toronto cat

This Instagram-famous cat explores Toronto on a leash just like a dog

It seems that everyone in Toronto has been going on daily walks since the pandemic started, including one adventure-seeking cat.

Gibson, an almost-two-year-old Tabby, sports his harness and leash as proudly as any puppy would, and people on Instagram are loving it.

toronto cat

Gibson and Sarah Olewski Klassen share a high-five mid-walk.

He is what is known as a "puppycat," domestic cats that take on many characteristics of young dogs. 

"He was never a cat to be contained," his owner, Sarah Olewski Klassen told blogTO. She and her husband Peter got Gibson when he was just two months old, and say it was clear that he was an adventure cat from a young age.

toronto cat

Gibson wears a harness and leash when in public.

"It kind of felt like he was born to be free, like he was born to be beyond the crate and beyond the house," she said.

Now, he walks Toronto streets like a true city dweller. Of course, it took a little bit of training to get him comfortable alongside cars and dogs. The couple began exposing Gibson to traffic noise and the outdoor world for ten minutes at a time and slowly increased these outings. 

toronto cat

A reflective harness makes Gibson more visible on walks.

"He led the way when it came to his comfort level. You can't make every cat into an adventure cat, but it is something that can be trainable in some capacity," said Sarah.

Fortunately for the Klassens, Gibson was a fast learner and took to the adventure life quickly. While he still enjoys many simple cat pleasures, he's like a puppy in more ways than one.

toronto cat

Gibson is a two-year-old grey Tabby cat.

"He's this cat that walks on the leash, shamelessly does his business outside, plays fetch and goes for car rides with his head out the window," said Sarah.

While he walks alongside dogs outside, Gibson knows to go onto his owners' backpack if he feels unsafe. 

toronto cat

Gibson often rides on top of his owner Peter Klassen's backpack.

"When he rides on top of the backpack, he feels like he is untouchable, which is a really, really good thing because one time we were launched at by a dog and Gibson remained calm," said Sarah.

toronto cat

Sarah Olewski Klassen and her cat Gibson seen by the CN Tower.

The rarity of domestic cats strolling Toronto streets has made Gibson popular amongst his Instagram followers. His profile features photos at the Distillery District, CN Tower and Kensington Market, amongst others.

Sarah told blogTO that she always wanted to have an adventure cat, but never imagined it being Instagram famous. 

toronto cat

Gibson on a trip to Niagra Falls.

"To be honest, we created our Instagram account because I know that I get obsessive about my fur-children. And I know that my friends don't always care to see that or be a part of it," she said.

With Peter in charge of most of Gibson's photography, Sarah was able to learn some basic editing, and Gibson's Instagram took off. 

"I still to this point don't feel like we are Instagram famous. We just love the community and how amazing it is. I think that a lot of us in this community really do a good job in supporting one another," she said.

toronto cat

Sarah Olewski Klassen leaning in for a kiss from her beloved cat.

To share more resources and tips with her community, Sarah started her own blog, The Gibson Chronicles, where she writes about her favourite cat gear and training tips.

The trio plans to continue going on their adventures and sharing their stories with the city.

Photos by

The Gibson Chronicles


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

10 unique and unusual volunteer opportunities in Toronto right now

How a historic mansion in Toronto became a home for those in need

Toronto neighbourhood is tired of all the overnight construction noise

This is what it was like to work in Toronto 150 years ago

Toronto businesses call for scientific evidence proving why they need to be closed

Here's the full list of items you can't buy at Dollarama during Ontario's latest lockdown

How to book COVID vaccine shots in Toronto and rules for those 18 and over

Data shows Toronto's residents of colour have way more run-ins with TTC fare inspectors