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  #11  
Old 04-23-2011
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Not a cat person and, for the life of me, I just don't get the attraction. No offense intended, to each their own.

I only add this because you will have several people like me at your marina. You can honestly ruin relationships if you don't keep your fuzzy friend to yourself, which I can tell you understand. If I found someone's cat on my boat or slip and was in a good mood, it would upset me. If I was in a stressed mood, I would upset the cat.

I would keep the cat below or on a tether. Good luck.
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  #12  
Old 04-23-2011
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Sorry for the minor hijack, but this reminded me of a funny story. My brother-in-law and I went to an elderly friend's house. He was a life long bachelor and beginning to lose his marbles. We found him on his deck, in his underwear, putting cat food all around. When asked, he said he was trying to bait a cat out of his house. We thought he was imagining things, but agreed to look around the house. With faint effort, looking in closets and under beds, we went into a guest room and, sure enough, there was fluffy in a corner and she was pissed.

How do you get a pissed off, scared and cornered cat out of someone's house? Well a large fish net on a pole, of course. Four legs poking through the netting and the most demonic flailing trapped creature I've ever seen in my life. We were almost afraid to let it go outside, for fear it would try to kill us. It ran, of course.

Did I say this was funny? Well, that may be in the eye of the beholder.
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  #13  
Old 04-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midlifesailor View Post
  1. dealing with a litter box on board, which is my first concern.
  2. Secondly is how to keep the little hellion aboard. Do those of you that keep cats aboard allow them on deck or keep them below?
Yes - we are now cat persons. A year ago March we got a rescued SPCA cat. He was two at the time. We decided that he would be a boat cat. Period.

Fortunately he agreed.

He has a 180 degree crook in the end of his tail - hence "Captain Hook"

Answers: - we use a Tupperware container for his litter - we have the same size one at home - he never makes a mistake, buries everything and there is no smell.

He wears a "harness" to which I sewed some military reflective tape. He is jet black - if he goes overboard at night we will never see him.

We tend to anchor or take a mooring because, like another poster implied, he likes to explore other boats. And for those who do not like cats, we would rather make friends than enemies.

He walks well on the harness.

He has been a major delight in our lives and on our boat. We have a local SPCA calendar to which you can submit pet photos. Captain Hook is "Mr. July" this year - shown on our boat, of course.

Yes - take the cat, enjoy that cat and be responsible with him/her/it.

BTW - they do not make cat life jackets. Because of the skeletal structure of a cat, unlike a dog where a life jacket keeps their head up above the water, on a cat it affects their equilibrium as well as puts their head under water. (No sick cat jokes please)

BTW 2 - he does not like the water but swims very well - but that's another story - maybe later.

Rik, Linda and Captain Hook
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  #14  
Old 04-23-2011
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OK - Captain's first swimming story:

When we first got him I took him with me down to work on the boat out on a mooring almost everyday, to get him used to it. When I came back to the dock at the end of the work I tie the dingy to the back of the main wharf. Out jumps Captain, he spies Mike's little ski boat, all covered with dodger and enclosure.
Up on the bow, across to the far side, over the rear view mirror and proceeds towards the stern. His "walkway" tapered from about four inches wide at the mirror to nothing, about two feet from the stern.

When he got to the point where he could no longer acrobatically put one foot in front of the other, he got this "Oh ****!" look on his face and preceded to back up towards the bow.

He forgot about the mirror, bumped it with his butt and went in the river.

He swam like mad to the back of the boat, over to the dock, up on the dock looking like a drowned rat.

Oh well.

Next day he gets out of the dingy, prances towards Mike's boat, recognizes it, stops dead, turns around and comes back to me.

Shalom.
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Old 04-23-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rikhall View Post
BTW - they do not make cat life jackets. Because of the skeletal structure of a cat, unlike a dog where a life jacket keeps their head up above the water, on a cat it affects their equilibrium as well as puts their head under water. (No sick cat jokes please)
Bummer.

While we don't have our cat on board (not that you couldn't have guessed), folks often think we do. I've found that the containers that the kitty litter that my wife likes to buy fit perfectly in my aft lazarrette. They are rectangular, deep, have a handle, and tight fitting lid. Two fit perfectly side by side. I keep the cleaning supplies and stuff in those tubs. They stay dry and don't roll around. Now I don't have to worry about my spray cans of WD-40 or Sailkote rusting either. Take the tub with the boat wash and spunge out and it doubles as a bucket.

