- November 30, 2019 at 5:05 am#42743
As per the subject, we’re currently trying our best to decide what to do with our cat; actually it’s not strictly speaking our cat, we somewhat inherited him when we moved in to the house we rent, he belonged (I guess) to the previous owners who moved 8km away, but he kept escaping there and coming back here so eventually after round 8 or 9 of this we sort of gave up calling them and they never called us. So we ended up with a cat.
We are somewhat stuck on what to do with this majestic Catbeast (that’s his name :P) because he’s a very outdoorsy cat. Except in winter. But basically, he loves having territory, he loves defending it from the other cats around here, and in summer he generally pops in for food and leaves again.
We’d love to take him on the boat, we’re pretty confident he’d be alright with that, but he would probably be bored out of his skull because there’s nowhere to go, and our main worry is that if we let him loose on land (or just in general at a marina) that he would try to find his way back to where we currently live.
Keeping him locked in or on a leash also seems a bit… iffy.
I guess I don’t really have a very solid question here beyond “anyone got any ideas to make this boat-transition work” – because if it doesn’t seem like it’s going to work out we need to ensure we find him a good home near where we are now.November 30, 2019 at 9:15 am#42746LizAdmiral@liz-cleere
Did you see my post from yesterday about Millie? https://followtheboat.com/ftbmates/topic/millies-not-well/
We’ve been asked this question lots of times, as I’m sure you can imagine. Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. Some cats adapt well to boat life while others hate it. The only way to find out is to try, but be prepared for Catbeast to be a non-boaty cat, so have a back-up plan.
Millie came on board as an abandoned kitten and it’s the only life she’s known. She hates living on land. She’s much less stressed at anchor or on passage because she doesn’t need to defend her territory. In marinas she gets anxious because that’s when it’s all about fending off other cats, which is something that upsets her.
We love Millie more than anything, but would never have another animal on board:
- You spend too much of your time worrying about their safety;
- You spend the whole time in marinas worrying they’ll go missing;
- Having a cat (any pet) on board makes it problematic to visit some countries;
- You can seldom find someone you trust enough to look after the cat while you go travelling or visit family back home. Our land-based travels are restricted to two nights max. We never get to go back to UK together, one of us stays on SY Esper to look after Millie.
- Do it for the cat, not you. If the cat could have a loving home somewhere else…
I’m sorry the news isn’t all shiny and bright, but you know us, we tell it like it is.
Catbeast sounds like a real character!
Peace and fair winds!November 30, 2019 at 5:36 pm#42768Nigel BerryMember@enessbee
Twenty years or so ago we picked up our then new-born kitten on our travels in Cyprus (mother was poisoned by the local cat hater at Larnaca Marina). The kids loved her but as Liz said it was a constant worry. On passage, where was she? At anchor the same. We lost her overboard sometime during the night while staying at Lagos Marina. My son (aged 10) found her among the shoreside rocks in the morning – very much bedraggled – she’s had to swim a longish way to get there.
We heard many tales of yachts known to us losing a much-loved cat overboard and the anguish of carrying out a fruitless search back down their track.
We all loved Cleo and she lived to a good old age on terra firma but I would never have a pet cat on board again – ever.November 30, 2019 at 8:10 pm#42773
I’m sorry the news isn’t all shiny and bright, but you know us, we tell it like it is. Catbeast sounds like a real character! Liz x
Thanks Liz, I still prefer hearing it like it is 😀 And yes, he is a character! We’ll have to think it over some more, in essence we’re fine with the “restrictions” having a pet on board brings, just not sure if he’d take to it and be a happy cat.November 30, 2019 at 8:13 pm#42774
Twenty years or so ago we picked up our then new-born kitten on our travels in Cyprus (mother was poisoned by the local cat hater at Larnaca Marina). The kids loved her but as Liz said it was a constant worry. On passage, where was she? At anchor the same. We lost her overboard sometime during the night while staying at Lagos Marina. My son (aged 10) found her among the shoreside rocks in the morning – very much bedraggled – she’s had to swim a longish way to get there. We heard many tales of yachts known to us losing a much-loved cat overboard and the anguish of carrying out a fruitless search back down their track. We all loved Cleo and she lived to a good old age on terra firma but I would never have a pet cat on board again – ever.
Yeah that echoes our worries as well, especially since our Catbeast is highly independent, he’d probably up and vanish to go do something cat-like and re-appear whenever he feels he’s done, which can take a few days.
Like I said in my reply to Liz, I guess we’ll think it over some more this week, and see if we can come up with a good plan of action. Thanks for the comments though! 😀December 16, 2019 at 8:59 am#43130
Just a bit to add to this one, we’ve decided to get fancy and have a plan A and a plan B. And a plan C. We’re splashing in March 2020, and will be going back to our house to do the whole song and dance with the landlord about the state of the place, giving us some options.
So, our plan A is to take Catbeast back to the boat with us while we’re in a marina, and see if he goes ape or not. If he doesn’t, we’ll let him out on deck on a harness and leash (which he will hate) just to see if his first instinct is to leg it. If he doesn’t, then there’s that pivotal decision point where we let him out if he wants out, and cross our various appendages and hope he comes back when the food comes out.
Plan B kicks in when plan A doesn’t work, and Catbeast hasn’t legged it. We’ve found a few people that expressed an interest in taking Catbeast in, and so we will choose someone and they will inherit our cat, like we kind of inherited him from the previous owners. And then we hope he doesn’t leg it.
I lied, there is no plan C; unfortunately, if Catbeast legs it there isn’t much we can do beyond hoping he makes it back to our current house and hopefully finds the new occupants agreeable to his presence. I’ve looked at GPS trackers for cats but I’m not impressed with their coverage, but we may get one of those and pull off a “go find the damn cat” mission if he does make a run for it.
The reason we’re going this route is that we’re quite confident we can get him to stay his ass on the boat (or at least come back to it when it’s time for food), if he doesn’t stay and does a runner, we’re quite confident that he’ll be okay as well; in the last month Catbeast has devoured a whole chicken (feathers in every room of the house, and a thighbone under the couch), a mouse (head left on our bed; he may be trying to send a message), and what appeared to have been a small rabbit (half a carcass in the kitchen).December 21, 2019 at 10:39 am#43239LizAdmiral@liz-cleere
So, our plan A is to take Catbeast back to the boat with us while we’re in a marina, and see if he goes ape or not.
The only thing I would say on this is that all cats tend to go a-wandering in marinas, it’s difficult to keep them on board all the time and IMHO not fair on them. We lost Millie countless times in marinas, once for four days. We never found her far away, she was always stuck inside some other boat on our pontoon.
I’d recommend you get a tracker of some sort. We use the Tabcat Tracker. It has proved incredibly useful – even on the boat when she settles down in a locker somewhere. She’s much happier at anchor where she roams free all over the boat and can’t get off.
Peace and fair winds!December 21, 2019 at 10:55 am#43241Abs & AnjMember@mutznuts1
Here’s a topic I didn’t know I wanted to know about 😀 I love cats, never actually owned one as we live on a main road, the neighbor has lost 4 cats here in 20 years one of which I was witness to while the arse driver slowed down to a crawl as the cat had frozen in fear but carried on anyway not bothering to see if the cat had moved and run over the poor thing.
I loved the idea of a boat cat but now thinking perhaps not, maybe just an albatross they’re good luck right? 😀
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