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Anyone have experience of cat liveaboard


Simon clarke
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Yup - we have have a puss as crew member . .

 

The first considerations to your question should be "It depends upon your cat" - (and you know him/her better than anyone else)

 

What's your cat's age, demeanour, is (s)he nervous, a wanderer, in good health, active , sedentary?? (and that's just for starters!)

 

Our puss hates the boat moving/engine running, dislikes dogs, loves exploring new moorings, and has learnt how to swim

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Our cat just lies down and sleeps when we cruise. It was born on a boat. It's fallen in a few times and survived. If it's an existing cat...moving onto a boat...try keeping it in the boat in the beginning, and put it out in a cat box (ours loves it)...and it will help it adapt....some people use a bell when feeding their cat, so if one day you let it go walkabout, it can be called back with the bell noise.

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We asked the same question last year.

 

Not a problem as long as your cat is happy I would suggest. We were quite worried initially, but many positive replies from members with cats soothed our worries. We have 2 Russian Blues, quirky cats now 5 years old. We had the luxury of the cats living on the boat for a year when we were on dry land. So they were well used to their new home before going on the water.

 

We went on the water 4 months ago and the cats cope fine. It didn't take long before one took a dive, this was our biggest worry, but they've both been in a couple of times and they can swim no problem and extract themselves very efficiently from the canal even in difficult circumstances like steep banks.

 

The tips we can think of are as follows.

 

 

Have the cat neutered/spayed. Make sure the cat is chipped has a good MOT and has all required injections, tell your vet what's happening too.

 

Home your cat to the boat by keeping it inside for at least a week or 2.

 

Just be aware where you moor, our cats will zoom up steep grassy banks from the canal. We tend to moor in the rough, in marina's though I noticed very few opportunities for cats to escape. Wood edged or concrete moorings would be difficult for cats to egress from, they can swim well though and quite some distance.

 

If your cat goes missing, the first thing I think is did he fall in and egress the other side of the canal. It would be difficult for the cat to find it's way back with no nearby bridges. Both ours have gone missing, and I've walked a long way to find them without success. but they turned up eventually thankfully, where the hell they go is a mystery.

 

IMO Fit lockable cat flaps, there are times when you'll need to lock them in. We tend to lock them in if we have locks to do.

 

Generally ours seem to love it, very comical when they both come up on the roof when we're cruising mooching around like they own the place.

 

Only bad points.

 

They keep bringing in mice, some dead some alive. Sometimes they eat them and just leave the mouse guts on the floor. You won't stop them doing it.

 

According to some animal psychologists they do it because they love you, who knows laugh.png Apparently though it's not good to shout at them or show disgust, if you praise as to thank them it's suggested they will tend do it less as their after praise and recognition, when they get it they don't feel the need to go catch another. We're just starting this praise method and I got 2 mice last night unsure.png so hopefully none tonight.

 

1378527_10202274062363334_977256278_n_zp

Edited by Julynian
  • Greenie 1
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We asked the same question last year.

 

Not a problem as long as your cat is happy I would suggest. We were quite worried initially, but many positive replies from members with cats soothed our worries. We have 2 Russian Blues, quirky cats now 5 years old. We had the luxury of the cats living on the boat for a year when we were on dry land. So they were well used to their new home before going on the water.

 

We went on the water 4 months ago and the cats cope fine. It didn't take long before one took a dive, this was our biggest worry, but they've both been in a couple of times and they can swim no problem and extract themselves very efficiently from the canal even in difficult circumstances like steep banks.

 

The tips we can think of are as follows.

 

 

Have the cat neutered/spayed. Make sure the cat is chipped has a good MOT and has all required injections, tell your vet what's happening too.

 

Home your cat to the boat by keeping it inside for at least a week or 2.

 

Just be aware where you moor, our cats will zoom up steep grassy banks from the canal. We tend to moor in the rough, in marina's though I noticed very few opportunities for cats to escape. Wood edged or concrete moorings would be difficult for cats to egress from, they can swim well though and quite some distance.

 

If your cat goes missing, the first thing I think is did he fall in and egress the other side of the canal. It would be difficult for the cat to find it's way back with no nearby bridges. Both ours have gone missing, and I've walked a long way to find them without success. but they turned up eventually thankfully, where the hell they go is a mystery.

 

IMO Fit lockable cat flaps, there are times when you'll need to lock them in. We tend to lock them in if we have locks to do.

 

Generally ours seem to love it, very comical when they both come up on the roof when we're cruising mooching around like they own the place.

 

Only bad points.

 

They keep bringing in mice, some dead some alive. Sometimes they eat them and just leave the mouse guts on the floor. You won't stop them doing it.

