While plenty of cats by bike, sailboat and RV, for many felines, a trip around the neighborhood or even just a is all that’s necessary to quench their thirst for adventure. And while they may not be traveling the world, these close-to-home adventures still open up a whole new world for cats like Figaro. Austin resident Ann Marie Klacko adopted 4-year-old Figaro and his sister, Olive, when they were tiny . While Klacko already had three adult cats, she couldn’t resist taking in Figaro and Olive after meeting them and hearing about their struggle to find a forever home. Figaro and his sister settled into their multi-cat home, but it soon became clear to Klacko that her new black cat required a little more stimulation than he was getting indoors. MORE: “Figaro can definitely be described as a ,” she says. “Some have even said he’s intense. He’s incredibly smart, interactive and overall a sweet guy, but he stresses incredibly easily and has anxiety. He also suffers from feline lower urinary tract disorder as well as bladder disease.” Despite his specialized wet food diet, Figaro experienced severe urinary blockages in August and had to undergo . “We knew his long term care would be even more important than his short-term surgery recovery but no one ever really gives you ideas for long-term maintenance besides a prescription diet,” Klacko says. “We started taking Figaro for regular leashed walks after his surgery when I read that walks outside can be a good experience for cats with stress. [It gives] them the exercise all cats need, [it gives] him one-on-one time with us in a multi-cat environment, and all that stimulation that comes with being outdoors [is] a satisfying experience for Figaro.” Klacko mentioned Figaro’s walks to veterinarian Dr. Katrina Breitreiter of who fully supported the idea, and soon leashed walks became part of Figaro’s daily routine. “Typically we just walk around the perimeter of our house,” Klacko says. “Figaro’s leash and harness hang by our back door and he waits by it every morning. He likes to sit on the picnic table with me and sniff grass and trees. If he’s feeling particularly energetic, we’ll jog around the house. His walks and leisure time outside are anywhere between 5 minutes and 45 minutes.” MORE: Soon though, Figaro will be leaving his Austin home behind and relocating to an apartment in the Windy City, and while he won’t have access to his very own backyard anymore, Klacko says they’re moving to a pet-friendly building where Figaro will still have access to the great outdoors. “My plan is to talk to my future neighbors about Figaro potentially going outside around the building,” she says. “I’ll have to make sure there isn’t anything , as well. Ultimately, it will be up to him, as always, if he wants to go outside. With a whole new set of smells and stimulators his behavior toward walks could change, but we’re hoping he’ll still enjoy them — Chicago weather permitting, of course!” The post appeared first on .
July 31, 2019
A across Europe. Volunteering in the Mediterranean. Vacationing in Cuba. This sounds like quite the travel resume — and, believe it or not, it belongs to a cat. The fluffy and his owner, Carla Hagberg, have seen more than two dozen countries across the world, from their hometown of Gothenburg, Sweden, all the way to Greece, France, Spain, Colombia, El Salvador and back. And that’s just the tip of the adventure iceberg. “I would with confidence say that Cezar is the most in the world,” Hagberg tells Adventure Cats. It all started when Hagberg decided to quit her career, ditch her belongings, and pack up life on the road with Cezar. “Off we went on an epic bike-tour across Europe from Sweden to [the] south of Spain,” Hagberg says. “A few years later we are still on the ‘road’ — not on the bike, though.” It was Hagberg’s knack for spontaneity that sparked her urge to pick up and leave. But, while she’d traveled extensively before, required a bit more planning. (Photo: Instagram/@cezars.crew) Tips for International Cat Travel Country hopping with a kitty in tow comes with big requirements and bigger rewards. Hagberg shared her personal checklist with us: Pick a place/country Research the requirements needed to “import” a cat into that specific country Find cheap tickets, and narrow it down to those airlines who accept pets in the cabin Prep for additional or re-vaccinations if needed Sometimes it’s required to have a health certificate not older than (usually) 10 days prior to arrival in the new country Most importantly of all, “The latest adventure, the plan was to bike-pack around Sweden, Norway and Finland, and we were planning to be away for at least two to three months,” Hagberg says. “However, Cezar didn’t like our new bike-backing setup, so I had to cancel the adventure after 10 days. We did manage to get to Norway and he loved the hiking and wild camping part. I find this to be a perfect example of how you have to be willing to adjust an adventure after your cat’s well-being, which always should be your first priority.” Cezar may be a pro at globetrotting, but just like outdoor adventuring, international travel is not for every cat. “With a little bit of training and a lot of patience, anything is possible,” Hagberg says. “Just make sure that your cat’s well-being is a priority and learn .” (Photo: Instagram/@cezars.crew) So, having been to more than 25 countries, which was Cezar’s favorite? “Probably the countryside of France,” Hagberg says. “Since he is a Maine Coon, he prefers places where it isn’t too hot for him.” Cezar isn’t slowing down any time soon. With his 26th country and fourth continent now officially under his collar, this worldly kitty has big plans — and one happy owner to share them with. “The best part of traveling with a cat is the company and the endless love and cuddles it comes with,” Hagberg says. “He is a curious cat, and I just love to look at him while he goes out and explores new places.” You can keep up with Cezar’s adventures on , , and his . The post appeared first on .
