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Cycling with a Cat on Calmac

TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
edited October 2011 in The bottom bracket
I've no idea which forum to ask, but hopefully here and Tour and Expedition may give me an answer.

Our much loved, placid and gentle cat has now been diagnosed as diabetic (amongst other physical problems). So he need his insulin shots twice daily, as well as other medication.

We visit the island of Coll twice a year, for four-ten days, leaving the car in Oban, and taking the bikes. We now cannot find someone who can care for our cat when we're away. Previous attempts at a cattery resulted in a stress related and life threatening blocked bladder. The vet will prescribe a mild sedative for the journey.

So.........we've thought about taking him with us. We stay in a house where he can't get out, and as he's very attached to us, we think he would prefer that than the cattery. I've seen small animal baskets on the web he could travel in, but it's the ferry part that's worrying me. Caledonian MacBrayne will gladly take a cat, they say, but I've never actually seen one on board to ask his opinion.

He has previously come fishing with us on a small boat.

And em, yes, he does have his own life jacket.

Has anyone here cycled with their cat?

Any advice please?

Posts

  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    Though of singing him up for Team Type One Tusher? (that was a mouthful).

    Sorry to joke, but i am Type 1 Diabetic so i'm allowed :wink: feel sorry for your cat.
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    He could travel on a Team Type One jersey!!

    You've brightened my day, LL.
  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,674
    Tusher wrote:
    IAnd em, yes, he does have his own life jacket.
    Yes, but does he have his own helmet for when he's on the bike?
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Oh my goodness. I've just googled 'cat helmets' and they do indeed exist. Although how you get the cat to keep it on would be another saga.

    Oddly (or sadly) enough, animal life jackets predated child life jackets by some years.
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    Tusher wrote:
    Oddly (or sadly) enough, animal life jackets predated child life jackets by some years.

    Sounds fair enough to me :lol:
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    I have shown your photograph to my cat, LL, and he is horrified that I would even consider giving him a GREEN helmet.

    Cats have standards.
  • LeicesterLadLeicesterLad Posts: 3,908
    Tusher wrote:
    I have shown your photograph to my cat, LL, and he is horrified that I would even consider giving him a GREEN helmet.

    Cats have standards.

    What if he wins the points jersey in the TdF?
  • DIESELDOGDIESELDOG Posts: 2,087
    Tusher wrote:
    Oh my goodness. I've just googled 'cat helmets' and they do indeed exist. Although how you get the cat to keep it on would be another saga.

    Oddly (or sadly) enough, animal life jackets predated child life jackets by some years.

    I can tell you how to keep walnut shells on their paws if that helps?

    Love n hugs

    DD
    Eagles may soar but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

    www.onemanandhisbike.co.uk
  • Not ferry related but I was hols once and a couple had brought their cats and dogs as they were moving permanently. The dogs were in cages like these (obviosly with blankets in)

    http://www.croftonline.co.uk/products.a ... no=1102des

    and the cats in cages like the above only a tad smaller. They had flown from england to portugal, someone asked the beardy owner guy about rabies and quarantine and I overheard him say that as long as his pets passports were up to date there was no problem. They did pong a bit though.
    The dissenter is every human being at those moments of his life when he resigns
    momentarily from the herd and thinks for himself.
  • Redhog14Redhog14 Posts: 1,377
    Cycling with a Cat on Calmac

    Love it!
  • one of these perhaps ? http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dog-Bike-Basket ... B0029ES340

    I googled Pet Cycle Basket and there was no end of results.....hope he has a good time
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Just in case anyone finds this thread in centuries to come and wants to know more, the comments in this blog are useful (although none involve ferries)

    http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/06/ ... ty-to.html


    I have wasted an entire afternoon researching this, from cat carriers to feline helmets.

    It's why the internet was invented.
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Dunnoh about cats but I've seen a dog in a bike trailer on CalMac.
    Think they left the dog in the trailer as with other vehicle bound dogs.

    Coll's what 3 hours though and your cat is not a dog, so probably be able to carry it with you rather than be stuck in the dog area on deck with foot passengers dogs.
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Well, hopefully we could sit somewhere far away from dogs. There's usually a few aboard, looking cute and trying to scrounge censored -bits. (Husband's in the background reporting that he's seen a variety of dogs in the bar. He thinks he's funny.)

    At least it's (usually) a quiet ferry as well. Most people head for the observation deck before the boat leaves Oban and fall asleep. In the winter anyway.
  • nwallacenwallace Posts: 1,465
    Tusher wrote:
    Well, hopefully we could sit somewhere far away from dogs. There's usually a few aboard, looking cute and trying to scrounge censored -bits. (Husband's in the background reporting that he's seen a variety of dogs in the bar. He thinks he's funny.)

    At least it's (usually) a quiet ferry as well. Most people head for the observation deck before the boat leaves Oban and fall asleep. In the winter anyway.

    Nothing to do with it leaving at 4am or saome similarly early time?
    Do Nellyphants count?

    Commuter: FCN 9
    Cheapo Roadie: FCN 5
    Off Road: FCN 11

    +1 when I don't get round to shaving for x days
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Just after 6.30 I think. Dark anyway. I'm always famished and the first in the breakfast queue. Then I fall asleep.
    I've yet to see the sunrise from the boat.
    There was once a family of 4 in the observation deck and -would you believe this- they were Talking All The Way, observing things and the father was telling them about the geology and bird life on Tiree. Imagine!!

