Does Your Cat Love to Ride on Your Shoulders?

Posted November 15th, 2014 by admin

Grabbed from link

I have had several cats that were very good shoulder riders. To me, shoulder riding is one of those endearing cat behaviors that is unforgettable, and it makes me glad I live with cats. It’s up there with paws around the neck, the silent meow, the tilted head, the raised paw — all of it.

But was I able to train my cats to ride shoulders, or did they come to it naturally? I would say that most of my cats came to it naturally, without any training, but it depends upon the cat. 

1. Jamie

My orange medium-haired tabby Jamie was the best shoulder rider I have ever had. He lived to be 21 years, and was still riding shoulders when he was almost 20. But Jamie also had an incredible sense of balance. He was still jumping to the top of kitchen cabinets when he was 18 (unbelievable, but true).

Jamie, the best shoulder rider ever. Photo courtesy of Deborah Sussex Photography.

Jamie had a thing about getting really close to our faces, and I think this had something to do with his love of shoulder riding. He adored being on the bed with us, and when on the bed, he had to be as close to our faces as possible. Jamie figured out early on that shoulder riding gave him close access to our faces. He didn’t bite or paw, he just enjoyed holding his own face close to ours.

As I said, he had incredible balance. Jamie would drape himself over my shoulders — head hanging over one of my shoulders; rear paws and tail hanging over my other shoulder. Jamie was able to lay right on the back of my neck and shoulders. I don’t know how he knew to ride shoulders so well, he just did. I could walk anywhere with him, and he had enough balance or leverage so that he didn’t slide off. He loved it. Did I ever formally train him to do this? No, he just got it. Even in the last months of his life, he loved to be carried over one shoulder, though he was rarely riding both shoulders at this point.

2. Jamie Bluebell

The tortie Jamie Bluebell is Jamie’s namesake, so naturally I got quite excited when she rode shoulders as a kitten. But she never got the hang of draping herself around my neck (with her belly on the back of my neck). Instead, she’d stand on my shoulders — front paws on one shoulder, rear paws on another. This was cute and fun, but it was hard to walk with her or she’d fall off. It never occurred to me to try and train her to lie down; I’m not sure how that would be done.

Kieran loves playing the piano but has no interest in shoulder riding.

For a long time after those kitten days, Jamie Bluebell did not ride shoulders. But one day recently, when she was exceptionally happy, Jamie got up on my shoulders. I know she was feeling really happy and secure about something, because she was showing me other behaviors I hadn’t seen for a while. That was my clue that I needed to spend more time alone with Jamie Bluebell. She likes it. And maybe if I keep it up, shoulder riding will come back into the picture.

3. Norton

Norton is a very smart boy. The youngest of my bunch, he is skilled at opening cabinets, he knows how to use his paw in a food bowl (to pull the bowl very politely away from his household catmate Rama), and he rides shoulders very well. But it’s not something he does very often. He enjoys it, but not one of my cats has ever come close to riding shoulders the way the original Jamie did.

Norton has grown into a good shoulder rider, when he feels like it.

4. Target

Target was probably one of the most trainable cats I’ve ever had. He was eager to please, and he would do anything for attention and love. But I think we were so busy having fun with him in other ways that it never occurred to us to try and teach him to ride shoulders.

Can shoulder riding be learned or taught?

Based on my really unscientific experience, what I’ve learned from my cats might be this. A good shoulder rider:

  • Loves to please
  • Is easily trainable
  • Loves close proximity to your face
  • Has good balance or a sense of mass in relation to your body

As I said, this is really informal. So I would be curious about your cats. Have you had good shoulder riders? Were you able to train them, and if so, what did you do? Or do you think it’s a random thing that some cats are much better at than others?

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr (cat fantasy novel out June 1), the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.

To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

Related Blogs

    Cat Duo Have Very Different Approaches to High Fives

    Posted November 15th, 2014 by admin

    Grabbed from link

    Internet sensation Maru the cat is certainly feeling friendly. His endless high fives definitely come from a place of patience and a willingness to play. His friend Hana, however, doesn’t share the same sentiment.

    Share this on Facebook?


    Blind Cat Is Excellent at Hiking

    Raccoon Refuses to Leave His Bed

    Timo the Cat Is Best Friends With His Stuffed Animals


    Permalink | Email this | Comments

    To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

    Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

    Related Blogs

      Daily GIFs: November 14, 2014

      Posted November 15th, 2014 by admin

      Grabbed from link

      Getting through the day can be tough, but you know what makes it easier? Adorable GIFs. Check out these furry mini-flicks floating around the Internet. It’s probably the cutest way to waste time and wait for the weekend.

      1. “This game was stupid anyway.”

      2. “Thank goodness today is Friday. I can’t make it any longer.”

      3. “Excuse me. More love, please.”

      4. “Did you want to cool off, too?”

      5. “Come to me, water. Come to me!”

      Share this on Facebook?

      Get another dose of adorable animals:


      Permalink | Email this | Comments

      To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

      Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

      Related Blogs

        10 Cool Facts About English Springer Spaniels

        Posted November 14th, 2014 by admin

        Grabbed from link


        Permalink | Email this | Comments

        To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

        Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

        Related Blogs

          Grabbed from link

          It’s almost Thanksgiving. Your cat would like to remind you that the purpose of that day is to stop and reflect upon how grateful you are for his furry, purring, painfully adorable presence in your life. Then he’d like some treats. Yes, treats — plural. As in more than one. Right now. Put down that pumpkin pie recipe and go get them. Seriously. Right this minute, or your cat will lose his mind like the cats in these videos.

