Picture and video of magnificent Maine Coon who shakes your hand

Nothing special really in the act of training a domestic cat to shake your hand. It takes a bit of work through positive reinforcement but that is about it. The special part of the video is the cat! Wow, what a cat! In fact the video shows us how the woman trained him. The cat is a dark gray/black tabby.

As soon as her cat responds correctly she feeds him a treat. She has used her hand, palm facing her cat to signal that the cat should pay attention. I think it links the trained element with the reward. This allows the cat to connect doing something - shaking hands - to receiving a reward.

I have seen the same hand signal employed when training a dog. If you click on the link before this sentence you'll see a video on training a dog. The same rules apply for cats. Fundamentally training cats is a good thing. A lot of people don't like it. They regard is as making a cat do unnatural things. But it can be useful to, for instance, ask your cat to come on demand, to accompany the owner and to stay away from areas (if that is what you want). 

Maine Coon who shakes your hand
Maine Coon who shakes your hand. Screenshot.

And it is good for the cat's mind. Cats need to be challenged to a certain extent. It helps maintain mental health. Boredom through lack of challenge is one of the great 21st century health issues for domestic cats. It can lead to obesity which potentially leads to health issues such as sugar diabetes.


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