We asked his mum, Alexay to tell us all about them.
Tell us the story about how Benny came into your family.
I got Benny from a Scottish Fold breeder in LA.
He was 10 weeks when I picked him up. Wanting to avoid a traumatic solo airplane ride, I opted to drive 14 hours from Oregon to pick him up.
It's funny what we do for the ones we love :)
Tell us the story behind Benny's name?
I'm a dentist and own a family practice in Albany, OR. It's pretty comical, but I have an unhealthy obsession with donuts. I've tried them all. Patients bring them in for me.
Hands down, my favorite is Benny's Donuts in Corvallis. They bake the best vegan donuts around!
When I knew I was getting a catexplorer, EVERYONE (patients, staff, family) said you have to name him Benny. I never looked back.
What kind of adventures do you & Benny go on?
We live in Oregon. I've always been an outdoorsy girl. I love it all.
But with my lifestyle, I'm gone too much to have a dog right now.
Enter Benny the Catexplorer!!! :)
We love trail running. We love going on hikes. Benny even loves the coast.
Recently I've been teaching him to swim at Trillium Lake.
He definitely has a love/hate relationship with water, but we're making improvement!
Maybe some day he'll be a surfin' kitty!
Tell us about your most memorable adventure.
Benny is only 13 weeks old.
Easily our most memorable adventure was his first. I took him to Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City to check out the sand dunes.
It's nature's litter box!! :)
Not knowing what to expect, I was nervous. On a nice day, the cape is usually packed. I worried that between the children and ocean, it might be a disaster.
That aside, I chose that spot because it had few spots where Benny could bolt & never be found.
To my surprise, he did fantastic!
While he was definitely the only kitten at the beach, everyone was so kind & accepting. Every kid wanted to hold and pet him. He stayed right by me while we explored the dunes.
I could never have predicted how well that day went. That experience will forever be one of my favorites.
How did you train Benny?
I get this question a lot. I actually recently addressed this topic on Benny's Instagram!
Honestly, I got pretty lucky. Benny's made for adventure.
I will say, when I first got him he was terrified of everything.
Sure, new place...new people...but he acted like he had never been held. He wasn't well socialized whatsoever. He fears abandonment.
The most vital part of Benny's training has been teaching that I'll give attention, but not because he whines for it.
I always wait until he's quiet to give into what he wants. It's really hard!
Being consistent...being patient...realizing it takes time, is key.
Fishy treats to reinforce good behavior are also helpful :)
Once I figured out his unique needs, I realized bringing Benny on runs & hikes was pretty ideal for him.
Weighing in at 2lbs, Benny is too small currently for most harnesses. I have yet to leash him, but let me clear...even if your cat always comes when called, accidents happen.
Play it safe and keep your pet on a leash.
I've worked around his size issue by getting him a cat backpack to ride in.
Again, I'm lucky. He'll explore, but he's always mindful of where I am. When I run, he keeps up. Where I go, he follows. He doesn't want to be left alone.
Talk about weaknesses becoming strengths!
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
This is pretty embarrassing, but make sure your kitty is up to date on vaccinations, flea/tick, and heartworm treatments!
I was so excited to get Benny's paws in the dirt, I totally spaced treating him for fleas.
We both paid for that error the following day. Ouch.
What advice would you give other humans training their catexplorers?
Not all cats are cut out to be catexplorerss...and that's OK!
Assess your kitty's personality. If you think it's a go, start training ASAP.
Learn from me, and make sure to bring plenty of water for both you AND your catexplorer.
It's easy to become dehydrated. Don't rely on rivers or streams along the trail as a source of water unless you also bring a filter or purifying tablets.
Also, back to the lovely topic of fleas/ticks...even though Benny is properly treated, I still carry tweezers & a tick key just in case. I'm not dealing with those little guys ever again.
Follow Benny on Instagram (@bennytheadventurecat)