Calicos on Deck

May 2020 Multimedia By Shandra Batemon

We’ve all seen Fido and Max standing at the stern of some houseboats, but what about little miss Mittens?

Here are some fun facts about how our feline friends can make as good of a skipper as any canine.

  1. Many breeds of cats in fact LOVE water! Breeds such as the Main coon, the Manx, a Norwegian Forest cat, the Turkish Van, and many other breeds enjoy jumping into the lake for a quick dip or to go splashing around the pool with the kiddos.
  2. All cats love to eat fish. This make sailing on open waters easier when it’s dinner time for Mittens. When fishing off the deck, just toss a mackerel your kitty’s way and watch them chow down.
  3. Cats tend to have great balance, keeping them from going overboard too much. Even if the rocking boat sends your furry friend into the waves, a thick rope ladder is a great way for them to climb back up on their own. A fitted life jacket also makes it easier to fish them out if needed.
  4. Cats are cute and cuddly. This makes having them on board a delight because of their quiet companionship and the snuggles they give.

Now not all cats will take to the water and the noise of the boat with their first step, so here are some crucial steps from the Inland Waterways Association to help them get their sea legs.

  1. Slowly introduce your cat to larger bodies of water if they don’t naturally love it. Start small with the bathtub and work them up to your favorite lakeside spot. Let them take their time.
  2. Big noises like the sound of your boat motor will scare any animal. So just like our friendly and adventurous canines, cats need to be allowed to get used to the boat before setting sail. Allow them to explore their new environment before firing that engine.
  3. Always have a life jacket handy. As stated above, it helps to make fishing them out of the waves easier and helps prevent them from drowning.
  4. And finally, have any scratching posts, kitty litter boxes, and food or water dishes secured to the deck to prevent spills.

Above all else, make sure to shower your furry companion with love and enjoy being on the open waters with them at your helm.

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