The Rise of Adventure Cats - Lilly Brush
Lilly Brush

The Rise of Adventure Cats

Simple Beginnings

Deep in the Canadian Rockies, a fluffy Maine Coon named Bodhi (bodhi_theadventurecat) proudly sits at the front of a cayenne-red kayak, perusing the waters. Somewhere not too far away, domestic longhair Gary (greatgramsofgary) power naps peacefully on a boulder overlooking the lake. 

Bodhi and Gary are two unique individual cats with a common dream: adventure. These daredevils partake in a growing and ongoing trend known as “adventure cats,” a lifestyle in which domestic cats are introduced to the great outdoors in pursuit of grand adventure. 

Adventure cats and their humans have hundreds of thousands of followers online– so what makes them so special? What sets adventure cats apart? 

These so-called “adventure cats” across Instagram have been on the rise for years now, their social-media origins beginning around 2013-2014, when introduced to the internet by Stephen Simmons. Simmons, an Iraq War veteran, found peace in the great outdoors with his cat Burma, and is likely the first to use the term “adventure cat.” With the further boom of social media, adventure cats’ following continues to grow, especially now with the rise of apps like TikTok. 

In 2015, was launched by pet behaviorist Laura Moss. The site gained popularity quickly, and was nominated in 2016 for a People’s Voice Webby Award. One of the most popular and foundational articles on the site, 3 Essential Steps to Make Your Cat an Adventure Cat, walks new adventure cat enthusiasts through the beginning stages of training your cat to become an adventurer. 

Bodhi enjoying paddle boarding, courtesy of @bodhi_theadventurecat

The Adventure Lifestyle 

Adventure comes in many forms– some cats are “meowntaineers” (pun fully intended), while some are surfers, and others even take to the slopes. Simply search the hashtag #adventurecats on Instagram, and you’ll find hundreds of thousands of results! The diversity of outdoor activity is unparalleled: some adventure cats enjoy a simple hike, while others are bouldering fanatics. 

For example, Gary (greatgramsofgary) not only enjoys napping on the lake, but he also loves skiing with his human! With the proper safety gear, Gary is able to ride on his human’s shoulders down the mountain. The video clips on his Instagram profile are joy-filled and loads of fun to watch! Lilly Brush recently had the opportunity to interview Gary and his human, which you can find in our article 6 Things You Should Know Before Adopting a Cat

Gary the Cat with his snow goggles, courtesy of @greatgramsofgary

Domestic Housecat to Grand Adventurer

Many adventure-cat owners have cautioned against forcing one’s cat into the adventure life. A significant portion of cats aren’t remotely interested in the adventure life, and some are simply not up to the physical strains of the lifestyle. On the other hand, some cats are natural-born adventurers, and love exploring the outdoors. Not all cats are the same! Regardless of whether your cat is an adventurer or not, they’re still one of the fluffy, loveable creatures we care for so much. 

If you’re new to the adventure cat world, and are interested in training your cat to become an “adventure cat,” it’s generally advised to begin with simple, small tasks. Most adventurers recommend starting off by letting your cat into your backyard or taking your cat on short neighborhood walks (with a harness!)  to see how they react before trying anything else. Laura Moss’s article 3 Essential Steps to Make Your Cat an Adventure Cat is a great place to look if you’re starting from scratch! 

If you’re not looking to train your own cat, and would rather just enjoy the loads of web content at your fingertips, Instagram is the best place to start. Simply search the hashtag #adventurecats, and let the adventure begin!