 

According to some animal psychologists they do it because they love you, who knows laugh.png Apparently though it's not good to shout at them or show disgust, if you praise as to thank them it's suggested they will tend do it less as their after praise and recognition, when they get it they don't feel the need to go catch another. We're just starting this praise method and I got 2 mice last night unsure.png so hopefully none tonight.

 

1378527_10202274062363334_977256278_n_zp

That was a pretty comprehensive post. Thank you for sharing.

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Our cat lives aboard. She is allowed off when we moor and most times she returns after investigating her surroundings. On two occasions she has decided that she likes a particular spot. She made me wait 8 hours once but mostly she's fine.

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I know the feeling, but ALL of my guys answer back! In fact the cat (a Bengal) will quite often just sit and chatter to herself, regardless of what she "wants"! I thinks she is mainly complaining about not being able to go in and out of the cat flap due to a rather large head, completely filling it!clapping.gif

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We have a 10 week old kitten who seems to be adjusting well to life on board:

 

15ygruq.jpg

 

We've made a shelf for him to sit on and watch the outside world before we let him out in a few months. He spends hours up there watching people passing and other boat cats.

 

I was wondering about what to do if he falls in - I was thinking of hanging thick ropes off the boat so that they dangle in the water. Might make something to hang on the edge of the canal as well.

 

Also we're thinking of not going for a cat flap and managing his entry and exit. Is that a crazy idea? We'll provide a nice, secure spot on the fore deck for him to hide and I work from boat so there's someone around most of the time.

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We have two cats on our Dutch Barge - a 12 year old neutered Tom and a 5 year old spayed Dam. Both seem happy although the little girl(!) doesn't go out much. The Tom wanders but always comes back (so far), sometimes with gifts. Don't let the mice get under the floorboards as they stink!

 

Cats seem to be able to swim well but don't choose to do so (except Maine Coons which jump in so I am told). Hang a rope fender down well into the water so they can climb out if they fall in, and we also keep a fisherman's landing net handy on deck, but then again we have huge decks (30m by 5.05m).

 

They are great company though. I would post a picture if I knew how!

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We have a 10 week old kitten who seems to be adjusting well to life on board:

 

15ygruq.jpg

 

We've made a shelf for him to sit on and watch the outside world before we let him out in a few months. He spends hours up there watching people passing and other boat cats.

 

I was wondering about what to do if he falls in - I was thinking of hanging thick ropes off the boat so that they dangle in the water. Might make something to hang on the edge of the canal as well.

 

Also we're thinking of not going for a cat flap and managing his entry and exit. Is that a crazy idea? We'll provide a nice, secure spot on the fore deck for him to hide and I work from boat so there's someone around most of the time.

 

A cat flap is a must IMO mainly as cats are very independent and like their freedom, if you lock them up for long periods they may not return if they think it will happen again.

 

We use a locking cat flaps, and lock the cats in if cruising and doing locks, if a cat falls in a lock with a boat in it, it would be lucky to survive. We also lock them in when we collect water, they got out one time and one didn't come back for 3 hours, so had to moor and wait near the water point for their return. It also gives the option to lock them in if expecting bad weather or occasions like bonfire night. The biggest bonus is not requiring the use of a litter tray.

 

As mentioned we were worried about them falling in, I even constructed our boat planks with this in mind.Only useful if they fall in when you're around though. The cats have only fallen in when we're not around, so not been used yet for cat rescue, we know for definite they've been in twice each, we went away for a day though and on return and sometime later found a big damp patch in the corner of the main bed, so we suspect one took a dive when we were away.

 

These are the boat planks I made

 

Polesampplanks2_zps7be7796b.jpg

 

The cats can easily egress up the rung side of the ladders. TBH i think they would up the smooth side as well laugh.png We also considered some rope net hung over the side or sacking possibly, but to be honest I reckon they'll go straight for the canal bank first. At the end of the day if they were in that much trouble and we were around I would simply wade in and get them myself.

 

I wouldn't worry too much, we're pretty well relaxed about it, the cats always seem well happy, even after a dunking laugh.png

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It was a worry we had when we got out boat. The cat we have is a rescue cat and we had concerns that he would not take to boating especialy if we were moving around. We kept him in for a couple of days and when we did let him out after that we rewarded him with a treat every time he came back. He soon cottoned on to the fact that he got a treat when he returned and started going out of the open door at one end of the boat and running round the catflap at the other end and then miaowing for his treat. A year on, he has fallen in several times and I think it bothers me far more than it bothers him. He just curls up on the duvet with a typical cat look of 'if I am wet then so are you' :P

He has really taken to living on board now and loves it when we take him on our travels

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My cat became at boat cat at the ripe old age of twelve and it's given her a new lease of life. She was a bit nervous at first but quite the opposite now. She's become really bold and confident. I think this is because she has far fewer other cats to compete with than she did living in a city street. The problem is that she likes to go off exploring when I moor in a new place which initially made me very panicky. Now it's more an annoyance because she tries to dictate the schedule. For the last few months i've tried training her by ringing a bell when i feed her but I don't think it's made much difference.

