Let’s face it. Waving is one of the most basic forms of human interaction.
We wave when we want to say hello to someone.
We wave when we want to say goodbye to someone.
Sometimes, we wave just for no good reason other than the fact that we want to.
If I had a dollar for every time I waved hello or goodbye to someone throughout my life, I would probably be a multibillionaire by now.
But I’m pretty sure I waved hello or goodbye to someone hundreds, if not thousands, of times throughout my life.
With that being said, never in a million years did I think that waving could be taught to a cat.
I’m a cat aficionado, in case you were wondering.
I taught my cat Kibbles how to wave, but not without experiencing much trial and error beforehand.
Let me just tell you, teaching Kibbles how to wave was more than a handful to deal with.
With that being said, it can be done!
It’s not impossible to teach your cat how to wave!
And that’s what I want to get into today.
What You Will Need
Before you get started you’ll want to arm yourself with a cat training clicker and some treats.
Even though it says it’s for dogs, this training clicker on Amazon.com will get the job done.
6 Simple Steps to Teach Your Cat to Wave
Establish a Foundation with Your Cat
What I mean by this is have your cat sitting on a chair or anything with a flat surface. This will put him or her in the ideal position for you to teach him or her how to wave. Give your cat a treat for doing so.
Use a Target
Cats are attracted to things that move.
You can use a toy or food reward (see this post on the top cat toys).
This will help you capture your cat’s attention so that they will be less likely to get distracted and wander off.
Raise the Target
By raising the target, you are encouraging your cat to reach up with its paw to touch it.
Click your clicker and give your cat a treat before it touches the target.
This will tell your cat that it will get a treat for raising its paw before even touching the target.
Take small steps to back away from your cat to further encourage it to reach up with its paw to touch the target.
Do not rush through this step as you don’t want to confuse your cat and have it jump off and wander off somewhere else.
Click your clicker when your cat reaches up with its paw to touch the target.
Introduce the Hand-Waving Signal
When your cat is comfortable with you backing away in small steps and can consistently reach up with its paw to touch the target, this will be the perfect time for you to introduce the hand-waving signal to them.
Use the target, then lower it, and replace it by waving at your cat.
If your cat waves its paw, click your clicker and give it a treat. This will tell your cat that it will get a treat for raising its paw and waving.
Fade Out the Container
If you are using a food reward to get your cat to wave, hide it.
Just use your hand to wave at your cat and if it waves back at you, click your clicker and give it a treat.
Key Things to Remember When Teaching Your Cat to Wave
- Be patient. It will take time for your cat to learn this trick so don’t get frustrated if your cat doesn’t get it right the first time. Exercise patience and it will pay off in the long run.
- Have fun! Teaching your cat to wave shouldn’t be a serious, no-nonsense affair. Just like when you wave hello or goodbye to another human being, chances are you’re not all serious when doing so. Chances are you’re waving with a smile on your face and some joy in your heart. Do the same thing with your cat.
- Follow all the steps provided. As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of trial and error involved when I was teaching Kibbles to wave. What I outlined is a process that I believe totally works. Just follow it and you’ll have your cat waving in no time!
Video: How to Teach Your Cat to Wave
If you’re still completely lost on how to teach your cat to wave, don’t worry! I got you covered. Just check out the video below to see this in action.
Final Thoughts On Teaching Your Cat to Wave
Have fun with your cat when you’re teaching it how to wave.
Use treats to your advantage.
Think of this as another opportunity to bond with your cat rather than a chore around the house that you’d rather not do.
Enjoy yourself and don’t take it too seriously.
Cats need to be nurtured and loved and when you do both, it will make teaching them tricks a lot more fun and easier to do.