Lumos is a lover of food, people, cuddles, attention and adventures and is one half of the inspiration behind Catexplorer.
He was adopted in 2017, along with his sister, Noxie.
Here is a little bit about Lumos and his journey.
Why did you decide to train Lumos to explore with you?
Lumos & Noxie spend majority of their time indoors in our apartment. However, Lumos absolutely LOVES going outside - either into our courtyard or into the corridor outside our apartment.
We didn't want to let Lumos & Noxie roam outside as outdoor cats who roam typically have a shorter lifespan, higher risk of injury and hunt wildlife. We also happen to live in an area, where many cats have gone missing recently (no idea why!).
I had previously trained my old family cat, Tabby, to walk on a harness. Initially our plan was just to walk them around our neighbourhood.
But while searching for harness options on Instagram, I discovered the #adventurecat hashtag, and the magic of the adventures cats can go on!
How did you train Lumos?
We started harness training Lumos from a young age.
However, we struggled to find kitten harnesses in Australia so his harness was rather large so we only kept him indoors till he grew into it.
We would just put the harness on him and he would go about his business. To be honest, it was relatively easy with him as he was not phased by it. (Noxie on the other had was the opposite!).
We would attach a leash to the harness when we were in the courtyard, so that he got used to walking with a leash.
We then slowly started taking him outside on the harness and he was a natural.
What about backpack training?
Backpack training was significantly harder than harness training!
This was mainly because we started it after they were a year old - probably bit too late.
We created a lot of positive reinforcement with the backpacks. Lumos loves food, so we started hiding treats in it and he would have to go get them. We also kept the backpack around his beds and toys so he became used to it.
What helped us the most was that we actually used the backpacks to carry our own things (like shopping etc). Lumos loves jumping in shopping bags so we thought he would do the same if we used them. And it worked!
What also worked was taking him on adventures in it. He loves sitting in the backpack, sticking his head out and watching the world go by.
What kind of cat adventures does Lumos go on?
He goes on a many different types: from holidays at farms, sunset walks on beaches, walks around parks and even just in the corridor in our apartment!
Which adventure is the most memorable?
Definitely our first adventure using the backpacks.
During that week we had really struggled with training them but we persevered.
And then finally we were able to take him & Noxie to a park in their backpacks and we had so much fun.
We even managed to catch the sunset over a river!
What has been the most rewarding part of exploring with your cat?
Seeing how much Lumos enjoys exploring new places.
And seeing the positive reaction from so many people. Everyone has been so lovely and wants to learn more.
What has been the hardest?
Definitely the training, from the harnesses to the backpacks. We've had good days and horrible days and weeks. Consistency is the key!
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
Starting backpack training when Lumos was a kitten.
And putting more effort into finding a kitten harness so that we could take him outside when he was younger.
Both of these would have helped with the positive reinforcement a lot earlier!
What advice would you give to other owners training their cats?
Definitely start training when your kitties are young, it makes it so much easier!
Follow Lumos on Instagram: @theadventuresoflumosandnox