Cruisin’ With Your Kitty

Ship’s cat Leeloo keeps watch as the dingy approaches <em>Pitufa</em>.

Ship’s cat Leeloo keeps watch as the dingy approaches <em>Pitufa</em>. (Birgit Hackle/)

The profession of ship’s cat is as old as seafaring itself, with a long history of cats on board not just as companions, but also to help protect crew and cargo from any unwanted pests. Our cat, Leeloo, moved aboard when she was 8 years old and cruised with us for 10 years. At first, we worried about how a cat would tackle long passages, and what to expect when dealing with foreign officials, but cruising with Leeloo turned out to be easier than expected. Although she spent her first few days down below deck, Leeloo’s curiosity eventually propelled her into the cockpit, and it was (mostly) smooth sailing from there. We’ve been asked a lot of questions about having a cat on board. Each cat is different; each crew has a different vision of cruising life. There’s no one answer that works for everyone, but here are some guidelines that worked for us.

Safety On Board…

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