Fast CAT: The Ultimate Beginners Dog Sport [2024]

white bull terrier running in AKC fast cat trial

Are you and your dog looking for a new adventure that combines speed, fun, and a bit of friendly competition? Look no further than Fast CAT! This exhilarating, beginner-friendly dog sport is perfect for dogs of all breeds and sizes, offering a chance for your companion to showcase their speed and agility.

Whether your dog is a seasoned athlete or a couch potato looking for a fun outing, Fast CAT provides a unique and engaging way to bond and stay active. Imagine the thrill of watching your dog dash down a 100-yard course at top speed as they chase a lure in a straight line.

Intrigued? Let’s dive into what makes Fast CAT so special.

What is Fast CAT?

Fast CAT, short for Coursing Ability Test, is a 100-yard dash designed for all dogs. Whether you have a spry Greyhound or a determined Dachshund, every dog can join in the fun. Unlike traditional lure coursing, which can involve more complex paths, Fast CAT is straightforward – literally.

One at a time, dogs run in a straight line, making it easier for newcomers to grasp the concept. Points are earned based on the dog’s speed, and as they reach various MPH milestones, they can earn titles.

Fast CAT Eligibility

Wondering if your dog can compete? Here are the basic requirements:

  • Your dog must be at least 12 months old.
  • They need an American Kennel Club (AKC) number. Don’t worry if your dog isn’t a registered purebred; the AKC has programs for mixed breeds, purebreds without registration, and even breeds not yet recognized by the AKC.
  • Intact females must not be in heat.
  • Your dog must pass a fitness inspection to ensure they are healthy and not lame.
cute grey swedish vallhund dog running in fast cat

Fast CAT Training

One of the great things about Fast CAT is its simplicity. Most dogs pick up on the sport quickly, and no prior training is necessary. However, here are a few tips to ensure your dog enjoys the experience:

  • If your dog has a high prey drive, it will likely chase the lure naturally and without hesitation. Have a high-value reward for them at the end to help redirect them to you.
  • For those less interested in the lure, having them recall to you at the finish line works wonders – just be sure to have a high-value reward at the end!
  • Basic obedience and a solid recall are helpful to keep your dog under control and safe.

You can also sign up for a fun run to give your dog a warm introduction to the sport.

What to Expect at Fast CAT Trials

Fast CAT trials are designed to be beginner-friendly. Here’s a quick rundown of what to expect:

  • Volunteers are usually on hand to help guide you through the process.
  • It helps to bring a friend who can hold your dog at the start line while you wait at the finish. If you go alone, there are people who are typically happy to act as your dog’s handler.
  • Ensure your dog wears a collar for easy handling, and bring two leashes – one for the start line and one for the finish.

After your run, you can calculate your dog’s speed in mph to see how many points they’ve earned. Many events provide a Fast CAT calculator to make this process easy.

FCAT#Every additional 500

Fast CAT Calculator

Input your dog’s speed and height below to learn how many points you have earned!

belgian malinois running in fast cat trial

How to Find Fast CAT Events

Ready to join in the fun? Check the AKC events page to find Fast CAT events near you. Many kennel clubs host Fast CAT events alongside other activities like conformation shows, agility trials, and dock diving competitions.


Fast CAT is a fantastic way to engage your dog in a thrilling activity while earning titles and making new friends. It's more than just a race; it's an opportunity to strengthen the bond between you and your dog. The excitement of watching your pup sprint down the 100-yard dash, tail wagging and eyes focused, is an experience you won't want to miss.

Whether your dog is a natural speedster or just enjoys a good run, FastCAT offers a fun, supportive environment for dogs and owners alike. The sport's simplicity and accessibility make it an ideal choice for anyone looking to try something new and exciting with their canine companion.

So, why wait? Grab your running shoes, sign up for an event, and let the fun begin!

If you’re looking for more ways to bond with your dog and enhance their training, consider joining my waitlist for the upcoming dog training membership. Your journey to a well-trained, happy dog starts here. Get ready to unlock your dog's full potential and enjoy every moment of it!

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