Do Your Cats Like Water? No!

This is the most common saying I hear while
playing on the water.  As the human of this group (Sarah) it is common to hear people talking expecting me not to hear or just outright ask why we have cats on the water or how we convinced the cats to go on the water.  Some are even surprised to hear that cats may actually like water.  Whatever the question one thing that always surprises them is that going on the kayak is by the cats's choice.  We only fulfill their request.

It all started with shadow, the older cat, and only cat at the time.  He has always been a mild manured kitty and has let me do pretty much as I please from bathing him to hold him in the most crazy positions.   One routine weekend we went kayaking as our routine of the time was,  we came home to a grumpy cat who had worked all the curtains to try and see where we spent the entire day and what we were up to.  Shadow had, by the looks of the RV, been worked up a better part of the day about the subject.

So the next weekend we thought we would bring him with us.  He had only been in a truck a few times, but the kennel had been safety for him since he was born.  From long ago all my animals knew the kennel as safety and comfort, it was a defense from the occasional young niece or nephew that would come along and always went for the animal.  So Shadow gladly went in the kennel and then the truck.  We found out that he loved to ride in the truck seat between the two of us.  To this day it is his favorite place to nap when he can.

The biggest challenge of the day was getting him on the kayak.  The first time he was scared and clawing at the air until his feet hit the kayak floor.  Once we were away from land he decided it was not all that bad to be in this strange craft.  He quickly adapted to the feel of the kayak and within a few trips  started to look forward to us packing up the truck and heading out.  As we were getting everything ready he would, and still does, sit by the door just waiting for us to grab the harness letting him know he is coming along.

Putting him in the water was not much different.  I found that if I held him tight and he would not fight me.  Over the course of a summer he began to stop being scared of water and simply see water as an obstacle to his having fun.  When water was no longer fear filled he began to get in the water of his own accord, because he saw a  "toy" he wanted to play with, because he wanted to get back on land, because he wanted to explore an area that looked interesting to him.  Whatever he was thinking water no longer stopped him.  He also found that if the water was shallow enough it was a great way to cool off in the summer heat and began to get out and walk when he wanted to.  After the second time loosing him because he had his own plan in mind, we ordered cat bells on his harness and a leash attached to the boat at all times.  It has saved us people from several fears and a few dunking episodes.

When we decided Shadow needed a play mate bringing Stealth into the water was harder, and easier.  Since Stealth was still young he was more curious, but less aware of the dangers.  Stealth learned quickly what would land him in the water, and how to stay on the boat when he wanted.  The hard part was finding a harness that was big enough to keep in restrained for the first few months until he grew big enough to fit a proper harness.  By the time he grew big enough to fit his green harness he had already learned that water was simply an obstacle to get what he wanted.  He is a braver, more adventuresome kitty that Shadow, so he has created a lot of fun and interesting times on the water.

We added the kennel to the kayak fairly early on in this journey and it has been the best thing for the cats.  Shadow often will stay in his kennel all day poking his nose out when he finds something particularly interesting happening.  Stealth on the other hand walks the entire length of they kayak sprawling out whenever he wishes.  To him the kayak is simply what every cat does.

So do our cats like water?  No, neither one really does, but they do like their adventures, and both like kayaking on their own terms.  They are both true to their cat heritage.

Until the next adventure,

Shadow Stealth, and Sarah.  


  1. Sometimes you just have to put up with things you might not like in order to enjoy the things you do. :)

  2. I think it is great that they get to have adventures and that they have each other for company.

  3. We think your kitties love the water, but do not crave it. They enjoy what it offers, and respect its boundaries. Purrfect boat cats!