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Discussion Starter #1
If you could give one word of advice for sailing with either a cat or dog, what would it be?

We plan to leave San Diego, down through Mexico, Central America, through Panama and head to Florida via the Caribbean

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
ya...so I knew that was going to be the first word of "advice". We're dead set on bringing the cat. At 15 years old, he's basically just looking for a place to die. The dog is more my husbands idea.
 

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Sailboat Reboot
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Don't
That is my one word.

I have a very loving cat on board. He is both a blessing and a curse.

Concerns:
1. I have been in about 16 or 17 countries in the last 2 years. With the exception of three they ignored my cat after I assured them that he never leaves the boat. I doubt that they would accept a similar plea for a dog. In the 3 countries that did require me to clear in my cat it cost me more to clear in the cat then it cost me to clear in the boat and all the crew combined. It also took substantially longer to clear in the cat.
2. You are bound to your animal. If you want to take a several day "shore leave" - perhaps to visit a nearby city or attraction you need to find someone to take care of your animal. In most countries your pet is not going to be welcome on the bus, train, cab, rental car, hotel, etc. Although sometimes you can find someone to pet sit for free in my experience you generally end up paying something - even if it is a thank you gift for the free sitter.
3. Disease: just like you will find that the local "bugs" can get you down until your body adjusts the same is true for your pet.
4. Cleanliness: I never had a problem with fleas etc. while cruising with a pet in the U.S. In a lot of other countries their standards of cleanliness are much lower - we had rats and cockroaches in the marina at Guadeloupe (this was the high end marina!) and it seemed to be accepted. XO (my cat) got fleas while in Guadeloupe and they didn't die as easily from the US flea medicine as I would have hoped. BTW that is also true of the boat - a bug free boat can quickly become a haven for bugs as you start to cruise if you are not diligent.

As Shakespeare would say, an aside: My description above includes just about everywhere on your list - Mexico (the East side) Belize, Guatemala, about 12 Caribbean Islands, BVI, Turks, Bahamas....

I hope this helps ..

Fair winds and following seas:
 

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Senior Citizen
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Begin well before the voyage clipping their toenails so the quick will recede and the nails can be as short as possible. Also consider booties for traction.
 

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Senior Moment Member
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Think about how inconvenient it can be to have to walk the dog every single day.

Now imagine having to hoist it into a dinghy and row ashore beforehand every time.

AND row it back and hoist it aboard.

EVERY TIME.

Dogs have no place on small boats IMO.
 

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Super Fuzzy Moderator
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I've sailed with both cat and dog, separately and together and I will never do it again. The animals themselves coped quite well although the cat did get seasick on occasion. The problem was more with me. No matter how often you clean the damn things, cat litter smells, while rowing dog to shore x number of times a day when it is cold and raining is not exactly a barrell of laughs.
 

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Swab
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Let me join the chorus: Don't

We loved our cat. She sailed with us for sixteen years. Always got seasick the first day out; usually on my pillow or in Laura's shoe. When she got old, she would refuse to use her box sometimes, preferring a locker or sleeping bag.

We miss her. We do not miss her litter box or the forty lbs of food and forty lbs of litter we had to carry for her.

We have met people who cruise with large dogs but we can't imagine how they do it.:confused:
 

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Master Mariner
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Don't, too. Sorry, 2 words.
At the extreme end of things, when an animal control officer arrives at the boat with a destruction order, how are you going to handle it?
I did exactly the same thing w/an 18 year old cat and she spent the entire 15 day voyage looking at me so sadly, wishing the motion would stop. It would have been kinder to put her to sleep.
 

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Bombay Explorer 44
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Get a kitten. Allow them to keep their claws so they can climb up the netting you have over the stern. When they fall in show them how to get to the netting and climb out. Leather gloves are a good idea when doing this. The cat needs a fresh water shower as it will do damage to it's kidneys licking itself dry. Leather gloves may be a good idea when doing this.

If he makes passage on the boom like mine add an extra line to tacking checklist;-



TACK THE CAT!
 

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Wife insisted we take our two big dogs sailing on our 28' boat. Of course it was a choppy day. Both dogs were miserable and then both started throwing up. Came back in. When 10' from dock, the Golden REALLYwanted to be on shore and jumped.and of course missed. Now, we have to convince him to swim all way round the dock to shore. He gets where he can stand and looks happier till he realizes there are crawly things in the water and FREAKS out. Runs in terror to the truck and crawls under it. Finally coax him out and take them for a walk. On way back, we pass near the dock and there was NO way they would get within 100' of it.
Couple weeks later, wife is convinced we should take Golden for a canoe ride but the nearest body of water just happens to be gator paradise and the dog KNEW three was bad things in that water that wanted to eat him and cowered on the canoe bottom whimpering too scared to even look over the side.
No more dogs on boats for me.
 

