Heartwarming footage of a cat being trained to open the front door to its owner’s apartment is captivating pet lovers online.
An animal trainer posting as earringuk shared the video to TikTok where it has garnered over 32 million views.
Cats are traditionally seen as independent animals who prefer to exist of their own free will, rather than dogs who are more often at the beck and call of their human owners. However, that doesn’t mean cats can’t be trained like their canine counterparts.
Mikel Delgado, a postdoctoral fellow at the School of Veterinary Medicine at University of California, Davis, told National Geographic there are “real benefits” to training your cat to complete everyday tasks and “it’s not as hard as you think.”
Delgado said the key thing to effectively training a cat is to “reward what you like and ignore what you don’t like” as doing something like scolding them for bad or incorrect behavior inadvertently gives the pet attention, “which, in the cat’s mind , is better than nothing” so it should be avoided.
There are tangible advantages to training your cat to complete these kinds of tasks though, as the viral video shared to social media demonstrates. The video can be viewed here.
In the clip, filmed over the course of several days, the animal trainer can be seen patiently showing his cat how he can apply pressure to the handle of their front door in order to get it to open.
It’s a slow and steady process but one that eventually yields rewards when the cat successfully pushes down on the handle and the door opens. The highlight of the video comes towards its conclusion when the proud-as-punch pet owner shares a video of his cat completing the task unaided.
After the feline succeeds in opening the front door, he shares a fist bump and an affectionate kiss with his human companion.
A video that could make for an interesting footnote in the debate over whether cats are actually smarter than dogs, the footage found a captive audience on TikTok with many users praising the efforts of the cat and his owner.
Annazagerson was impressed with the feline’s ability to learn the task at hand writing: “That is a VERY focused cat.” Katy Mullberry loved “the fist bump and kiss at the end” while Jenna Curtis declared “my cat could never” in response to the clip.
Another user, posting as __lowkeykezz__, meanwhile was jokingly predicting big things for the feline featured in the video, writing: “Damn next that cat is gonna be driving his car.”
Elsewhere, Sir Noodilicious was in awe of how well trained the cat was, telling his owner: “That cat lives for every word you say.” Pheonix J was similarly enthusiastic responding: “that’s a really good thing to think of doing though, in case if an emergency they could open the door for help.”
However others like Liv_sv were not so sure about the whole thing. “This guy is gonna regret teaching his cat how to open doors,” they warned. Random.diyer agreed, commenting: “My cat learned to open doors on his own and started to barge into the bathroom whenever he wants so I actually wouldn’t recommend.”
Newsweek has contacted earringuk for comment.