In the interest of time, Ill go ahead and freely admit that, no, I do not have any children, and, yes, I tend to treat my balinses cat like the spoiled only-child I never had. The one time he was in any kind of jeopardy, I pretty much lost my mind. I fully embrace my status as a Crazy Cat Lady and have already been given the appropriate action figure by friends, so lets just move past these points and continue on to the subject at hand
My cat has been raised entirely indoors and has less survival instincts than an developmentally-delayed lemming. Moreover, when they were handing out the feline attributes of agility and grace, I think he was busy going back through the line for a second helping of caterwauling, because hes the most clumsy cat Ive ever met. My cat has been witnessed by more than one friend tripping over a line in a tile floor. He also thinks that his monthly bathin which I wipe him down with a washcloth moistened with a spray-on cat dry bath solutionis the worst conceivable thing that could ever possibly happen to him. Theirs wailing and mock fainting fits for hours afterward.
All of these factors combined makes me more than a little nervous that I’m about to move cat into a tiny floating home which is surrounded by the River on all sides. I was very careful that when I had new windows installed in the place to order ones with built in screens. But there is still the possibility that he might one day try to sneak out either the front or back door when they’re open. And when that happens, I worry about him ending up in the water.
In preparation for moving him, Ive been doing a lot of reading about how liveaboard sailers manage the safety of their pets. Many sailboat owners with cats will leave a towel or rope ladder draped over the side of their ship. That way, if a cat falls overboard, they have something to help pull themselves back on board. Unfortunately, my cat has no front claws and I’m not sure he has the agility to manage a rope ladder.
Ive been hunting for some sort of sensor that could be attached to his collar that would emit an alarm should it ever come in contact with water. If anyone knows of a device like this for pets, please let me know because, so far, I haven’t had much luck finding one. The closest thing Ive found so far are wristbands intended for children that are listed as weighing a pound. That seems like it might be overkill for my seven pound cat even for an over-protective cat mother like me.
Ive also thought about trying to set up some sort of sonic fence over the two doors to try to encourage him to stay inside. I’m not thrilled at the idea of zapping my cat anytime he gets too close. Especially as slow as he is when it comes to learning what hes not supposed to do. But I may end up setting one up.
So far, the thing I find that comes the closest to addressing my concerns of trying to prevent my precious baby from drowning pet life preservers. Yes, they do in fact make them for both dogs and cats. I’m not the only over-protective pet parent out there. I’m just not sure its practical to have my cat spend the rest of his life wearing one as a safety precaution in case me might someday get out and fall in. I could however, see making him wear one if I ever let him come outside on a leash.
In case this information might be useful for someone else, Ive listed several suppliers of pet life preservers below: