Firstly, please take this with a pinch of salt. I’m not being serious but the thought crossed my mind this morning and I thought I’d share. For this to work you need to accept that the cat is trained to play the keyboard, not that there’s someone operating its legs for it.

Testing Cat?

What the above video shows, is a very skilled person (a pianist in this case), using a very stupid thing to perform a relatively simple task. It probably took many years for the pianist to train the cat to play that one song, could the pianist have used that time more wisely?

Whenever the cat plays that song, the only thing that anyone can learn is that it appears that the cat can still play the song. (The fact that it’s actually a recording — an outside influence — shows how easily automated test outcomes can be affected or changed).

Clearly keyboard cat has a place in the world, as does test automation, but should you entrust your keyboard testing to a cat that doesn’t understand keys, notes, pitch, tempo, sheet music or even electricity? The cat is merely checking one specific thing, not testing. It hasn’t got the capacity to notice when the keys it doesn’t use are broken, or when the power has gone off. It just reports “yes I played the song” or “no I did not play the song”.

The cat is stupid, don’t rely on the cat to test your product.