February 07, 2019
We all know the feeling of adding a new furry member to the family — the initial thought that happens when you decide that it’s time, the warm fuzzy feeling you have as you scour the internet for the purrfect match and the excitement you feel when you’re on the way to pick him or her up. Sometimes, though, it seems as if your new kitty has found you. This was the case with Spokane, Washington, resident Megan Ferney and her adventure cat, Leon. “I hadn’t had a single thought about getting a cat until I saw Leon’s photo on the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service page as I was scrolling through Facebook,” Ferney told Adventure Cats. But when she glimpsed his photo in November 2017, Ferney knew that Leon was hers. “I think animals pick us rather than the other way around. There was something very special and unusual about his photo that’s hard to explain. I [took a] screenshot [of] it and was showing it to people all day. I realized at some point that to everyone else he just looked like a cute orange . Because it was such an unusual reaction for me, I decided that maybe there was something more to it, maybe something unexplained that needed to be explored. I decided to go see him at Petco. Of course, we all know where that story ends.” Even then, Ferney was still a little uncertain about what life would be like with Leon. Believing that cats ground themselves by having their “paws in the dirt,” she did a little bit of research on . “I went back to Petco the next day for supplies and Leon’s first harness, which I put on him that day and every day after that for quite a while,” she says. MORE: Ferney started Leon off easy with a simple outing in her backyard, but Leon soon became braver and braver, so she decided to take him on his first hike at a closed-down golf course with quiet trails and no traffic. “We went about a mile and a half and he walked maybe a quarter of it. The rest of the time I stuck him inside my jacket. I was completely blown away by the whole experience as I had never seen anyone walking their cat on a leash and couldn’t believe it had just happened,” she says. After that successful , Ferney began taking Leon everywhere she could. “The best part of adventuring with Leon is that I hike a lot more in nature than I used to,” she says. “I’m always looking for good trails to take him on, and have discovered areas in Spokane that I didn’t know existed.” Recently, Ferney took Leon to the beach, and even though he wasn’t too sure about the feeling of sand beneath his paws at first, by the last day Leon was striking poses. Since then, he’s also gone on a road trip to Portland and the Oregon coast, as well as hiked Spokane’s Iller Creek trail to the Rocks of Sharon, a 6-mile hike with 1,250 feet of elevation gain. Leon has even taken to the water with Ferney on a ! And when he’s not exploring the trails of the Pacific Northwest, Leon still gets to enjoy the sights, scents and sounds of nature in his . Looking to ? Ferney suggests starting as soon as you adopt your new feline friend. MORE: “Begin as early as possible, and expose them to everything. Start hiking on a well-defined trail in the quietest, least trafficked area you can find. Be ready to carry your cat when they don’t want to walk or get scared. Let them explore and figure things out. Know that each time you go somewhere, it will be better the next time. Know that each time you go out, [your cat is] bonding with you and learning to trust you.” Leon relaxes at an overlook with pawsome pal, . Scroll through the gallery at the top to see more photos of Leon, and keep up with all his pawsome adventures on . The post appeared first on .
