Since Oct. 3, The Amazing Acro-Cats have been riding skateboards, walking a high wire and performing other record-breaking stunts at NextStop Theatre Company. Northern Virginia cat-lovers, or those who are just generally curious, will be able to view the feline performers until Oct. 9.
Produced and presented by Chicago’s The Amazing Acrocats LLC, these small, furry performers have been gracing the stage with their acrobatic talents since 2006, garnering attention from major media outlets like Cosmopolitan, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and The Huffington Post.
In 2013, one Acro-Cat named Alley earned the Guinness World Record for longest jump by a cat. Alley can jump an entire 6 feet.
“Alley was adopted after she was found looking weak,” says Polly Smith, Acro-Cats booking and promotions manager. “Samantha [Martin] began to train her when she showed a love for jumping. It’s a true rags-to-riches tale.”
Tuna, the first cat that trainer Samantha Martin worked with and the opener of many shows, is responsible for inspiring Martin to start The Amazing Acro-Cats. Using clicker training, Martin was able to teach her an assortment of tricks.
“Clicker training is a positive reinforcement method in that it associates a sound, in this case a click, with a positive thing, usually cat treats,” explains Martin. “ We cook up fresh chicken and fish before each show and training session. This method [also] develops a better bond with your pet.”
The Acro-Cats will play instruments on a cat-sized drum set, roll barrels, jump through hoops, climb ropes and make their way through an agility course at their upcoming performances.
Very Important Cat Person tickets, which provide premium seats, are $43. General admission is $28.