Show Biz and Your Cat

Does your pet have what it takes to make it big on television? A trainer shares his advice.

Posted: Fri Mar 21 00:00:00 PST 2003

Printer Friendly
Morris and his kin make it look easy, but the sad truth is that most cats don't have what it takes to make it big in commercials, say the nation's top trainers.

Even if your pet has the right look, it may not have the demeanor or training to perform complicated tricks on cue in front of a large, bustling crew. Cats that do are rare and in great demand.

"It's very difficult for the average pet to break into commercials," confirms John Baldwin, a trainer with Critters of the Cinema, a Los Angeles-based animal talent company. "Just as actors have agents, so do animals in the form of established trainers. That's who casting directors turn to when they need an animal for a commercial or motion picture.

"In most cases, a production company or advertising agency will call us or another established trainer and ask for a selection of pictures, from which they'll choose the animals they want to use. This way they know the animals will be able to do what's needed of them."

Location is also very important. Most big-name trainers are located in New York or Los Angeles, where most commercials are filmed. If you live outside these areas, the chances of commercial success for you and your pet lessen.

"The only time we use private cats is if a production wants a specific breed that we don't have," notes Karen Thomas, who works with Baldwin at Critters of the Cinema. "We then go to our files of private cat owners we know or have been referred to, and call them."

But all is not lost. National television commercials are probably an unrealistic goal, but that doesn't mean you can't have some fun doing local TV ads.

"I would suggest making a short video of your cat especially if it does tricks and sending it, along with still photos and related information, to area advertising agencies," says nationally renowned animal trainer Scott Hart.

"Local companies, such as car dealers and furniture stores, are more likely to use local talent, including animals. It's one way to break into the business."

Printer Friendly

 Give us your opinion on
Show Biz and Your Cat

Submit a Comment   Join Club
Earn 1,000 points! What's this?
Reader Comments

Emmalie    Olympia, WA

12/5/2015 10:25:33 PM

My car's name is Mau Mau Maryjane. She is almost a year, I have trained her since she was 8 weeks old. She walks on a leash, and jumps up and down on and off my shoulders. She can also give kisses, and listens very well, for a price of a great of course. She is a mainecoon/bobcat mix and I would love to see how she would do in a commercial or something. (:

Lily albini    Austin, TX

9/16/2015 6:47:12 PM

I have a beautiful 1 and a half year old Siamese snowshoe mix with crime and dark brown fur and aquamarine eyes. She can come on command and is willing to eat different foods and treats. She is playful and is ok around crowds. She is friendly and is very photogenic.

Alexandra Hoff    Ankeny, IA

9/7/2014 8:15:33 PM

My cats name is Spaz St.James Hoff. He is 3 years old and a domestic orange/ blondish cat. Spaz is loving and he loves his cat treats, if he is doing something and you shake a bag of treats he will sprint to you instantly. I think he would be great for a cat treat commercial. If you would like a picture of him I will be more than happy to give you one.

Charlotte    International

6/4/2014 5:04:50 AM

With his beautiful grey coat, big green eyes and puuurfect poses, Shiloh is the sexiest cat you'll meet - and boy does he know it. This cat was born to model!

View Current Comments

Top Products