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?...

#1

My Shoulder Buddy

My Shoulder Buddy

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me
Community Member
11 months ago

Good night sleepy baby

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#2

Does Shoulder Duck Make The Cut?

Does Shoulder Duck Make The Cut?

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago

That duck is precious.

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#3

Hopefully Shoulder Kittens Count

Hopefully Shoulder Kittens Count

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me
Community Member
11 months ago

AWW so cute! Also their matching eyes

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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.

#4

Oh Hi There, I Was Told That Shoulder Cats Are Trending Today

Oh Hi There, I Was Told That Shoulder Cats Are Trending Today

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago

Are we allowed to place orders? I'll take one of each.

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#5

Behold The Glorious Whiskers Of Shoulder Cat

Behold The Glorious Whiskers Of Shoulder Cat

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

glorious indeed!

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#6

What About A Mouse?

What About A Mouse?

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varwenea
Community Member
11 months ago

Ratatouille, is that you?

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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.

#7

I See Your Shoulder Cats. I Raise You Crown Cat

I See Your Shoulder Cats. I Raise You Crown Cat

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Rikke Visby Wickberg
Community Member
11 months ago

Cat on a hat! (sorry, I'll let myself out...)

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#8

My Shoulder Cat Isn't Nearly As Cute As Everyone Else's

My Shoulder Cat Isn't Nearly As Cute As Everyone Else's

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Natalia
Community Member
11 months ago

Ahaha 🤣🤣🤣

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#9

I See Your Shoulder Cats, Is It Too Late For A Shoulder Baby Opossum?

I See Your Shoulder Cats, Is It Too Late For A Shoulder Baby Opossum?

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Rozanne Blignaut
Community Member
11 months ago

SQUEE!!!!! It's so SMOLL!

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#10

Do Shoulder Horses Count? She's Always Hanging Her Head Over My Neck Waiting For Scratches

Do Shoulder Horses Count? She's Always Hanging Her Head Over My Neck Waiting For Scratches

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

she's precious and deserves all the scraches

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#11

My Shoulder Monster At 10 Months

My Shoulder Monster At 10 Months

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago

What are you feeding that cat? Other cats?

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#12

I Don’t Have A Cat, So I Present My Shoulder Bun!

I Don’t Have A Cat, So I Present My Shoulder Bun!

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me
Community Member
11 months ago

That bunny a lil cutie derp face

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#13

Hope We Are Not Too Late

Hope We Are Not Too Late

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Guinny
Community Member
11 months ago

mini puma

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#14

Shoulder Animals Seem To Be Pretty Popular Nowadays. So Here's A Shoulder Crow!

Shoulder Animals Seem To Be Pretty Popular Nowadays. So Here's A Shoulder Crow!

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Aroace tiger
Community Member
11 months ago

Cool

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#15

I Give You, Azu, The Shoulder Snek

I Give You, Azu, The Shoulder Snek

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Helen Haley
Community Member
11 months ago

Aw. It's a shy danger noodle.

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#16

She Was Purrty Proud Of My Accomplishment

She Was Purrty Proud Of My Accomplishment

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Ricky Omo
Community Member
11 months ago

I love this picture. This picture has so much love in it. ❤️

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#17

Heard You Like Shoulder Cats. This Is A.....pygmy Tree Cat

Heard You Like Shoulder Cats. This Is A.....pygmy Tree Cat

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varwenea
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

That's a cat? Kinda cool.

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#18

Within 2 Seconds Of Meeting The Cat I Was Adopting, She Climbed Onto My Shoulders

Within 2 Seconds Of Meeting The Cat I Was Adopting, She Climbed Onto My Shoulders

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Yana Friman
Community Member
11 months ago

You both are very lucky!)

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#19

Does Shoulder Chicken Make The Cut?

Does Shoulder Chicken Make The Cut?

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Jewel Nandar Kyaw
Community Member
11 months ago

Maybe it's exotic tho~

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#20

Do These Count As Shoulder Animals?

Do These Count As Shoulder Animals?

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Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago (edited)

Right Cow looks slightly disgusted by Left Cow's behaviour - "Don't lick it, you don't know where it's been"

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#21

I Have My Shoulder Mounted Barkzooka Locked And Loaded!

I Have My Shoulder Mounted Barkzooka Locked And Loaded!

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Truth Monster
Community Member
11 months ago

Excuse me sir, there is a vicious pit bull on your shoulder. Please remove it before it harms you with its cuteness :)

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#22

He Always Climbs For A Hug After His Naps. Closest I Can Get To A Shoulder Cat

He Always Climbs For A Hug After His Naps. Closest I Can Get To A Shoulder Cat

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Rachel Krug
Community Member
11 months ago

That's how my kitty is too. He loves to burrow his head in my hair and rub his face on my ear lol

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#23

I See Your Baby Possums, Duck & Cats On Shoulders And Raise You An Albino Ferret

I See Your Baby Possums, Duck & Cats On Shoulders And Raise You An Albino Ferret

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Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago

The little feet!

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#24

Shoulder Cat Will Be Fun, They Said

Shoulder Cat Will Be Fun, They Said

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ADHORTATOR
Community Member
11 months ago

"I warned ya!"