          1. Treat monster

          He may look innocent, but this orange tabby knows exactly what he wants, and he will not stop until he gets it. The best part is when he slaps his sibling around for even implying that he might want to share.

          P.S. One treat is not enough. He wants 200.

          2. Ring the bell for service

          Perhaps it seems like a cool idea to train your cat to ring a bell, like at a hotel front desk, whenever he wants a treat, but in my house that bell would be ringing 24/7. It would be on par with giving a kid a talking doll for Christmas. I’d be having some serious regrets within about three hours.

          3. Communication is key

          According to Cat Daddy Jackson Galaxy, treats can help you speak to your cat’s “evolutionary sweet spot” — basically, that moment when your cat is so excited about what he’s eating that his brain melts a little bit, giving you the chance to bond with your pet. This requires treats that are 100 percent meat or fish — you know, the stuff your cat was born to eat. According to Galaxy, the crunchy “kitty crack” kibble my cats know and love is not the best option — but I’m not going to tell them that. At least not right now.

          4. Never mind the five-second rule

          This cat loves his treats so much that he catches them in midair with both paws like a little baseball player, giving Gold Glove Award-winning outfielders a run for their money. In this cat’s case, the five-second rule need not apply, because those treats aren’t ever touching the ground.

          5. Ain’t no table high enough

          Bert the cat won’t let minor details like being a tiny, fluffy kitty in a big, scary world stop him from expertly snatching treat after treat from the kitchen tabletop.

          Does your cat lose his mind for treats? Tell us about it in the comments!

          Watch more cat videos:

          Learn more about your cat with Catster:

          About Angela: This not-crazy-at-all cat lady loves to lint-roll her favorite dress and go out dancing. She also frequents the gym, the vegan coffee joint, and the warm patch of sunlight on the living room floor. She enjoys a good cat rescue story about kindness and decency overcoming the odds, and she’s an enthusiastic recipient of headbutts and purrs from her two cats, Bubba Lee Kinsey and Phoenix.

          To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

          Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

          Related Blogs

            Tiger or Tabby? France Scales Down Cat Hunt

            Posted November 14th, 2014 by admin

            Grabbed from link

            PARIS – French officials on Friday scaled down a frantic hunt for a mysterious big cat prowling on the outskirts of Paris after scotching earlier fears it was a tiger.

            France Tiger on the Loose

            Members of the police animal brigade. Credit: Associated Press

            Sightings of a large feline padding around wooded areas only 40 kilometres (25 miles) east of Paris on Thursday sparked a desperate search operation involving at one point as many as 200 police and soldiers, backed by a helicopter.

            Authorities initially claimed it was a tiger but subsequent investigations on the animal’s tracks showed it was probably much less dangerous.

            Experts from the national hunting and wildlife office and a nearby big cat park said: “We can exclude the presence of an animal from the tiger species.”

            They added though that “the feline is still being hunted”.

            An official source told AFP that the search had been scaled back for the moment and the helicopter grounded although forces remained “mobilised” in case of a fresh alert.

            The story generated wall-to-wall coverage in France on rolling news channels. Local paper Le Parisien splashed a picture of the animal on its front page with the headline: “The unbelievable tiger alert.”

            But the threat level was downgraded on Friday, with the local director of public safety, Chantal Baccanini, saying there was “no danger for the general population”.

            “It’s between a domestic cat and a bigger feline,” said Eric Hansen from the national hunting and wildlife office ONCFS.

            The mayor of the town of Montevrain, where the animal was first spotted on Thursday, estimated that the animal weighed around 70 kilogrammes (150 pounds).

            But Hansen said it was likely to be about half this weight and probably “not dangerous”.

            Despite deploying around 100 police, firefighters and soldiers immediately after the sightings, the search proved fruitless. Torrential rain hampered the scaled-down hunt later Friday.

            A footprint, initially thought to be that of a tiger, was spotted early Friday morning at the unlikely location of a service station near the A4 motorway.

            France’s traffic centre also said a “stray animal” had been spotted nearby and urged motorists to exercise caution on the motorway.

            Tiger or no tiger, Montevrain resident Jean-Francois Ameur was taking no chances as he told his 12-year-old son to wait for a neighbour to pick him up from school in a car.

            “It’s been running for 48 hours and it hasn’t eaten, so yes, I’m worried,” said Ameur.

            Meanwhile, officials were still scratching their heads as to where the feline could have come from.

            A local woman sounded the alarm early on Thursday morning after spotting the animal in the supermarket car park.

            Several more people later came forward saying they had seen a “tiger” on the prowl.

            “It’s becoming hysteria. That was to be expected,” said a police source.

            More than 100 police officers and firefighters armed with tranquiliser guns had spent Thursday combing the area in the Seine-et-Marne district to the east of the French capital.

            A dog trained in tracking bears and large game was even brought in to help with the search.

            Authorities defended their response, which included ordering citizens to stay indoors and posting police at schools.

            “We were talking about a tiger. This is an animal that is potentially extremely dangerous. Our mission is to measure the response in relation to the potential risk,” said Frederic Mac Kain, a top official from the nearby town of Torcy.

            MORE ON PAWNATION: Police Hunt for Tiger on the Loose Near Paris


            Permalink | Email this | Comments

            To view the entire post click the word "link" next to the title.

            Follow me on Twitter at for more pet topics and pet tweets.

            Related Blogs