October 30, 2018
Watch out, mountain lions. There’s a new feline ruling New Mexico. This not-so-ferocious beast, a gray house cat named Walter, enjoys hiking through the desert with his owners, Madison Larkin and Elliott Andelman. But Walter’s natural habitat is his porch in Albuquerque, where he enjoys sunbathing with his new cat brother, Kunu. “They’re amazing creatures and have such big ,” says Larkin. Both Walter and Kunu are desert explorers and trailblazers of the feline world. While other adventure cats trek through lush forests or pristine lakes, Walter and Kunu traverse the arid Southwest. Larkin and Andelman, are geologists who moved to New Mexico for work. In late 2017, they adopted Walter from an Albuquerque animal shelter when he was still a kitten. “He did a little meow at us, as if to say hello, and came over and hopped up in our laps,” Larkin says. “We were like, ‘Well, we can’t not bring him home now!’ We fell in love with him instantly.” As geologists, Larkin and Andelman spend plenty of time outside, and they both love hiking and camping. After following the travels of other cats online and seeing them as courageous companions, they decided to train Walter for adventures of his own. MORE: “Our main reason was really because we wanted to spend every free moment of our time with Walt,” Larkin says, “and since we spend most of our free time outside, Walter had to come along.” Walter showed an early affinity for the outdoors. His favorite thing to do is lounge on Larkin and Andelman’s . The couple slowly introduced him to new settings beyond the porch though, taking him on smaller trips around their apartment complex or to the grocery store. One of Walter’s first real hikes was in the foothills of Albuquerque, and he eventually accompanied his humans on longer journeys to the Santa Fe National Forest and the Sandia Mountains. Though Walter is now a veteran of adventures all over New Mexico and surrounding Southwest states, “he started by getting used to being in the car and getting out and hiking around for a short while,” Larkin says. Kunu, whom Larkin and Andelman adopted from another animal shelter in August, is still learning the ropes of an adventuring lifestyle. Though they aren’t actually related, Walter and Kunu look stunningly alike, making them perfect costars for their . New Mexico is rife with photo opportunities among rocks and cacti, but it can present special challenges for cats. Pet owners must vigilantly guard against when their animals face hot weather and dry terrain. Larkin and Andelman always prioritize Walter and Kunu’s safety. The cats always have an extra water bottle and pop-up cups on trips, and Larkin and Andelman keep them leashed to protect them from harmful plants and animals. They also seek shade and water wherever they can, plan hikes for the early morning or sunset, and take fewer trips during blistering summer months. The upside to New Mexico’s climate though? Warmer winters mean more time outside! Walter’s first camping trip was at White Sands National Monument, a gigantic dune field in southern New Mexico. The park issues just 10 camping permits at a time, allowing Walter and his owners to explore the dunes in relative isolation. Free to run and play across an endless kingdom of sand, Walter “was loving it,” Larkin says. “I think it’s one of my favorite memories and places that we’ve been.” Walter is a confident, easygoing cat who likes meeting new people and creatures. He is, however, skittish around cyclists, so Larkin and Andelman will pick him up when bikes whiz past. Kunu, for his part, is learning to ride atop people’s shoulders. MORE: Larkin recommends that cat owners hoping to their feline friends start small and pay attention to how the animals respond. Taking a cat outside “develops this kind of trust between you and the animal,” she says, and she recommends the adventuring life for cats who are up to it. Adventure cats are rare in New Mexico, so Walter and Kunu attract quite a bit of attention. Gawkers and fans can slow the group’s hiking pace, but Larkin doesn’t mind answering questions about her cats. “It’s fun to see people’s reactions and give them the idea that this is something they could do too,” she says. Scroll through the gallery at the top to see more pawsome photos, and follow all of Walter’s and Kunu’s adventures on . The post appeared first on .
October 01, 2018
Many cats get to be stars, but not many get calls from “America’s Got Talent.” Then again, Romeo is no ordinary cat. Even before he began his outdoor adventures, Romeo, a Bengal, had earned the title of adventure cat. His indoor activities — including skateboarding, playing piano and navigating obstacle courses — even led to appearances on Animal Planet, NBC and Bravo and in publications of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.” Clicker training helped Romeo learn his skills, but these days, he’s more focused on enjoying the great outdoors. “He is a little terror to his siblings if he doesn’t get his adventure time,” Cindy Rio-Rados told Adventure Cats.
