Take your cat on an adventure in NYC

It’s time to make memories with your cat. And no, you don’t have to see “Cats” on Broadway or even sit through that song to make it happen.

On a sunny Monday morning in Central Park, a dog headed down a hill towards a crowd of pets basking in the grass halted to a stop. The four-pawed creatures sprinting around on leashes and rolling under the trees were not, in fact, canine pals, but their avowed archenemies: cats. Though a bit off-brand, these cats were harnessed and leashed, easily mistakable for a local lap dog, ready to break cat stereotypes and have some feline fun under the sun.

Adventure Cats is a website founded on the belief that cats (who get a seriously bad and inaccurate rep, according to co-founder Laura Moss) can and should enjoy outdoor activities — everything from hiking to climbing to camping to just basking near the Jackie O. Reservoir.

Moss, who has two cats, explained that some cats are more comfortable outdoors than others. One key to getting them used to a harness and leash is to start them young and provide treats and incentives while getting the cat comfortable in its new clothing. Cats are naturally outdoor animals and before the invention of the litter box (circa 1947, according to the New York Times), it wasn’t unusual for cats to spend substantive time outdoors.

To encourage New Yorkers to leash up their cats and venture out into the big city, Purina Pro Plan and Adventure Cats have teamed up to declare June 15 National Take Your Cat on an Adventure Day. To prepare for the big day, check out pics from this cat meet-up in Central Park — no dogs allowed.