RV Experience Sharing our experience about RVing

August 8, 2005

Traveling In An RV With A Cat

Filed under: Uncategorized — donwood49 @ 5:53 pm

If you enjoyed the company of a cat in your stick house, you’ll probably want to bring them along with you in your travels. Some preparation is needed as well as some orientation for the cat and its people. Our cat was eight years old before his first trip and hated to ride in the car because it always meant he was going to the vets office. Preparing him to travel was possibly more important than for a kitten.
Our cat was already trained to walk on a leash. Obtain a good harness and attach identification tags. One thing to note, it is important to use a light weight leash cord to minimize the strain on the cats neck.
Prepare a new nest.

The cat needs a place of their own. Someplace to get away and feel safe. We prepared a nest in the space under our couch where the cross bracing prevented good use as storage. We cut a cat sized opening into the couch base cabinet about the center of the cabinet. There are two drawers on either side of the cabinet and the new cat nest in between. We padded the nest for comfort. Other places that might be used are a shelf in a kitchen or bathroom cabinet with an opening for the cat to enter.
We also provided a perch. A shelf was added by the passenger side window above the couch. This allows the cat to ride in comfort and watch outside as desired.
Find a good place, out of the way, where the cats food and water can be placed. It will need to be out all the time so a good location choice is important. We placed it by the wall under the table in a high walled tray. Spills or scattering of the cat food is contained in the tray. It also helps to keep the our feet out.

A cat needs a litter box. It needs to always be available so again, a good location is important. We placed ours in the bathtub. Our tub/shower has a shower curtain so it is easily left open for cat access. It is important to keep the litter out of the drain since it will expand, cling and clog the drain. We obtained a good secure fitting plug. When we shower, we place the litter box in the hallway. We sweep out the kitty litter that gets kicked out with use, then wipe with a damp cloth. and are ready to shower. When we’re through showering, we wipe the shower walls and curtain dry and return the litter box to the tub. If you have swinging shower doors you may not be able to use this location. If your shower doors slide, you may be able to use the shower. Other locations could be the sacrifice of another cabinet but this will require fitting the litter box into the space available. Remember, the cat needs some head room to do their business.
We leash our cat whenever he’s outside. In order to allow the screen door to be left open for ventilation, we attached a bungee cord nearby and use it to secure the screen door closed when needed. We also installed side window louvers to allow the windows to be left open but not allow the cat to get through the screen.
Speaking of ventilation, it’s important to keep the inside cool for the cat. Our air conditioner sometimes trips the breaker or stops working for other reasons. In general, air conditioners can’t be relied on unless someone is there to monitor the operation. The ceiling exhaust fan is much more reliable as well as are open windows. We set the exhaust fan on manual and open our side windows and ceiling vents. If it’s really warm, we also turn on the shower exhaust fan.
Practice RV living with your cat before you leave. We camped in the RV in our driveway for a week or so. Each evening we would go out to the RV with the cat and watch TV or eat dinner for a couple of hours. We would run the generator occasionally and do other noisy activities like running the range hood vent so the cat became used to the RV noises. We slept in the RV with the cat. We also went on short trips in the RV with the cat, like to the market. When we did leave on longer trips, the cat was ready.
Due to the limited space, the cat may need to be exercised. Be sure to have cat toys and to play with your cat. Our cat also likes to take a walk outside whenever we arrive. That usually is the only time he wants outside. We encourage him to go outside and take a walk occasionally.

Our cat has adjusted well. Toward the end of our first long trip, he learned to ride the dash, leaning into the turns to stay on the dash. He likes to ride on the dash when we’re driving at night because he likes the lights.
Also, prepare copies of the cats medical records including shot records to keep in the RV.
Before we drive away from our campsite or other parking place, we take inventory of our cat to be sure of where he is. This is also important before activating slide-outs if your RV is so equipped.
Our travels with our cat have been very enjoyable. Our methods may or may not apply to you and your cat, however, you and your cat can probably develop your own methods. A little preparation and effort makes everyone happy.

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