How to teach your cat to boop your finger

Out of habit, I started gently booping Galaxy and her brother (before he went to live with someone who could provide what he needs) the same way I did my toddler cousins. The “boop” is a simple finger to their nose. The toddlers learned to lean towards an index finger for boops, and Galaxy has learned to do the same.

It was purely accidental, but it’s a tiny sentiment between us that can’t be taken back now — and I wouldn’t want to, either!

The act started with Galaxy, primarily because I struggled to get her to approach me and the only way she seemed interested was if she could smell me. She was shy until about a week into living with me.

The concept is akin to holding a hand out for horses, donkeys, and cows. Cats’ noses are smaller, so you just need a finger.

Steps to teach your cat to boop your finger

To be clear, this is the kind of booping we’re going for:

  1. Hold your index finger out towards your cat.
  2. Wait patiently for the cat to sniff your finger.
  3. As soon as their nose touches your finger, say, “Boop!” gently.
  4. Reward.


  • These days, I ask Galaxy if she wants a boop and hold out my finger. She doesn’t sniff my finger anymore, but seems to understand the concept of a “boop” and the motion. So long as I pet her head after, she’s content.
  • Galaxy does not always want or accept boops, and that’s okay. It’s important for them to have some autonomy and that to be respected.
  • Galaxy is more motivated by lots of attention, less by food. She only eats wet food and views treats mostly as toys to be pounced on and played with, so pets work best for her. I also prefer not to limit her food until she’s more comfortable, because she was an abandoned kitten and appears stressed/anxious when I so much as remove her empty bowl.

📌 Pin this post ⬇️

Love this post?

Support me by subscribing to my blog and/or buying me a cuppa:

Leave a comment