My problem is going on a boat with my family. It's not that I don't love the water, but I get scared of the noises and boats coming and going. Can you tell me how to get rid of my scaredy-cat behavior?
I do know of a cat who rode around on a speedboat on a giant lake in northern Minnesota. He loved it! It isn't uncommon for some dogs and cats to go on boats. I think going over some rules and precautions will set your heart rate at ease.
Dogs are better boaters if the adventure is shorter, like a day trip. They adapt quickly to their new surroundings. Cats may take a little longer to adapt to the boat, but once there and settled in, they could go forever. I highly recommend Diana B. Jessie's book, Cruising with Your Four-Footed Friends. Her book is full of great advice for you and your owners, like:
• Do a trial run before planning that "ultimate" adventure. Your humans should introduce you to your new quarters and pathways, slowly, without leaving the dock.
• Take a short romp around the deck to get used to the feel of being on the water.
• Add motor noises and activities as you are feeling more comfortable to ensure a happy sail.
Everyone on the boat should have a personal flotation device — except the cat. Even the smallest "dog" PDF does not fit a cat well and limits their movement. Jessie trains her cats for rescue by hanging a towel off the boat and teaching them to climb it. If they fall off, they can swim to the towel and get back on board. Brilliant!