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.