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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest > General Discussion (sailing related)
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  #1  
Old 06-25-2006
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Felines and Sailing

We have taken our two Abbysinnian cats out on the sailboat on one occasion. One is quite curious and we keep a harness on him. Has anyone tried the life jackets made for cats/small dogs? Has anyone had a cat try to jump off the boat? Any suggestions on traveling with cats is greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-26-2006
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Hi there,

I have read up on this, as I will have my cat onboard soon too. Cats are natural swimmers, but the cold water can shock them. One suggestion is to nail a piece of carpet from the back deck that hangs into the water (assuming your cats have claws) they can climb up on their own, if they fall in. Another idea is to have a long handled net available (like one you use to scoop up a large fish), you can reach over the side and "net" your pet if they go in.

I also use a natural litter for the box made from pine shavings called "Feline Pine" and it is the best stuff I have found. It has a light pleasant odor and works like a charm. It can be scooped and small bits are water soluble (they can be flushed into land toilets, but I would not recommend flushing them in the head). It can be found in many grocery stores and at most pets shops: http://www.petco.com/shop/product.as...cm_ite=5397109

Lastly, from what I have heard, the cats adjust well and their main complaint may be the noise from the engines. So, just make sure they feel safe until they adjust and you will all be comfortable.

A side note: the boat I bought used to have a cat living on it and the owners said she loved it and would even catch and bring home the occasional small crab or sardine!

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-26-2006
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Something to keep in mind when introducing a pet to life on board a boat is that it is not cruel to crate. When I say crate what I mean is a nice comfortable carrier, maybe one size larger than what you might use to fly fluffy to California. An animal will be more confortable confined to a small place that it has come to identify as their space "Den" "Nest" whatever. When conditions allow, you let Fluffy out with a harness attached to see how she navigates the lee side deck. Give an animal a place of refuge and it, just like us, will adapt and thrive.
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