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Old 26-08-2013, 19:43   #1
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Cat as a liveaboard

Hi all,

I am interested in the liveaboard lifestyle but am concerned how my cat will take to it. Does anyone with indoor cats on a boat have any advice?

Many thanks!

S
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Old 26-08-2013, 20:26   #2
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

Give them the run of the place... they are very smart and will find a spot that is their's and will hang out there in good and bad weather. We had one cat aboard that cruised with us from San Diego to Mexico for a couple of years then Seattle to Alaska, around the PNW for about 6 months then lived aboard in San Diego and cruised with us for another 6 years in Mexico and SoCal. Great company! We called him 'HobyCat'... an orphan we got from the pound. Still miss the little guy and had to get 2 more when he passed away. Phil
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Old 26-08-2013, 21:31   #3
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

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Originally Posted by vela_via View Post
Hi all,

I am interested in the liveaboard lifestyle but am concerned how my cat will take to it. Does anyone with indoor cats on a boat have any advice?

Many thanks!

S

My cat loves it, but she is an escape artist. I have the cockpit netted in when I'm not sailing. When I am sailing, I have her in a cloth carrier in the cockpit, and she seems to love it. It's important to be able to secure her (just grab the carrier handle) if a big wake or wave comes around. Animals can be hurt in the cabin by flying objects. Besides, she would rather see what's going on.

Also, cats have very sensitive senses of smell. They will smell the fumes from 10 minutes of motoring much more than a human would.

Let me know if you want to know more about how the netting works. I've had to be pretty ingenious, because my cat is a little Houdini!
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Old 27-08-2013, 08:47   #4
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We are currently cruising with our two cats, one is 17 and the other is 6. We have been out for about 9 months now and spent 3 months in a marina prior to that.

They have both adapted very well. No one has gone overboard at anchorages yet. In addition, neither seem inclined to leave the boat when we have been at marinas, they seem to get the implied boundaries of the boat. I attribute this to the fact they were previously indoor only cats. Both have free reign of the entire boat inside and out. I have netting to put up on the life lines but haven't gotten around to it yet.

The older cats can get a little seasick, but this too seems to have gotten better over time. On passages, the older cat usually crawls into her soft-sider carrier that we secure under the nav table (which way it opens is determined by which direction we are heeling). The younger one gets a bit scared and usually wants to be with us in the cockpit during the day, she has her harness on and is leashed. She is happiest buried under a couple of pillows with her face buried into the cockpit cushion -- our theory is that if she doesn't look it's not as scary, but who knows. Neither cat is allowed on deck at night during a passage, for their safety as well as ours. At night the younger one is either with the off watch person or huddled on a rug under the salon table, we cut holes in the rug for the table legs so it stays in place nicely. The rug provides great traction so she doesn't slide around.

We've had a couple of dicey situations. One was at anchor, we were in about 15-feet of crystal clear water, when the younger one saw a ray leisurely swimming around the boat -- we were both convinced she was going to jump in after it, she sure as heck couldn't have leaned any further out! The other was on passage, during my night watch (2-6) a flying fish jumped into the footwell of our starboard steering wheel. After about 2-3 minutes of trying to rescue the ungrateful wretch, I finally got a hold of him and threw him back. The next morning when the younger cat came on deck (normally she stays pretty close to the companionway) she made a beeline to where the fish had been. After a quick sniff, she rapidly leapt onto the bench and out onto the toerail on the lee side of the boat -- my heart just about stopped! I very slowly approached her, so as not to startle her, and quickly scooped her up -- hence the current leash law on passages!

PM if you have anymore questions.

Robyn
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:26   #5
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Hi


We live on board with our cat Kody.

He only has three legs , but runs the boat as captain, we feel we are just the staff taking him on a RTW trip!?

He has full run of the boat and knows where he likes best! In the cockpit when the motor is on and in the saloon when sails are up.

He took to the boat very well from the start, he was 4years old when coming on board , so we expected a little disorientation, but as long as he has food , water and our company all is well.

Give some thought to what to do if you leave the boat on anchor etc to go exploring ashore, we have left him all day locked below , and for 5 or 6 hours outside, he just keeps watch when we are gone! I think we could leave him down below for a day and night if needs be but after that would be too long i think? When we are in a marina over winter we put a loc8tor collar on him as he likes to go exploring, the collar keeps track of him making finding him at 2am easy!!

Over all i would fully recommend a ships cat, they are great company and a source of constant entertainment, when seagulls, fish or kite surfers are about!

C.
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Old 27-08-2013, 09:42   #6
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

Our cats are not on board much....current kitties have been onboard only at the dock......they hid for awhile and then ran around the cabin at night. Made themselves at home.

Previous kitty went sailing with us and did get seasick. After a couple of trips with cat barf on our bed, we took to locking him in the head with a folded towel to lay on. He was safe and secure that way. When we arrived (6 hour sail), he was fine.

