Peanut is a natural catexplorer, who has only been adventuring since March 2018!
Peanut loves snuggling, snacking and sneaking.
She's a big fan of doing cat stuff like playing fetch (it's not just for dogs you know), wrestling around with her toys or our arms, or going for outdoor adventures.
What are Peanut's favourite things?
Peanut loves it when her daddy gives her tuna juice or her mommy gives her Greenies treats.
Her favourite toys are her catnip filled pizza slices and her ball.
What kind of adventures does Peanut love?
Peanut likes it best when she's off leash and exploring in the back yard, but has unfortunately lost that privilege recently because of a few escape attempts.
So we've been going over to the coulees by our house where she can sneak around in the long grass, sniff wildflowers and work on her endurance.
We also have a small wetland park near our house, and that's always exciting because there are so many birds to keep her attention.
We live very close to the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and have gone for a few adventures out there: walking along the shore of Barrier Lake, mountain biking at Bow Valley Wildland Provincial Park, and exploring in different parts of Kananaskis.
Tell us about your most memorable adventure
All of our adventures are memorable in their own way, but probably our visit to Barrier Lake was the most memorable because it was her first really big adventure in the big mountains.
She did some leash walking, hitched a ride in the backpack, met a few doggos and some humans who thought it was pretty cool to see a kitty out in the mountains.
Why did you decide to train Peanut to be a catexplorer?
I want Peanut to have the best kitty life she can have. Lots of love, food, water, and fun.
Kitties love the outdoors, but don't often get the chance to spend time outside anymore. I want her to be able to smell the smells of outside, chase bugs, and enjoy the sunshine on her back.
How did you train Peanut?
We started out with getting used to the harness in the house, then learning how to leash walk in the house (food was a great motivator - walk a few steps, praise with love and snacks, repeat).
After she built up her skill on the leash, and just generally getting used to it, I opened the door to the world outside. I let her decide when she was ready to go out, and how far she wanted to go, and for how long she wanted to go.
It was short periods of time at first, but now she loves it outside, and would probably spend all day out there if she could. She's now becoming really good at walking on the leash, and can handle longer distances. Right now we're working on building endurance for longer adventures.
What has been the most rewarding part of having a catexplorer?
Just knowing that you're giving your kitty an opportunity to live a full life.
It's fun to go outside with your pet, and enjoy your time with them out there.
One of the best things, though, is bumping into people on your travels. They love seeing a kitty on a leash.
What has been the hardest?
When you are training, you want them to move along faster, but they don't. Kitties definitely don't move out there like doggos do!
I push her a bit, but I also want her to trust me, and have fun and enjoy her time out there, so we just take life at Peanut's pace out there.
I'd like to take her on longer hikes, but she is very curious and would rather not be in the backpack. I'd love for her to chill out in the backpack longer so we can cover the ground we need to cover, then explore for a while once we've reached our destination, but we'll just have to hold off on taking her on those longer adventures for now.
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
I feel pretty comfortable with the approach I've taken, so I can't really think of anything for this.
What advice would you give other humans training their catexplorers?
Be prepared to take it slowly.
Let your kitty get used to things bit-by-bit so it isn't an overly overwhelming experience for them when they finally get outside and get going.
Make sure you have a good harness, and a long leash to give your kitty the freedom to explore.
Praise them a lot, give them time to check stuff out, and enjoy your time with them.
Is there another Catexplorer that inspires you?
Follow Peanut on Instagram (@prettylittleprincesspeanut)