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post #2 of Old 05-11-2003
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Cats on Board

Here is an old thread about cats on boats. It does not address what happens when you go into foriegn ports.

Cat Calls
Help- I took the cat out sailing: feline that is….
This spring on top of moving and selling our house, my wife and I was adopted by a two year old tabby cat. Tonight Laurie and I took Rosebud (What else do you call a cat when you have boat named for a type of rose bush) sailing. She was fine on the reaches but as soon as we started to beat she headed for a dark corner of the cabin and began to hyper-ventilate until she tossed dinner. Granted it was blowing over 15 and we were thrashing into a short chop. She seemed to be fine on beam and broad reaches; even coming on deck to tourist a bit. Do any of you sail with cats? Is this even close to normal? Is there anything you do like a kitty patch or accu-kitty-band? We had hoped she would take to sailing like an old sea dog (if you''ll pardon the expression). With our long cruise of the season coming at us we are really quite concerned. Thanks

Our Siamese cat, Joshua Slocum, has been sailing with us for 15 years and he still "blows lunch" in rough conditions. He even does it when at anchor or at home, or anywhere. As Peggy said above, cats throw up. Josh usually just lays on the settee over the engine most of the time when sailing. When it gets rough, he will find a place out of the way. Your Rosebud sounds pretty normal, especially considering that this was his first time out. Josh seems to be doing better in his old age, when he was young he would get so sick he would foam at the mouth. His vet said to give him an eighth of a drammine if we like. I suggest checking with your vet, though, before you give your cat any kind of medicine. There were certain types of sea-sick meds that the vet said we should avoid because of our cat''s particular medical condition.

You needn''t worry about your cat as some get sick some don''t,same as us. Of our two cats only one gets sick and thats only occasionaly.We have been out in 40knts with gusts to god knows what with no problems exept a little mess from food and water bowls flying around the cabin(we wern''t planning on wind like that).The key we,found was a hidey hole just for them to go whenever it got scary. Like us,when asleep seasicknes is not realy a problem.Its only when we try to move around we get realy sick.we left a hole in the settee front and leave that locker empty exept for their sheepskin.They come out happy and usaly hungry when we arrive at our destination.When the weather is nice they are great company and when it''s not they are out of the way and safe. Losing them overboard while on anchor is a bigger worry,we have had one go over so far and beleive me the buggars can swim fine, he just kept circling the boat looking for a way up. I suggest you try hanging a peice of carpet over the stern or a platform suspended from the stern with carpet hanging in the water if water rats are a worry. Any other questions please don''t hesitate to email me direct, my mother in-law owns a boarding cattery for around 90 cats and can answer most questions on the vet side of things."A ship is not a ship without the ships cat". I know it''s not a saying yet but who knows, if there are more cats going sailing?.........................KEN

I used to sail with a moggie, and my sister sails with her two geriatric Siamese. The throwing up may not be motion related, but quite routine. Most cats take to boats quite well (except for spray). They are better once they are assured that this is a normal type activity. Try again. If the cat really hates the boat, it will make this perfectly apparent! A harness is useful, if cat goes on deck - cats are by no means as good at getting their sea-legs as they think they are!

Tossing and beating may not be connected (Peggie Hall/Peal Products)
I have 2 geriatric Siamese--#s 5 & 6 in a long line that''s lasted nearly 30 years...cats throw up--their dinner, hair balls, and
apparently just for the hell of it (my next carpet color is gonna be "Cat Chow tan!"). The noise they sometimes make when
they''re getting ready to do it can sound like hyperventilating, but it may only be the feline equivilant of "sticking your finger
down your throat"... If the cat was fine afterward when you tacked back onto beam or broad reaches, I wouldn''t worry about
it--yet. Try her again and see what happens.

You obviously need a CATamaran
Posted By: Brian Grant <>
In Response To: Tossing and beating may not be connected (Peggie Hall/Peal Products)

The poor cat has lived it''s entire life on solid ground, now these two huge non-cat''s but not dogs who provide food and fuss start turning the world on it''s ear.

our cat

Posted By: captkeywest <>
Date: 8/25/99 8:22 a.m.

is named "Sharkbait" or "Sharks'' for short, he is quite comfortable on our sailboats. Not always, maybe every third or fourth trip, anyway, we are not surprised if he tosses in the first hour, but thats usually it, wether we are out for a day a week or a month.

Cats are sure footed and do well on boats, we will be out under sail and every now and then Sharks will jump up and walk the bowrail (we don''t want to distract him !) but the carpet is a good idea so the cat can get back aboard.

Cats like fish eyeballs so the next nice food fish you catch you might want give your cat a treat and pop out an eyeball with your filet knife. (if you are squeamish you might not want to listen to the sounds made while the cat chews the larger ones) Whaattt you don''t give your cats
treats from the filet table - no wonder they don''t like the boat ! Fish bones are supposed to be bad for cats so try to keep any treats from the filet table boneless.