August 16, 2018
Adventure cats come in all shapes and sizes. Veterinary student Summer Ott learned just how different some adventure cats can be when she adopted Parsley, a previously shy barn kitten with a knack for tree climbing, kayaking and even . Parsley also happens to have a congenital bone deformity that prevents his legs from growing properly. Parsley began life as a small, shy barn kitten who hid from people. But because of coyotes and feral cats in the area, Ott was worried Parsley might not survive on his own. She remembers taking a friend to pick out a kitten from the litter — her friend chose a social and outgoing kitten — but it was timid little Parsley who stayed on her mind. “I had a lingering ache for that one shy kitty that no one else was going to adopt,” Ott said. “He had a gentleness about him, but was very sweet around people he trusted.” Ott’s instincts were right. Parsley turned out to be a great companion. “[Adopting him] is truly was the best decision I’ve ever made, even if it was semi-impulsive,” she said. When it came time to name her new friend, though, the decision was practically made for her. A friend had a cat named Chowder, and Parsley’s litter mate had been dubbed Pickles. So Ott knew her cat needed a food-related name as well. “He also has brilliant green eyes, so we narrowed down the choice to a green food, which happened to be the bright green herb, parsley.” But soon it was apparent that Parsley wasn’t growing like other . Ott says he’d always been a bit clumsy, but she also noticed he was walking differently than his litter mates. So she took him to the veterinary teaching hospital at Washington State University to get a specialized orthopedic consultation. After a thorough evaluation, the veterinary students determined Parsley has metaphyseal chondrodystrophy, an extremely rare condition that gives him very short and stubby legs. In fact, this condition is so rare that there is only one case study identical to Parsley’s in the feline archives. While the condition can be painful or even prevent a cat from being able to use his legs, Ott says Parsley isn’t showing any of these symptoms. In fact, at just 5 months old, he’s already been on quite a few adventures as a leash-trained kitty, a notion he took to almost instantly. “I feel like the luckiest cat owner in the world, because we had virtually no trouble with ,” Ott said. “I think that can be attributed to the fact that he came from a long line of barn cats, so maybe he had that outdoorsy, adventurous spirit inside him from the start. Parsley is also very good at reading subtle cues from me, so I think he quickly learned how to walk with the leash and harness, and made the correlation between the leash coming out and fun times outside.” Right now he most enjoys going to Boyer Park in eastern Washington. Ott says it’s a quaint little place on the Snake River for swimming and tree climbing. Parsley also loves camping. “Parsley is always open for new adventures,” Ott said. “We’ve taken him to a few awesome spots in Idaho and Washington, and our personal favorite, Lake Wallowa in Oregon, where he went kayaking.” When Ott starts veterinary school this upcoming fall, they’ll have to keep the adventures local, but for now she’s been trying to expose Parsley to as many adventures as possible. “Right now we’re planning a trip to Banff and Jasper National Parks, so we’re very excited for that.” But she doesn’t want to stop there. “There are so many adventures on our bucket list. is our more lofty goal for the future,” Ott said. “But truly, at the heart of the bucket list, we want Parsley to safely enjoy every adventurous activity that he can possibly do. Stand up paddle-boarding? Yep. Going on a helicopter ride? You got it. Spelunking or surfing? Definitely. Heck, if there’s a way he can safely and enjoyably go , we want to try it. I think there’s a beauty to a well-rounded individual that can adapt to new situations, whether it’s a cat or a human.” Ott says the joy in taking Parsley on adventures is that it improves his happiness and well-being as well as her own. But she also hopes to inspire and help enact change for the greater adventure cat community. “It’s a bit frustrating that so many outdoor outfitters have outdoor dog equipment, but don’t have any for cats,” Ott said. “We hope that by sharing our love of adventures and by joining this wonderful small community of adventure cats in existence, that we can inspire a growth of in the world, and help challenge the norm of a cat always being a sedentary indoor house pet.” Scroll through the gallery at the top to see more photos of Parsley, and keep up with all his adventures on . The post appeared first on .
