Caturday Blogging: Can Cats Be Trained? Well, Define ‘Trained’


On this Caturday, we take a look at a viral cat video and ask whether cats can really be trained to do anything. Like, really.

An interesting video popped up on the internets this week. It’s pretty straightforward as far as cat videos go, because let’s be real here, animals can only do so much. They don’t talk and they don’t have opposable thumbs.

The video originally went viral on social media. The joy of it is that it looks like the cats are calling out to the human and the human obeys. Obviously, what’s actually happening is that they know if they do the thing (ringing the bell), they will receive a yum-yum (treat). I’ve simplified it in cat terms, but you understand.

You can check out the video below while I look for remixes with some awesome songs dubbed over it.

Despite the hilarity of cats ringing bells, there is still a bigger question to ask here: can cats be trained to do anything? They’re widely known as pets that do as they please. Like many of the misconceptions regarding cats, I’d like to file this one away as a mystery. But my cat is fairly obedient. She understands no and she stays inside when I leave the door open. So is that because I have the smartest cat of all time? Probably not.

Of course, I’d like to think the cat’s obedience is due mostly because she recognizes the tone of my voice. But it’s mostly because cats behave on instinct. The general rule of thumb is to reward good behavior and ignore them when they’re bad. Like the bell, the cat will put two and two together and realize what behavior gets them the goods.

Related Story: Caturday Blogging: The “Right” Way to Play With Your Cat

Cats are wonderful creatures that respond better to positive reinforcement. And the more you encourage them, the closer you are to creating a viral video.

Happy Caturday, everyone!