More people are taking to the water with their pets than they were ten years ago and this includes our cats! This has caused quite the surge in people asking for cat life jackets. You may have your kayak, your swim wear and found a picturesque lake to play on, but for your cat to join you we need to know if cats can wear life jackets so lets discuss this further.
Can Cats Wear Life Jackets?
Cats can wear life jackets however you will more commonly see them wearing pet buoyancy aids because they are lightweight ensuring a cat remains agile and nimble.
What Is a Cat Life Jacket?
The term life jacket does appear to be used in a broad umbrella manner to categorise a variety of different floatation aids. The same can be said for human life jackets and buoyancy aids. We generally will wear a buoyancy aid nine times out of ten. A life jacket would typically be used in a 'more risky' environment.
According to RYA.org.uk:
It is strongly recommended that you wear a lifejacket in the following circumstances:
• If you're a non-swimmer and there is any possibility of entering the water
• When the skipper deems it necessary
• When abandoning ship
• When you feel you want to wear one or if you are not totally sure that you do not need to wear one.
From my recent research into this topic we have been unable to find a cat life jacket. According to RYA.org.uk a lifejacket is intended for use where high performance is required. For example turning an unconscious person into a safe position and requires no further action to maintain this position.
If we apply this same logic to cats, then I don't believe this exists on the market. We believe that as a cat owner you will be responsible enough to be close to your cat and to ensure they are comfortable in the water. Therefore a buoyancy aid will provide the flotation they need.
If you and your cat can swim and you are not abandoning ship then a buoyancy aid will suit you fine for your water activities and will provide the floatation you will require.
What Is a Cat Buoyancy Aid?
A cat buoyancy aid is typically used as a floatation aid which is great for any mishaps when your cat could end up in the water during some water activities. It is a good choice for a cat because they are able to keep themselves afloat regardless but it will help them to stay afloat.
Buoyancy aids must provide 50 newton's of buoyancy which will easily keep a cat afloat as this is even ample for a human, however they will not auto inflate and flip them over in dangerous waters the same as a human buoyancy aid wouldn't for us. They have a foam core meaning they cannot burst and there is no risk of them not auto inflating which has on occasion been seen with life jackets.
if you are looking to buy one for your cat you can find them here.
This is not a Baltic Cat Life Jacket, they are Baltic Cat Buoyancy Aids which ensures your cat can remain reasonably nimble and agile.
Buy Here - Cat Buoyancy Aid
Can Cats Swim Without a Life Jacket?
Despite many cats not being keen on the water, they can actually swim without a life jacket. You should gradually introduce them with the right safety gear available which could include pet buoyancy aids. They are capable of swimming back to land or to a boat if the opportunity arises, they just may never forgive you...ever! One thing that many with boats consider is
Why Does a Cat Need a Buoyancy Aid?
Technically speaking, they don't need one. They can swim without one, however having an aid that helps them to swim and is light enough for them to remain agile will certainly help you to remain calm should they fall in the water. They may even enjoy swimming with a little assistance and should you need to quickly pull them out of the water, you can with a grab handle on the buoyancy aid.
How Do You Choose The Right Buoyancy Aid?
Ensure it has a D ring so you can attach a lead. Also make sure there is a lift handle so you can easily remove them from the water. Finally, try to purchase one which is reflective in colour for better visibility of them. Sizing is also important and you should ensure the fit is comfortable and snug around the neck without being so tight that it restricts any breathing.
How Much Does a Cat Buoyancy Aid Cost?
Cat buoyancy aids typically cost between £15.00 and £50.00. You don't need to pay such a high price for them and you should be looking at a price somewhere in the middle ground at around £30.00. The most important thing is comfort, fit, practicality and safety.
To conclude, the term life jacket is used by many as a broad term or categorisation for all different floatation devices. The buoyancy aid will help your cats to stay afloat and it is better to wear one than not wear one. It also ensures that cats can remain agile and nimble when in the water.