Animal Enrichment and Welfare

How To Train Your Cat To Give You A High-Five!

Despite what you might think, this is one of the easiest tricks your cat can learn! Cats naturally paw at things when they want them and if you reward your kitty at the right time they will learn very quickly that a high-five equals a treat. Let’s get started!

First let’s meet my wonderful cat who will be pawing for treats this morning!

When I first started training Giz I took note of the cute things that he did, and then I rewarded him for doing them. For instance, once when he wanted my attention Gizmo pawed my leg. I thought it was so cute that sometimes I would only pet him after he pawed me. Eventually he learned that if he pawed me he would get pet, and then he was constantly doing it to me, however it was still super cute so I never minded too much.

I’m not sure what motivates your cat, but my cat loves his treats! I found out with Gizmo that I could take the treat in my hand and his nose would follow it, so if I lifted it high above his head, he would “sit pretty”. If I took the treat and made a circle around Giz, he would spin.

Another important thing to note with cats is that they aren’t dogs(pretty obvious right?). With dogs, you can train them to a point where they will do a command even when you don’t have any treats with you. With a cat, you must reward them every time they do a trick. If the cat learns that they no longer get treats for doing a particular trick most cats will just stop doing whatever that trick was.

So now that I have given you my lengthy introduction to cat training, lets learn how to train your cat to high-five!

I mentioned way in the beginning that cats will naturally paw to get attention, and to get things that they want. So when you are first starting out take a treat and hold it in a way the cat can see it:

Your cat may not touch his paw to your hand right away, even if you just see them lift their paw make sure to reward. After your cat has lifted their paw, and been rewarded about 5-10 times start only giving a treat after your cat has touched your hand.

Eventually, start adding in the word “high-five” or “paw” so that your cat associates the word with the trick. Keep your training sessions to a maximum of 5 minutes at a time. Have at least 1 training session a day, if you have the time do 2 training sessions a day! Once you are sure that your cat has one trick down, you can start another one! Don’t ever teach your cat 2 new tricks at once though, because it could confuse them. You also don’t want your cat to only practice 1 trick for multiple days at a time. Go back every once in awhile and practice some of the old tricks.

I hope that you will train your cat to do this fun, yet simple trick! Have a great rest of your day!


10 thoughts on “How To Train Your Cat To Give You A High-Five!”

  1. Hi Briar! I’m Lily, it’s really nice to meet you 🙂
    Aww, your kitty is soo cute! I love the name Gizmo. How long have you had him?
    That’s so cool you can train your cat (I’ve heard that people have done it before, but I didn’t realize you needed to teach them one trick at a time. This is so cool.) Thanks for sharing your tips.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to meet you Lily! I adopted Giz when he was 9 back in 2019 so *does some calculations* I’ve had him about 3 years! I’ve always loved the idea of training animals as enrichment and as soon as I got a cat I also got lots of training tools😁It has for sure been a great experience!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I got most of my training tools (clicker, treat bag, cat stroller, and treats) from all sorts of different places! Petco is always a great place though, someday I think I will get Giz a target stick, I’ll have to start looking for some next time I go to get pet supplies!


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