There’s nothing wrong with a photo of an idle kitty, but any cat owner knows that the real Insta-gold is in the action. Not only does playing with your cat result in some awesome shots, but it’s also a good bonding experience and an easy way to let your cat’s personality shine. .

CAPTURE CURIOSITY

Cats are naturally curious. Use that to your advantage by capturing a moment of anticipation while they’re assessing a situation (or stalking prey). Sudden movements, like throwing a toy or shaking a string, are good ways to spark their curiosity. Think of this moment as the first shot in your action sequence before they make their move.

Another thing to keep in mind is when cats are excited, their pupils dilate. Try to highlight their facial features the moment before they pounce. Use a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field that’ll result in a soft, defocused background, drawing attention to your cat’s face.

Shot by Olympus User Gallery Contributor Lisa Constantino with an Olympus OM-D Camera | M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens | 1/50 sec | F2.8 | ISO200

TAP INTO THEIR NATURAL INSTINCTS

Cats are born with a hunting instinct, which means their toys can easily become prey. It’s important for them to get their energy out through play (and it’s even more entertaining to photograph).

Use their toys to tap into their innate desire to stalk, chase, and pounce! As they wrestle and roll around, continuous shooting modes and fast shutter speeds (1/125 sec or faster) will let you freeze the moment. If you’re indoors with low light, you may want to use a higher ISO setting so you can shoot with a faster shutter speed.

Shot by Olympus User Gallery Contributor Angela Schweishelm with an Olympus OM-D Camera | M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ Lens | 1/640 sec | F5 | ISO200

LET THEM COME TO YOU

Getting your cat to move around can be trickier to do on command. Choose a location with a good vantage point then try planting catnip or your cat’s favorite treats in the area to bring the subject to you.

If you’re trying to shoot from a unique perspective, use a camera with a tilting screen so you can easily capture low angle shots without crouching down. And remember, when capturing action shots using a fast shutter speed, you may need to widen your lens’ aperture setting to compensate for less light.

Shot by Olympus User Gallery Contributor Benjamin Golinvaux with an Olympus OM-D Camera | 1/1600 sec | F2.8 | ISO320

HEAR THEM ROAR

Cats don’t usually show all of their teeth, but when they do, it’s the perfect moment to transform your furry friend into a wild jungle cat. It might take a few tries to get the shot (since cats can’t yawn on command), but cameras with touchscreens that allow you to focus and shoot with a single touch make it easy to capture sharp shots every time.