The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats!

I am thrilled to welcome fellow Canadians Kayleen and Danielle of Bolt and Keel to the Montecristo Travels “special correspondent” series. A collection of interviews here on the blog that proves we are not the only ones “crazy” enough to travel the globe with our pet(s). It’s a growing trend and no longer quite so rare an occurrence.

We are building a community of people passionate about both their pets and travel. What IS RARE are travelling CATS! So we are extra super thrilled to welcome this team. So welcome WELCOME!

(Note: All photos are by Bolt and Keel and used with permission)

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats! For Montecristo Travels Blog

Bolt and Keel on a hike and enjoying a sunbeam… because cats!

First off can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? Who is who; do you have a basecamp town or country? How did you two find each other?

Danielle and I (Kayleen) found Bolt and Keel behind a garbage bin in a bush when hiking at a local park two years ago. Danielle and I are adventure buddies – both outdoor enthusiasts and take every chance we can get to get out hiking, canoeing, sailing, and rock climbing so when we found the kittens we knew we would have to take them to the local shelter, as they wouldn’t fit in with our lifestyles. The shelter was closed by the time we got there, so had no choice but to bring them with us on our already planned canoeing and backpacking trip into the mountains that weekend. They happily joined us on our adventure and we knew by the end of the weekend we couldn’t take them to the shelter anymore.

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats! For Montecristo Travels Blog

Bolt and Keel with their humans Kayleen and Danielle on calm waters!

How many countries have you two been so far? Do you have a favourite (I know that is such a tough question!) and where was it the biggest challenge and why?

We’ve been to two: Canada and the USA. We have so many wild places to explore here in Canada, we have so much to explore here still that we are in no rush to explore further with them.

I have to ask — what do you believe is the best part about having a pet with you while you travel? I know that for us, having a pet brings a variety of enhanced experiences; the most unexpected and best one is that we aren’t treated like tourists. People think we live there and so the entire “vibe” changes. We don’t feel targeted by the tourism industry.  What is your take?

One of our favourite parts of traveling with Bolt and Keel is it forces you to slow down and experience your journey in a different light. A cats’ curiosity is a contagious thing and is a refreshing reminder to enjoy what is around you, especially those giant sunbeams.

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats! For Montecristo Travels Blog

… and being ready for rain.

We know a lot about flying in-cabin with a small dog. Can you walk us through what it means to have cats travelling? You seem to favour water as a way to get around is that a challenge?

We’ve tried a lot of activities over the last two years with Bolt and Keel and with trial and error have found canoeing to be the best activity for everyone. The cats enjoy taking in the world as it passes by them while we do all the work. We do our best to listen to the cats’ body language to make sure they are enjoying themselves. Calm waters work the best.

People say cats are territorial and not ones to wander, obviously they are very wrong. What would you say to a person still hesitating? Are people’s concerns warranted? What is the big #1 tip you would like to share to make their lives easier when they set out for the first time?

Cats all have very different personalities; this isn’t for everyone and can often be much romanticized. Starting your cat out young definitely helps, as it becomes their new normal. We used to start Bolt and Keel out by carrying them in our jackets; eventually they would just jump out and join us on whatever adventure we were doing.

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats! For Montecristo Travels Blog

When the “hired help” is taking too long…

What have you learned about your cats on your journeys? Something you are convinced you would not know had you not taken this adventurous route.  For us, it was tapping into fearlessness. After hiking up Mount Zeus in Greece on all four paws (8 km round trip in one day) the three of us (because I always knew this about myself) know that being 8” off the ground is not an impediment to full out adventure travel. We learned not to underestimate endurance. What about you?

That they are capable of more than we would assume, sometimes it just takes a little patience for them to get there.

How do you choose where to go next? Do you feel boxed in or limited by having your cats as your travel partner?

There are definitely many limiting factors, including the litter box! But, we know what works for them and try to stick to it. We did decide to leave them with family when we sailed to Hawaii and back last summer.

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats! For Montecristo Travels Blog

Friends that travel together stay together!

Your photos are truly stellar. Any tips for taking a great shot when the subject is often small and the backdrop majestic? Do you have your favourite photo ever?

