Cats and Yoga: It’s a Thing!

I practice yoga, though I used to have a hard time admitting it.

I used to use a yoga towel but that quickly became a cat acquisition.

Yoga is marketed to upper middle class people who use yoga as a way to let the rest of us to know they’re better than we are because they are healthy and we are not. You know the ones; they wear specially designed yoga clothes and carry their mats with pride. Me, I do yoga at home in a t-shirt and shorts on the shag carpet. When I do go to class it’s at work and it’s free.

I practice yoga because it is a wonderful strength-building exercise. Regular practice alleviates pain and stiffness from arthritis. And despite all the walking and line dancing I do, it’s only when I regularly add yoga to the mix that I feel improvement in my health.

Posted by Crea Internation (@retail_design) to Twitter of NYC’s @MeowParlour Cat Cafe yoga class.

I do my practice in the mornings after everyone’s immediate needs for food, water, and elimination are met. I get lots of moral support from the cats, especially Little Girl. She comes up to me and mewls encouragement while insisting I rub her head while I’m stretching my lower back. June Buggie and Bubba usually hang out nearby and feign disinterest, and sometimes even Rumpy comes in and hangs out while I do my thing.

Little Girl-my yoga partner

But when I recently learned via NPR that cat yoga is a thing happening in some animal shelters and rescues across the country, I changed my mind about yoga. At these cat yoga events participants pay a fee to come to class at the shelter or rescue while cats available for adoption join in the fun. At the Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Alabama, women paid $10 each to participate in a class with some cats. And at least one fella who was just waiting on a friend left with a new friend. Recently news outlets reported of similar offerings in Houston, Atlanta, and Seattle.

Advert for Great Birmingham Humane’s first Cat Yoga class. 


I’m glad to learn this is a thing, and I hope more shelters and rescues jump on the bandwagon. True, my practice would be more consistent without the cats around, but it would be far less fun. And at these offerings the cats get a wonderful opportunity to socialize with humans. Here’s hoping yoga with cats helps increase the numbers of cats who are adopted out.

If you hear of a yoga class at a rescue in your area, go already! Meet some great like-minded folks and let a cat show you what stretching is really all about while supporting cat adoption!

54 thoughts on “Cats and Yoga: It’s a Thing!

  1. Believe me: cats are really the best companions and they give you a good vib… When I meditate, not all six, but at least 4 of our cats, join in… and when I dedicate the acquired merits to other living creatures… my cats are the first one on the list! :-)c

    1. I like the cat yoga because it seems dogs get far more attention than cats and this is one way to get them the attention and (hopefully) adoption numbers up!

  2. I’m with you…health clubs seem somewhat pretentious…I’d much rather do yoga at home where its benefits go to work immediately. There’s no delay following a class to get home. That said, there are built in deteriments with 4 paws that can make it even more interesting. But truth be told, I wouldn’t change a single asana! 😉 Ohmmmmm.

    1. The health clubs also bring the risk of being the next viral photo posted by someone who thinks they’re cute and you aren’t. I exercise at work because if anyone did something like that they would be fired.

  3. I do one Yoga pose…it helps re-align my spine! Nylablue used to snuggle me when I did it. Purrince Siddhartha Henry watches me with a sort of bemusement on his face!
    He does his own Yoga,,,,
    And I also pose him in 3 positions…he must think I’m bonkers but he likes the attention.
    Now a Yoga class with cats would be FAB!!!!
    (((hugs))) Sherri-Ellen

  4. Love the photos in this post! My cat shows absolutely no interest in my daily practise, I wish there was a yoga class with cats in my area, what a fantastic idea 🙂

  5. What a great idea! My cat can’t stay away when my mat comes out! It never occurred to me that someone might organize a class with embedded cats… And if those cats find new, loving homes? Win – win – win!

  6. Wow I had no idea! I have a cat, Rajah, and doing yoga with her around is almost impossible (she likes to play with my hair and make a game out of it) but usually I can distract her from this by throwing her stuffed animal (she a dog). I can honestly say I do enjoy doing yoga with her around and if I hear of any cat yoga happening where I live, I will definitely go! Thank you for your post!

  7. I love this! I’m going to give it a try if I hear of it in my area. I’ve done yoga while my cat is around and he thinks its time to play and climbs all over me, fun times.

      1. “Coaching” is definitely a good word for their help. Hercules enjoys climbing up my back and sitting on my butt while I’m in Downward Dog, haha 🙂

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  9. Reblogged this on bodhisARTva and commented:
    Cats, I think, are natural yogis — they CAN pretzel around to meet those elusive parts of themselves, they CAN be the still center of the whirling wheel (if they want to!) & they already have the cute outfits, yah? Those of us with pets are just laughing at the people who will go PAY for the privilege of finding a furball underneath you just when your muscles are about to give out! But I hope they will keep going, & that more animal shelters will provide this kind of thing:)

  10. Such an interesting idea… I wonder if this would be possible with dogs, and then quickly shook my head “no”. Lol at least with my dogs. As soon as i get down on the floor to their level my face becomes their popsicle, my mat is their body rub pad, and its playtime the whole time. I can forget about practice at that point haha.

  11. Well, of course cats would be the perfect candidate for an animal yogi. Cat /cows and flexibility , I channel my inner cat during yoga sesh’s. Hehe. 😊

  12. I just recently saw this on Twitter that places are doing this and i LOVE it! I hope they do it everywhere and help these little kitties get some love and hopefully a furever home

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