Humans can shake hands with each other.
Humans can high-five each other.
Of course, dogs can give you their paw…
But have you ever wondered if you could actually train your cat to give you its paw?
I wanted to train my pet cat Willie to give me his paw, which in my eyes was the cat version of a cat high-five or handshake.
I’ll be the first to tell you, It’s NOT easy to teach a cat this trick.
It’s a lot harder than teaching your cat how to sit because it involves you holding onto their paw which many cats aren’t comfortable with.
I suffered many failures.
It was extremely frustrating at times, to say the least.
Cats are lovable yet stubborn creatures and my Willie is no different.
But I refused to give up on my Willie.
How could I?
I was his owner and he was my best friend.
If I could count how many times Willie walked away from me after trying to get him to give me his paw, I’d probably be a millionaire by now.
But I can definitely tell you that he walked away from me many times.
And if you’re reading this article then I’m guessing you’re interested in learning how to get your cat to give you its paw on command.
So without further ado, let’s get into how to train your cat to give its paw.
5 Steps to Training Your Cat to Give You Its Paw
Make your cat sit on a stable surface.
Cats can only give you their paw if they’re sitting on a stable surface, meaning one that is not slippery or difficult to sit on.
They can’t accomplish this while walking or running. Plus, this will ensure that you have its full attention.
Offer your open hand palm up.
It helps you have a treat to give with your other hand.
Use your other hand to give your cat a treat when it puts its paw in your hand. This will help the cat associate offering its paw with the reward of food.
Shape the touching of the palm.
This is how you get your cat to touch the middle of your palm. Offer your cat a treat every single time it accomplishes this.
Hold its paw and shake gently.
The key word here is “gently”.
You wouldn’t shake your cat’s paw the same way that you would another human being’s hand. Shake it gently and offer your cat a treat immediately afterward.
Introduce the command.
This can be practically any word you choose, but “paw” and “shake” are the words that I personally use.
Use the command first, get your cat to offer its paw, and then offer it a treat.
Key Things To Remember When Training Your Cat to Give You Its Paw
- Be patient. This will take some time to accomplish. Cats can and usually do come around eventually.
- Practice is key. The only way your cat will get used to this is if you practice with it consistently. Don’t neglect practice.
- Don’t give up. It’s not impossible to teach your cat this trick. Cats can be absolutely stubborn, but don’t let it get to you.
Video: How to Train Your Cat to Give You Its Paw
If you’re still absolutely lost on how to train your cat to give its paw, don’t worry! I have you covered. Just watch the video below and you should be good to go!
Final Thoughts On Training Your Cat to Give You Its Paw
Cats will usually have a paws-off attitude when it comes to this trick, but it’s well worth it to persevere through your cat’s hesitation.
No owner wants to get frustrated with their cat, but that’s the thing… you can’t get frustrated with your cat. You have to be patient.
Cats will make you earn their trust, but it’s trust well earned.
Make your cat feel good by giving it treats. Treats are your best friend when teaching your cat any trick. So go ahead and give it a try.