6 min read

Rescue Cat Loves Rock Climbing With New Family

He has no fear 🙊

When Sandra Samman decided to adopt a cat, she knew she wanted one who shared her love for adventure, and could keep up with her fast-paced, outdoorsy lifestyle. When she met Denali, she immediately knew he fit the role — but had no idea just how adventurous he really was, or how much he would love rock climbing with his new family. 

Denali and his littermates were rescued from a barn in New Mexico and brought to Foothills Animal Shelter in Colorado. The 2-month-old kitten had only been at the shelter for a few days before his new mom found him, and she immediately knew he was meant to be a member of her family. 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

“He is extremely curious, has an adventure spirit which I noticed right away at the shelter and knew he would be a great fit,” Samman told The Dodo. “He is brave and not at all shy, timid or scared. If he enters a new place he walks around like he owns it.” 

Samman became an avid rock climber after a trip through Southeast Asia; she spends a lot of time climbing at the rock climbing gym as well as outdoors. From the very beginning, Denali wanted to be with his mom all the time, going wherever she goes, so she started bringing him to the climbing gym, and was amazed by how much he loved it. 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

“Sometimes he follows me up the boulder problems,” Samman said. “Sometimes I put him in his pack and let the kids take him up climbs; they love it! People literally lose their minds. Everyone loves it and can’t believe it. People are so used to only seeing the doggos, so seeing a kitty is a wonder! When kids see him, they get so excited — we love this. We love spreading kitty joy and wonderment!”

At this point, Denali is a local celebrity at the rock climbing gym, and is always welcome whenever his family stops by. He loves hanging out with the kids and saying hello to everyone … 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

… as well as dabbling in a little climbing of his own. 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

While the rock climbing gym is a lot of fun, what Denali really loves is going on adventures outdoors. He and his family have been climbing all over Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, Wyoming and Kentucky, and plan to conquer many more states in the future. 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

Whenever he comes across a new mountain or crag (climbing area), he immediately begins to climb … 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

… eager to explore the world around him and make his family proud. 

Instagram/denaligato

“He does a bit of both, his own climbing and adventuring up cliff faces and trees, then in my pack which he also loves,” Samman said. “He hangs out taking in the scenery; sometimes a groom session starts while I’m climbing. When we are up and he can’t see the ground, he does not even squirm or try to get out of the pack.” 

rock climbing cat
Instagram/denaligato

Denali always gets SO excited when Samman takes out his harness, signaling that it’s time to head out for more exploring and fun. He’s been with his family for around two years now and has enjoyed every single moment. 

You can follow Denali and all of his rock climbing adventures on his Instagram account