Cat-ching up with Instagram cat Marley

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28 September 2021
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Your Cat asks all about Marley

Instagram name: @marleycatexplorer

Followers: Nearly 4,000.

Name: Marley.

Age: 2 years old.

Favourite treat: Chicken goujons.

Favourite thing to do: Go on adventures or sun himself on the sofa when not on adventures.

Favourite toy: Four-way tunnel.

Q) Tell us all about how you first met Marley...

A) I saw an advert for Marley in the summer of 2019 while living at home in Kent, just before permanently moving to Cardiff. I put down a deposit and travelled to somewhere near Birmingham to collect him. When I first met Marley, his blue eyes and distinct markings really stood out. He wasn’t shy and had ounces
of confidence.

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Q) It looks like Marley loves to explore! Where is his favourite place to visit?

A) Before we moved, his favourite place to explore used to be Bute Park. However, now, Marley’s favourite places to go are either by the stream or into the woods.

Q) When did Missy and Maisie join your family, and do they all get on well?

A) Maisie joined our family a couple of months after Marley, and Missy joined in August last year towards the end of the first lockdown. Getting more kittens was probably one of the best decisions we made, especially for Marley, as they all love each other lots; they eat, sleep and play together and, of course, go on adventures together.

Q) How easy was it to train them all to walk on a harness, and do you have any advice for someone wanting to do the same?

A) When we got Marley, he was already harness trained so the rest was pretty easy, especially as he loves the outdoors and is fairly confident. With the other two
it took a bit of work but we are getting there. There are some really helpful communities online such as Cat Explorer Community.

There’s videos, podcasts, books, and blogs that are extremely helpful and go into a lot of detail. Some useful tips that I share would be:

  • Start off by getting your cat used to the harness indoors and reward them for wearing the harness. Then once they’re OK with this, try attaching the leash indoors and slowly progress to the garden or a quiet outdoor space if you do not have a garden.
  • Patience and persistence are key. Be patient with your cat — this is new to them and you. Remember they are not dogs so don’t expect them
    to react to the training like a dog. Positive reinforcement does seem to work really well. Keep going over the training regularly so your cat doesn’t forget it.
  • Be very aware of off leash dogs. There are campaigns online to make dog owners aware that people do take their cats outside. This is why backpacks are a good idea. It is a safeplace for your cat when they are out and about.
  • Don’t care about what other people think. You’re doing this to enrich your cat’s life and because you enjoy it. So what if some people think you look silly or it's 'crazy cat lady behaviour'? You and your cat(s) are enjoying yourselves and enriching your lives.
  • Do your homework/research — there’s so much to learn about taking your
    cat outside.

Q) They all look so well behaved when they’re out and about, but do they get up to mischief at home?

A) They are all very well behaved when they are out and are definitely mischief makers when they’re at home. They enjoy zoomies and pulling things over such as the house plants and kitchen chairs in the process. They all enjoy sitting at the windows watching the birds and making noises to them, trying to lure them in. I have a few videos of this on Marley’s page. But they are generally well behaved at home too.