Instatraveller: Globetrotting Cats Bolt & Keel

April 12, 2017 by Tessa Watkins

Travelling cats @BoltandKeel have gone from rags to riches fast; from unwanted kittens to grown-up felines who have the world as their oyster (and we all know how much cats love fish). It’s not always nice when you find out some friends have travelled more than you, but when they’re this cute and fluffy, it’s hard to stay mad for long. For this month’s Instatraveller segment, we catch up with Kayleen VanderRee – from Victoria in British Columbia, Canada – about the pair’s rise to fame:

Bolt & Keel in rain macs – Kayleen's favourite picture of the pair (image: Kayleen VanderRee)

Bolt & Keel in rain macs – Kayleen’s favourite picture of the pair (image: Kayleen VanderRee)

So, how did it all begin?

The story of Bolt and Keel began when we found them as one-month-old kittens in a bush behind a garbage bin in a local park. The shelter was closed by the time we got there, so we had no choice but to bring them on our already planned multi-day adventure.

Where did the names come from?

We named them after our favourite activities, rock climbing and sailing.

A post shared by Bolt and Keel (@boltandkeel) on

What’s your favourite image and why?

This recent photo (see top) of Bolt and Keel on a local hike in Victoria. It’s our new favourite because it shows Bolt and Keel’s personalities.

Which destination has worked best?

We did a four-day trip on the Sunshine Coast, BC. We canoed and camped on the lakes, hiked on the Sunshine Coast Trail, and stayed in a quaint cabin in the town of Lund.

A post shared by Bolt and Keel (@boltandkeel) on

How many countries have Bolt and Keel visited, and do you have a favourite place you have visited?

Bolt and Keel have been to two countries, Canada and USA. We live on Vancouver Island, which is full of opportunities to explore. Most of our adventures are local and we still have so much more to explore.

Do they have a favourite activity?

Keel’s favourite activity is hiking, he can keep up a mean pace on the trail. Bolt is a little bit lazier, and prefers canoeing as he likes to watch the world go by.

A post shared by Bolt and Keel (@boltandkeel) on

What’s the reaction been like to your photographs and the Instagram account?

The story of Bolt and Keel has captured the attention of adventurers and cat lovers all over the world. Bolt and Keel’s instagram account, @boltandkeel, quickly took off and now has over 65K followers.

What’s the next adventure?

We have lots of local trips this summer, including a trip down to Washington in the US. We also have a week-long canoe trip planned later this summer around British Columbia, in celebration of Canada’s 150 years.

A post shared by Bolt and Keel (@boltandkeel) on


Inspired by Bolt and Keel? Plan your USA or Canada adventure today – make an appointment with one of our Travel Experts to start planning your holiday.


You might also like:

Instatraveller: Eric the Globetrotting Stormtrooper

Instatraveller: a Fleet of Travelling Cars

About Tessa Watkins

Formerly a local news editor and reporter covering court cases and crime stories, I’m obsessed with all things travel. Often found exploring a new city and seeking out the world’s best beaches, there are a plethora of destinations I remain desperate to discover. Tweet me @tess1977