A viral social media post of two cats that play dead shows that A) The cats “understood the assignment,” and B) Who says cats can’t learn to do tricks? Well, if they feel like it, anyway!
On Reddit, a person going by Onion-User-2 posted a video showing a man who has apparently trained two cats to play dead on cue. Accompanying the video is the caption, “They understood the assignment.”
First, a gray and white and darker gray cat sits and watches on the floor. Then, a man in a bandana motions with his hands as he stands in a kitchen area. Right on time, the darker gray cat drops and falls over on its back when he motions with his hands in a move resembling karate. As it lays there, its tail twitches.
Then, the man repeats the hand gesture, and the remaining cat topples over on its back. Impressively, this cat knew to wait until the man gestured the second time and didn’t pay any attention to his friend falling over.
In the “unexpected post” category, the video got over 86.4K upvotes after 12 days. Then it was even featured in international news in India.
Video above: Reddit/Onion-User-2
Two Cats Play Dead
Meanwhile, the same video is going viral on Instagram, where we can see more of the man’s moves. Also, the audio features a bang sound before each cat falls over.
Meanwhile, on Youtube, we see what appears to be the same two cats doing the trick again from another angle.
Video posted by Cats Stay Viral:
And the video appeared in early February on YouTube with different audio and some extra screentime of the man. It’s unclear who he is or the cats’ names, but they seem to like performing the trick. We can assume they are getting a really nice treat afterward!
Video from The Funniest Vibes:
Cats that High-Five
It might seem a little surprising to see these cats performing tricks. Yet, with the right approach, even once feral cats learn tricks. Recently, we shared the story about the National High-Five Day Contest, a program that helps cats become adoptable.
As showcased by Jackson Galaxy, the clicker-training program leads to cats that give high-fives, sit, walk on a harness, and even jump through Hula Hoops. With skills like these, shelter cats have a much better chance of finding a forever home. Plus, it’s so much fun!
This year, adorable FELV+ Trudie the cat won the High-Five Contest for Chattanooga’s McKamey Animal Center. And the second place went to a cat with impaired vision, Jill from Austin Animal Center.
Cats Know More Than They Let On
Although clicker training is very effective, cats do understand and will respond to words too. (Well, when they want to.) Recent research from Japan indicates cats can learn human words. Not only that, but they can connect the names of people and other cats with their faces.
Although cats can learn as well as dogs, they may not take as much interest in showing you they “understand the assignment.”
“Cats are just as good as dogs at learning. They’re just not as keen to show their owners what they’ve learned,” says biologist John Bradshaw.
Cat lovers know that cats are great at training them to do their bidding. For instance, the Cashnip Kitty from Tusla, OK, inadvertently trained passers-by on the street to leave him cash, which they did happily for quite a while!
Video from 23 ABC News: