RV Travel with Cats

SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
edited 16 May, 2009 in Cats & Travel
Our humans just purchased a used RV and they are looking forward to traveling in it. We are very bonded to Mommy and don\'t like to be left alone for very long, so she is optimistic that we can become RV cats. We tolerate the car okay, but this has been only for short trips. We would be most appreciative of any tips or suggestions from our fellow RV kitties on how your humans got you used to RV travel and how to make it a more pleasant experience for us.


  • Barbara HansonBarbara Hanson Member Posts: 1,232
    edited 11 May, 2009
    Miss Daisy and Miss Phoebe love to travel in the mini-van. We take trips up to 10 hours long in it! They didn\'t like the kitty slammer...oops the boarding place. They use a covered litter box in the van ...eat their food inside of it and love it! We know of 2 other couples who travel around the country in an RV with their kitties. Once your kitties realize that nothing bad will happen to them in the RV and they can be with you...we bet they will love it!
  • Heidi HessenHeidi Hessen Acworth/KennesawMember Posts: 975
    edited 12 May, 2009
    oh Tully!!! mom is so happy for your pawrents!!! that\'s here dream, to have an rv and go lots of different places and we can ALL GO TOGETHER!!! mom is thinking that maybe you should all try \'camping out\" in the RV for awhile. do this before going anywhere, just at home. try a couple nights....then maybe a short trip - like an hour or two. mom thinks that if all the good kitty smells are there with the good human smells when it starts to roll it will be pretty good. i know I would LOVE to do that!!! i really like riding in the car (yeah, i know, i am a weirdo! :)) ). but i DO! at first i am a bit timid, but once we get rollin its all good! mom doesn\'t do it much with me, but when we go to the doctor place (which i HATE, by the way) mom will take the long way so i can look out the windows and see and smell new things. let us know how it goes!!!
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 13 May, 2009
    Hi Miss Daisy, Miss Phoebe, and Maxwell, Thanks for your suggestions. Mom is definitely planning to \"camp out\" with us for a couple of nights while the RV is parked in our driveway. There is a nice cozy queen bed in the back of the RV she knows we will love once we get comfortable in there. Dad is looking for local RV parks so our first night \"on the road\" will be somewhat close to home. We plan to take it slow at first until we are comfortable being on the road for more than 1-2 days. One thing Mom wonders about is, do RV pawrents always stay close to the RV when cats are on board? What if the humans want to do activities away from the RV? Do you leave the kitties locked inside? Mom knows to NEVER leave us in a vehicle that could become too hot, or with inadequate ventilation, but how safe is it to leave kitties in an RV if the humans want to go off and swim, hike, etc.? These are the issues that are making our Mom worried. She is wondering if she will always need to stay around the RV if we are inside.
  • Heidi HessenHeidi Hessen Acworth/KennesawMember Posts: 975
    edited 14 May, 2009
    Hi Tully, mom thinks your mom should go to some rv websites...like camper groups or something... there are alot of peeples that take their furkids with them we are sure, and there should be somebody in a forum or blog who can help with that kinda stuff. maybe there is a whole bunch of peeples that have kitties in rv's! mom just found this by good searching rv cats: http://www.woodalls.com/email/diamondnewsletter/0607/Pets_landing.html she also found a picture of a rv kitty in an article - ya gotta look down a couple paragrafs to read the good stuff.... heres the address http://www.rv.org/p17756.pdf the article is called fulltimers going small. remember!!! let us know how it goes!!! we are very VERY curious!!!
  • Susie, Mike Yang, VeldboerSusie, Mike Yang, Veldboer VancouverMember Posts: 4,115
    edited 15 May, 2009
    Hi Tully, Congratulations you’ll soon become an RV kitty! If you guys don’t mind car rides I think you are definitely better off with your humans on the trip. My humans took me on a 2 (or 3?) week RV trip to the Canadian Rockies 3 years go. It was a rental RV so I didn’t have the luxury of familiarizing myself with the thing. I was scared the first 2-3 days but I came around nicely later on. I hung out with my humans in the camp grounds, had walks on leash with them in the meadows and by the lakes, and slept on the dashboard enjoying the sun. It was fun time! A few things I’d like to bring up for your humans to consider: 1). Definitely familiarize you guys with the RV WAY in advance. Make sure that you get your scents all over the place, except for the places where you’re not allowed to go. Have short “outings” with you guys in the RV every few days, even if it’s only foe half an hour to an hour. Just stay in there with you guys without driving. After a few times they can try taking you guys for a short ride in the neighborhood. 2). RV is noisy! I think the noise really freaked me out in the beginning. The blinds kept hitting the windows and the cabinet doors hitting the cabinet. Find a way to reduce the noise. This will make you feel less stressed. 3). DO bring your carrier/crate. This is important! It was the biggest mistake my humans made on my RV trip. They were running out of space and they thought my back pack would do. NO. I needed security. I needed a roof above my head and two walls around me. Our RV was the type that had an overhead sleeping compartment above the driver’s seat. They ended up building me a “cave” with blankets and pillows in the very corner of the compartment. They’d put me up there whenever we were on the move and I’d just go to sleep there. Make sure that you have a SMALL SPACE that you guys feel safe in. Otherwise you’d dart for underneath the driver’s seat like me! 4). Try teaching you guys to walk on a harness and leash. My humans trained me to do that because of the RV trip coming up. It turned out to be a good thing. I know it sounds funny but I started to turn around after the first time my human took me out for a walk in the meadow. For some reason I seemed to “get it”. I seemed to understand that’s the reason why we suffered all the movements and noise—we were supposed to visit new places. After that, I loved taking a walk with my humans on the trip. 5). Consider buying one (or two) backpacks for pets. The type I have is this http://www2.shopping.com/xPO-Outward_Hound_Outward_Hound_Backpack_Pet_Carrier Your human can put you on his/her back, or roll you around on wheels. It is very durable and nicely constructed. I’m a big 15lb guy but I fit in it without any problem. 6). As for leaving you guys in the RV, my humans left me in the RV to nap while they were out and about. This was in June so the weather was hot. They made sure that the ventilations were on so the RV didn’t get overheated. Mind you, this was in the Rockies so the hottest day was probably no more than 85 degrees. Also, they only left me for a long period of time while we were in a campground, not just on the side of the road. If you guys can walk on leash or your humans can carry you with them in a backpack they don’t have to worry about leaving you guys in the RV too much. 7). Use products like Feliway and Rescue Remedy to reduce the stress level. I am usually a VERY calm and brave cat who cope with stress very well. Even I was scared for a couple of days. 8). Bring some of your favorite foods along. I’m a health freak (actually, it’s my humans not me). They usually only give me organic raw meats. The first couple of days when I was scared I didn’t want to eat, which was unheard of. Instead of the healthy organic raw meats, my staff gave me Fancy Feast, the kind with the most artificial flavoring, just to make sure that I ate. It’s important to keep you guys eating. They switched me back to my regular food once I started to feel better. 9). Tell your humans to talk to you guys and spend quiet time with you often, telling you why you were there. Their soothing voice will help you relax. Sorry about the long post. I’m soooo excited about you going on a RV trip! Since my RV trip I’ve also been to holidays with my humans, surviving 7, 8 hour drives. It’s going to be fun, trust me! Your humans sound wonderful. They’ll do the best for you! Pmail me if you have any more questions. Let me know how it goes! Nemo P.S. You can probably see some of my traveling pictures in my photo album.
  • SammySammy Member Posts: 3,391
    edited 15 May, 2009
    Hi Nemo, Thank you SO much for all your excellent suggestions - Mom was so happy when she read your post! She\'s been doing tons of research on cats and RV travel and many of your suggestions make a lot of sense to her. She has been leash training us for several months for this very reason, so we were thrilled to hear that you were able to visit meadows and streams during your travels - that is awesome! Maybe our paths/RVs will pass by each other one of these days - Mom has an RV trip to Canada on her list of places she wants to travel to :) Safe travels to you and all the RV kitties on the road!
  • Susie, Mike Yang, VeldboerSusie, Mike Yang, Veldboer VancouverMember Posts: 4,115
    edited 16 May, 2009
    You are so very welcome! I still remember coming to the forum asking the same question a litte more than 3 years ago! A kitty with traveling experience helped me out. We stayed best friends ever since! Your humans sounds great, Tully! They're doing everything right for you. I think the most important thing, by far, is to get you guys familiar with the RV. Once you see it as a second home everything will be a piece of cake! =; Oh! By the way, my human used to live in the Bay Area, too!
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