January 21, 2019

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How to Cat Canoe

The Cat Canoe is a modern cat bed, and cats use it in many funny ways

What is the Cat Canoe?

The Cat Canoe® is a long and narrow bed that we created for cats. The bed looks a bit like a boat, and we thought the idea of a cat sitting in a boat inside your house was really funny, so we named it accordingly. Because probably all cats want total indoor luxury, no water required. Am I right? 

Cat Canoe modern cat bed, made in leopard fabric

Retro lounges in a leopard fabric Cat Canoe® modern cat bed

We use the same kinds of materials for the Cat Canoe® that we use to make our Cat Ball® cat bed, just fabric (usually 100% cotton fabrics) and foam, so the beds are padded, flexible, soft, foldable and washable. This photo helps to show how the bed is flexible:

The Cat Canoe is a modern cat bed made with flexible foam panels

Baby Retro demonstrates the flexibility of the Cat Canoe bed

Standard Size or Jumbo Size?

We make the Cat Canoe® in two sizes, standard and jumbo. You can see the two sizes in this photo:

A small cat looking at the Cat Canoe in the standard and jumbo size optionsTink is comparing the standard Cat Canoe to the jumbo

Most cats can use the standard size, we hear from customers with 19 pound cats, or two regular size cats, using this bed. The flexible components just press open, and everyone snuggles inside and they look so cozy. Here we see two normal size cats sharing our standard Cat Canoe:

Two cats inside a standard size Cat Canoe: photo by Instagram @crazycatmish

Instagram user @crazycatmish often sees their two cats sharing a Cat Canoe

Of course you can use a jumbo size Cat Canoe if you want, or if you like the fabric better. Instagram user @fonzbear found that the bigger size worked well for their two cats:

Two cats in a jumbo cat canoe: photo by @fonzbear on Instagram

Two cats in a jumbo cat canoe: photo by @fonzbear on Instagram

Our standard size Cat Canoe® is about 8" wide across the bottom, and measures about 24" from tip to tip. The sides are almost 7" tall. We suggest this bed for pets to about 18 - 19 pounds. In the photo below you can compare a small cat and a large cat in the standard size Cat Canoe:

Compare cat sizes in the Cat Canoe

The standard size Cat Canoe: Tink weighs 7.5 pounds (l) and Retro weighs 15 pounds (r). Retro likes to hang body parts off the sides of this bed. 

We created our jumbo size Cat Canoe® for really big cats, like the Maine Coon Cat and Norwegian Forest Cat. Adult male cats in these breeds are often in the 25 pound range, and they tend to be very tall and long kitties. Our jumbo size measures about 12" across the base and is 24" long. Below you can see our same two models as above inside the jumbo Cat Canoe® design:

Compare cat sizes: a small cat and large cat inside the jumbo size Cat Canoe

Compare cat sizes: 7.5 pound Tink (l) and 15 pound Retro (r)  inside the jumbo size Cat Canoe. Tink is crouching, and Retro is laying down


Turning the Cat Canoe inside out

You can turn the Cat Canoe inside out, but why would you want to? Here are some great reasons:

Preparing for photos - We make the beds with 100% cottons, and the fabric on a new Cat Canoe will be just a little loose and may be wrinkled. To make them look nice, I turn them inside out, spray the bed lightly all over with water, and then toss in the dryer on LOW setting while it's still inside out. It's just enough to shrink the fabric a little and unwrinkle, and this process also helps to open the shape of the new foam panels. 


Azzo inside a Cat Canoe® that has been turned inside out. Photo by @allie.azzo

Allie inside a Cat Canoe® that has been turned inside out. Photo by @allie.azzo

Cleanup - Removing shedded fur can be easier if the bed is turned inside out. If you are washing the Cat Canoe because someone puked inside, you absolutely should have it turned inside out when you wash it.

New Foam - Our Cat Canoe design is designed so that it presses slightly inward. This effect is more exaggerated in our jumbo size Cat Canoe than it is in our standard size. Some cats really like this, and other cats seem to get confused by it. Turning the bed inside out creates a wider shape. If you just bought a Cat Canoe and your cat hasn't used it, try turning it inside out. It's possible that your kitty will prefer the wider shape. 

Novelty - One thing I've observed about cats is they usually respond to novelty: bring something new into the home and they will come check it out. Turning the Cat Canoe inside out changes the bed, and if your cats have stopped using the bed (or any cat bed, for that matter) this simple change may arouse their curiosity. 

The jumbo Cat Canoe bed turned inside out

The jumbo Cat Canoe, shown as is on the left, and turned inside out on the right


Funny Things That Cats Do (inside the Cat Canoe)

We designed the Cat Canoe® to be a cat bed, but cats are playful creatures, and we've seen them get creative with their beds. For example:

The "Turtle Shell"

Some cats somehow turn the Cat Canoe upside down and get under it, then wear the bed around like a turtle shell. We aren't kidding - we've seen multiple cats do it, and it's hysterical. This image by @djvolkman gives you an idea of how cute it is. Wait until you see a video of the cat scooting around!

