paddling with a cat

I would love to take my cat out in the kayak with me. Has anyone had any experience with this? Also what kind of PFD would be recommended for the cat. Also he is on the small side and I have seen birds of prey in the places that we paddle. I am concerned that they might try to swoop down and snatch him up for an easy catch, any suggestions? We only paddle flat water.


You might want to contact your local
friendly psychiatrist and get his thoughts!

Or let a mouse loose in the boat, and the birds of prey will constrate on it and leave tabby alone.

Jack L

But would your cat…
…love to go kayaking? Dogs might but I think that cats would think that kayaking is for the birds. Domestic cats & kayaks don’t sound like a great idea.

Anyhow if you do decide to try this, let us know how it works out:)

Boat with cats…

– Last Updated: Mar-13-12 10:58 PM EST –

Have never seen a cat in a kayak.

Have seen a couple of cats in canoes.

One I saw was sound asleep, on a pile of gear in the middle of a tandem canoe. The other one was standing on it's hind legs in the bow of the canoe, with it's front legs on the bow decking. It's was checking out everything that moved, and appeared to be perfectly calm & happy. Neither wore pfds. The owner of the cat in the bow, was doing a fine job of paddling a tandem canoe solo, and she was a "very pretty" young lady.

Considering other possible travails while paddling with a cat; the threat from winged predators is probably negligible at worst. More likely to be killed, maimed, and/or eaten by a bobcat, raccoon,skunk, dog, or coyote; if allowed to roam after dark.

Sounds like a huge hassle to me; not worth the effort. 9,999 out of 10,000 cats would prefer to be at home in my opinion.


P.S. Recently devised test to determine probability that your cat is canoe/kayak compatible.

1. Carry cat(no pfd) into 4 to 5 foot deep water; at least 40 feet from the nearest shore.
2. Throw cat into water.
3. If cat makes it to shore; catch the cat, and attempt to repeat steps 1 & 2 a second time.
4. If you do not have to go to emergency room to seek medical care, after completing steps 1 & 2 on two separate occasions; your cat may be canoe/kayak compatible.
5. If still in doubt; repeat steps 1 & 2 a third time.
6. If you actually complete steps 1 & 2, on three separate occasions; YOU are too stupid to go canoeing or kayaking, with or without a cat.

P.S.#2 Don't get your panties or bvds in a wad. My wife & I have 2 (non paddling), 12 year old, adopted cats.


if you’re gonna troll at least come up with something original?

I used to have a dog-supply catalog that listed many sizes of PFDs, based on weight ranges. That’s probably where to look for your cat’s PFD.

I’ve seen at least 6 sizes listed, so check around as you’ll need one of the smallest sizes.

Take photos! I have never seen or heard of a cat in the water that liked it.

Just use a cat carrier …
strapped to the deck like a deck bag. You can use quick release straps and add flotation to the carrier. I am sure your cat will love it.

Freeze drying the cat in a suitable
posture will make it a more effective paddle.

This just in


That method of carrying a pet …
… would make you unfit to be President:

I have seen a cat kayaking
We stopped by to see what the dock at Cosumnes River preserve looked like when it wasn’t flooded. Chatting with an elderly lady and assisted her in getting her rec kayak onto her wheels to carry it to the car. Then she pulled out this bundle from the bow and it was a cat in a blanket. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

Apparently the cat kayaks with her all the time and just snuggles up in the blanket and snoozes. I guess if everything lines up it works out, but pretty uncommon.

I take my cat paddling all the time. I made him a little hydrofoil hat that helps propel us forward.

run over it first though
maximum blade area.

Water Cats
Believe it or not there are cats who don’t mind being around water. Look up Russian Fishing Cats. When I lived in Norway I had a friend who lived on a small boat with several happy cats. My father in law owned a cat who used to swim in the irrigation canals to go hunting. In fact when the water was flowing swiftly it would judge where to enter the canal, swim down stream on perfect ferry angle and come out at the easiest spot to get out on the other side.

Probably a good thing
you don’t own an elephant. I’m thinking a 50 lb rock would make a good pfd, for you not the cat. Just helping Darwin along.

Cats do sleep a lot
The gentle rocking motion of a kayak in calm water probably soothes that lady’s cat!

Actually, it sounds pretty good to me, too.

Window of openness
Puppies have a period when they are most receptive to new experiences. It’s a golden time to expose it to all the things you want to do with it.

Maybe kittens have a similar time; humans do.

I’ve known a cat (unneutered, to boot) whom the owner took everywhere with him, just like the best dog buddy. The cat behaved more like a well-socialized dog than anything else.

Get 'em out when they’re young!

RIP George
George (the cat) belonged to one of the couples in the local paddling group. Until his passing due to illness last year, he was an avid boater. I had seen him in both canoe and kayak on a few different rivers. He loved being on the water.

George never wore a PFD, but he was usually on a leash when ashore (can’t have a cat wandering off in the brush and delaying the trip). He didn’t mind the leash either. I was told that George was raised pretty much the same as one would raise a dog - and so he seemed to think he was a dog. I remember hearing of one trip where he was riding in a dry-hatch through a difficult stretch of river and got “tumbled” a bit, but it didn’t seem to bother him.

We did a trip down the Snake River Birds of Prey stretch with George and his people. He didn’t seem to attract any avian attention. I don’t think that’s really anything to worry about - what with paddles and people moving about close to the cat.

Dry Bag…
Put the cat in a large drybag with a window…clip the bag to a tow line and tow kitty along behind…