July 27, 2018
There are Instagram cats, and then there’s Suki. This wide-eyed Bengal is a bona fide celebrity, and with almost 800,000 Instagram followers, she boasts more social media fans than many human celebrities. Suki’s account, run by owner Marti Gutfreund, documents her adventures through Western Canada and beyond. But when you’re that famous online, you’re bound to find fans in the offline world too. “We get stopped by, I would say, at least 50 percent of people” when out hiking, Gutfreund says. Everyone is curious about the photogenic feline . Though Suki usually appears without a leash on Instagram, she’s always wearing one when outdoors — Gutfreund simply removes it in Photoshop to achieve a cleaner image. “It’s absolutely bizarre,” Gutfreund says, adding that her home province, Alberta, has plenty of other adventure cats around. But few pets can match Suki’s panache. With striking dark marks that evoke her wild ancestors — Bengal cats are descended from both Asian leopard cats and domestic cats — Suki was born to be a star. Gutfreund welcomed Suki into her life after a beloved cat from her childhood passed away. When she felt ready for a new pet, Gutfreund wanted a companion she could take along on outdoor photography trips. So she brushed up on how to raise an adventure cat, adopted Suki and began her. At first, she took baby steps. Gutfreund didn’t bring Suki outside until she was 3 months old, and had received all her shots. Instead, she worked indoors with Suki for 10 minutes at a time, using treats to reward her for good behavior. MORE: “I think the treats were the best motivation for her,” says Gutfreund. Before long, Suki was venturing outdoors, and while the natural world overwhelmed her at first — so many new sounds and scents! — she adapted quickly and loves being outside now. The photos on Suki’s Instagram account depict her confidence. Whether she’s perched on a canoe or overlooking a valley, Suki can strike a model-like pose almost anywhere. Gutfreund loves photographing her feline friend at the ethereal Lake Louise and Emerald Lake, both nestled in Canadian parks, but Suki herself has other preferences: desert settings. For example, she enjoys touring Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta’s badlands, a dry terrain that allows Suki to blend in among the burnt-orange rock formations. “She absolutely loves it there,” Gutfreund says. Suki has also traveled to the more glamorous desert city of Palm Springs, California, where Gutfreund captured a picture of her sitting atop a cherry-red convertible. An experienced photographer, Gutfreund originally posted Suki’s pictures to her own Instagram account, but she created an account exclusively for Suki after noticing how popular her feline’s photos were. “When I posted pictures of her, they would get twice the likes of my photos,” she laughs. So Suki was offloaded to a new account, and her fans followed. Gutfreund meticulously crafts each image she publishes: Once she’s selected a photo, she amplifies its beauty through editing tools like Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom, giving it a mystical quality. MORE: Though Suki usually appears without a leash on Instagram, she’s always wearing one when outdoors — Gutfreund simply removes it in Photoshop to achieve a cleaner image. Canada’s provincial and require animals to be leashed, and Gutfreund is committed to Suki’s safety. She encourages other owners of aspiring adventure cats to properly leash-train their pets before taking them outdoors. Once a cat is comfortable outside, owners should ensure their pets even on shorter adventures, Gutfreund advises. Suki herself is gearing up for the adventure of her lifetime: In August, Gutfreund is whisking her to Europe for six months. They’ll visit Gutfreund’s family in Germany and tour the rest of the continent too, snapping as many pictures as possible along the way. Suki has on planes before, and Gutfreund is confident she’ll handle Europe with ease. But while Suki is ready for Europe, there’s no way of telling whether Europe is ready for her. As Gutfreund points out, “People seem to still get pretty crazy about a cat on a leash.” Scroll through the gallery at the top to see more “ameowzing” photos of Suki, and keep up with all her adventures on . The post appeared first on .
July 03, 2018
Meet The Jenkinson Pack, the cutest collection of nature lovers you’ll ever see. The pack stars Quinn; Keshia; their 1-year-old daughter, Winter; and their three adventurous animals, Shasta the cat, Vera the rottie, and Winston the rottie mix. When they’re not enjoying life on their farm in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, this family is out…
October 04, 2017
By now, most of us have heard of the health benefits of owning a pet, including a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. But did you know that an animal companion can also improve your mental health? “Patients with psychiatric disorders seem to benefit from the presence of pets to reduce fear and anxiety,…
December 09, 2017
Salty Sea Cat is a 4-year-old, 20-pound Turkish Van who hails from the United Kingdom. He lives with his owners Berni and Andy Lockwood on Camargue, a 45-foot Bruce Roberts yacht. Sailing the high seas alongside Salty and his humans are Pippa the Springer Spaniel and Jib the goldfish. Pippa, or “Pip,” as she is…
February 27, 2018