How to Teach a Cat to Shake Hands
Make a mix of canned cat food and chicken baby food and place it on a rubber-tipped baby spoon. The combo sticks to the spoon better, and the rubber tip is easier on the teeth. Get on the same level as your cat. While saying “shake,” tap the paw you want your cat to shake. Once you see him move that paw, give him some food while either saying “good” or whistling. Continue this sequence of events over many short sessions until you can hold out your hand and say “shake” and Mr. Whiskers places his paw in your hand. It may take a week or two. But any cat can be courteous. Food, as with most of us, is a great motivator.
–Cathy Pittman, owner and head trainer of Performing Animal Troupe in Palmdale, California
See also: 13 Things You Didn’t Know About Cats