Kitten Tricks: A Lesson for Cats on How to Make Your Human Give You Treats

The commonly held belief that cats are incapable of learning tricks is nothing but vile propaganda espoused by the corrupt canine lobby. Cats are plenty good at tricks — they just refuse to pollute the free market by providing their services for free. While dogs advocate for nanny-state policies by doing tricks on command in the expectation of receiving welfare benefits at some point in the future, cats will do tricks only when they know that they will be immediately and satisfactorily rewarded for it — i.e., for every trick they do, they better see some food. Cats do not perform on credit.

Because the internet already has plenty of blog posts about the law, but is almost entirely lacking in pointless cat videos, I thought that I might help correct this deficiency by forgoing legal commentary for the day in favor of posting a film clip of Ragnarok doing some tricks.

Ragnarok’s first birthday is sometime this month. Back in December of last year, he was found all alone on a soccer field in Athens, GA, nothing but a starving, smelly, trash-covered kitten, and only a couple months old. Twelve pounds and ten months later, he is not really a kitten anymore, but he still has not learned to meow. Although he can squeak louder than just about any cat I’ve ever met.

My computer refused to record any sound when I made the video, so you can’t hear the verbal commands, but here, in rough order, are the tricks he does in this clip. Most tricks he knows primarily from gestured commands, but some he can do on voice alone, and some he seems to need both a verbal command and a gesture in order to know what to do.

  • Table — Get on the table.
  • “Prairie Dog” — Stand on hind legs.
  • “Earthworm” — Lay down flat.
  • “Kittunwhiirrrlll” — Kitten whirl.
  • Get down — Get off the table (or, more often, the kitchen counter).
  • Roll Over — Earthworm, and into a roll over.
  • Pirouette — What it sounds like.
  • Talking motion with hand — Play dead.  (Ragnarok failed at the “speak” command, so it somehow got morphed into ‘play dead’ instead…)
  • Jump over Object.
  • Jump over Leg.
  • Jump through hoop.
  • Jump onto the back of the chair that he ruined by clawing into pieces.
  • Jump onto the back of the desk chair, through a hoop, while it is spinning.
  • “High Five” — One paw up to high five. He screwed this one up.
  • “Kiss Kiss” — Touch the human’s face with your nose, but DON’T lick them.
  • On the Spot — Go to spot where the human touches.
  • “Pow pow” — Knock over the beer can that gets shot.
  • “Up Up And Away” — Jump onto back and scramble onto shoulders.


2 thoughts on “Kitten Tricks: A Lesson for Cats on How to Make Your Human Give You Treats

  1. Fantastic! The leap through the hoop onto the spinning chair is especially impressive! I wonder if your cat could manage the holy grail of feline tricks, walking on a leash.

    • It’s not really a trick so much as it is something he feels he is entitled to. If you forget to take him out (or get lazy because it’s cold…) he whines. And whines. And whines some more.

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