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We have a 10 week old kitten who seems to be adjusting well to life on board:

 

 

 

We've made a shelf for him to sit on and watch the outside world before we let him out in a few months. He spends hours up there watching people passing and other boat cats.

 

I was wondering about what to do if he falls in - I was thinking of hanging thick ropes off the boat so that they dangle in the water. Might make something to hang on the edge of the canal as well.

 

Also we're thinking of not going for a cat flap and managing his entry and exit. Is that a crazy idea? We'll provide a nice, secure spot on the fore deck for him to hide and I work from boat so there's someone around most of the time.

 

 

Mine are around 18 months now and have each fallen in about 12 times, more when they were younger. I have ropes dangling in the canal, but they seem to fall in no where near my boat, but from others! I have a landing net in easy reach just incase.

 

Edit to add a photo of mine..

 

11310242543_64c30a9af0.jpg

Edited by Robbo
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Mine are around 18 months now and have each fallen in about 12 times, more when they were younger. I have ropes dangling in the canal, but they seem to fall in no where near my boat, but from others! I have a landing net in easy reach just incase.

 

Edit to add a photo of mine..

 

11310242543_64c30a9af0.jpg

 

Lovely cats.

 

I meant to mention landing net in my early post, we do ave one stored in our roof storage tubes, never needed it yet, as all our 2 cats dunkings have occured when we're out of sight, we did hear one one night though early morning some time back laugh.png

Edited by Julynian
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My cat Kitty Kinu was over 15 when I moved onto my narrowboat and adjusted well to life afloat but was old and spent most of his time curled up by the fire asleep or walking and exploring the jetty.

 

c1us.jpg

 

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

Sadly, Sunday I had to take him to the vet's as he wasn't eating or drinking at all and wasn't interested in ham, tuna etc. Saturday evening he got so bad he couldn't get up and wasn't eating etc. Over the last few months he had been going down.

I expected his time had come to an end and made the best choice to put him to sleep at the age of 16 and 4 months.

You get so attached to them, and I miss him, but at least he isn't suffering and I think of the happy memories he has given us.

We buried him in some scenic woods where we used to live on a common, and some would say, why travel on a 180 mile round trip, but we didn't have a garden and wanted to give him a nice resting place.

 

James.

Edited by canals are us?
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Sadly no longer a cat's servant, as she died 5 years ago, but she certainly could swim. Living in a boatyard we were moored nose to tail with a neighbour. One day the cat flap shut and she came in to the kitchen looking very wet and not pleased...but just went for her food bowl. I attempted towelling her clean and she wasn't too interested really.

A few weeks later there was the noise of nails scraping down a blackboard, a splash, then a moment later, she was back inside.

I admit that by then I was laughing like a drain.

She had slipped, or more likely leaned too far over the edge looking at a duck or fish, fallen in then swum to neighbour's rear fender, then back in her cat flap.

How wrong am I for laughing a LOT?

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My cat Kitty Kinu was over 15 when I moved onto my narrowboat and adjusted well to life afloat but was old and spent most of his time curled up by the fire asleep or walking and exploring the jetty.

 

c1us.jpg

 

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

 

Sadly, Sunday I had to take him to the vet's as he wasn't eating or drinking very much then Saturday evening got so bad he couldn't get up and wasn't interested in ham, tuna etc. Over the last few months he had been going down.

I expected his time had come to an end and made the best choice to put him to sleep at the age of 16 and 4 months.

You get so attached to them and I miss him but at least he isn't suffering and think of the happy memories he has given us.

We buried him in some scenic woods where we used to live on a common, and some would say why travel on a 180 mile round trip but we didn't have a garden and wanted to give him a nice resting place.

 

James.

 

A cats short lifespan Is really is unfortunate, you have our sympathies, a pretty good innings though and he clearly enjoyed a full life and a painless demise so something to be thankful for.

 

My family have always been cat owners, when we were kids we had quite a lot of cats over time and some died, 3 were buried under an Oak tree in the garden. One cat we had called Poon (don't ask) stayed with my mum when we had all left home. The cat was a Silver pointed Short haired Chinchella ( what a name for a breed of cat LOL) Anyway years later Mum moved to a flat, at around the same time the cat was diagnosed with FIV the cat version of HIV ( yeah astonished me too) So the cat wasn't allowed out and on special medication, so was kept in the flat which did fortunately have a large balcony so he could get fresh air. Anyway mum pampered the cat as the vet said hie might only live another year and was already 14yo. 5 years later at 19yo and a few months, he was eventually put down due to old age and immobility.

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