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Jeff Bazz 04-28-2012 11:01 PM

Boat Cat?
Hey All,
I live in Seattle on an SJ24 and am about to pull the trigger on getting a boat cat (kitten).

Does anyone have experience with training a kitten to, you know, not drown itself? Any other boat cat-related advice is also welcome!

bjung 04-29-2012 08:40 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
I would check out Bengal cats, a cross with asian leopard cats. No fur (it has a pelt), so no hair everywhere, and they love playing in water. I saw one riding on the front of the dinghy swatting at seaspray. :) . Beautiful cats, too.

dacap06 04-29-2012 08:53 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
Larry and Susan McDonald have a bit of advice on their web site, The Frugal Mariner. Take a look at How We Convinced Our Cat to Go Cruising.



Greenflash35 04-29-2012 08:58 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
We had a thick peace of floating line tied to a transom cleat and thrown over the side to be used for the cat to climb back on board. We thought about pushing him in the water to show him the ropes but never did that -- he would have been so mad!

Jeff Bazz 05-26-2012 04:12 PM

Boat Cat?
Thanks guys! I read all the blogs, and bought a book on the subject at Second Wave. A friend's cat recently had kittens, one of which is coming to live with me. The boat's ready and I can't wait to brig home my new friend! :)

Heinous 05-31-2012 08:43 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
I still maintain that the only appropriate pets on a sailboat are parrots and monkeys.

TQA 05-31-2012 10:50 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
Kittens usually adapt well. A litter tray at the downwind end of the boat is best, not a problem at anchor. I used beach sand.

I have had three all of which came aboard as 7-8 week old kittens, they fell in and either swam calling loudly till picked out or climbed back onboard themselves. I had scraps of netting over the side of the big boat and over one dinghy sponson.

We had to add an extra line to our tacking commands though.




WHY well he liked to sit on the boom on passage.

miatapaul 06-04-2012 02:14 PM

Re: Boat Cat?

Originally Posted by Heinous (Post 878137)
I still maintain that the only appropriate pets on a sailboat are parrots and monkeys.

I knew a guy who had a monkey on his boat, and wow what a powerful mess it made. It was a power boat, and the V-birth was his cage. Yuck, he was nasty too. Though he did have a real pension for pulling off women's swim tops, that was entertaining.

sailor wench 06-08-2012 12:40 AM

Re: Boat Cat?
My cat has been living with me on my boat for almost 2 years and has only "jumped ship" twice. Once, out of curiosity and once, by accident. When I brought the cat aboard, I purchased a heavy duty fish net...the kind with the long, metal handle, for "emergencies", like cat overboard. When he first went over, he was attempting to jump from the transom to the inflatable dinghy I was dragging behind. I had just anchored and he leaped from the transom, hit the side of the dinghy, and since it was not hard, the cat bounced off the dinghy, into the back of the boat, and then into the water. I had been watching him and was ready with the fish net and simply reached over and scooped him up. When he went under, he immediately resurfaced, as cats are good swimmers, they just don't LIKE to swim. Nothing was wounded other than his pride and he never again tried to jump into the dinghy.
So, I would highly suggest buying a large fish net with a lond handle. It may come in handy. however, if you let the cat run the decks at night, which they love to do, then you need something hung over the side of the boat that the cat can get it's claws into so he can get himself aboard, in case you are alseep and don't hear him. I use a piece of very thin perforated Rubber like material, similiar to the mats you can get to set things on inside so they don't slide around, except it's long enough to secure one end to the rail and have the other end touching the water. I've seen some people use pieces of carpet. Basically anything that they can claw into and that will hold their weight will work and you need to train them to use it, of course, so if the time ever somes, they will know what to do.
Lastly, I highly reccomed not just a litterbox, but the ones that have a "lid" and look like a carrier with a "doggie door" on the front. This has been great! Not only does it give the cat privacy, it keeps the odor inside the box, and when sailing, it does not turn over and spill when the boat leans. Also, something the cat can scratch on is helpful so that they don't make scratching posts out of your upolstery! Good Luck!

zeehag 06-08-2012 05:51 PM

Re: Boat Cat?
28 Attachment(s)
if you sail to la cruz de huanacaxtle, be very very careful with your gato--there is a nasty poison that is killing supposedly the rats, but also is making the gatos die--very very strong and looks neuro toxic--gagging, puking twitching gatos coming home after ingesting as they know they are dying, and you get to watch the miserable death. make sure your gatos remain on board--mine is fine, so far--he is tethered onto boat at all times for his own safety.

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