How To Teach Your Cat To High-Five


Training your cat to give a high five can be a fun, fulfilling activity for you both. Remember to have patience and go at your pet’s pace. It’s always a good idea to keep the training sessions short. Soon you’ll be able to share happiness and excitement with your pet via the high five! You’ll also both have a fun, cute trick to make others smile! What could be better?

Ginger tabby cat high fiving a womans hand


Training our pets had many benefits, but what’s the value in teaching them to do tricks? When it comes to teaching cats to do tricks, there are numerous benefits.

Training our pets makes them easier to deal with and more pleasant for everyone to be around. For instance, if your cat greets people by jumping on them, you can use a fun trick to distract him from this behavior. Your guests will be happy not to be jumped on and their attention will also be turned to the cat and how cute his tricks are! That’s one example. Your pets will have better manners overall.

Cats are known for being independent, self-absorbed, and generally indifferent to the other creatures around them. This may not strike you as the type of animal that can be — or wants to be — trained, but it is possible and usually fun. You’ll want to use reward-based training, which teaches the cat to associate the desired behavior with getting a treat or other reward.

When you and your cat work together, you’re building a relationship with them. Training, if done in a positive, gentle manner, can be the foundation of trust and creating that interspecies communication link in a way you both understand. Cats and dogs are communicative. Cats meow when they’re happy to see their pet parents. Again, this is their greeting! Or they readily communicate when they’re hungry, tired, etc. Training creates a communication and relational link between you and your cat. Bonding takes place between you and your pet. The more often you teach & having training sessions, the more your fur baby will learn even faster. Why? Because they enjoy interacting with you and they learn to understand your “training language.”

You may think it’s impossible to train a cat to give a high five or do anything else! Of course, some cats are more independent and may not enjoy being trained. However, if you have a social cat who loves attention and being with you, then chances are she’ll enjoy working with you to learn something new! All you can do is give it a try. All cats are different, with some learning at a faster speed than others. Be sure to work at your cat’s pace. If she seems to become agitated or irritable after a time, then it’s best to stop and try again at another time. Go at her pace, keep it fun and you both may just enjoy this fun activity.

These points will help you while training your cat:

1.Your cat’s favorite treats again, make sure these are high value treats.

2.It’s helpful if your cat knows how to sit. This is the position she’ll use for the high five.

3.Train in a quiet room, so you and your kitty can focus on the training and can avoid distractions.

4.A clicker can also be helpful but isn’t necessary. Trainers use clickers to signal “Yes” when a pet does something correctly.

Sitting is a preferred position for the high-five; it’s more controlled. But the high-five can be taught in a standing position as well. If a cat doesn’t already know how to sit, training this portion of the trick separately is helpful. However, simply approaching the cat when she’s sitting also works. If a cat is lying down — a position this trick is extremely difficult to teach in — use a treat or toy to coax her into a sitting or standing position.

Another way to get paw movement toward the hand is to use a toy your cat will paw at, like a wand toy. When her paw raises even slightly to paw at the toy, mark and reward. If needed, move the toy around to entice your cat to paw at it. Once your cat understands the pawing motion is what is earning the reward, decrease the toy’s movement until it’s still and the paw swipe occurs.

When your cat’s reliably pawing the stationary wand toy, start to shorten the length of the toy by either moving a hand down on the wand or winding part of the toy into the hand. If at any point the cat stops pawing as before, the toy may need to be lengthened again or movement once again added. Then, in a more gradual fashion, the toy can be made less noticeable. The goal is for the toy to become so small and short that the paw will touch the hand. At that point, only reward a paw touching the hand.

Do you know when your cat will stop growing? Check our article about it.

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  2. Ronnie Loht

    Very good article. I will be facing a few of these issues as well..