Thank you! My wide angle lens (11-16mm) has been extremely useful with Bolt and Keel. I have had a lot of fun capturing them in their elements while showing the beautiful surroundings. Best tips are: Get low on their level, use a quick shutter speed, and take lots of photos as one will hopefully work out! This one is one of my favourites, as the light was so perfect and we were all so relaxed just enjoying being out on the water. 

The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats!

Perfect light! Perfect shot!

Wish we had more time and I hope we meet up someday! THANK YOU so much for taking the time to chat with us today. I can’t wait to see where you are off to next and I assure we will continue to follow you! I love that you are showing the world that CAT travel is not only possible but kinda epic and not limited to RV’s and sailing!

Thanks very much, stay tuned for our upcoming book which is currently on pre-order on Amazon and Chapters comes out this October. You can follow our blog, Instagram and of course Facebook!

42 Comments on “The Best Interview With Bolt and Keel the Traveling Cats!

  1. Simply stunning photos. And beautiful kitties. How special it must be to get to share the adventures with them, rather than thinking that cats prefer staying home and have to miss out. Great interview! Thank you!

  2. We love meeting traveling cats. Maybe we’ll be lucky enough to meet Bolt and Keel in our travels.

    We met one cruiser in Panama who used to walk his cat on the sand bars near where he anchored his boat. And another cruiser in South Carolina who used to take his cat on dinghy rides.

    Honey always enjoys meeting adventure cats.

    • I love that there are felines on the road! I hope to meet them too! I LOVE CATS! and to meet some that have the same wanderlust as me? Epic!

  3. Thanks for sharing your adventures with Bolt and Keel. Too cool. Love the video clip and the stunning photos. They are quite the adventurers. Quick question: While watching the video the cats were hiking along on rough terrain and ice, how do you protect their paws? Or does the terrain/weather not even phase them?

    • Well they aren’t our cats – it’s an interview. but I do hope we get to meet them one day and go on a hike together.

  4. I enjoyed reading this post a lot. Not only are the photos stunning, but also how everything began (i.e. two cats rescued and taken canoeing) was so inspiring. Loving their hiking adventures.

  5. The cats are amazing and so are their people! The part about taking pictures and taking pictures and one brilliant one will come out is so true!!!

    The pictures are, quite simply, amazing!!!

  6. Well, color me impressed! I absolutely love this story and think these are two amazing kitties and two amazing humans!
    Bolt and Keel also look much like my recently passed Pumpkin who was quite the adventurer herself.

  7. I have thought about trying to travel with my orange tabby Merlin-he is just so easy going. I bought him a harness that I still need to try out. This inspires me and the photos are wonderful!

  8. I’ve aways been afraid to travel with my cats. Your video and photos are wonderful. You have given me something to think about.

  9. Thank you for the fun interview! The photos are stunning.

    I’ve been a fan of the adventure cats craze ever since I heard of it. I have the Adventure Cats book, have talked to its author, and read all the stories on the site. My one cat goes a few places with me; the others are home-bodies.

    But, even indoor cats can have adventures. My husband and I created a jungle gym for our pets earlier this month. We all had a blast! It’s all about enhancing everyone’s lives.

  10. We love Bolt & Keel! We’ve been following them on Instagram for years now. Great interview

    • Thanks! I stumbled upon them a year ago and wasn’t sure I should since my blog is more dog focused but then I realized nope…. it’s PET travel we are into. So we reached out and I am really glad they said yes!

  11. Oh my goodness! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful interview, I was unaware of Bolt & Keel up til now. What a great life they have!

  12. Adventure cats! Love it! Your pictures are great. I wish my cat Marty was an adventurer, but he definitely prefers the comfort of home. Thanks for sharing Bolt & Keel, looking forward to seeing more of their adventures!

    • This is an interview so … to follow them you’ll have to go to their own sites I mention at the bottom. I’m a big fan on their Instagram.

  13. It’s so good to see cats having such fun, active lives. I’ve read that these things are possible with cats but you don’t see many people walking their cats.

  14. Amazing to see such adventurous kitties! never know that this was a thing so im glad i discovered them due to this blog post.

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