Cats are typically perceived as independent and willful, so often they are brought home and expected to be on their best behavior while their human provides food and occasional pets. Let me break the news—cats need training too and this will benefit both the parent and the furry baby. Meet Nipa, who has been proving cat training is real and actually very possible since 2019.

Nipa is not your average cat which knows no gods or masters besides itself and does what it desires. Known as “the talented cat,” this Toyger cat from Finland is a therapy cat at elderly care and knows over 50 tricks, including walking up the stairs atop a human’s feet, riding a skateboard, doing a hand stand jump, rolling a barrel, and many more.

More info: Instagram

Meet Nipa, a very talented Toyger cat who knows over 50 tricks

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Every day, this 2-year-old smart cat from Finland proves that cats are also trainable

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Cat parent Tiina said that by sharing Nipa’s talents online, she tries to bust one of the most common myths that cats don’t need to or can’t be trained. In a recent post on Bored Panda, we shared some insights by Russian cat psychologist Tatiana Kulikova, who agrees that cats should be trained if you want to harmoniously cohabit with your pet and keep your house (and sometimes yourself) undamaged. Kulikova also explained 12 other myths that all cat parents should know and why they are wrong, including the theory that cats are spiteful or non-social, and that cats and dogs are eternal enemies.

Nipa’s training started when his owner, Tiina, brought him to work with the elderly and decided it would be safer and easier if she could control the cat’s behavior

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

“I saw @cat.school’s videos on how Julie, the cat school teacher, has taught her cat tricks, and I got inspired so I signed up for cat school and learned the basics in clicker training,” Tiina told Bored Panda.

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Nipa graduated cat school with a basic knowledge in clicker training and has kept learning with Tiina ever since

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

While it’s not necessary to teach your cat dozens of entertaining tricks that are also a great physical and mental activity for animals, it could be vital to prevent any unwanted behavior. Certified animal behaviorist Yody Blass told Bored Panda what causes destructive behavior in pets: “Young pets who are either teething or are in need of training regarding appropriate chew items; pets who are bored; pets with anxiety issues, including separation anxiety, panic disorder, and OCD.”

So training your cat might be life-changing and it only requires some time, patience, a clicker, and lots of treats. The most important thing to note is that you should never punish your cat; positive reinforcement will work like a charm.

“It is an activity for the cat, it helps the cat to overcome boredom. I think the training makes Nipa happy. Also, the training strengthens the cat-human bond and with clicker training, you can teach your cat practical behaviors,” Tiina said.

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Nipa is now a wholesome therapy cat—he lays on seniors’ laps and lets them pet him to cheer them up

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

“Nipa is like an ‘ice breaker.’ The seniors immediately light up when they see him and start talking to him and me. Even seniors that don’t want to join in other activities or talk to me individually welcome me when I have Nipa with me at work. Nipa brings a lot of joy to seniors and to see them happy makes me happy,” Tiina said.

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

If you doubt that a therapy cat is a thing, here’s what Tiina wrote on one Instagram post about her cat’s visits to elderly care: “One of the seniors who had Nipa in his lap cried of joy, such a beautiful moment.”

Cats are great at providing emotional support and stress relief to people who need it the most, and that’s what Nipa exceeds at.

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

“I use a serving trolley to stroll around with Nipa and his stuff to the seniors’ rooms. On the trolley we have Nipa’s backpack, his towel, some toys, his litter box and some stuff we use for tricks,” Tiina explained how they visit seniors in elderly care.

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

We asked Tiina what a day in her life with a cat looks like:

“I wake up and dress for work. Meanwhile, Nipa wants to smell the fresh air from the window. After that, I go to the toilet and Nipa comes with me. Fun fact: he usually also pees in his litter box when I sit on the toilet. When I brush my teeth, he usually lays on my shoulders. Then we clicker train for about 5-15 minutes. He asks for it by running over to his clicker training toolbox and when we start the training, he usually starts purring. Then I go to work and when I come home, he is waiting for me at the door. Some days, I bring him to work to cheer up the seniors. Now, in the summertime, I put him outside in his catio for about two hours after work, or I walk him on a leash. In the evening when I watch TV, Nipa is somewhere close to me, often in my lap cuddling. At some point in the evening, we have a second clicker training session for about 5-15 minutes. When we go to sleep, Nipa sleeps next to my pillow or in his nest beside my bed.”

One of Nipa’s favorite tricks is “cop cop”—walking up the stairs with his paws atop a human’s feet

He also likes skateboarding and putting shoes on. And yes, it’s still about a cat

Tiina said that her favorite tricks are a handstall and skateboarding: “He tells me in the middle of a training session that he wants to skate by walking over to the skateboard.”

We asked Tiina how hard is it to teach her cat a new trick: “It depends a lot on the trick and how actively we train it. Some tricks are harder to teach than others. The most challenging trick was probably skateboarding, I think he could still improve his skateboarding talent.”

Here are a few more of Nipa’s adorable tricks

If you want to see more tricks performed by Nipa, get some cat parenting inspiration and learn how to train your cat, check out his Instagram account. Tiina also recommended that any cat parent check out Cat School on Instagram and start with 5 minutes of training daily.

“Nipa is social, curious, and loving. He follows me around the house and keeps me company. He is also great at car rides”

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent

Image credits: my.cat.got.talent