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As it's a boating forum I should explain that I'm talking about felis catus or common domestic feline, not a catamaran...

 

He's a bit dim and likes to scuttle up and down the gunwale, and it has happened two or three times that he lost his footing and landed in the cut.

 

He's a surprisingly good swimmer and each time swam half a boat length around to the bow. Fortunately for him I've been around to fish him out, because I'm not sure the soggy moggy would be able to climb out of the steep banks of most canals. And he surprisingly didn't have the wherewithal to meow, so it was just the splashing i had to alert me.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping my cat from drowning?

 

Some kind of ladder for him to get out by himself would be best I suppose, but it would probably also get quite dirty quite quickly. A more high tech solution would be a water-sensitive buzzer I could attach to his collar, but I don't know if such a thing exists. Any ideas welcomed!

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Mine fell in twice off towpathside gunnels and got out himself quickly up the armco. Then one night must have been turning while walking on the cut side gunnel, and tipped himself in, very wet. He has not stopped treading the gunnels but now walks backwards rather than turning, I have thought about a doormat to act as a ladder back on to the boat, but I don't think it's going to work. I heard him twice, but not the last time, he jumped on to my bed, soaked through. Fortunately he is very fit, but he is pretty much nocturnal, sleeps all day. Once he gets older, I'll have to lock him in once I've gone to bed, assuming he would struggle to get out,

Edited by LadyG
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Cats love walking gunwales. Despite their reputation for agility, they are not very good at turning round in place on a narrow ledge, or walking backwards. Most slips from gunwales seem to be the result of them changing their minds part way along and attempting one of the above difficult tricks.

When I've had cats on board, I've had a fisherman's landing net on the roof of the boat, ready to scoop a soggy cat out of the drink. As you've found, although they hate water, they can swim really well. The problem is not being able to climb out. Carpet tiles are cheap and can be used as a boarding net that claws work well on. Either hung off the boat, or on to the mooring. Each end and each side. When they get too manky, they can be replaced.

When they fall in it is, of course, your fault and they will use you as a towel to get dry. Aside from the water risk, I'd say boat living is safer for a cat than a normal house, as there isn't the road traffic hazard. Road safety, being another cat blind spot.

Sometimes a falling cat can seem to bounce off the water, barely getting wet at all. How they manage this I've no idea!

Jen

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Depending on the height of bankside you could hang one of those long cylindrical rope fenders at either end of the boat, make sure to attach them with a fairly thick rope as they will be able to use both to climb out.

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We had a cat lived on board for a few years. We could pull up anywhere in the country and he would pop of mousing and always come back to the boat. He too kept falling off the gunwhales into the water. When he got old one night he plopped in and the missus went out and he didnt re surface!! Luckily a few sweeps of her arm below the surface and she found him and scooped him out. We then found him a fab home with a friend in the country.

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1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

The problem is not being able to climb out. Carpet tiles are cheap and can be used as a boarding net that claws work well on. Either hung off the boat, or on to the mooring. Each end and each side. When they get too manky, they can be replaced.

Yeah, carpet tiles hung at strategic points seems a good idea. Are cats smart enough to use them? I feel like the mankiness is going to be rapid onset and particularly foul...

 

 

1 hour ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Sometimes a falling cat can seem to bounce off the water, barely getting wet at all. How they manage this I've no idea!

This happened to my cat! I said he's fallen in "two or three" times because I'm not sure one of the times actually counted. He fell in and was back on the bank almost before he started, almost completely dry. It defies physics. Twice though he's gotten properly wet, didn't have his head go under but it was very cold and a bit dirty so I gave him a warm bath both times afterwards. He seemed to hate even more than the initial fall in the canal (I really thought he'd like the warmth... but no... even so he sleeps in my bed and I'm not keen on having canal in bed with me). Two tshirts and a curtain later (never mind my skin) he was clean and drying himself in front of the stove. And extra soft for the next couple of weeks which was a bonus.

 

 

1 hour ago, BWM said:

Depending on the height of bankside you could hang one of those long cylindrical rope fenders at either end of the boat, make sure to attach them with a fairly thick rope as they will be able to use both to climb out.

The boat has cylindrical rope fenders but he swam right past them to get to the bow. I'm not sure if he would have used them if I wasn't there to rescue him. I actually think the next time it happens I should give him a chance to climb out to see if it's possible.

 

 

47 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

We had a cat lived on board for a few years. We could pull up anywhere in the country and he would pop of mousing and always come back to the boat. He too kept falling off the gunwhales into the water. When he got old one night he plopped in and the missus went out and he didnt re surface!! Luckily a few sweeps of her arm below the surface and she found him and scooped him out. We then found him a fab home with a friend in the country.

I'm glad you found him. I must admit it was maybe not a smart choice to get a cat on a boat. But he's a really great companion and it really helped to have SOME company during lockdown. He loves going outside and I feel like it would be cruel to confine him to just the boat cabin, it's not a lot of space.

 

 

20 minutes ago, matty40s said:

most of the time she gets out on the bank though.

Babbage looks very sweet. I notice the bank behind you has the normal "crash barrier" style ties, probably the most common canal edge, is she able to climb out onto those? I think some kind of clawable cloth seems the answer.

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3 hours ago, Jen-in-Wellies said:

Sometimes a falling cat can seem to bounce off the water, barely getting wet at all. How they manage this I've no idea!

