Feline Identity Crisis: The Cat That Thinks It’s a Golden Retriever Captivates the Internet

What do you get when you mix feline curiosity with canine playfulness? Enter Ernie, the viral sensation that’s rewriting the pet playbook. A video, posted by user Hannah Colson (@oliveandfig_) on TikTok, has amassed over 847,000 views since its debut on August 31.

The clip cheekily claims, “Ernie now identifies as a golden retriever,” and the evidence is compelling.

Fetch 101: Not Just a Dog’s Game

The video commences with both Ernie and his golden retriever housemate poised by a couch, tensely awaiting the throw of a toy.

As the toy sails across the room, it’s not just the dog that leaps into action; Ernie gives chase too. But wait, there’s more.

Ernie is later seen mastering the art of fetch solo, diving into various corners of the home to retrieve the toy and dutifully bring it back to his human.

Experts Weigh In: The Science Behind Feline Fetch

Experts weigh in on this fascinating inter-species behavior. In an article from VCA Animal Hospitals, veterinarians remind us that “cats are natural hunters,” suggesting that fetching isn’t entirely foreign to feline nature.

Pet behaviorist Arden Moore emphasizes the importance of physical and mental enrichment for cats, saying, “When you play with a purpose—like you do with fetch—you achieve both.”

Training Tips: How To Make Your Cat Fetch

According to Moore, you can train your cat in the art of fetch through operant conditioning: reward good behavior, but refrain from punishing non-compliance. Whether it’s a treat or words of affirmation like “good fetch,” it’s about reinforcing the desired action.

Netizen Reactions: The Internet Has Spoken

But it’s not just the experts who are captivated by Ernie’s exploits; TikTok users are flooding the comments with their takes. One said, “Your cat fetches better than my late golden retriever.” Another joked, “I think that Ernie’s too smart to identify as a golden retriever.”

Final Thoughts: More Than Just a Viral Sensation

Whether it’s a dog’s world and Ernie’s just playing in it, or Ernie’s brilliance is changing the game, one thing’s for sure: this feline has charmed his way into our hearts and feeds. Ernie is not just breaking the internet; he’s also breaking stereotypes, one fetch at a time.

Ernie is not just breaking the internet; he’s also breaking stereotypes, one fetch at a time. What’s your take on this captivating cat? Let us know below!


  • Amanda Wheatley

    Passionate about animals, Amanda draws her expertise from her training as an educator, pet behaviorist as well as her extensive experience with animal owners. A specialist in dog and cat behavior, Amanda continues to learn about our four-legged companions by studying veterinary reference books but also university research sites (UCD, Utrecht, Cambridge, Cornell, etc..) Why Trust ShelterAPet? At ShelterAPet, our collective is composed of writers, veterinarians, and seasoned animal trainers with a deep passion for pets. Our team of esteemed professionals delves into extensive research to deliver trustworthy insights on a broad spectrum of pet-related subjects. We anchor our evaluations on direct customer experiences, meticulous testing, and comprehensive scrutiny. Our commitment is to uphold transparency and integrity for our cherished community of pet aficionados and prospective pet parents.