she tours the United States with the Acro-Cats, she tries to partner with local shelters and donates a portion of the show’s proceeds.
Why Some Cats Seem Difficult
Cats will be cats, and Martin is the first to admit that the tricks her cats do are not always perfect. Cats that push a lever or ride a skateboard are doing the trick because they want to, but sometimes cats don’t want to cooperate. Since the audience of the Acro-Cats is typically made up of die-hard cat lovers, they are usually quick to cheer even when tricks don’t necessarily go as planned.
Martin maintains that all cats are trainable. She trains her cats using positive reinforcement, not punishment. Cats who seem to have behavior problems often are having a problem with boredom and need a way to use their brains.
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