Sailing with cats

Posted By: BobG
Date: 8/25/99 9:13 a.m.
We do not live with a cat, but 2 of our close sailing friends do. They always take their cats (or the cats take them) on their annual sailing vacation - usually to Maine.

They seem to be fine when the boats are at rest, or moving smoothly, but get quite upset when things get rough. They have not adjusted to sailing over the years. On one occassion, we were motor sailing through Glouster harbor. Our boat was behind one with a cat. As we passed a fish cannery, the cat wafted in the aroma of fish and promptly leaped off of the bow in the direction of the dock, which was much too far away to be reached by any super-cat. Once launched, the cat realized its mistake and tried to reverse course. It was like watching a "Felix, the Cat" cartoon. Of course, without the aid of the cartoonist, gravity took over and Felix hit the water.

The captain, at the helm, seeing this, yelled to his mate (below) to take the wheel and proceeded to hang over the side in an attempt to scoop up the cat as the boat moved forward. He hung out too far and fell into the water, but managed to grab the cat.

About this time, his mate came up from below, looked around, saw nothing, and yelled, "What''s going on?" She then grabbed the wheel, saw what had happened, and started to come about. From our boat behind we yelled for her to keep going, we would pick up the 2 who had "jumped ship". They scrambled into the dinghy we were towing and the story had a happy ending.

Over the years, the cats provided material for many more stories. But that''s enough for now. And by the way, neither of our friends take their cats with them on sailing vacations any more - or maybe the cats just refuse to go.

Cat hair balls, cat hairballs (sung to the tune of jingle bells)

Posted By: JeffR <>
Date: 8/25/99 8:38 a.m.

(from the Ren and Stimpy Christmas CD)

We have to cats and I agree they hurl on a regular basis. The siamese does it much more often than the black one. The siamese sheds like crazy and I think the amount of hair they swallow directly correlates to how often the hurl up those hairballs (look more like hair logs).

What I want to know is why do they always find the newest and or lightes piece of carpet or furniture to hurl onto? I do not think I have ever seen one hurl on hardwoods, tile or linoleum. I have seen them jump up onto the couch to do it.

I don''t have any interest in taking them sailing, but that did not prevent one of them from hurling on my boat cushions. I left them out in the sun room after they had just come back from the cleaners. Of course they couldn''t resist!

Hurling cats
Posted By: Gail R. <>
Date: 8/25/99 9:28 a.m.

My part-Siamese came into the house the other day and proceeded to hurl in practically every room. He hurled on the couch and on a beautiful throw my folks gave me for Xmas, then on the living room carpet. He then headed down the carpeted hallway and hurled there. I managed to head him off at the pass before he reached the bedroom. His last hurrah was on the kitchen linoleum, which surprised me. Like JeffR''s feline, he prefers to hurl on either upholstry or carpet. He will often do this immediately after eating, which makes me wonder if he has some sort of feline eating disorder that might require a kitty shrink!
All joking aside, the change in environment may played a part; perhaps once the cat is used to the new surroundings, he/she might be more comfortable. You may want to limit you cat''s food intake a few hours before you go sailing, and whatever you do, don''t let kitty eat grass before you put him/her on the boat. Grass eating guarantees hurling! Your vet may have additional pointers. We don''t take either of our cats sailing for a couple reasons. Both are part-Siamese, and the black one is especially vocal. He''d drive everyone crazy. The white one (he''s the hurler) sheds like there''s no tomorrow and we wouldn''t be able to keep up with all the hair. We hire a pet-sitter to take care of them while we''re cruising.
I hate my wife''s two cats...

Posted By: ct
Date: 8/25/99 10:55 a.m.
the other day I reached for my wallet on a table behind the couch and one of the damn cats had hurled on I guess the feelings are mutual. Science Diet has a new food out that is suppose to aid in digestion to help eliminate fur balls. Should be worth a try. I personally think the cats take pride in their furball creations.

Apre meal hurling

Posted By: LaDonna <>
Date: 8/25/99 1:36 p.m.
Ok, I have THREE cats and was a pet sitter & volunteered at the Humane Society so I''ve picked up a few things. When cats vomit just after eating, it can be either a problem with the food or that cat is particularly "blocked" with hair, not allowing the food to digest. I have one cat for whom this is a particular problem but I have the fortune to have the only considerate cat on the planet apparently. If she''s on a piece of furniture (couch, desk, antique, etc) she consideratly leans over the edge so it lands on my hardwood floors. Not always of course but most of the time. I''ve only had a problem on the bed once. Pretty good for three monsters!

Rob is particulary fond of my part siamese and wanted to take her to his boat once. I told him (after much argument) ok but no sailing. Get her used to the boat first. She hid in the vberth all day and only came out when I was sitting in the salon. Then she curled up in my lap & hid her head under my arm. Poor kitty! She also happens to be the only one of the three with a tendency to pee when unhappy with a situation. Great choice to take to the boat! Luckily, we avoided that calamity.

