A YouTuber who has travelled the world wants cat parents to ‘do more and better with their cats’.
He’s taken his ‘brave’ and ‘curious’ feline to places including Mexico, Arizona, Greece, and the Pyrenees.
Albert Colominas, 35, who currently lives in New York, USA, has taken his two-year-old Bengal cat, Mia, on adventures around the globe – travelling by plane, boat, and car.
The senior brand manager from Barcelona taught Mia tricks, such as sitting, rolling over, waiting for food, and jumping onto his shoulder or through his arms.
Albert wants to help people to ‘enrich their cats’ lives’ and teaches owners how to better communicate with their pets on his social media.
He said: ‘This is all about helping people understand the raw nature of their cat and helping people give the freedom that cats appreciate having, without pushing them too much.’
Albert grew up always wanting a cat but not being allowed one – he’s also allergic to them. When the pandemic hit, however, he decided it was finally time.
‘I moved to the US; my life was a big mess. My dad passed, my girlfriend dumped me, there was a lot of work, and then Covid happened. I was all over the place,’ he recalled.
‘I was living in a tiny apartment near Manhattan, and I thought, I’m heading on a downward spiral and I need to do something about it, so I decided to get a cat.’
After visiting an allergist, Albert learned that Bengal cat breeds are hypoallergenic.
He contacted a breeder and, six weeks later, picked up his beloved cat, Mia, who he named after Mia Wallace, a fictional character played by the actress Uma Thurman in the popular 1994 Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction.
They have a strong bond and began venturing outdoors once coronavirus restrictions eased in the summer of 2020.
Describing her first walk, Albert said: ‘I could see her tail was up, (and) she was smelling everything.
‘I thought, she’s definitely enjoying this, and little by little I started pushing her boundaries and seeing how far we could go.
‘One day I saw myself doing a road trip with her around Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico.
‘Then we moved together to the Virgin Islands, and I was walking her there, and that proved that she loved the outdoors, that she could go walking with me on a leash, and that we could go almost anywhere.’
Albert later started a YouTube channel, Albert & Mia, the Adventure Bengal Cat, to showcase what they get up to – and he’s also now designed his own harness for cats.
He explained: ‘It’s not like I’m trying to train a circus cat. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m not just asking her to do all these cute things for the sake of it.
‘What I realised is that, when I train her, she learns to pay attention to what I’m saying, and I learn to read her cues… so I think that training goes way beyond the trick that you’re teaching them.
‘It’s more about your ability to understand and communicate with them.’
Albert said, if people want to go on adventures with their cats or teach them tricks, a slow and steady approach is vital.
‘When I started taking Mia out, I thought, I’m taking her out on a leash because I want her to enjoy being outside, I want her to be able to embrace being outdoors,’ he said.
‘So, because it was about her and not about me, I started very slow, and I gave her as much freedom or as many challenges as she was willing to take.’
Before venturing out into the world, a cat needs to be comfortable around people, dogs and kids, and in a range of situations.
‘When all that happens, you can take them to an airport and they’re not going to freak out,’ added Albert.
‘They’ve been exposed to all of these separately, and then when you combine it, it’s just a bunch of stimuli that they are already used to.’
He plans to keep taking Mia on his trips around the globe, proving cat lovers can bring their pets on adventures just like dog people.
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