How to Teach a Cat to Give a High Five
But how do you even get started teaching your kitty to give a high five? Grab your cat, a tasty treat, and read on to learn all you need to know to teach your feline friend this awesome trick.
Steps for Teaching a Cat to Give a High Five
Giving a high five may seem simple to you, but it is actually a quite complex trick for your cat to learn. The best way to teach your cat “high five” is to break it down into small steps. First thing’s first, you want to teach your cat to pick up their paw on command.
Sit down next to your kitty and get their attention by showing them a treat. If they try to paw at your hand, give them the treat and lots of praise. Repeat this process, slowly opening your hand into a high five position, until your cat is consistently touching your hand with their paw.
Start by gently lifting your kitty’s paw off the ground and give them a treat as you do. Repeat this process until your cat starts to lift their paw on their own.
In the beginning, it is best to get your cat to give a high five with one paw only. This will keep them from getting confused as they learn the trick. If you want to get your cat to high five with the other paw, just teach them to touch it off your other hand, following the above steps.
We’ve put together a simple, step-by-step guide to teaching your cat “high five” that you can refer back to at any time!
Teach your Cat to Give a High Five: Quick Step-by-Step Guide
- Lift your cat’s paw and reward until they lift their paw on their own.
- Gently touch your hand to their lifted paw and reward.
- Once your cat starts to reach their paw towards your hand, add the voice cue “high five!”
How Long Does It Take to Teach a Cat to Give a High Five?
If your cat is either very lazy or hyperactive, you might find that they get bored with training sessions quickly. For these cats, it’s best to keep their lessons short and sweet. About 2-5 minutes per day is more than enough to teach your cat a new trick. Short training sessions will also help keep them interested in coming back the next day for more learning.
Another important factor to consider is how much your kitty likes the treat you’re using. All cats have different likes and dislikes when it comes to food. If you can figure out your feline friend’s favorite reward, it will massively speed up the process of teaching them to high five and any other trick you can think of. Try several different treat options to see which your cat likes best.
Giving a high five is a moderately complex trick, as it requires your cat to interact with you directly by touching their paw off your hand. If your cat is new to learning tricks, consider starting with something easier like sit or rollover (yes, we have guides for those too!) before moving onto high five. These tricks are perfect for beginners, as they are behaviors your kitty will perform naturally. If your cat already knows the basics of trick training, they will perfect their high five much more quickly.
If you’re looking to speed up the training process or you’ve been trying for weeks and your cat just can’t figure out how to give a high five, clicker training could be for you! The premise of clicker training is that your cat learns to associate a distinctive sound (or ‘click’) with a treat. Once your cat makes this association, you can capture the trick you want by making that sound when they perform it.
For example, when teaching high five, you would ‘click’ and treat the exact moment your cat touches their paw off your hand. Professional clickers are inexpensive and can be bought at most pet stores. However, if you want to get started right away, you could also use any household item that makes a distinctive and consistent sound, such as a clicking pen.
Can All Cats be Taught to Give a High Five?
If your feline has limited mobility in their legs, you could still teach them to high five, but just a little differently. Consider holding your hand lower down so that your kitty can reach it with no issues. Perhaps you could even place your hand on the floor, which would even allow cats with just one front leg to give a high five!
Adjusting your expectations to your cat is important when trick training. After all, they are their own individual. Don’t let their health issues get in the way of this fun and special bonding time by making things easier for them where necessary.
Hopefully, you now feel confident that you can enhance your cat’s training with a new trick. Maybe this will even be your cat’s first trick. The most important piece of advice I can give is to have fun and don’t be afraid to try something new!