Whether you are young or just “young at heart” – is the circus one of your favorite places to go? Do you really, really love cats? Well, then you are in for a tremendous treat!
We are honoured to have the amazing Acro Cats right here at PurrfectCatNames.com today. The Acro Cats and the Rock Cats are all super smart, specially trained cats who love doing tricks.
PurrfectCatNames: Wow, a cat circus and a cat rock band! What inspired the Acro Cats and the Rock Cats?
Samantha at Acro Cats: The show was inspired by a cat named Tuna. Samantha rescued a cat that she quickly found out was pregnant with kitties, and Tuna was from that litter. She showed amazing talent and loved the training time, and inspired Samantha to start the show when she taught Tuna to play the cowbell. At 14 years old, Tuna passed last year due to cancer, but her two prodigies, Albacore and Ahi carry the band name on now.
PurrfectCatNames: How many cat performers do you have? What are their names?
Samantha at Acro Cats: There are over a dozen members in the show. Albacore, Ahi, Nue, Ozwald, JAX, Dakota, Asti, NOLA, Buffy, Sookie, Wiki, Annie, Buggles, and Cluck Norris, a chicken!
PurrfectCatNames: On your Wikipedia page, it describes that the Acro Cats and Rock Cats were begun to give the cats a way to stay “mentally sharp” in between TV and other promotional roles. How do you decide that a cat wants to perform?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Well really they show us, with an enthusiasm and willingness to learn. We have also found that cats that are “bored” or get into trouble more often, are excellent cats for the show, because they really want to do more than just “a regular house cat.” If a cat picks up training well and loves the stage, well that’s a good sign.
PurrfectCatNames: The cats are clicker trained, which I’ve heard is a popular way that a lot of people can train their cats and pets. Do you have any recommendations (or do’s and don’ts?) about clicker training?
Samantha at Acro Cats: From my own personal experience working with my house cat, its best to start by training the trainer. I can’t show my cat what to do unless I have a solid idea of how it really works. I know Samantha’s advice is always set yourself (and the cat) up for success. Start off small, then work up to more complicated tricks. Also when the cat loses interest or gets distracted, it’s time to stop, never force a cat to do anything.
PurrfectCatNames: I know that my cat Penguin is pretty well behaved. He knows the rules of the house, and he follows them, well…most of the time. What do you do when a cat who is an Acro Cat or a Rock Cat doesn’t do what they are supposed to do, and tons of people are watching?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Our cats do what they want! They are cats, after all. One (or two) of the cats leave the stage and visit the crowd. I think they want to do a little meet and greet, and that’s alright with us.
PurrfectCatNames: I understand the Acro Cats started with Tuna, when then had kittens. Do you get most of your fosters & rescues from the same place you got Tuna?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Tuna’s mother was a rescue, and at the time Samantha didn’t know she was pregnant, and Tuna was from that litter. All of our rescues come to us in different ways, mostly from rescue groups we work with, but sometimes people report to us if cats were abandoned or even drop them off to us! So our cats are also from all across the nation, as well.
PurrfectCatNames: How many foster and rescues do you like to bring with you when you do your shows?
Samantha at Acro Cats: In our new tour bus we have room for about 4-6 kittens, depending on age and sizes.
PurrfectCatNames: How long does it take you to teach them to do tricks?
Samantha at Acro Cats: An enthusiastic cat can learn a very simple trick in less than five minutes! Most of them take a couple days to really get it down, though. I just taught my house cat how to high five in five days of 15 min sessions each.
PurrfectCatNames: Do you hold an adoption event before or after the show, or it is actually part of the show?
Samantha at Acro Cats: It is actually a part of the show! We usually demonstrate the clicker training with one of our fosters, on stage, just to show how easy it can be.
PurrfectCatNames: Do you work with local rescue organizations? Say for example you came to San Francisco, would you work with a San Francisco rescue group to help get their cats adopted, or do you bring your own cats to be adopted?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Yes when we can we love to work with local rescues all across the nation! We have been very grateful to have the opportunity to do this with a lot of wonderful folks and cats.
PurrfectCatNames: What are some of the more challenging things to train the cats to do? Are there tricks or routines that you like to start a cat with first?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Well jumping through a hoop, or sitting pretty or high five are all very basic tricks that can set the cat up for more complicated tricks that you can progress into, like playing a guitar, or riding a skateboard.
PurrfectCatNames: What was the inspiration for the Acro Cats and the Rock Cats? I mean, who wakes up and says “Let’s get all of these terrific cats in an RV and get on the road and show people what they can do!” Why a circus and a rock band, and why does it travel?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Well, like I said before, it really was Tuna. But you know, she started with a group of rats, called the Amazing Acro-rats, so it wasn’t entirely Tuna’s inspiration, Samantha had the idea before, just with different animals.
PurrfectCatNames: When the cats are not being Acro Cats or Rock Cats, what do they enjoy doing the most?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Sleeping, Playing and cuddling! Every cat has a different favorite, too.
PurrfectCatNames: These are cats who spend a lot of time together. Do they cuddle up and play together when not performing?
Samantha at Acro Cats: Must of the cats do get along with each other great. We often get to take photos of them when they are in cuddle piles or just goofing around. We love to post those on our Facebook and Instagram page. We even have a live video feed you can see now of the cats in action on their break time!
PurrfectCatNames: How else do you help cats?
Samantha at Acro Cats: We do a lot of foster and rescue. All of our cats are rescues, and we also take fosters on the road with us, teach them some basic tricks, and then find them furrever homes. For me, amongst other amazing parts of my job, is the most rewarding and the most satisfying part.
Catch the Acro Cats and the Rock Cats when they come to your city, or a city quite near you! Visit CircusCats.com to see their show schedule, the wonderful cats and so much more!
Did you ever dream of running away with the circus & are you a huge cat lover? Well the Acro Cats is actually HIRING a full-time Tour Assistant!
Thank you Acro Cats for visiting us today at PurrfectCatNames!