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Ahoy, Captain Cat

Cats hate water, don’t they? Well, that’s what I was always told but I know for a fact there are exceptions. My cat loves drinking with his front paws in the water bowl and as a kitten would literally swim in the dog’s water bowl. He also chooses to sit on the side of the bath and play with the water. Coincidentally he happens to be a boat cat too. His fascination with water predated our move onto a floating home, but his confidence with water reassured me the move would be successful.

Our houseboat is on a lovely peaceful spot off the river Trent and there are dozens of cats living here. They live on boats that have permanent moorings and easy access to the bankside. The marina is in a rural location and there is plenty of safe space to explore and establish their territories. Maybe like boaters, boat cats are chilled individuals as we’ve not had any issues with neighbourly quarrels since our arrival.

One of my neighbours has two 15-year-old felines who have been living afloat since they were kittens. These ‘old boat hands’ or is it ‘old boat paws’? enjoy the sun on the roof and chill on the bankside watching the world go by. Like humans, I imagine the boat life may not be for every cat but with sensible precautions when they first arrive and allowing plenty of time to get comfortable with moving from boat to terra firma there is lots to recommend a life on, rather than in, the water.

For information about adopting a cat wherever you live go to

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