The only downside is that I'm too lazy to peel off the label off the side and folks are always coming up to me as I'm lazily washing the boat and asking if we have a cat on board.
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The litter box is a hassle on a boat. Location is a small part of the problem. The big problem is that cats tend to exit the box with a lot of enthusiasm, spreading litter far and wide. It's really hard to keep up with the litter, and it wants to get tracked into bunks, etc.

The covered litter boxes are an improvement, but plenty of litter still exits with the cat. Many cats don't like the confined quarters of the covered litter boxes.

Our solution was to modify a covered box. I cut lots of holes in the sides and back using a hole saw. This gives the cat plenty of ventilaition...they like a clean, nice smelling box. I attached a collapsible cat tunnel toy, available at Petsmart and Petco, etc., to the front, and removed the swing door that the box came with.

This dramatically cuts down on the amount of litter in your cabin, as the cat loses much of it as it transits the tunnel.

We have a small soft brush with a plastic scoop pan that we purchased as a set and keep it handy for sweeping the little bit of litter that gets out. The tunnel is held on with Velcro so it can be easily removed and given a good shake overboard.

With regard to keeping that cats under control on the boat. We trained them from kittenhood to be used to wearing a harness and being on their leashes. They are on their leash/tethers anytime they're not locked in the cabin. We're weekend and occasional cruisers, by the way. The tethers are a hassle, but I don't ever want to suddenly wonder where one of our cats is when we're offshore. At the dock, they'd wander and get into trouble, plus I think we should all keep our pets to ourselves.

My wife and I are on the board, and give considerable amounts to the local women's shelter, which has separate funds for the rescue of the pets when a woman has to flee an abuser. Often, the woman and the kids escape, but the pets, often cats, are left behind and their survival rate is low. I remember one little boy at the shelter who kept saying "Cory is hurt, Cory is hurt". His mother said Cory was their cat. The husband had pinned the boy's cat to the kitchen floor with a steak knife. He had to be told that Cory didn't survive. If you don't like cats, fine. The compulsion that so many who dislike cats have to tell you they don't like them and make their sick jokes is peculiar at best.
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Centre cockpit is the best type of boat and I just had the sand box on the aft deck. I sometimes used cat litter on long passages but ordinary sand is fine. I know someone whose cat is happy going on a pan of marbles.

I used a piece of fishing net over the side of the boat but if you have a dink in the water a piece over the side or back of that is good too.

DO NOT DECLAW THE CAT IT IS A DEATH SENTENCE FOR THE CAT.

Mine fell/jumped/ran off the boat about once a month.

DO NOT LET THEM LICK THEIR SELF DRY WHEN STILL SALTY. Give them a fresh water shower and a good dry first.

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Last edited by TQA; 04-23-2011 at 02:56 PM.
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  #18  
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Ok some good info rolling in now.

Do folks use clumping litter on the boat? Its what we use at home but I worry about it making its way into the bilge and eventually clogging the pump. I've heard of using shredded newspaper, but I wonder if that would throw him off his routine. Regular litter will probably be the first attempt and I'll use a towel or welcome mat to keep the litter from spreading.

I'll have to get a harness and see how he deals with it. He's an indoor cat, but I don't believe in declawing so he's ok that score. I'd already thought about having a cat friendly throwable flotation device but the big rope over the side is a good idea also.

I have no intention of letting the little rascal roam. Even though we raised him from a kitten, he's still skittish with us, so if he got loose, he'd be a handful to round up.

We'll probably just keep him below when at the dock or underway, but I'd like to let him on deck while were anchored out so he can enjoy some outdoor time and won't have to worry about him running away.
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We use the clumping stuff. There are alternatives, but it's really hard to beat the clumping stuff. The boat's a pretty big adjustment for a cat that's not used to it, so I figure it's nice for them to have their regular litter.

I can see where litter in the bilge could be a problem, so we keep an eye on that. Our modified litter box has made it pretty much a non issue, though.

Our cats have their claws too, and we modifed the single support post on our dining table to make a scratching post. Our table lifts off the post, and we wrapped sisal rope around a length of PVC pipe, with a little glue to keep it in place. Then we slid the pipe over the table support. The pipe is just a smidge bigger than the post, so I just shimmed it a little with some cardboard. People see the rope wrapped around the table leg and think we're just being nautical until the see the cats in action.
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Captain Hook uses the clumping litter.

We got a couple of big bathroom "rugs" at a thrift shop that sit under and in front of his litter box and get shaken out each day. They seem to pick up 90% of the stay litter.

He has his claws and when we are at anchor and leave the boat, we hang a big old beach towel (thift shop again) over the ladder. He has never jumped off the boat, but, just in case.

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