Giving a high five was the first trick I learned, and it’s an easy one for most cats. But maybe you’re wondering if I’m just doing it as an automatic gesture for a treat… or if I really get the intent behind a high five?
Here’s the truth. Maybe I don’t fully understand the meaning of high fives the same way humans do when they give them to each other. But it’s definitely more than just some move to earn a treat. It is not so much the gesture itself, but the intent of the human holding up their hand.
There is something magical about high fives. It’s an exchange of good energy from one being to another. A gesture of good will and support. When people give them to each other, it creates an instant moment of connection and joy. This is hardwired into people. So much so that motivational speaker Mel Robbins created a whole book based around the science of high fives.
The High Five Habit invites people to high five themselves in the mirror. This simple gesture has the ability to lift a person’s spirits, and encourage them to make their day a good one. Done over time, it can be a game changer. (Note: We are Amazon Affiliates and if you click through this link and make a purchase, we get a small commission. Thank you for your support!)
And since the one way a cat learns how to give high fives is from a human, yes, we feel it. We cats are energy sponges, so of course the enthusiasm comes through. We like doing happy things with people, and clearly, getting a high five from a kitty makes them happy. So it makes us happy too.
Does a high five make cats want to go out and take on the world the way it does for a human? Well, no. It’s a much smaller and briefer form of enthusiasm. But it’s definitely joyful. True, I do start to phone them in if I’m asked to give them too many times in a row! But mostly, I’m perfectly happy to share a high five with my human. The treats are a great bonus too.
If you haven’t taught your cat how to give a high five yet, what are you waiting for? It’s such a fun, easy trick. Many shelters do it, inspired by the Cat Positive Program from Jackson Galaxy. It encourages socialization and helps make the cats in shelter care more adoptable.
High fives are an awesome gesture of the heart between two beings. Learn to share one with your kitty.
Cathy Keisha says
I would think a cat might be kinda like a dog and see a raised hand as a symbol of aggression on the human’s part unless, of course, there is a treat in it. It took a cat like me years to let TW pet me on the head. I thought she wanted to hit me.
Cathy Keisha says
BTW, she has never hit me and never would.
BellaDharma an BellaSita Mum says
Mee-yow so that iss what Hi-5’ss are all about Summer?!?!
BellaSita tried a bit with me butt mee thott it was ‘whappy time’….
Wee just enjoy YORE Hi-5’ss with Miss “J: 😉
***purrss*** BellaDharma an **sighss** BellaSita Mum
Catherine A Lingg says
Summer, thanks to you, my Princess does double high fives now. You inspired us
Good teaching, Summer! Maybe Ava would like to learn how to give high fives, too!
CRAIG S. C. OKAJIMA says
When you High Fived me, your Human gave you Cat Treats!
That is a great learning post, I didn’t know any of that!
We’ll all give you and your Human a bunch of high fives for this!
Charles Huss says
I would love to get a high five from a kitty.
Brian Frum says
That makes since and you seem to be filled with positive energy sweet Summer!
Ellen Pilch says
My angel Millie used to high five with us. I should try to teach one of my current kitties. XO
Melissa & Mudpie says
I love this, Summer, and now I want to teach Mudpie! Love that last photo of you too 🙂
The Poupounette Gang says
That’s really interesting, Summer. Thanks for the explanation.
The Florida Furkids says
We’re going to encourage Mom to high-five herself in the morning!
PAT K says
Another good lesson from Summer cat…and her human.
Katie Isabella says
I would love to, Summer. Mom needs to teach me.
Eastside Cats Blog says
Well, Summer…Da Boyz give each other High Fives, just before starting a wrestling session!