    They were glowered into silence by the other passengers.


    At least the return journey is in daylight, but even then there is a soporific quality to that sailing.


    Unlike a summer sailing to Mull which is frazzling.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    I'd be far too worried about the poor puss getting lost or running into the road and having an accident. Contact your local branch of Cat Protection, they may have some advice for you and for a donation they may look after the cat for you if they have pen space.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Alas, the 'local' branch of The Cat's Protection League is far away, but there is an excellent cattery that's only an hour's drive from us, and we did put him there one year when, due to disastrous planning, all our neighbours went on holiday at the same time.

    Unfortunately, although they were superb, he was stressed out (and he's usually a big, easy going friendly softie) and refused to pee, resulting in an emergency visit to the vets' for retention of urine. We've taken him with us a couple of times since then, and he's been fine as long as he knows we're around. He's ok travelling in a car.

    We're still undecided, but as long as he's secure in his basket we feel he should be ok.
    On arrival, even if he did get out, there is a road on the island, but no fast cars where we'd be staying. Actually, no fast cars at all. Although I realise that even at 10mph a cat wouldn't survive, but he's wise to cars having been run over as a kitten.

    Others options are trying to find a cat sitter who could move in to our house whilst we're away. And thank you for suggesting if the CPL had any advice- I hadn't thought of that.
  • skyd0gskyd0g Posts: 2,540
    Tusher wrote:
    I have shown your photograph to my cat, LL, and he is horrified that I would even consider giving him a GREEN helmet.

    Cats have standards.

    What if he wins the points jersey in the TdF?

    He'd never go for that - everyone knows that the points jersey winner never stands a chance in the individual TT.
    Cycling weakly
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    His favourite colour of clothing is black, the old lanterne rouge of the Giro decades back.
    And it would have to be freshly ironed.
  • ben16vben16v Posts: 296
    could you not get someone to house sit for you? i`m very attached to my cat even though she hates me lol, and often worry when im away so am getting a friend to move in for the week we are away! i would happily come and look after you cat if i was close
    i need more bikes
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    It's certainly an another option we're looking into. And he's terribly good when getting his insulin injections. Kind neighbour has offered to pop down twice daily, but we're worried he doesn't eat after his injections, so we'd prefer someone was with him all day and night. North Wales is hundreds of miles away, but thank you anyway :)

    Away to bed with said cat to ponder options.

    Many thanks for all suggestions, I appreciate them all.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    We're still undecided, but as long as he's secure in his basket we feel he should be ok.

    We once had a cat get out of it's basket and escape just as he was about to enter the vets to be neutered! He must have known. We do Cat's Protection and move cats a lot, only good basket is the wire type with a lid that closes and locks with a sliding bar on top.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    Is he happy in the cat basket ? Apparently you should leave it open in the house so they get used to it. I'm really not sure my cat would fancy cycling with me. She'd suspect we'd be on an unusual trip to the vets or something.

    I think the best option would be to find a house sitter or something similar.
  • psychlepsychle Posts: 83
    :idea:
    Well, I got fed up with the hassle of taking the bike on our biannual trips to Barra so my solution was to just get another one and leave it there. After all, you can never have too many. Not an expensive one of course, it's only being used occassionally. If I had had an old clapped-out one I'd have taken that and used the opportunity to upgrade to a newer, better one to keep at home.

    Huh? N+1 doesn't apply to cats? :?
    Tell that to old Agnes down the street.


    "Like a pig towing a cart-load of sausages - I draw my own conclusions"
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    Problem solved. My mother-in-law has kindly agreed to move in whilst we're away and she'll pander to his every whim. She's a (human) nurse, and isn't daunted by having to give him insulin injections. It does though leave us with a problem next year when they usually come with us, but perhaps that will give me plenty time to look further into buying him a cat carrier and getting used to the idea. Or else find another cat sitter.

    I've been having nightmares about him getting out and leaping overboard, to be honest. Although he did enjoy fishing with us (he jumped straight into the passenger seat whenever he saw the tender being hitched up to the car) and our wee boat was pretty noisy with the smelt of diesel, he was never threatened by anything and there were fresh, wriggling fish as a bonus. With a warm little cabin to sleep in.

    But the ferry would be an entirely different experience to him. And there will almost certainly be dogs on board. He flees from large dogs (naturally) but he sees small dogs as torture victims (he's a big cat, over 6kg) and takes pleasure from assaulting them. He is especially fond of tormenting guide dogs. And trying to keep him in his basket for four hours in total would be misery for him- he would have to become reacquainted with his harness so he could sit out with us. And all it would take would be a guide dog to come round the corner and...........(shudder)........I can see the headlines in The Oban Times.

    No, it could all go so horribly wrong.

    Also, Coll doesn't have a resident vet.

    Still, if anyone has tried this, I would be very interested to hear how they got on.

    Many thanks again for everyone who took the time to reply. I do appreciate it.

    Tusher
  • TusherTusher Posts: 2,762
    And have now completely gone off the notion.

    This morning's boat couldn't get into Coll, it tried Tiree and then had to give up and is returning to Oban. A friend's on board and says it's the worst weather she's ever known.
    She boarded at 06:30 and they'll not be back in Oban until 15:30.

    That would be far too long for a cat, and, stuck in a basket, I don't even want to think about feline sea sickness. It just wouldn't be fair to him.
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