Cat did go overboard once - we heard him swimming around the boat (smart kitty) and scooped him up. After that he respected the lifelines and stayed inside. He resisted being washed off - I wiped him down with a wet cloth as best I could since he wouldn't permit a rinse......he spent the night licking himself.......surprised he didn't get sick from the salt......
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Old 27-08-2013, 14:19   #7
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

Ours really didn't like living on the boat, but learned to tolerate it. We found that she needed a place to hide when the motion of the boat or the sound of the engine made her feel insecure. Turns out she loved getting in the storage area behind the settee seatbacks in the saloon. We put an old towel in there for her to nest in.
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Old 27-08-2013, 15:27   #8
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by vela_via View Post
Hi all,

I am interested in the liveaboard lifestyle but am concerned how my cat will take to it. Does anyone with indoor cats on a boat have any advice?

Many thanks!

S
We are live aboards and have 2 cats and a dog on our 40' motor yacht.
It took a little while but the
Cats settled in nicely. We use the litter quitter it fits over
Toilet with special flush able litter if any falls
In that helped with space and smell if
Litter box
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Old 27-08-2013, 15:49   #9
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

The only time our cat left the boat was when we were in a marina and the girl next door had 3 cats, one of which went into heat. It was the only time our cat left the boat and we saw him on the boat next door. My wife went over grabbed our cat and threw him in the drink! He never left the boat again!! Phil
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Old 27-08-2013, 16:01   #10
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

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We found that she needed a place to hide when the motion of the boat or the sound of the engine made her feel insecure. .
+1. My cat learned to go to its sailing nest the moment we started prepping the boat to sail. Pull out the winch handles and it vanishes.

The biggest problems we've had over the years is that if you leave a compartment open and then look the other way to get a tool, the cat will go inside in search of new places to hide. This happens in the bilge, the engine compartment, lazarettes, under berths, et cetera. Sometimes it will go missing for days. I've learned to lock it up in its own cabin whenever I've got a job that requires lockers or sole panels to remain open.

Oh. And don't waste your money on a cat lifejacket. They won't wear them. Mine would fall over instantly, claiming it could no longer walk.
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Old 27-08-2013, 16:04   #11
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

As long as you keep your cat from pissing on our boat, your cat will be fine.

As I look at the cats in our marina, those that are still alive seem to:

- be indifferent, no matter what,
- be harnessed.

I say just give it a try and see what happens. I bet your cat might like it.

b.
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Old 27-08-2013, 16:37   #12
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

my bubba daboatkat has his attitudes----everything is his.....




in gulf of mexico on a friends boat...


in his own boat, his own port hole...watching momms



and he has his pictures on facebook....his own page so he can complain about the life he leads as he sees fit----
https://www.facebook.com/bubbadaboat...f=ts&ref=br_tf

this cat walks on a leash, comes to momma, goes to bed, comes to bed, wants treats are you hongree? do you want food? knows how much food is in his pail.... knows how many souls are on boat, looks for one missing when he isnt aware of the departure.....F I S H !!!
yes he can speel fish. early warning system lets me know from where somehting or someone is coming-- he is excellent warning for storms--30 min before rain falls or wind comes on. good buddy. nothing lives on or in his boat without his permission, inclusive of 2 finches, 7 skeeter eating swallows, 1 seagull, 2 gekkos, dont know how many bugs he has chased off--and the gliebs at night dont dare come near me..

all this cat has known is sailboat. since less than 6 weeks of age.

i have had boatkats that swam, and some who got seasick...each is different from the others. some like boat some are scared...they need to know it is water below their platform. they also need to know you are their boss, and that they are safe with you so they will do as you ask them to do . cats are not dumb ....they also take care of their family and need to know where it is ok to scratch and where it is ok to eat and ok to sleep and ok to be cat. territorial and fairly rigid. bubba taps me on shoulder when he thinks i have forgotten him....for changing water, food, litter, go out doors....is a good boy
he learned what a fishie is and watches them clean the hull below him..

when we sail he stays below and sleeps--doesnt like the hollering monster or the extra large wing gonna eat him. i keep his leash on him so i can find him when he hides---easier to follow a leash than to search every square inch of this boat for his scaredy cat butt....he dislikes storms at sea and he isnt fond of lightning. rain isnt too bad until it gets to be a lot..then he will stay indoors.

i think that when the boat i was on watch at 0300 in gom got pooped by a quartering sea that he got wet also--so he isnt fond of seas from astern or quartering seas.....he goes below. he used to sit on top step of companionway when i was on watch and watch me. until he got wet.....
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Old 27-08-2013, 17:00   #13
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

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...Oh. And don't waste your money on a cat lifejacket. They won't wear them. Mine would fall over instantly, claiming it could no longer walk.
Ditto that! We put one on our cat and she reeled around like a drunken sailor, then flopped down and wouldn't move.
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Old 27-08-2013, 17:17   #14
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

You won't find many better companions aboard than a cat... Special kind of creatures who have been going to sea with their owners (if one can ever own a cat!) for centuries. Far better company than many two legged ones I've had. Phil
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Old 27-08-2013, 17:31   #15
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Re: Cat as a liveaboard

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Special kind of creatures who have been going to sea with their owners (if one can ever own a cat!) for centuries.
Our cat doesn't consider us "owners." We are merely "attendants." So long as we continue to feed him, he's willing to allow us to share the master stateroom. He evicts us from bed every morning at 0600 to remind us of this contract.
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