Black and white cat lounging on a tenis court.
Cat lounging on a tennis court. Shutterstock

Cats love pickleball? Apparently it's a thing

DALLAS, TX – This one's for all the cat people out there. 

Earlier this month, Pickleball Facebook Forum contributor, Albert Lee, posted a humorous image of a cat seated comfortably on a pickleball court while a match was underway.

“This cat went on to one of the pickleball courts in the middle of the game and just laid down,” mentioned Lee. “They actually played a couple of points with the cat laying there before it ran away.”

It quickly became clear that this wasn't an isolated incident. Several people shared similar stories of cats showing up during matches. 

“We have a resident cat at our facility that does this all the time, we call him Pickles,” commented Matt Straut. 

“We had a neighborhood cat who loved pickleball too and she would do the same thing,” added Michele Monlux. 

The posts essentially confirmed that cats were regularly making themselves right at home on pickleball courts, tennis courts, and even a ping pong table.

“I had a cat who’d jump on our ping pong table and park it next to the net in the middle of games,” said Larry Knois. 

For our purposes, however, the question is: Do cats genuinely love pickleball? 

Cats seem to have this sixth sense when it comes to knowing if something is important. For example, when they lay on your keyboard while you're typing. These pickleball cats obviously understand that pickleball means a lot to the participants. 

Pickleball players must love cats in return. After all, there are references like "Cat and Mouse" game in the sport. Maybe cats are visiting courts around the country to evaluate just how well the tactic is being executed? It's definitely a possibility.

Since cats have nine lives, perhaps some of them were pickleball players in another life... or maybe they’re refereeing to ensure a nice, clean game.

“Little known rule 6.D1 allows for one cat in the kitchen per team as long as they are respectful of the players on both teams and do not try to make any line calls without being asked first,” joked Scott McLeod Laderian. 

“Line calls aren’t the issue… it’s the feline calls that are tough,” added Rory Griggs. 

“Then the cat poaches and makes an ATP and the crowd goes wild,” added Suni Verse. 

Are cats in the non-volley zone a kitchen violation? This might need to be a new rule added to the pickleball handbook.