I build cat frames with the rower forward, passenger(s) back. Given the length of my frames, that puts the rowing seat close to center which gives the boat perfect trim when rowing solo on day/play trips. A passenger gives an aft trim, which I like better than having the tubes nose down.
I also hate having to rubberneck to see past people up front and having them get knocked off a front seat by a wave to land on my feet or in my lap: hard to row. A rear passenger is more protected.
On long trips, I rig an extra gearframe up front and a cooler for the rear seat, which trims nicely.
This is a 15 ft. x 19 inch Jack's Flyer Cat on Deso. Two people, 1 dog, 8 days.