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Old 25-01-2007, 10:39   #1
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'Indoor' boat cats

Anyone have experience with cats on board that never get off? Seems most people talk about cats wandering around at marinas and stuff. We'll either be on a mooring or at a slip with shrink-wrap. Either way we don't want to let the little buggers wander off.

Is a typical midsize sailboat big enough for two cats?

My ventilation scheme involves cutting holes in all the internal locker walls to promote air flow. This should also create a pretty entertaining network of kitty caves. Overall should make for a fairly engaging 3D environment. Plus, they spend most of their time sleeping.
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Old 25-01-2007, 11:05   #2
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Depends on the cat. Neigbors travel with a cat on their trawler sometimes. They put her into a pillow case to get her aboard. Without the pillow case she get quite nasty and inflicts some serious hurt. She really hates the boat a whole lot but inside the pillow case they can get her aboard no problem then let her out where she quickly finds a place she wants to be and is fine. It's the getting on and off that gets her upset.

Some cats do get sea sick. They can be like people in that respect.

Ventillation would be the biggest problem. You don't want the cat to get cooked in the hot sun. Not much shade at the anchorage so the boat heats fast up if not well ventilated. I suppose that is less of a problem in Maine but farther south it sure would be here. So you need to be open enough to vent but closed enough to keep out the sudden showers. Security when you are away effects this as well. Add some water and a cat box and you should have it.

Solar powered vents and / or dorade boxes would help a lot. These are nice even without any animals. I've never heard of too small a space for cats. Your Westsail should be big enough provided you keep up with the cat hair. A bigger boat just spreads it out more.
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Old 25-01-2007, 11:15   #3
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I certainly see and "attitude adjustment" take place between home on land and home on the boat with our two. They are slowly coming round to enjoy it more. The boy is certainly at ease now, but the wee girl has further to go. They play different and tend to be a little "closer" to us on the boat. I guess they are seeking comfort and security in the alien environment. The essential thing is when they are upset, to cuddle them and stroke them a lot. Grooming is a natural comforting thing they do when they are slightly stressed. So doign that to them helps top releave the anxiety and "tells" them it is OK. They will get used to the strange environment faster that way.
That "3D" environment will be ideal. Not having the nieghbourhood to rome, they need to explore. It makes it fun.
By the way, the favorite and best toys we have ever found are the little locking rings from around plastic bottle tops. They go nuts on them. We have tried all sorts of toy's int he past and they leave everything else and go nuts playing with those ring things.
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Old 25-01-2007, 11:18   #4
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Oh and I should add. Cats think of two things. Food and sleep. Play is about honing hunting skills. When you go out on the boat, they can be made to think it is a hunting expadition. Involve them by catching small bait fish and give them to the cats still alive. They go nuts on the small flapping things. After awhile the trip on teh boat will be considered a hunting expedition.
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Old 25-01-2007, 11:41   #5
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Whatever you do, don't use the "clumping" kitty litter. We did this and the first time the cat was aboard she first went on deck for a stroll in the morning. Of course the deck was a bit damp and her feet got wet. Next thing we know the cat is running around with four balls of clay stuck to her paws!! That litter must have a bit of bleach in it because her prints are still on the dodger. We finally gave up on her (she stays home now) because she got seasick very badly and use to curl up on our duvet when that happened. What a mess!

http://www.cruisersforum.com/attachments/gallery/6/5/9/659madcat.jpg
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Old 25-01-2007, 11:59   #6
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That's the last time Shadow drinks Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and decides to go wave hopping the next day!



Yes clumping litter is messy! I swear I'm gonna toilet train this cat one day!
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Old 25-01-2007, 17:51   #7
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Thanks for the info. Glad to hear somebody else thinks it'll be ok. Sometimes I worry I'm being unreasonable.

We have plenty of outside ventiliation, including dorades and opening port lights. Even in the heat of July the water is so cold that the cabin stays fairly comfortable. Our water tank is below the water-line and never heats up. We already use the clay litter. It gets tracked everywhere but easy enough to sweep. Clean up should be a snap on the boat with only 10' x 2' floor to sweep.

Since we're posting pictures...

We actually have three now, but I'm not sure how much longer the old man is going to be with us.

1
2
3

I'm not worried about when I'm there as they tend to follow me around. I just don't want them feeling too cooped up. This is a pretty typical scene at my house:

Typical

They'll probably just do this all day when I'm gone, though they'll miss their wood stove.

Sleep
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Old 27-01-2007, 15:37   #8
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That's the last time Shadow drinks Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and decides to go wave hopping the next day!


Yes clumping litter is messy! I swear I'm gonna toilet train this cat one day!
The mighty Shadow the wonder cat, a Favourite of Saddam's.



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Old 27-01-2007, 16:04   #9
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You better watch out Cat Man Do! This is what happened to the last critter that messed with Shadow the Wonder Cat!

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Old 27-01-2007, 19:08   #10
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Yea, but Rick, you have to admit, the resemblence is uncanny.
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Old 27-01-2007, 21:13   #11
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You better watch out Cat Man Do! This is what happened to the last critter that messed with Shadow the Wonder Cat!

Hardly a tough cat,
and I couldn't even see the spring in the "nodding dog's " head

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Old 30-09-2007, 17:24   #12
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That's the last time Shadow drinks Captain Morgan Spiced Rum and decides to go wave hopping the next day!
Don't know if you were kidding or not but alcohol is poisonous to a cat....just in case anyone thinks it might be funny to get a cat drunk.
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Old 04-10-2007, 18:44   #13
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Don't know if you were kidding or not but alcohol is poisonous to a cat....just in case anyone thinks it might be funny to get a cat drunk.
Of course he was kidding! Shadow just looked hung over....We would never share our drinks with her.....although she does seem to fancy Kahlua & Milk or Sangsters Cream Rum. I can't set one of those drinks down without her trying to get into it, so, of course, I'm forced to guzzle it.

Lori
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Old 04-10-2007, 19:08   #14
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I can't set one of those drinks down without her trying to get into it, so, of course, I'm forced to guzzle it.
Sacrifices have to be made to protect our animals.
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Old 23-10-2007, 14:58   #15
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cat litter

Howdy,

I'm a land lubber (planning to cast off next summer and will bring my cat). I use a cat litter called Cedarific Cat Litter (Natural Cedar Chips), which I think (hope dearly) works well on boats. I have a Rubbermaid tub with a lid that I made into a cat box. About once a month I change the litter all at once, and it is NOT disgusting. The pee filters to the bottom and is absorbed, the poo get buried in the middle, and the top stays nice and fresh cedar chips. There is hardly any smell. Not sure if it works on a boat, but I would like to know because this is what I'm planning to use. I also put a little plastic doormat in front of his box which collects 90% of the chips that come off our cats feet.

This is what I'm talking about,
Cedarific Cat Litter (Natural Cedar Chips) - PetFoodDirect

Good luck,
Jason
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