If your new kitty tends to puke a lot, there are hairball medicines which most cat (although, mine hate it of course) love. One is called Petromalt & is basically flavored vaseline. Helps everything slide through, if you know what I mean. CT also mentioned the new Science Diet food - I''m mixing that with the Iams I normally feed them so hopefully it''ll help. Interestingly, I had quite a time finding an acceptable food for all three. They''re all pretty fat so diet food was essential. Science Diet seemed to make Bijou puke more, Nature''s Way (?) made Cassie have diarrhea - Iams was the only one that all three could eat with no side effects. Might experiment with foods too.


Adjusting ...

Posted By: Ron Radko <>
Date: 8/25/99 2:20 p.m.
I haven''t taken my cats out yet, but my plan is to introduce them to the boat very gradually. My first step will be bringing them to overnight on the boat with us, at the dock. And then bringing them back home. Cats need time to adapt to a new place, and the fewer the stresses you put on ''em the better they''ll do. Take it slow and easy, and you''ll have a happier kitty

We have two siamese ...

Posted By: kaj <>
Date: 8/25/99 2:03 p.m.

... and they love to go sailing.

The trough up regurlarly. Sometimes a mouse have been eaten in too a big piece ...

They''ve never been seasick to my notice, but once on a longish trip (when crew was sick) and they did not get all the attention they wanted, they showed some symptoms, getting their stomachs a bit loose. I think they were a bit scared of all the noises, going to windward for days with a thunderstorm passing over.

Both have fell/slipped overboard (at harbour) - one used my arm as a ladder, I had to go see a doctor. The other one climbed the wooden quay pile. Mio, the older does not mind spray, probably because ''it is part of sailing''.

In not too crowded places they can freely walk around. Once we were tied up to an island called ''Mouse'' - when we finally managed to get it trough we have enough mice they started .. well, I''ll leave it. A sailing couple, inpired by the smoothness of sailing with cats we testified, eventually took their cat on a cruise. This cat brought, like all cats do, its prey ''home''. Unfortunately it was a snake. The cat had not killed it. That cat did not go sailing anymore.

Have fun.
PS Mio and Nemo are on the Denizens.

Mio and Nemo are beautiful...

Posted By: Gail R. <>
Date: 8/25/99 2:59 p.m.
but being Siamese, aren''t they vocal? Might that be troublesome on the boat? I failed to add previously that while our cats have never been sailing on the boat, they come aboard regularly when it''s in our yard on jackstands for the winter. I recall one day hearing meowing coming from somewhere and not being able to find the cat. It finally dawned on me that it might be coming from the boat. Sure enough, there''s Tahoe cowering in the engine compartment. He had come aboard through the forward hatch and couldn''t figure out how to get back out (he isn''t too bright). Like kaj''s friend, he brought home a live snake once... in fact, he snuck it into the house when I wasn''t looking. He got no kitty treats that dat!

Besides being adoptive ...

Posted By: kaj <>
Date: 8/25/99 4:14 p.m.
... cats, at least some, *very* adaptive. As Ron Radko says, take it easy and give ''em time. To Jeff, be patient. Rosebud will learn and adapt. Mio isn''t vocal but very communicating. Bites you in the ankle if you forgot the cream. Nemo is very vocal. The clue is to sort out what''s the matter. Easier to stand :-) When young, Nemo would announce, very loudly, at 4 a.m. that morning has arrived and we should get into action ... Now Nemo waits ''til we rise up and then loudly announce food should be served ... Both have learned that vocal messages wan''t get trough in the morning. If any one have an ''urgent'' message, the give you a gentle tap on th enose. Using only one nail ...
We have not had any troubles with the ''vocality'' of the cats, questions yes. People often think they are in big trouble when they just say ''just another morning in paradise''. Amazingly adaptive they are - give them time.
Cats -
generally they do take to boats, but they like to be warm and out of
the wind. My sister''s Siamese tom when sailing on Mirelle curls up on top of
the open skylight under the overturned dinghy on its chocks - this is a
perfect cat spot! Good view, no intefering humans, out of the wind and
spray! Be warned that they DO wander off ashore at 02.00 am in marinas, and
in these circs their navigational homing system can confuse them, so that
they get lost and disappear - my sister''s female vanished for a month that

Cheers, and many thanks.


What about the litter box??

Posted By: JeffR <>
Date: 8/26/99 10:24 a.m.
Do any of you have a cat that spends lots of time on board? They don''t seem to be inclined to "hold it in" (dogs are good at this). It is bad enough having one of those smelly, dirty boxes in the house, I can''t imagine dealing with one on a boat.

Posted By: Jeff G. <>
Date: 8/26/99 10:45 a.m.
We sail with a cat on board. I think she likes the boat more than she does her house(sister in-laws cat). We installed a kitty door to the area under the cockpit and put the litter box in there. If we have to run the motor at high rpm''s she gets a little nervous, heavy weather does not seem to bother her. If it gets rough she climbs up on the couch cushions and kind of gets between the hull and the cushions and goes to sleep. I think some animals will adapt to a boat and some will not. Maybe your cat is a strict landlubber.
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