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Can Your Cat Do Tricks? Or Is He Purely Decorative?

Even without clicker training, my two kitties are ready to run away with the circus. Well, sort of.

 |  Aug 27th 2014  |   13 Contributions


Before I became a cat parent I spent hours watching YouTube videos of highly trained felines doing highly awesome things. A lot of these trick performing pets were clicker trained, so I vowed that when I got my cat I would clicker train her. Well, Ghost Cat has been living with me for a full year now, and not one click has she heard. My husband still gives me the gears about not doing clickers with Ghost Cat, but by the time we adopted Specter I think he knew the only clicker tricks he was going to see in our house would be on a YouTube screen.

It’s my fault that my girls are not clicker trained, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t do non-clicker tricks!

Ghost Cat will jump right across the kitchen if there's treats involved.

Awhile ago I “accidentally” trained Ghost Cat to jump between our kitchen counters for treats, and if my husband didn't protest her being on the counter so much she would still be performing this incredible feat of cat agility!

When I instagramed this my husband commented "Why is that cat on the counter?!" Short answer: because her real trick is being able to do whatever she wants.

When GhostBuster the dog came into our home I started working with him to do the basic dog stuff. He was very quick to catch on to sitting and paw shaking, but for some reason, the concept of rolling over took a couple of weeks. We worked at it for a while, until one day he got it. Ghost Cat must've been feeling jealous of all the attention the dog was getting, because as I coaxed GhostBuster into a repeat performance she plopped herself down on the kitchen floor and rolled over onto her back too. Ghosty is a total treat addict, and that day she proved just how far she will go to get her snack fix.

Ghost Cat rolls over for treats and foot pets.

Specter also seemed to be learning something from GhostBuster’s lessons. One day I was training the dog and Specter came over and got all up in our business trying to get a dog treat. I grabbed the cat treats and told Speck that if she wanted to get a treat she would have to do a trick. I held the cat treat high and to my surprise she went up on her hind legs and stretched out her front paws to clutch my hand, dragging it to her face. She held on tight until she was done eating her treat. It was so cute. She looked like a little teddy bear.

My hungry little bear stands for treats.

These cute little tricks have really made me realize the potential that is there inside my cats. They’ll probably never be jumping through hoops, but that’s really more my fault than theirs.

I have had a hand in helping them learn some cute ways to get food, but I really think that their greatest tricks are all self-taught. Ghost Cat can leap to my shoulders from any surface in the house. Specter, not to be outdone, has taken shoulder riding to the next level.

Specter loves to lay on towels. It doesn't matter if they're in the laundry basket or on my head.

If balancing on my towel-wrapped head while I make and drink coffee isn't a trick, then I don’t know what is.

What kind of tricks do your cats do? Did you teach them, or did they invent some themselves? Let us know in the comments.

Read more about cats who do tricks:

About the author:  Heather Marcoux is a freelance writer in Alberta, Canada. Her beloved Ghost Cat  was once her only animal, but Specter the kitten and GhostBuster the dog make her fur family complete. Heather is also a wife, a bad cook and a former TV journalist. Some of her friends have hidden her feed because of an excess of cat pictures. If you don’t mind cat pictures, you can follow her on Twitter; she also posts pet GIFs on Google +

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