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#25

Jumbo Shoulder Dog

Jumbo Shoulder Dog

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Jaekry
Community Member
11 months ago

How come you didn't buckle under all that floof!?

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#26

I See Your Shoulder Cat And Raise You A Beard Kitten

I See Your Shoulder Cat And Raise You A Beard Kitten

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Rikke Visby Wickberg
Community Member
11 months ago

Aww... 🥰

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#27

Sleeping Shoulder Magpie Baby

Sleeping Shoulder Magpie Baby

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Jaekry
Community Member
11 months ago

Sleeping... I guess sounds logical, but never would have thought of it.

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#28

Shoulder Cats? Nah, How About Shoulder Bear?

Shoulder Cats? Nah, How About Shoulder Bear?

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Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
11 months ago

Lions and tigers and bears 🥰 awwww my

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#29

Silence Human, I’m Looking At Shoulder Cats

Silence Human, I’m Looking At Shoulder Cats

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Grace
Community Member
11 months ago

Haha

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#30

How About Shoulder Sugar Gliders?

How About Shoulder Sugar Gliders?

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Flare
Community Member
11 months ago

SO CUTE!!

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#31

Do Shoulder Raccoons Count? Courtesy Of My Sister

Do Shoulder Raccoons Count? Courtesy Of My Sister

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Alien
Community Member
11 months ago

DA FEETS

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#32

Shoulder Birb

Shoulder Birb

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Rozanne Blignaut
Community Member
11 months ago

I mean... if this is not a pirate I don't know what is....

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See Also on Bored Panda
#33

Shoulder Nugget (And A Lap Full Of Beans)

Shoulder Nugget (And A Lap Full Of Beans)

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Benjamin Fowler
Community Member
11 months ago

the shoulder nugget!!

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#34

My Dreams Of Having A Shoulder Cat Have Come True

My Dreams Of Having A Shoulder Cat Have Come True

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Julia Atkinson
Community Member
11 months ago

From this month's issue of GC (Gentlemen and Cats)

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#35

Hope I’m Not Late For The Cat On Shoulder

Hope I’m Not Late For The Cat On Shoulder

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Alexandra Ruth
Community Member
11 months ago

Beautiful

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#36

Does A Rottweiler Puppy Count

Does A Rottweiler Puppy Count

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Bengü Taşkesen
Community Member
11 months ago

With that face, it counts double.

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#37

I Give You Shoulder Bun

I Give You Shoulder Bun

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Zoe Hoesley
Community Member
11 months ago

Heart melted

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#38

Hope I'm Not Too Late To Raise You A Second Shoulder Cat

Hope I'm Not Too Late To Raise You A Second Shoulder Cat

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Miss Milinky
Community Member
11 months ago

flex!

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#39

We Raised A Shoulder Cat

We Raised A Shoulder Cat

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Guinny
Community Member
11 months ago

awww so gorgeous

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#40

Am I Too Late? Fern, The Sweetest Opossum!

Am I Too Late? Fern, The Sweetest Opossum!

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Red
Community Member
11 months ago

Ngl the girl looks like somebody i would want to be friends with

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#41

He Found My Wife’s Hood. I Think He Likes It

He Found My Wife’s Hood. I Think He Likes It

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

awww, sweetest piggie <3

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#42

Do Shoulder Squirrels Count?

Do Shoulder Squirrels Count?

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Becca Gizmo the Squirrel
Community Member
11 months ago

Yeah! I had tons if pics with gizmo on my shoulders. Don't know where that broke phone is. A squirrel running circles around your body is a weird feeling. I miss that baby.

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#43

The Elusive Shoulder Fox!

The Elusive Shoulder Fox!

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Alien
Community Member
11 months ago

That fox is screaming- I feel so bad for that poor mans ears, foxes are so loud

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#44

Shoulder Dane Anyone?

Shoulder Dane Anyone?

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BlackestDawn
Community Member
11 months ago

Bet you the dane is still touching the floor with their back paws.

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#45

Do Chinchillas Count Too?

Do Chinchillas Count Too?

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Peachthepan
Community Member
11 months ago

yes. the grey pom-pom is accepted

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#46

Shoulder Cat Or Cyclops?

Shoulder Cat Or Cyclops?

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MagicalUnicorn
Community Member
11 months ago

cyclops!

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#47

Shoulder Cat In Process

Shoulder Cat In Process

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Flare
Community Member
11 months ago

OMG so tiny!

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#48

I Thought My Little Shoulder Protector Should Get A Turn Too!!

I Thought My Little Shoulder Protector Should Get A Turn Too!!

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Capermom
Community Member
11 months ago

Wow, that glossy coat..! Beautiful.

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#49

I See We Are Doing Shoulder Cats Today?

I See We Are Doing Shoulder Cats Today?

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Doris Eschbach-Eberlein
Community Member
11 months ago

Aaaawww

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#50

My Partner Would Like To Know If We’re Still Doing Shoulder Cats?

My Partner Would Like To Know If We’re Still Doing Shoulder Cats?

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uber mensch
Community Member
11 months ago

Shoulder *cat*. Not shoulder _mountain lion_.

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Note: this post originally had 176 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.