Cat hiding under the Cat Canoe like a turtle shell. Photo by @djvolkman

Cat hiding under the Cat Canoe like a turtle shell. Photo by @djvolkman

Now imagine this purple bed showls shuffling forward, toward your exposed toes. Watch out! 

 The "Tank"

Increase your military strategy with a stealth attack! In this expert maneuver, the cats hide under the Cat Canoe®, then zoom around the room as they basically wear the bed like a military accessory. This image by @thezoorescue shows "the tank" after it runs out of gas. 

Photo of a cat inside the Cat Canoe, taken by @thezoorescue

Sometimes the "tank" Cat Canoe runs out of gas and just falls over. Photo by @thezoorescue on Instagram

I'm pretty sure that this Cat Canoe tank was up and running around just a few minutes ago. Military maneuvers are likely to commence again around 2:00 a.m. 

The "Bathtub"

Sooner of later you're probably going to see this: the cat has turned the Cat Canoe® into a bathtub. Look at those toes! Photo of cat in a jumbo cat canoe, taken by @diary.of.4.spoiled.meows

Just taking my bath, inside a jumbo Cat Canoe. Photo by @diary.of.4.spoiled.meows

 Doesn't this look like a great place for a cat to take a bath? 

The "Rudder" or the "paddle"

Some cats like to leave a leg or tail sticking out over the side of this bed, like a paddle or a rudder, and Veruca gives a good example of this in the image below:

Photo by Instagram user, @verucabritishblue

Veruca, of @verucabritishblue, is a funny kitty!

 I don't know where Veruca is heading, but that tail looks like an effective rudder. 

Fancy "Pawwork"

Paw work, or #pawwork (found on on Twitter and Instagram) is a position that shows paws, usually a cat's, displayed prominently and often crossed in an elegant manner. The front of the Cat Canoe is a perfect spot for fancy pawwork.

Cat in a Cat Canoe - photo by Instagram user @ennyandherjet_starringtaj

Taj shows us some fine pawwork. Photo by @ennyandherjet_starringtaj

See how fine that pawwork is? This might be the most elegant thing Taj ever does (ask him about the cone of shame).

Dogs and #goggietime

From tiny to big, we have also seen dogs using the Cat Canoe®. This little cutie is Odie:

Odie the dog using the Cat Canoe modern cat bed

Odie the dog using the Cat Canoe® modern cat bed

 If your little dog likes a bed with high sides, the Cat Canoe® might work OK. Sometimes the dog just waits until the cat is away on a business trip, and then give the bed a try themselves:

A big dog sleeping on the Cat Canoe bed

 A big dog sleeping on the Cat Canoe® bed

For more photos of dogs using our cat bed products, search Instagram for hashtag #goggietime

Cats on the Go

Some people like the Cat Canoe® for travel. The bed fits into many cat carriers and may help your cat to feel just a little more comfortable during a trip. We are working on getting a video to show how we use a Cat Canoe® to load a squirmy cat into a cat carrier. If you have any travel photos with cats (or other pets) using a Cat Canoe on the go and want to share them, let us know! 

How does your kitty use the Cat Canoe®? Is there anything we left out?  We'd love to learn from your experiences!


Jennifer Boaro
Jennifer Boaro


1 Comment

Tori Gregory
Tori Gregory

February 18, 2020

What percentage of kitties ignore a Cat Ball ™ but will take to a cat Canoe ™? I just bought my Delphi a Cat Ball ™ to give her a fun place from which she can maintain surveillance of my activities, in the rare times I’m not in my lift/recliner chair with Herself in my lap, or purring gently on my chest. She was immediately interested, sticking her head through the small hole to see inside, then coming around to larger opening and taking her head and front paws inside with rest of her posy visible outside the bed. I had to LOL because the pics were identical to the pics of Retro who was the ”kitty operator” pictured with the bed we purchased.

Anyway I still am going to try the water mist and dryer trick to set line shape of Delphi’s new Cst Ball, then put the ball in a favorite napping and surveillance spot. However, I do wonder if D pull prefer a cat Canoe? She likes to sue veil me from on high and likes to,see,where I am in the house . She really enjoys a heated bed…. donut style with low round sides.

Haven’t used the Cat Ball ™ yet! Haven’t done the dryer tightening it up so the bed could be repackaged and returned pretty easily I kept all plastic, twist r8s, and cards.

Does 8t sound like D ,igniting prefer a Cat Canoe ™? She loves to snuggle and feel safe but may prefer to see what’s around her more than she can in the cave-style Cat Ball ™ !

If I buy a cat canoe, and she takes to that, can the unused cat ball ™ be returned for a refund??
Thanks! We got the neutral Exterior with the dotty stripes In earthy colors. Is that fabric also available as a cat canoe?

Think that’s all my questions! Thank you For a wonderful product!

Tori Gregory

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