Jen

Newton's Third Law. When you exert a force on the water, the water exerts a force back on you.  Hit the surface of water hard enough, it becames a solid

 

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10 minutes ago, nbfiresprite said:

Newton's Third Law. When you exert a force on the water, the water exerts a force back on you.  Hit the surface of water hard enough, it becames a solid

 

Nah. It is cat specific physics. The ability to harness anti gravity on the way down. They can also manifest and pass through cat sized space/time portals whenever they want, so the cat you thought was out is now in and the cat you thought is in is now out. Doesn't stop them meowing at the door for you to open it for them though.

Edited by Jen-in-Wellies
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"The boat has cylindrical rope fenders but he swam right past them to get to the bow. I'm not sure if he would have used them if I wasn't there to rescue him. I actually think the next time it happens I should give him a chance to climb out to see if it's possible."

 

They would need to be just above the water surface to be of use and the cat may not want to climb onto something it just slipped off.

  we have two that go in from time to time but always manage to get out and invariably with a dry head!

  only once have i had to rescue one but that was on a very high bank, and the only practical way was to dangle my leg as far down as possible and let the scared cat run up it - a painful but effective solution.

Edited by BWM
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2 hours ago, jetzi said:

 

Babbage looks very sweet. I notice the bank behind you has the normal "crash barrier" style ties, probably the most common canal edge, is she able to climb out onto those? I think some kind of clawable cloth seems the answer.

Babbage is NOT sweet, she is an anti dog terrorist, attacking any dog that is being walked past the boat when we are moored on towpaths. Trying to keep her sway from them usually results in skin punctures and lots of red stuff. Some regular dog walkers have been known to pick their darling dogs up and carry them past as the poor pooches darent walk after their previous experience. All 4 dogs based in the marina are subservient and scared of her.

Hessian sack draped over the rear fender is our best answer to her getting out.

 

It is also VERY funny when she rolls around stretching on our table, and rolls off the edge.

20210328_140809.jpg

Edited by matty40s
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39 minutes ago, matty40s said:

Babbage is NOT sweet, she is an anti dog terrorist, attacking any dog that is being walked past the boat when we are moored on towpaths. Trying to keep her sway from them usually results in skin punctures and lots of red stuff. Some regular dog walkers have been known to pick their darling dogs up and carry them past as the poor pooches darent walk after their previous experience. All 4 dogs based in the marina are subservient and scared of her.

Hessian sack draped over the rear fender is our best answer to her getting out.

 

If Babbage were a dog and behaving the same way there would be calls to keep your dog under control or risk being asked to leave the marina. Why is it different for cats?

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Since we were adopted by Tiggy 5 years ago we've been her personal servants, long may it continue, she's given back more than she's received, absolute darling with people, so gentle and loyal to us but a holy terror for cats despite being small. 

I'm smitten with her. 

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2 hours ago, matty40s said:

It is also VERY funny when she rolls around stretching on our table, and rolls off the edge.

20210328_140809.jpg

 

Of course the half pint she has just quaffed has nothing to do with it... 😁😂🤣

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1 hour ago, Dyertribe said:

Not boat related but our cat threw up on the cooker hob this morning.. He NEVER gets up on the work top and now this.

treats have been withdrawn

 

I just remembered something - turns out we double-booked. Going to have to cancel dinner. Sorry! We'll have to rearrange but we're really busy for the next... few years.

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14 hours ago, jetzi said:

As it's a boating forum I should explain that I'm talking about felis catus or common domestic feline, not a catamaran...

 

He's a bit dim and likes to scuttle up and down the gunwale, and it has happened two or three times that he lost his footing and landed in the cut.

 

He's a surprisingly good swimmer and each time swam half a boat length around to the bow. Fortunately for him I've been around to fish him out, because I'm not sure the soggy moggy would be able to climb out of the steep banks of most canals. And he surprisingly didn't have the wherewithal to meow, so it was just the splashing i had to alert me.

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping my cat from drowning?

 

Some kind of ladder for him to get out by himself would be best I suppose, but it would probably also get quite dirty quite quickly. A more high tech solution would be a water-sensitive buzzer I could attach to his collar, but I don't know if such a thing exists. Any ideas welcomed!

Going to the source of the problem why not have x4 bits of wooden board with fittings that would allow you to mount and remove them easily . I'm thinking of lift on / lift off hinge type.  

 

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21 minutes ago, Jackofalltrades said:

 

I just remembered something - turns out we double-booked. Going to have to cancel dinner. Sorry! We'll have to rearrange but we're really busy for the next... few years.

Can assure everyone that the area has been bleached within an inch of it’s life. The same would have happened to the cat except the RSPCA frown on bathing the little sod in neat ( or even dilute) bleach. Te kitchen door is now permanently closed if there is not a human in attendance. 

Let’s just say this cat has urinated on his deep fried potatoes. 

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1 minute ago, Dyertribe said:

Can assure everyone that the area has been bleached within an inch of it’s life. The same would have happened to the cat except the RSPCA frown on bathing the little sod in neat ( or even dilute) bleach. Te kitchen door is now permanently closed if there is not a human in attendance. 

Let’s just say this cat has urinated on his deep fried potatoes. 

 

Well as long as they're his deep fried potatoes and not mine...

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Well, if you walk on my worktop and barf on my hob your potatoes are fair game, feline or human, them’s the rules. 

Oh, except the cat’s ‘potatoes’ were missing when we got him. 

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1 minute ago, Dyertribe said:

Well, if you walk on my worktop and barf on my hob your potatoes are fair game, feline or human, them’s the rules. 

Oh, except the cat’s ‘potatoes’ were missing when we got him. 

 

Crikey, well if I do ever find myself having dinner at yours I'm giving the worktop and hob a wide berth.  Can we eat outside? I'd prefer to keep my potatoes where they are rather than being served to your next victim guest for dinner.

 

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