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Years ago we had a diff Golden who would go with us on work trips to the boat as long as we didn't,t leave the dock. All was fine till dog met dolphins. She would bark her fool head off growling to protect us from the"evil" dolphins who soon decided it was a game to antagonize the dog. We got no sleep that night.
 

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If you could give one word of advice for sailing with either a cat or dog, what would it be?

We plan to leave San Diego, down through Mexico, Central America, through Panama and head to Florida via the Caribbean

Thank you!
I have great advice. Unfortunately, I may be too late having looked at your blog(nicely done). Just like kids, start pets sailing young.

You can't always do that but hopefully your dog and cat have spent time on boats. But they can adapt and even add to your adventures. Besides, what choice do you have? They look well loved, so they're going. :):
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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2,640 Posts
DO NOT CLIP CAT NAILS BEFORE LEAVING..,
DO trim dog claws.
cats need all of their claws to claw back on the boat when falling over.
to prevent overboard catosis, i use a harness and tether system so bubba doesnt again try to die. jacklines for cat.... jacklines and netting for dog. if you have a sprit, install a net below it. i learned that by almost losing bubba.......
we dont play that game. we respect our cat, as cat is family.

seasick critters need air and water... i used to brush a cat i used to have when he got seasick and i brushed him near an open window..yes was a power boat...lol. chances are they wont drink until stationary an d not moving allover hell, but ....
i also used to place a towel under the sickest cat so when puking the carpet of that stinkpot didnt become befouled from stinkcatpukosis. ( yeah i had 2, suzy would not allow me to make her comfy, harold let me brush him next to a window. i only had to lay down one boat towel fro 2 sick cats.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Don't
That is my one word.

I have a very loving cat on board. He is both a blessing and a curse.

Concerns:
1. I have been in about 16 or 17 countries in the last 2 years. With the exception of three they ignored my cat after I assured them that he never leaves the boat. I doubt that they would accept a similar plea for a dog. In the 3 countries that did require me to clear in my cat it cost me more to clear in the cat then it cost me to clear in the boat and all the crew combined. It also took substantially longer to clear in the cat.
2. You are bound to your animal. If you want to take a several day "shore leave" - perhaps to visit a nearby city or attraction you need to find someone to take care of your animal. In most countries your pet is not going to be welcome on the bus, train, cab, rental car, hotel, etc. Although sometimes you can find someone to pet sit for free in my experience you generally end up paying something - even if it is a thank you gift for the free sitter.
3. Disease: just like you will find that the local "bugs" can get you down until your body adjusts the same is true for your pet.
4. Cleanliness: I never had a problem with fleas etc. while cruising with a pet in the U.S. In a lot of other countries their standards of cleanliness are much lower - we had rats and cockroaches in the marina at Guadeloupe (this was the high end marina!) and it seemed to be accepted. XO (my cat) got fleas while in Guadeloupe and they didn't die as easily from the US flea medicine as I would have hoped. BTW that is also true of the boat - a bug free boat can quickly become a haven for bugs as you start to cruise if you are not diligent.

As Shakespeare would say, an aside: My description above includes just about everywhere on your list - Mexico (the East side) Belize, Guatemala, about 12 Caribbean Islands, BVI, Turks, Bahamas....

I hope this helps ..

Fair winds and following seas:
Do you happen to recall which countries were an issue with the cat? We've decided the dog needs to go to family. I wasn't really sold on the idea of turning our boat into a modern day Noah's Ark, anyways. One cat...that's it.
 

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snake charmer, cat herder
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oh yes. FLEAS!!!!!

OMG FLEAS!!!!

have your vet prescribe and have filled a years supply for each critter of advantage multi. is not available in mexico.
resolution is , and is good.....

you WILL be bringing fleas back to boat in your cuffs and on your feet and in bags that contact land where critters walk. you dont always see em, they sneaky hitch hikers. veterinarians in mexco carry GOOOOD poison for the critters your critters catch from your pant legs and from sidewalk walking in new places. also beaches.
beware of ticks. they carry far worse things than merely lyme disease here... if you awaken and doggie is coughing blood.. prolly a tick bite. make sure yoy protect that critter an d the other one from htis mayhem.
a venezuelan friend (caribbean) just had both her gogggies diagnosed with the same tick borne nastiness that made her dogs produce much much blood from lungs in short time.. beware.
 
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