Shoulder cats are a phenomenon much celebrated by self-confessed ‘cat people.’ It turns out that some cattos find the left or right, or both, shoulders of their owners the comfiest place to sit and look at the weird human world from above. Although it’s hard to precisely pinpoint when the term first emerged, the shoulder cat trend has recently taken over Reddit and other social media channels.
And while shoulder cat pics are taking over the internet, a big question has come up and it’s whether other animals on the shoulder count too. Because I mean, guys, is it really fair for cats to steal the entire spotlight for themselves? While this question remains purely philosophical, owners of different pets have now joined the ‘shoulder cat and not exclusively cat’ trend, sharing the cutest snaps of their furry friends on their shoulders.
So let’s see what this whole thing is all about and before someone asks, non-animals don’t count, so there’s no point trying to pull off the shoulder teddy bear for the challenge. Or maybe?...
My Shoulder Buddy
Does Shoulder Duck Make The Cut?
Hopefully Shoulder Kittens Count
To find out just why exactly some cats are really into shoulder perching, Bored Panda reached out to Molly DeVoss, a certified feline training & behavior specialist, who runs Cat Behavior Solutions consulting agency. Molly told us that cats like to be in high places and close to the scent of their owners, so “shoulder perching is a natural behavior that accomplishes both.”
Meanwhile, if it seems that for your cat, shoulder sitting is the last thing they wanna do, it may be because “the cat doesn’t feel safe or stable on their owners' shoulders.”
But the good news is that you can train a cat to do just anything it wants to do, says Molly. “If your cat likes to climb up on you, simply encourage and reinforce that behavior with treats, and the cat will do it more often.” You can also lure your cat up onto your shoulder with treats.
Oh Hi There, I Was Told That Shoulder Cats Are Trending Today
Usually it’s young kittens that climb on their owners and sit up there, enjoying the sense of security there. As cats grow older, they get less agile and more cumbersome, thus making the internet’s favorite ‘shoulder catting’ trick harder with age.
But perching on the owner's shoulder isn’t a behavior that’s exclusive to cats. Birds and other small pets do it, and they’re usually easily trainable.